The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

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Social Gathekas

Religious Gathekas

The Message Papers

The Healing Papers

Vol. 1, The Way of Illumination

Vol. 1, The Inner Life

Vol. 1, The Soul, Whence And Whither?

Vol. 1, The Purpose of Life

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound and Music

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound

Vol. 2, Cosmic Language

Vol. 2, The Power of the Word

Vol. 3, Education

Vol. 3, Life's Creative Forces: Rasa Shastra

Vol. 3, Character and Personality

Vol. 4, Healing And The Mind World

Vol. 4, Mental Purification

Vol. 4, The Mind-World

Vol. 5, A Sufi Message Of Spiritual Liberty

Vol. 5, Aqibat, Life After Death

Vol. 5, The Phenomenon of the Soul

Vol. 5, Love, Human and Divine

Vol. 5, Pearls from the Ocean Unseen

Vol. 5, Metaphysics, The Experience of the Soul Through the Different Planes of Existence

Vol. 6, The Alchemy of Happiness

Vol. 7, In an Eastern Rose Garden

Vol. 8, Health and Order of Body and Mind

Vol. 8, The Privilege of Being Human

Vol. 8a, Sufi Teachings

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

Vol. 10, Sufi Mysticism

Vol. 10, The Path of Initiation and Discipleship

Vol. 10, Sufi Poetry

Vol. 10, Art: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Vol. 10, The Problem of the Day

Vol. 11, Philosophy

Vol. 11, Psychology

Vol. 11, Mysticism in Life

Vol. 12, The Vision of God and Man

Vol. 12, Confessions: Autobiographical Essays of Hazat Inayat Khan

Vol. 12, Four Plays

Vol. 13, Gathas

Vol. 14, The Smiling Forehead

By Date



1. Mysticism in Life

2. Divine Wisdom

3. Life's Journey

4. Raising the Consciousness

5. The Path to God

Four Stages of God-Consciousness

6. The Ideal of the Mystic

7. Nature

8. Ideal

9. The Moral of the Mystic

10. Brotherhood

The Ideal of Brotherhood

11. Love

12. Beauty

13. Self-Knowledge

14. The Realization of the True Ego

15. The Tuning of the Spirit

16. The Visions of the Mystic

17. The Mystic's Nature

18. The Inspiration and Power of the Mystic



1. Make a God

2. The Lover of God

3. All is God

4. Union with God

Vol. 11, Mysticism in Life

Four Stages of God-Consciousness

There are four different stages of God-realization of the Sufi.

1. Make a God

The first and primitive stage is to make a God. If he does not make Him out of a rock or out of wood he makes Him out of his thought. He does not mind, as an idolater would not mind, worshipping the God that he has made himself. Out of what does he make Him? Out of his imagination. The man who has no imagination stands on the ground; he has no wings, he cannot fly. The Sufi imagines that in spite of all the injustice of human nature there is one just Being, and he worships this Being whom he has imagined as his God. In spite of all the unreliable lovers and beloveds, he imagines that there is a Lover and a Beloved upon whom he can always depend. He thinks,

"Notwithstanding this ever-changing and unreliable human nature that surrounds me there is a reliable, unchangeable source of love and of life before me.

He hears not only my words but every thought I have, He feels all my feelings.

He is continually with me and within me; to whichever side I turn I meet Him.

He protects me when I am asleep, when I am not conscious of protecting myself.

He is the source of my support, and He is the center of all wisdom.

He is mercy, He is compassion.

God is the greatest friend, upon whom I can always depend; and if the whole world turns away from me I shall still have that friend, a friend who will not turn away as the friends of this earthly life do after having buried their beloved friend or relation, a friend whom I shall find even in my grave. Wherever I exist I will always have this friend with me."

2. The Lover of God

And when he has passed through this stage then there comes another stage, the stage of the lover of God. In this stage he begins to look upon God as his Beloved, and only then does he begin to learn the manner of true love; for love begins in man and culminates in God, the perfect ideal and object of love. A Hindustani poet says that the first step on the path of love teaches a person to say, "I am not." As long as he thinks, "I am," he is far away from the path of love; his claim of love is false.

Naturally, just as a lover is resigned to the will of the beloved, to suffer or to go through any test, so the Sufi at this stage takes all things in life as they come, courageously and bravely, meeting all difficulties and all circumstances, realizing that it all comes from the beloved God. It is in this way that contentment and resignation are learnt, that a willing surrender in love is practiced, and that love, which is a divine quality, naturally raises man to a higher standard.

One might say, how can one love God, God whom one does not know, does not see? But the one who says this wants to take the second step instead of the first; he must first make God a reality, and then God will make him the truth. This stage is so beautiful; it makes the personality so tender and gentle; it gives such patience to the worshipper of God; and together with this gentleness and patience he becomes so powerful and strong that there is nothing that he will not face courageously: illness, difficulties, loss of money, opposition -- there is nothing that he is afraid of. With all his gentleness and tenderness, inwardly he becomes strong.

3. All is God

When a man has passed through this stage then there comes a third stage, and it is that he considers all earthly sources, whether favorable or unfavorable, all that comes to him, as God. If a friend comes to meet him, to the Sufi it is God who is coming to meet him; if a beggar is asking for a penny, it is God whom the Sufi recognizes in that form; if a wretched man is suffering misery, he sees also in this the existence of God. Only, the difference is that in some he sees God unconscious, in others he sees God conscious.

All those who love him, who hate him, who like or dislike him, who look upon him with admiration or contempt, he looks at with the eyes of the worshipper of God, who sees his Beloved in all aspects. Naturally when this attitude is developed he develops a saintly spirit. Then he begins to see in this world of variety the only Being playing His role as various beings, and for him every moment of his life is full of worship.

But even with this realization he will never say that he is more evolved than those who worship God in an ordinary form; he can stand with them and worship in the same manner as they, although he stands above it all; but he will never claim to do so.

4. Union with God

The fourth development of the God-ideal is in the loss of the self. But which self is lost? The false self is lost, and the true self is gained. In this stage the Sufi hears through the ears of God, sees through the eyes of God, works with the hands of God, walks with the feet of God; then his thought is the thought of God and his feeling is the feeling of God. For him there is no longer that difference which a worshipper makes between himself and God.

As Khusrau the Indian poet says, "When I have become Thee and Thou hast become me, when I have become body and Thou hast become soul, then, Beloved, there is no difference between 'I' and 'Thou'."

What profit does the Sufi derive from this loss of what he calls his outer personality? It is not really a loss of outer personality, it is an expansion of the outer personality to the width and height of the inner personality. Then man becomes God-man, God-conscious; outwardly he is in the universe, inwardly the universe is in him. Outwardly he is smaller than a drop, inwardly he is larger than the ocean; and in this realization the purpose of belief in God, of worshipping God, and of loving God is accomplished.

The Sufi says that since the whole of manifestation is the manifestation of love, and since God Himself is love, then it is natural that the same love which comes from the source returns to the source, and that the purpose of life is accomplished by it. Somebody asked a Sufi, "Why did God create the world?" and he said, "In order to break the monotony of loneliness." And how is that monotony broken? It is broken through God loving His creation and through His creatures loving God. We see the same love of God in all things: in the love of a mother for her child, in the love of a friend for his friend, in all the different aspects it is the same love manifesting. Outwardly it may seem human, but inwardly it is all divine.

If we come face to face with truth, it is one and the same. One may look at it from the Christian, from the Buddhist, or from the Hindu point of view, but in reality it is one point of view. One can either be small or large, either be false or true, either not know or know. As long as a person says, "When I look at the horizon from the top of the mountain I become dizzy; this immensity of space frightens me," he should not look at it. But if it does not make one dizzy it is a great joy to look at life from above; and from that position a Christian, Jew, Muslim, and Buddhist will all see the same immensity. It is not limited to those of any one faith or creed. Gradually, as they unfold themselves and give proof of their response to the immensity of the knowledge, they are asked to go forward, face to face with their Lord.

One should remember, however, that there are very few who enjoy reality compared with those who are afraid of it, and who, standing on the top of a high mountain, are afraid of looking at the immensity of space. It is the same sensation. What frightens them is the immensity of things; they seem lost and they hold on to their little self. The difficulty of this is that they not only die in the thought of mortality, but that even while they live it culminates in a kind of disease; and this disease is called self-obsession, obsession by the self. They can think of nothing but themselves, of their fears, doubts, and confusions, of all things pertaining to themselves; and in the end it turns them into their own enemy. First they look upon everybody else as their enemy because they are out of harmony with everybody, and in the end they are a burden to themselves. Such cases are not rare.

Whatever religion they have, whatever faith they claim, they do not yet know what religion is. A man who professed to have no religion once said to me very profoundly, "I am happy, I have no fear!" He was spiritual though he did not know it.

One might ask if someone who has this realization can still have weaknesses. The weaknesses of the one who has gone along this path do not make him weak. It is his weaknesses which are weak, not he himself. Besides there is a saying in Hindi, "Never judge the godly." As the eyes have a limit, so the mind has a limit. How can the unlimited soul, who is in the Unlimited, be judged by the man who looks at life from a narrow point of view?

Those who arrive at an advanced stage never judge; it is the man who is at a lower stage who judges. The one who is on the top of the mountain judges no one, and therefore he is exempt from being judged.

Furthermore, when a person says, "I have not made a God, but want to love God," or when he says, "I have not loved God, but I want to know God, I want to see Him," or when he says, "I do not wish to see God, but I want to realize God," he is asking for something which is impossible.

One can go through these stages either quickly or slowly, but one must pass through these four stages. And if a person has not the patience to pass through these four stages, he certainly cannot enjoy that pleasure, that happiness which is experienced by the traveller on the path of God.