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 Purpose of Life

"Blessed are the Poor in Spirit"

"Blessed are They that Mourn"


Higher Attainment


The Prayerful Attitude



The Effect of Deeds

Rhythms of Activity

Ways to Control Activity


The Seen and the Unseen

The Other Side of Death

The Alchemy of Happiness

Wisdom and Ignorance

Kaza and Kadr

The Philosophy of the Resurrection

The Murshid



Vol. 5, Pearls from the Ocean Unseen

"Blessed are the Poor in Spirit"

The words "poor in spirit" are an unsatisfactory translation, and do not convey the real meaning of the text. There are certain words in the original which cannot be accurately translated. In Sufi terms this poorness of spirit is called Halim Taba", and means mild-spirited. The more true meaning of the words is, "Blessed are the mild in ego", and this is the teaching of Jesus throughout. He himself is spoken of in the Bible as "the Lamb of God", conveying the meaning of the mild in ego, like a lamb.

The ego is seen in the animal creation, but much more strongly in the carnivorous than in the herbivorous animals. It is very strong in the lion, and in the dog which will not suffer the presence of another dog when it is eating a bone. Elephants, on the contrary, the largest of all animals, are docile and harmless, and obey the commands of men. They live together in herds, and seldom fight. The same is the case with horses and sheep.

When we consider the ego in connection with the whole consciousness, we first look at the earth and rocks, the lowest form of life, and find how stiff and hard, how unmovable and unbendable they are. When we come to the water element, we find that it is pliable, and can be poured from one vessel to another. The course of a river or a stream may be diverted and made to go in another direction. It is poorer in spirit than the earth, for it is a higher element. A more exalted state of consciousness belongs to the poor in spirit, the pliable and the serviceable, than to the stiff and set. When we come to the fire element, we find that it is still more pliable. It can be taken from the rock and from the atmosphere, and it is more serviceable and more pliant. Air is still more pliable and is everywhere, and man cannot live without it. Ether is the highest element, and is nearest to us, for it surrounds us and is within us.

We frequently say, "I dislike him", "I wish to avoid her", but if we examine this carefully we find that it is the same element in all that we dislike: the ego. And when we turn to ourselves to see if we have it in us, we find it there too. We should forget it, therefore, in other people, and first turn our attention to crushing it within ourselves; we should determine to have our house clean even if other people neglect theirs. We should be careful to take away from ourselves any thorns that prick us in the personality of others. There is a verse in the Qur'an which says, "Arise in the midst of the night, and commune with thy Lord ... Bear patiently what others say." This is not only a command to arise in the night and pray, but it also means that by rising in the night we crush the ego, for the ego demands its rest and comfort, and when denied, is crushed. The mystics fast for the same reason.

The Sufis base the whole of their teaching on the crushing of the ego which they term Nas-kushi, for therein lies all magnetism and power. Jesus Christ meant this power of magnetism when He told His disciples that they would become the fishers of men. This can be acquired by developing the personality in poorness of spirit.