The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

        (How to create a bookmark)



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



Sufi Thoughts

Some Aspects of Sufism

The Sufi



The Purpose of Life

Life In This World



The Masters

The Spirit Of Prophecy

Some Esoteric Terms


Suma, the Music of the Sufis

Vol. 1, The Way of Illumination

Some Aspects of Sufism

The Spirit Of Prophecy

There was a man living with his wife and children in a little village. He was called away by the inner voice of his soul, and he renounced his life with his wife and children and went into the wilderness, to a mountain called Sinai, taking with him his eldest son, the only one of his children who was grown up. The children having a faint remembrance of their father wondered at times where he was, and longed to see him; they were then told by their mother that he had gone away long ago, and perhaps had passed from this earth. At times in answer to their longing she would say, "Perhaps he will come or send word, for so he promised before his departure." Sometimes the children grieved at their father's absence, their father's silence; and whenever they felt the need for him to be among them they would comfort themselves with the hope, "perhaps some day he will be with us as he has promised."

After some time the mother also passed away, and the children were left with guardians who were entrusted with their care, together with the care of the wealth left by their parents.

After some years, when their brother's smooth face had become bearded and when his cheerful look had given place to a serious expression, and his fair skin, now in the strong sun for years, had turned brown, he came home. He went away with his father in grandeur; he returns in poverty and knocks at the door. The servants do not recognize him, and do not allow him to enter. His language is changed, the long stay in a foreign country has made him forget all. He says to the children, "Come, O brothers, ye are my father's children; I have come from my father, who is perfectly peaceful and happy in his retirement in the wilderness, and has sent me to bring you his love and his message, that your life may become worth while, and that you may have the great happiness of meeting your father, who loved you so greatly.'

They answered, "How can it be that thou comest from our father who has been gone so long, and has given us no sign?" He said, "If ye cannot understand, ask your mother. She will be able to tell you." But the mother had already passed away; only her grave was left, which could never tell. He said, "Then consult your guardians. Perhaps they will be able to tell you from the recollections of the past; or things that our mother may have said to them might bring to their memory the words of our father about my coming." The guardians had grown careless, indifferent, blind, quite happy in the possession of all the wealth, and enjoying the treasured gold left in their charge, and using their undisputed power and complete hold over all the children.

Their first thought on hearing he had come was of annoyance; but when they saw him they were quite heedless, for they found in him no trace of what he had been like before, and as they saw he was without power or wealth, and was altered in looks, in dress, in everything, they cared not for him. They said, "By what authority claimest thou to be the son of our father, of our master, who has long since passed away, and may perhaps be dwelling in the heavens by now?" He then said to the children, "I love you, O children of my father, although you cannot recognize me, and even if you do not acknowledge me as your brother, take my helping word for your father's word, and do good in life and avoid evil, for every work has its reward like unto it.'

The older ones, who were hardened in their ways, paid no heed, and the little ones were too young to understand; but the middle ones who hearkened to his words followed him quietly, won by his magnetism and charmed by his loving personality.

The guardians became alarmed at the thought that the children in their charge might be tempted and carried off. They thought, "Some day even the remaining ones may be charmed by his magic; and our control over them, with the possession of their wealth and our comfort in their home, and our importance and honor in their eyes will all be lost if we let this go on any longer." They made up their minds to kill him and incited the remaining brothers against him, declaring before them the pity of their dear brothers being led astray and carried away from their home and comfort, and how unfounded was the claim he made.

They came up to this man and arrested him, and bound his arms and legs and threw him into the sea. But those children who had looked upon him as their guide and brother grieved and lamented at this. The brother consoled them, saying, "I will come to you again, O children of my father. Do not give up hope, and the things that you have not understood, being young, will be taught to you fully; and as these people have behaved so harshly towards me, it will be shown them what it is to be heedless of our father's message brought by his own son; and you will be enlightened, O children of my father, with the same light with which I came to help you.'

This man was a master swimmer. The sea had no power to drown him. He seemed to them to have sunk, but then he drew his hands and feet out of the knots, rose upon the water and began to swim in a masterly way, as he had been taught. He went to the father in the wilderness and told him all his experiences on his long journey, and showed his love and desire to obey his father's will and fulfil all his commandments; to go to the children of his father again with renewed strength and power, in order to bring them to that ideal which was the only desire of the father.

A bearer of the message of their father appeared again after a few years. He did not insist on proving himself to be the son of their father, but tried to guide them and help them towards the ideal set for them by their father. The guardians, disturbed already by one who came and went, insulted him, stoned him, and drove him out of their sight; but he, renewed in his power, strength, and courage, and coming fresh from the mighty influence of his father, withstood it courageously with sword and shield, and sought refuge among those of the brothers who responded to him and sympathized with him on his last corning.

They said, "Surely he who came before was from our father, whom our brothers did not recognize and have sunk in the sea, but we are awaiting his coming, for he promised us that he would come." He answered, "It is myself who promised, and went to our father, and now I have come, for the promise given to you was of two natures: "I will come again" was said to those who could recognize me in a different garb, suited to the time and the situation; and "I will send another" or "Another will come" was said to those who were likely to be confused by the external garb. It was said to them so that they might not refuse the word of guidance sent by our most loving father." They understood his word better, but refused to acknowledge him to be the same as the first, whom they had formerly seen and now expected. He spoke, and he showed in his works the signs of their father, but they clung to the person whom they had seen at first, forgetting his word and their father.

But the little ones, who had not known him before, felt the tie of the blood relationship, for neither were their hearts hardened nor were they set strongly in their ideas. They loved him, and they recognized him more than had ever been his experience at his former coming, while the other brothers, under the influence of the guardians, fought and rebelled against all that this man did. But, in spite of all their resistance and the suffering caused to him, he guided the children of his father, as many as he could, until the name of his father was again glorified and his brothers were guided, directly or indirectly, through the puzzles of the world and the secrets of the heavens.

This story illustrates what has happened in the lives of the messengers, especially of Jesus Christ and Mohammad, though the terms Father, Son, Brother, are merely metaphorical. There has been one Teacher only, and He alone will be. All the names which the world has fought over are His names, and all the physical forms that have won the adoration of the truth-seeking world are His forms. Therefore, though the foolish reject the message, there are wise ones who accept it.