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



The Message

Free Will and Destiny in the Message

What is the Message?

Lecture for Mureeds and Friends

Wakening to the Message

Aspects of the Sufi Message

The Message

Relationship Between Murshid and Mureed

Personalities of the Servants of God

Our Efforts in Constructing

Teaching Given by Murshid to his Mureeds

Ways of Receiving the Message

The Path of Attainment

Interest and Indifference

The Call from Above

The Message


Spiritual and Religious Movements

Peculiarity of the Great Masters

Abraham, Moses and Muhammad

Four Questions

The Spreading of the Message

Jelal-ud-din Rumi

Peculiarities of the Six Great Religions

Belief and Faith

"Superhuman" and Hierarchy

Faith and Doubt

Divine Guidance

The Prophetic Life

There are two Kinds Among the Souls

The Messenger

The Message Which has Come in all Ages

The Sufi Message

The Message

Questions Concerning the Message

The Inner School

The Duty of Happiness

Five Things Necessary for a Student



Journey on this path



The Message Papers

The Path of Attainment


The path that goes uphill towards attainment requires continual sacrifice. The one who is not ready to sacrifice must stand at the foot of the mountain, or the place he is standing on the way. He cannot go further, because he cannot sacrifice. And the path that is after the attainment requires renunciation to arrive at the goal. But to mix these two words is like confusing the words such as pleasure and happiness, such as intellect and wisdom. These are two different things. The one who has not made sacrifice in life, the one who has not yet gone through the path of sacrifice, must not take the name of renunciation, for it is quite a different thing. Everything is good in its own time. When a sacrifice is needed and one makes a renunciation, one goes backwards. When a renunciation is necessary and one makes a sacrifice, he goes backwards, too. For these are two distinct and different things.

Spiritual path apart, even in the things of worldly life such as starting a new business, going in a new profession, making one's career, treading the path of love and friendship, working for name and fame, whatever be the nature or character of the object one wishes to attain, what it asks is a sacrifice, from the beginning to the end. We are apt to forget it, and therefore we each think that our life asks for so many sacrifices. "Look how this professional man is happy, how that businessman is enjoying life, how that man who is making a career in the government is going on in his life!" Only we do not see the sacrifice that each one of them has had to make in order to arrive at that object which he wishes to attain.

A lazy man is preferred to a man who is unwilling to make sacrifices. By laziness a man shows that he does not care enough to attain to something. He enjoys his comfort, his convenience; he is quite content in his life. But the man who wishes to attain something and is not willing to make sacrifices, that man will have a difficult time, for he wants to purchase things without coins.

The sacrifice one has to make is of different characters, of different natures according to the object we have in view. The greater the object of attainment, the greater the sacrifice asked for it. But sacrifice must be understood rightly. It is not always that one has to sacrifice what one possesses; but one has to sacrifice what one is. That is a great difficulty. As a miser holds to his last penny, so man, disinclined to sacrifice, holds himself tight. "Anything be stolen, but not myself." It is a natural inclination in man. And what does the spiritual path ask of you? That very thing: "self." Give false self, and get the real self. If the mystery is understood, then attainment is at the next step. But man is not easily inclined to give up himself; anything else, but not himself. What do I mean by this?

One says, "My idea is my idea, my wish is my wish. It is mine. My thought is my thought, my inclination is my inclination, my point of view is my point of view." He makes all these things greater possessions than the possessions he has outwardly, and therefore it becomes easier to give what one possesses than to give up what one thinks and feels. If you say to a person, "But this is a wrong thing to do," he says, "Yes, but I am that way, I think like this. I know that it is wrong. I feel like it, although it is wrong. I cannot do otherwise." In other words, he holds his possessions, thinking that it is himself. But it is not himself. It is his false self.

However small be the object of your attainment, it matters little. However great a sacrifice it asks from you, it does not matter. By paying a greater cost if you have attained a small object, even then you have attained something.