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 Bogey-Man



Amin, the Faithful Trustee





Vol. 12, Four Plays

The Bogey-Man


Scene 1

Compound outside the prison-ground. The SAGE is seated in meditation. People come to greet him and depart.

A PASSER-BY. He must be a great sage. I wonder what has brought him to this prison.

ANOTHER. Many such saints sin in order to deserve life in prison.

ANOTHER. Look how deeply he is absorbed in his silence!

ANOTHER. He is a silent as the stork waiting for the fish to come.

ANOTHER. He is God's beloved. Such people care for no one, for nothing in the world. He is like a God on earth.

ANOTHER. Hush! God is in the heavens. When did you see Him drop on earth? Don't speak so, it is sacrilege.

ANOTHER. I feel like sitting at his feet forever.

ANOTHER. Because you are so lazy.

ANOTHER. His atmosphere is so calm and peaceful.

ANOTHER. Look at his face, beaming with light. It's as if he were an angel.

ANOTHER. It seems angels have become cheap on the market lately; you can buy them at any price.

(A man brings another who has lost control of his nerves and makes all sorts of faces and distorted gestures. When he wishes to go the sick man pulls him back, saying 'Stay here.')

MAN. (to SAGE.) Will you cure him?

(The SAGE opens his eyes, touches the sick man's head and the man is well. All are amazed.)

SOMEONE. Oh, he is a great healer!

(A man and woman come in, holding a woman between them.)

MAN. Will you please cure her obsession? (To the woman.) Who is obsessing you?

WOMAN. I am a giant. I lived in the tree where this woman used to sit and sew. I looked and looked at her, till I fell desperately in love with her. And now I have fallen I cannot rise. The woman possesses me and I obsess her.

(The woman moves her head round and round.)

MAN. Away, you giant. Leave off controlling my wife.

WOMAN. No, I will not leave her.

MAN. Do you know in whose presence you are? You will be driven out if you will not leave her; you will be burnt to pieces.

SAGE (touches her.)

WOMAN. Yes, yes I leave her; I go, I am gone!

(The woman is cured and they go out. All the people there are wildly excited about the great SAGE.)

ANOTHER WOMAN. Will you cure me of my illness: I get fits of temper. Then I tear my garments, I insult my friends, I torture animals, and I quarrel with my children. I throw at strangers anything within my reach. When I'm angry, I frighten devils away.

SAGE (puts his hand on her head.)

WOMAN. I'm cured, I'm cured, I feel I'm cured!

EVERYBODY. Ah, what a great soul.

This is the man I would follow with my eyes closed.

To see a man like this is like seeing God

What power; he is a miraculous man!


NOBLEMAN. We have brought here the order from our gracious Queen to release you from your imprisonment. She has sufficient proof now that you are innocent. We are asked to take you to the palace, where our Queen is waiting to welcome you.

SAGE. What have I, a wandering man, to do at the court? Prison or palace is the same to me.

NOBLEMAN. Great Sage, if you come it would bless our Queen and her palace.

SAGE. Yes, I will come.


Scene 2

Palace veranda. The SAGE is received, standing before the Queen, who is sitting near a little table with wine and glasses.

QUEEN. I am very sorry indeed, great Sage, that you were arrested in my kingdom. I apologize to you most humbly for this unjust treatment which you have received from our people. As the diamond shines out even if it is amongst garbage, so you have shown your light. I consider it my privilege to see you here and to receive your blessing.

SAGE. All things that people do in life, good or bad, right or wrong, by them they build prison bars around themselves. Therefore, at every moment of life their captivity becomes greater. Life itself is a prison, Queen, a prison which every soul experiences as it dwells in this mortal body of limitations. It is from this prison that I have sought freedom. Therefore no prison can bind my soul anymore.

(The QUEEN offers wine to the SAGE . She stands next to him, near the balustrade of the balcony. The SAGE drinks.)

QUEEN. I have heard people talk so much about you and your wonderful healing-power.

SAGE. I never depend on popularity. People generally are like sheep; where one goes, all follow. They raise a person one day and throw him down the next. (She puts her hand in his hand; he presses it to his heart.) I do not mean rare souls like you, fair Queen. It is the people I mean.

(People who had admired him pass by, looking and searching for the Teacher and Healer.)

PEOPLE. Oh, he happens to be a false saint?

OTHERS. Look, look, he is drinking and making love to our beautiful Queen.

WOMAN. (who had come to get her head cured, holding both hands to her head.) He cannot cure my head, he cannot heal me!

MAN. (comes in limping.) I thought he was healing and he happens to be merrymaking. I have come from miles away, and it is all in vain.

ANOTHER. Listen to what they say; it is all humbug.

SAGE. I had hardly uttered the philosophy when an example manifested before us. Every man weighs another soul on his own scales, and measures him with his own yardstick, not knowing the weight and length of the soul, neither comprehending its height nor its depth. Everyone judges all by himself.

QUEEN. We must not remain here; we will go and have a quiet talk inside the palace.


Scene 3

Room inside the palace. QUEEN and SAGE, seated.

QUEEN. (with her hand on his chair.) The moment I heard of your presence here I knew what was attracting me. Great Sage, I am hungering to understand life, thirsting for association with the Illuminated.

SAGE. Yes, Queen, your hunger and thirst are of the soul. It is when a soul is born again that hunger and thirst begin.

(The QUEEN pours out wine and hands it to the SAGE. The SAGE drinks.)

QUEEN. I should so much like to know about life and death, about rise and fall, about that which we see and that which we do not see, about love and hate, about God and man.

SAGE. Wonderful questions, Queen; your response draws you closer to my heart.

QUEEN. It is these questions that have attracted me to you, beloved Sage.

SAGE. Your soul, beloved Queen, has waited for me, though it knew it not before we met. Life is one living stream, continually running without beginning or end. Death is man's illusion. The change that hides man's existence from him he calls death. Life is still, but its flow, which is ever-moving, rises and fall in waves; it is this that created an illusion of rise and fall. All this we see is the manifestation of one Spirit in many and varied forms. – Love, beautiful Queen, is the first will, the precedent cause. This whole manifestation is a phenomenon of love. Hate is the want of love; it has no existence of its own. – God is the ideal. Man makes and raises Him as high as he can for the expansion of his own soul.

QUEEN. How inspiring! It uplifts my spirit. How can I show you my gratitude, my devotion?

(The SAGE holds her hand to his heart, and kisses her.)

QUEEN. This is your home, since my heart has become an abode of your soul. You will bless me and my kingdom by staying here and will illuminate the chamber of my heart. – I offer you, beloved Sage, my heart and soul and all I possess, though it is too small an offering to be made.

(She sends for a silk robe to replace the Wanderer's mantle, and gives him a pearl necklace instead of his old rosary. Gold embroidered shoes are brought to replace his sandals.)

SAGE. This is all to rich for me.

QUEEN. Nothing is too rich for you, beloved.

(Enter BRAHMINS with two garlands of flowers and a tray with grain to give the blessing.)

BRAHMINS. God bless this auspicious wedding.

(Entertainments are given to the SAGE. Wine is brought and served by the QUEEN. Many courtiers come.)


Scene 4

Wilderness. The SAGE dreams.

SAGE. Wilderness, my dearest friend, why did I leave you? When did I leave you? Though I had left you, still you were always in my heart; the memory of having meditated in the woods, of having trees of long tradition whose every leaf is a tongue of flame... Venerated trees, have I not taken refuge in your shadow from the hot sun, when tired of roaming about in the wilderness, bare-footed? ... Little pools of water, I drank nectar from you... Joyful I felt under the vast canopy of the blue sky... Gentle streams of water, running from hills and rocks, I bathed in you and was purified of all infirmities... High mountains with a background of white clouds. No place in the world could be compared with your beauty... Morning sun, you are most glorious in the wilderness. I have never seen your face so beaming anywhere else.

Ah, am I really here, or am I in the midst of the world? Yes, there was a reason for being in the world. There is a reason for everything. Life is not without meaning, and all that a person does, whether knowingly or unknowingly, he only fulfills through his life's purpose. The prison I was in was not a prison, for my conscience stood above it. The grandeur of the palace had no attraction for me. The only charm I felt there was my precious Queen. – Wilderness, you attract me, you call me. Though I long to be in the solitude, yet I never felt I was away from you.


Scene 5

Room inside the palace. QUEEN and SAGE sitting next to one another. Courtiers present. The PRINCE is brought by the GOVERNESS and the GUARDIAN. The QUEEN rises from her chair, kisses the PRINCE and brings him to the SAGE.

GUARDIAN. Our little child, by the grace of God, is growing marvelously, do you not think so?

SAGE (takes the child and kisses it.) Yes, he is. (Holds him close to him.)

GOVERNESS. The Prince enjoys playing. He loves his little pony and does not allow anyone to touch it.

SAGE. Does he put his mind to his studies?

GUARDIAN. It is difficult to take the Prince from his play for his studies, but once he is studying he does it wonderfully well.

QUEEN. I don't know what would be the best way of bringing up our little child. I have been thinking about it very much lately

SAGE. It is a great responsibility, beloved. Even the shadow of an undesirable person falling upon our child would make an impression on him.

QUEEN. Does the child not bring with it at birth some inner tendencies and qualities?

SAGE. Yes, it does, yet they can be rubbed off by its experience on the earth. They can be covered by impressions it receives in coming here. To bring up a child is like molding a new world. For it is in man that God wakens to life.

QUEEN. Beloved, why are you looking sad today? Is there anything you need? I will procure all that wealth can bring, power can possess and love can supply – all you wish to make your life happy.

SAGE. I am homesick, precious Queen.

QUEEN. Are you not at home then? I never thought that you had another home.

SAGE. Yes, I had solitude. It grieves me immensely to tell you, beloved Queen, that I have received a call to the wilderness, which is my kingdom. I must go.

QUEEN (holds his hands and weeps.) You are not going, beloved, you will not go...

SAGE. Now the hour has struck, precious Queen, that I should depart to roam about in the wilderness.

QUEEN. I will follow you to the end of the world!

SAGE. No, beloved Queen, it is your duty to bring up this child to be the ruler of this kingdom. Destiny had arranged it so that he should be my son to reign over this country with wisdom and justice.

(The QUEEN weeps; all present are sad. The SAGE embraces the QUEEN kisses his son, takes off his crown and puts it on the head of the child. The mother cries and holds the child, weeping. Then he asks for his old mantle and takes off his kingly robe; he puts on his old rosary and his sandals.)

SAGE. (to himself.) This is the picture of life: tarry here awhile and then depart.

(He waves his hand and blesses all.)