The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      



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. Background on Sufism

2. Sufism--The Spirit of All Religions

3. Sufism--Beyond Religion

4. Sufism: Wisdom Of All Faiths

5. Different Schools of Sufism

6. The Intoxication of Life

8. The Path of Initiation

9. Reincarnation

9. The Interdependence of Life Within and Without

11. The Truth and the Way

12. Sufi Mysticism, I: The Mystic's Path in Life

13. Self-Realization: Awakening the Inner Senses

14. The Doctrine of Karma

15. The Law of Life: Inner Journey and Outer Action

16. Sufi Mysticism, II: The Use of the Mind to Gain Understanding

17. Sufi Mysticism, III: Preparing the Heart for the Path of Love

18. Sufi Mysticism, IV: Use of Repose to Communicate with the Self

19. Sufi Mysticsim, V: Realizing the Truth of Religion

20. Sufi Mysticism, VI: The Way Reached by Harmonious Action

21. Sufi Mysticism, VII: Human Actions Become Divine

22. The Ideals and Aim of the Sufi Movement

23. Working for the Sufi Message

24. The Need of Humanity in Our Day

25. The Duties of a Mureed

26. The Path of Discipleship

27. Divine Manner, I

28. Divine Manner, II

29. Our Sacred Task: The Message

30. Sufi Initiation

31. What is Wanted in Life?



Social Gathekas

11. The Truth and the Way

The point of religion, looking at the subject from the spiritual point of view, is illustrated by a story told in India of the magic lantern which Aladdin saw. What is this magic lantern? This magic lantern is hidden in the heart of every soul. For the time being its light becomes covered and the tragedy of life comes from this covering of light. Why does one seek for happiness? Because happiness is one's own being. It not because one loves happiness or would like to be happy, but one is happiness oneself. And why does one seek for it? One seeks for it because one is happiness, and yet when one finds the happiness closed one wants to look for it. The mistake one makes, and that perhaps every one makes, is that that happiness which could be found inside is sought outside.

The most powerful words that Christ has spoken are. "I am the truth and I am the way." Now consider this sentence: I am the truth and I am the way. There are two things: the truth and the way. When people confuse these two things they become perplexed and they cannot find the way. In the first place a person always makes wrong use of the word "truth." For one always calls fact "truth" but truth is something which altogether uproots the fact. But then, what is fact? Fact is the illusion of truth, but fact is not the truth.

Now you may ask me, "What is truth?" That is the one thing you cannot speak of in words. During my traveling very often I was asked, "But tell the Truth, tell us something about the Truth." When very much urged by people I sometimes wanted to have some bricks and write upon them "Truth" and say, "Now hold it fast, for this is the Truth." For if Truth were so small that our human words could speak about or could contain it, then it could not be Truth. Therefore the Sufis have always named Truth by the word Hakk, which means God Him/Herself. It is that truth which is the seeking of all of us. It is the most wonderful thing to see in the world that however false a person, he or she does not want another person to deceive them or be false to them. A person whose profession may involve lying from morning till evening still does not want their spouse to lie when they come home.

But we satisfy ourselves and are contented with facts, supposing that they are truth. By this contentment so many creeds, faiths, and beliefs exist in this world and fight with one another. But nothing can satisfy the craving of our soul, which is continually in search of the Truth which no words can speak.

"I am the way" is a great problem to consider. The one who wants to find it as the first step very often makes a mistake. One may find it, but not always. It is very strange how a person gives years and years to the study of grammar, music, or science, but when it comes to the Truth, they want from you a direct answer. If it were a lack of patience on his or her part, this would be excusable, but it is not often so. Rather it is because one considers the Truth so little.

If one were too eager or too impatient, one might possibly reach the Truth in one step; there is every reason to be hopeful. Though it is difficult to get gold, it is not so difficult if one really wants the Truth. Gold is something outside, but Truth is something within ourselves. How one wanders all one's life in search of something which can only be found within oneself.

There is one requirement: the way. Why is there a way? The reason is not because there is not already a way made between one and God. There was a way between each person and God, but everyone has gone astray from the way. Therefore each one is shown the way by their elder brother or sister. For instance, if there were not a way it would certainly be unjust to the birds and insects and all creatures if there was a bliss which was only given to humans. God is the perfection of justice, in Whom there is no injustice to be found, and God has not excluded any soul, however small, from this bliss.

As for people, it seems that even the birds and beasts have times when they concentrate. They meditate, in their own way, and they offer their prayer to God. There is no being on earth, however small, who does not contemplate for a moment. If one's sight were keen, one would also see, by sitting in the solitary woods or by sitting in caves in the mountains, that they all have their prayer and their at-one-ment with God. Why do the great ones, the souls who do not find rest and peace in the midst of the world, go to the wilderness? It is in order to breathe the breath of peace and calm that comes to them in the heart of the wilderness.

Humans, who are the most intelligent of all, are the most astray. In spite of all one's pride, the human being has created an artificial world as an improvement upon nature. But in creating this artificial world, they have lost their way. And in this artificial world that one has made as a paradise, is one happy? Does a person not cause more and more bloodshed every time and every time even worse than before? Is one not unjust to one's fellow being? How can a world which can give one that intoxication and absorb all one's mind, time, and effort in that intoxication give a person that happiness which is the craving of one's soul?

Therefore the way has, from time to time, been shown and will be shown to the one who for a time lifts his or her head up from this world and asks for the way to be shown. Although the way seems to be very far, the distances cannot be compared with the distances of this earth.

The way is so short, even shorter than an inch, yet it can be as long and as distant as thousands of such worlds as that where we are. This way contracts and stretches according to the attitude of the soul. However, there is one hope: that as God says in the scripture, "The one who comes to me one step, I go forward to him one hundred steps."

There are many different opinions how the condition of the world should be bettered: some think by religious reform, some think by educational reform, and some think by social reform. Every reform made with the idea of doing some good is worthwhile. But the reform most needed today is spiritual reform. Today the hour has come when narrowness should be abandoned, in order to arise above those differences and distinctions which divide human beings. This rising will raise our neighbors. For the

Lord is not pleased when some children of His are considered one's brothers and sisters, and other children of His are considered as separate. No father or mother is pleased at seeing some children favored and others neglected. What we need today is to train ourselves to tolerate one another.

By spiritual reform I do not mean looking for wonderworking or talking about metaphysical problems. The problem to be solved is solved by itself. We have only to wish and it is solved. The problem we have to solve today is the problem of reconciliation and reconstruction, which neither the politicians nor the statesmen have been able to solve, because it can only be solved by a spiritual awakening.

The way to spirituality is the expansion and the widening of the heart. In order to accommodate the divine Truth the heart must be expanded. With the expansion of the heart the divine bliss is poured out.

The true spirituality is the raising of the consciousness to that plane which is the abode of the Divine Being.