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

Amin, the Faithful Trustee


Scene 1

Hera, a rocky mountain in the desert. ? AMIN wandering alone and looking at the wide expanse.

AMIN. Home is a world; the life outside home is the underworld, but this wilderness is my Paradise.

I feel myself only when I am by myself. It is then that I look at the whole world as an onlooker. There must be some reason why I am attracted to this spot.

There are many reasons, but how many can be explained? The heavy responsibility of home life and the continual struggle with the outside world; the smallness of human character; the ever-changing nature of life; the falsehood that exists in the life of the generality; the absence of justice and the lack of wisdom; all these and many other things make life unbearable for me. Besides, the ever-jarring influences coming from all around work upon my sensitive heart and make me feel lost sometimes. It is only here, away from the continual turmoil of life in the world that I find some rest...

And yet I wonder if my heart is really at rest. No, my heart cannot be really rested. If I am here away from the world and my fellow men are in the midst of the turmoil, it cannot give me the peace I want; it keeps my mind uneasy...

What could I do to make the condition of my people better? Shall I work and be rich, and help them with my riches? But how far will those riches go to provide for their endless needs! Shall I be powerful and control them and rule them? What will that do? It will only turn them from servants into slaves. Shall I teach them goodness? But where does goodness belong? It belongs to God.

I must seek God myself first before I speak of goodness to my fellow men. And where shall I find Him? If He is to be found anywhere, it is here in the solitude where my soul feels free. I become attuned to nature. I could sit silent here for days, looking at this wide space with endless horizon, where not even a bird makes a sound by the fluttering of its wings. I need not try to be silent here; silence reigns here, the spheres are silence itself...

Oh, Thou, longed-for Beloved, if Thou are anywhere to be found, it is here. I do not speak, I will not speak; I only listen, I will listen. Speak to me!

(He sits silent. A VOICE comes to him.)

VOICE. Cry on the Name of thy Lord! Cry on the Name of thy Lord! Cry on the Name of thy Lord.

(He invokes the sacred Name of God, and again sits silent.)

AMIN. Through the whispering of the breeze, through the cooing of the wind, through the rippling of the water, through the cracking of the thunder, through the fluttering of the leaves, I hear Thy gentle whisper in answer to my heart's cry.

Beloved God, where art Thou not present! Thou art everywhere. O Thou, who wert the ideal of my belief hitherto, art now a reality to me! In the flood that is caused by Thy manifestation, my little self has become drowned. I am lost to my own view. Thou are now before me, O Pearl of my heart!

(AMIN falls in a sort of swoon.)

VOICE. Thou art the man! Arise and wake thy fellow-men from the sleep of ignorance!

AMIN. O, what a task, what responsibility Thou givest me! My Lord, my King, I tremble. I cannot dare look at myself. Let me cover myself from my own eyes! I cannot look at the vastness of the mission Thou givest me, with this, my limited being.

(Again goes into a swoon.)

VOICE. Thou art the man! Arise and wake thy fellow men from the sleep of ignorance!

AMIN. Yes, I obey, I rise, I march to the rhythm of the music of Thy call!


Scene 2

TEJA'S house. AMIN sitting on a cushion in an ecstatic condition. TEJA, one hand on this shoulder, sympathizing with him.)

TEJA. What is it my darling sweetheart: Why are you acting so strangely: You seem to be frightened of something, as if you had a nightmare. It seems as if something frightful had been impressed upon your mind. What is the matter, my beloved? I am most anxious about you.

AMIN. Bibi, I have had an experience, which is indescribable. I did not wish ever to tell anyone about it.

TEJA. Not even to me: I thought there would be nothing you would keep hidden from me.

AMIN. Well, beloved, not even to you. For it is something, which I cannot even, explain to myself. And yet, when I think of it, it seems as if my soul has always known it, although my mind is quite unable to grasp it. It is something so big that I cannot look at it and at the same time look at my little self. For there is no comparison between this experience of mine and what I know myself to be. The difference is like that between heaven and earth. If I try to say it, my lips tremble and my throat chokes. I feel like covering myself from my own view when that wonderful influence comes over me.

TEJA. I feel very eager, Amin, to hear. Will you not tell me a little more about it?

AMIN. It was to quiet my mind, upset by the turmoil caused by the life in the world, that I sought refuge under the clear sky during the rising moon in the wilderness, I called upon that God whom people seek, some in the idols of rock, some in the spirit of their ancestors, some in the beasts, some in birds, some in trees of long tradition, some in heroes, some in the bright sun. He answered me during my quietude, through nature whose voice I heard, which was louder than the thunderbolts. I was taught to cry on the Name of God.

And His answer came to me as an echo of my cry. The spot where I sat in the desert, far away from the world and its noise, produced for me a sublime vision of the immanence of God. The speechless rocks, it seemed, received a tongue to answer my call. God, who is the belief of an average being, then became for me a living identity, and my self for that moment was lost to my own view. How can words explain the splendor of that moment, the glory of God, which was in its full bloom at that time? It seemed as though the spheres played music and nature danced. The heaven of which they talk, I saw come on earth!

TEJA. How wonderful! And then what happened?

AMIN. I cannot very well say it to you, my dearly loved wife. It came to me as a command telling me to rise and try to better the condition of my fellow men.

TEJA. In what way?

AMIN. In every way.

TEJA. But how?

AMIN. To warn people of the coming disasters; to waken them to the light of truth; to help in bettering their conditions in their life in the world; to serve them in their need; to give them a hand as they climb to the height of the spiritual ideal. And to remove thorns from their way.

I cannot, I cannot understand this. Why I should be called for this great task! A trust, the weight of which trees could not bear, mountains could not sustain. And yet, though my soul has heard, I cannot make my mind believe it. Is it my delusion, Teja? Do you think I have become possessed of a spirit? What is it?

TEJA. My precious one, if you ask me, I will repeat the same words: Thou art the man! I have seen it all along and I have felt it, though I could not give full expression to my thoughts.

AMIN. How can I believe this to be true, Teja, in spite of all this experience I have had, when I think of my shortcomings and my limitations?

TEJA. Thou art the man, Amin, who is born to serve his fellow men, to better their conditions. You do not know how good you have been to all: most attentive in your duties, persevering in your labors, honest in your business dealings, a brave soldier on the battlefield, and a wise peace-maker. Have you not been an ideal husband to me, and a father so kind and loving? Your respect for the aged, your affection for those who depend upon you, and your consideration for those to whom it is due. Besides, your generous spirit covered under your modesty ? all these things give me sufficient reason to believe without a doubt that you are the man. And if there was not one person in the whole world to support my belief, I would yet believe so. For my belief in you is my conviction.

(AMIN, moved to tears, kisses her hand and presses it to his heart.)

AMIN. You are my inspiration, Teja, you are my strength.

(A moment's silence.)

AMIN. Now, I must leave, well-beloved, and see what can be done. It is difficult being alone, to begin the work. Still the One who has inspired me to work will be my guide.

(They rise; AMIN about to depart; JOHLA enters.)

JOHLA. Bibi, your uncle Humadan has come to see you.

TEJA. Show him in.

(Enter HUMADAN. TEJA goes forward to meet him. AMIN greets and shakes hands with him.)

HUMADAN. I am needed: I am surprised! I thought nobody in the world needed someone who is now looking at life as the past, and seeing before him his end.

TEJA. Uncle, you must not say that The more one lives, the more precious one becomes; for life deepens a soul. We can always profit by your counsel, your word of advice, dear Uncle. ? Amin is lately having some strange experiences. He feels as if he heard a voice calling him to serve his fellow men. This has come to him since he has taken to retiring to the solitude; sometimes he spends hours and sometimes days in the wilderness.

HUMADAN. Good tidings! This has always been the experience of those who have been called to serve humanity in a special way. He is a reformer, even greater than a reformer, for he is a prophet. (Turning to AMIN.) There is a great task before you, my son! I am afraid you will have a hard time. Man is the worst enemy of his best friend; he has always proved to be so. It is the same old wine put into a new bottle. But the world, before drinking the wine, examines the label on the bottle, and if it is not the same label that it is used to, it will call it a different wine.

I should not be surprised, Amin, if your most loving friends did not turn into your bitterest enemies, as soon as you have commenced your work. The people here in this land are very backward; they are in a hopeless state. There is idol-worship everywhere. Religious places have turned into money-counters. Gaiety and merriment are the occupation of the young; and the old indulge in superstitions. Who could be the man, Amin, if you could not? You are the man, I am sure. I wish I were young, to have shared some of your troubles. But I am too old now to venture. You are fortunate, Amin, to have your devoted wife. God be with you both, my children! Goodbye!

(TEJA embraces her uncle. HUMADAN puts his hand on their shoulders. AMIN embraces TEJA leaves.)


Scene 3

AMIN standing on the highway, speaking to the passers-by. Travelers coming and going.

FIRST TRAVELER. I have heard you talk here to the travelers; tell me to what Church you belong.

AMIN. My church is the globe, the earth is its ground, the sky its dome.

SECOND TRAVELER. But which is your God?

AMIN. The same God who is the God of all.

THIRD TRAVELER. But you don't worship the God of our tribe, do you?

AMIN. I worship the God of all tribes.

THIRD TRAVELER. But every tribe has its own God.

AMIN. Yes, but the God of all tribes is my God.

FOURTH TRAVELER. But what religion do you teach?

AMIN. The same one religion which has always been taught to humanity.

FIRST TRAVELER. You don't mean to say you preach the religion of our sect, for you are not our priest.

AMIN. It is not the religion of one sect; it is the religion of all sects. It is the religion, which was revealed before; the same is being revealed now.

FIFTH TRAVELER. But it is not the religion of our ancestors, which you teach.

AMIN. It is the same one and only religion of truth. It is the same religion of 'peace on earth and goodwill to men' now given to you as a reminder.

FIFTH TRAVELER. What are your teachings:

AMIN. Quit all laziness; earn money by labor; live an honest life, a life harmonious and peaceful. Respect your elders; give loving care to the younger. Be charitable to the poor; give a part of what you earn in charity. Worship one God who is the Lord of all people. Know that you will have to give an account of your deeds. Know that purity is the first lesson of piety. Do not shirk your duties. Travel even to the other end of the world if it is for learning. Forget not your obligations; practice honesty in business. Know that all things in earth and heaven are made for you to make the best use of them. For man's sake is the world created, and man is the master therein.

SIXTH TRAVELER. What nonsense! What does he know of heaven! Has he been there: if he has been there, why then is he still lingering here on earth?

SEVENTH TRAVELER. He is born on earth, as everyone else. What right has he to teach others when he is only a man? He's not a god!

FIRST COMPANION. What he says is touching. I don't see what wrong he has said. He does not need to be other than a man to guide man on the right path. It's absurd when one expects a guide to drop directly from heaven. It is the son of man who understands the difficulties of man and who can sympathize with him. Therefore, it is man who is needed to guide man, not an angel!

EIGHTH TRAVELER. I have known him for a long time. Is he not the same one who used to work at the farm?

NINTH TRAVELER. I think I have seen him working as a business agent, if I am not mistaken.

TENTH TRAVELER. Is he not the man I knew on the battlefield during the last war? And now he is coming to tell us of kindness!

ELEVENTH TRAVELER. But who made him a priest to give us long sermons? Has he got nothing to do at home? He has a home with wife and children, he is not a hermit!

TWELFTH TRAVELER. No, I can't believe all this talking. If he were real, he would show some miracle. Can he give sight to the blind, or can he raise the dead from their graves?

SECOND COMPANION. He need not perform wonders in order to serve God and his fellow men. If he can inspire the ignorant to speak words of wisdom, it is better than if he gave speech to the dumb. If he opens the heart of a person to hear the inner voice, it is greater than giving ears to the deaf. If he opens the eyes of the seeking soul to reality, it is better than giving sight to the blind. If he wakens a mortal soul to immortality, it is greater than raising the dead.

(AMIN sitting on a rock and resting his head on his hands, hears all this silently. Many more persons enter.)

SEVERAL VOICES. Here he is! Here he is!

FIRST INHABITANT. You have started to work against the religion of our forefathers; you wish to believe in another God rather than the Gods of our tribes. You are influencing our young men to give up the worship of our idols. ? Leave the soil of our country at once! If not, the State will punish you.

(They fight with the FOUR COMPANIONS, who try to protect AMIN. Some try to take AMIN away from the danger.)

AMIN. Was it for this day that Thou didst command me to warn these people?

(AMIN is rescued from the crowd by his COMPANIONS.)

SECOND INHABITANT (holding his arms.) If you care at all for your life, never step on this soil again!

(Many persons rejoice. Some sorrow; a few women weep.)