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. Man, the Purpose of Creation

2. Character-Building

3. Human Nature

4. Self-realization

5. The Art of Personality

6. Man is likened to the Light

7. Truth

8. Selflessness - Inkisar

9. Indifference - Vairagya

10. Independence and Indifference

11. Overlooking - Darquza

12. Graciousness - Khulq

13. Conciliation - Ittifaq

14. Consideration - Murawwat

15. Tact

16. Spirituality

17. Innocence

18. Holiness

19. Resist not Evil

20. Resignation

21. Struggle and Resignation

22. Renunciation

23. Sacrifice

24. Ambition

25. Satisfaction

26. Harmlessness

27. A Question about Vegetarianism

28. Unselfish Actions

29. Expectations

30. Be a Lion Within

31. Humility

31. Moral Culture

33. Hope

34. Patience

35. Confidence

36. Faith

37. Faith and Doubt

38. The Story of Orpheus

39. Happiness

40. The Privilege of Being Human



Man is Likened to the Light

Signs of Spirituality

The Purpose of Life

Fuel for the Light

Q and A

Vol. 8, The Privilege of Being Human

6. Man is likened to the Light

Q and A

Question: What are the means, except concentration and meditation, to develop and strengthen that light in oneself?.
Answer: Right living.

Question: What is right living? Is it doing what everyone thinks right?
Answer: If each person would have his way of right living there would be anarchy. I would consider right living that which is right for oneself and for others. If not, those who do good or who do wrong can all justify themselves by thinking that what they do is best. Reason is the slave of man, it always comes and sympathizes with him. One asks, "Have I not done right?", or "Have I not done wrong?", and the reason says, "Yes, you have."

Question: How can one live so that it is approved of by others?
Answer: It is impossible to live the life that one considers best and that others consider best. But one can do one's best.

Question: One sees people in whom the divine spark of light is more or less extinguished and who still live an apparent virtuous life.
Answer: An apparent virtuous life is something different. Right living in my sense is not only virtuous living. Right living has a still deeper meaning, for what I call a right life is the first step to that which may be called true life. The third step is truth itself. The mystics say that there are three steps to the goal: right life, true life and truth. A person who loves to live a right life and who tries to do it, even if he is not a contemplative or meditative or religious person, must certainly arrive at that high stage, at that goal which is the ideal goal; for within man there is truth, and the seeking of man is truth. Therefore right living helps him to realize truth.

If I were to interpret the words of Christ, "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way", I would say that there is a path in life, a path of going strait, and that path is like walking upon a wire. In the circus they make a show of it. It is exactly the picture: at every step one takes there is fear of falling either to one side or to the other.

Jugglers in India even make a better picture of it. They take two very light bamboos and tie a rope on the top of them. The juggler stands on the rope in a brass tray and his task is to go from one point to the other. While he is travelling thus, his colleagues from below beat drums and sing horrible songs in order to distract his mind. He has to keep his concentration and secure his balance in spite of all the music calling him from below. That is the picture of right living.

Question: But once one is failing... ?
Answer: Truth is merciful. One cannot fall but on truth; if one falls, one will only fall in the arms of truth. A seeker after truth has no loss. If apparently he loses something, it is not a loss in the end.

Question: What does it mean "to fall in the arms of truth"?
Answer: If a fall is caused in a certain struggle one has fallen in the arms of that particular struggle. If it is in the struggle for love, then it is in the arms of love that one falls. If it is in the struggle for righteousness, one falls in the arms of righteousness. Just as they say that in a holy war a person gives his life for a holy purpose, and is therefore in the arms of that holy object, so, if a person has fallen in the struggle for truth, he has fallen in the arms of truth.

Besides, the hopeful never fails: both his rise and fall mean success. Failure is the loss of hope. As long as there is hope there is no failure.

Question: And what of those who do not hope any longer?
Answer. Then that is the end of success.

Question: Is there nothing that can help them?
Answer: A miracle can do something; nothing is impossible. Nothing is more painful than the loss of hope. A hopeless person is a dead person. A person who is dead with hope is living, but a person walking on the earth without hope is as dead.

Question: How can one revivify a soul?
Answer: By imparting one's life to him, just as a lighted candle can light another candle which is put out. When the fire has gone out in the stove one must bring some other fire to light it again. One has to give from one's own hope; therefore the one who gives must be powerful enough to give it.

Question: When can one consider oneself powerful enough to give?
Answer: One can judge it by one's own self-confidence, because that life one gives from one's own life to another comes from self-confidence. In the Sufi terminology it is called iman. lt is the most sacred thing in the whole religion; self-confidence is the secret of all miracles.

Question: Is love for one's neighbor not sufficient to help?
Answer: Love is the substance, by self-confidence one makes that substance, and by the power of self-confidence one is able to impart it. For instance, if one sees a person who is very ill and one thinks, "What can I do, how can I do something?", then one can do nothing. For healing, it is all self-confidence that is needed, for healing oneself and for healing another. Not only for healing, but for all things - in business, in industry, in all work - self-confidence is necessary.

Suppose a doctor comes to see a patient who is in a bad condition and says, "Oh, you have called me too late; this person has gone very far. Still, as you have called me here, I shall write a prescription." But another doctor may say, "It is never too late. I am sure that all will be well. I shall do my very best, and certainly the patient will recover." He may give the same prescription as the first doctor, but his prescription will be of much greater value. Why? Because besides the medicine, he has given his self-confidence which is a million times greater in healing-power than prescriptions.

It is the same in all things. A person may start a business, an enterprise, and someone may come along and take away all his strength by saying, "What a fool you are to have begun this. Have you thought of this and that?" Then all the power and radiance the man has can be lost in a moment's time. Another person may say, "It is a noble undertaking; I am sure you will succeed. Therefore my prayer, my thoughts are with you; I shall do all I can to help you in your enterprise. I wish you success."

Question: In order to be quite sure to be able to give to another should one not have a great deal of vitality oneself?.
Answer: Vitality also comes from self-confidence. Very often one will see a person with no extraordinary strength and vitality having more strength than a Sandow.

Independence is the sign of self-confidence. It is just like a wealthy person who has wealth enough for himself and who always can give to others. A person with limited means, after one day of generosity, the next day will be broken.