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 Message

Free Will and Destiny in the Message

What is the Message?

Lecture for Mureeds and Friends

Wakening to the Message

Aspects of the Sufi Message

The Message

Relationship Between Murshid and Mureed

Personalities of the Servants of God

Our Efforts in Constructing

Teaching Given by Murshid to his Mureeds

Ways of Receiving the Message

The Path of Attainment

Interest and Indifference

The Call from Above

The Message


Spiritual and Religious Movements

Peculiarity of the Great Masters

Abraham, Moses and Muhammad

Four Questions

The Spreading of the Message

Jelal-ud-din Rumi

Peculiarities of the Six Great Religions

Belief and Faith

"Superhuman" and Hierarchy

Faith and Doubt

Divine Guidance

The Prophetic Life

There are two Kinds Among the Souls

The Messenger

The Message Which has Come in all Ages

The Sufi Message

The Message

Questions Concerning the Message

The Inner School

The Duty of Happiness

Five Things Necessary for a Student



The Universel

An Earthly Temple


The Message Papers

Our Efforts in Constructing

July 21, 1925

My Blessed Mureeds,

The Universel

I wish to say a few words on the subject of our efforts in constructing something (The Universel). We have come together, brought together by destiny in friendship, in sympathy, in love, and this must have a special meaning. And that special meaning is that we are constructing something, we are building something in the air. And this building is not a building for a certain time. This building is built for centuries to come. And once we begin to look at it from this point of view, we no longer can call or compare the Sufi Movement with any other intellectual, philanthropical, or spiritual institution. And those of my mureeds who do not see this way do not yet realize the meaning of this building. This is where God's Message will be treasured, a temple in which the future generations will find what they seek.

And how is it designed, and how is it to be constructed? It is designed by the hand of God, and it is to be constructed by our thoughts of harmony, of love, of beauty. It is our thoughts and our feelings which will serve in this temple as stones and bricks and tiles, and it is our feelings which will hold this temple for centuries to come. This opens up a different thought before my mureeds; and at the same time it wakens them to their duty and to that obligation which is attached to it. Every mureed has a contribution to make to this temple, and the best contribution he can make is his devotion, his faith in the Message, his sincere service to the Cause, his sympathy, his friendship with Murshid.

Never say, "Murshid has many friends." They can never be many. The laudable object that we have to carry in the world, the difficulties, that requires many more friends. And friends are never sufficient.

An Earthly Temple

But then one begins to think, "Why is it that there is so much talk about a temple to be made on the earth?" The answer is that everything that is to be built on a spiritual plane is finished when it is also built on the physical plane. But then one asks, "If that is the only reason, why must we have a temple; will any little thing not do? Why must we dream of big things and great things?" But any of my sincere mureeds who have deep devotion to the Cause and in whose hearts the dignity of the Message has been wakened -- can they ever imagine such a thing, that there could be something too good for the Message of love, harmony, and beauty.

When we stand in the physical world there is dignity to be considered. I am content with anything simple. Give me a hut of straw to speak in; I shall be glad to do so, I shall be quite content. But will your sense of dignity be content to imagine the Message of love, harmony, and beauty given in a garage? It is not at all desired by us that it must be made like a palace of Pharaoh, nor is it necessary. But at the same time we must not spare to contribute, to add to it beauty in whatever form we may be able to give it. For it will remain on the plane of the earth a little souvenir: a souvenir of your devotion for the Cause, a souvenir of that struggle and fight through which you have to go and are going in this pioneer work, that people will see your devotion after centuries, how you worked for it even on the physical plane, proving your devotion by having constructed that building on the spiritual plane also.


Someone asked me, "But why must it be in a place like Suresnes? We do not like it." A friend will not say to his beloved friend, a pupil will not say to his revered teacher, a dutiful son will not say to his venerated father, a devotee will not say to his prophet, "I love you, but I do not like the place you live."

Mecca, a place in a most uninteresting desert, which offers no earthly comforts or conveniences--neither is the ground fertile nor the climate desirable--has been the place of pilgrimage of those who went to get the blessing of that place. Perhaps they came from beautiful gardens, perhaps they lived in beautiful nature, perhaps they stayed in palaces, but when going to Mecca they did not think what kind of place it was. They only thought that it was Mecca, and that was quite sufficient.

This is not a story of the past; it is the story of the present also. My mureeds, those who go for a change, a holiday, can go to riversides, they can go to mountains; beautiful places there are, one better than the other. There are many places. But if they sacrifice all that to come to a place which perhaps is not as interesting as the other places, they must find some interest somewhere, and they really are attracted to the Message. The proof is their coming and their sacrifice of all that beauty which is sought.

But then one will say, "Why must we not have beauty? The Message of God is beautiful, and if the place were beautiful also, it would be double beauty." You can double earthly beauty, but not the Message of God. Earthly beauty is limited, and the Message of the Unlimited One, how can one compare it with that beauty?

If Murshid was not a mystic, and if there was a thought of making the Movement popular, Murshid would have been the first to say, "Yes, let us go to a place where thousands of travelers come in the summer. Or perhaps a place where people would come, if not for the Message, at least for a change. In that way we can catch them." There are some who seek beauty in the place; there are others who make the beauty in the place.

My blessed mureeds, when you look at things from a mystical point of view, you will realize the meaning of that verse in the scripture that says, "Not one atom moves without the command of God." When your Murshid was brought here, destiny settled him here. Spirits were moved to take this piece of ground, that a temple be made here. It is not without meaning. Our practical head will say, "No, this is not the right place for this business; this is not commerce."

If there is a beauty, it must create its own beauty. Many may have read in the books of the ancient mystics, of saints, of prophets, that they did not go out to show a miracle, a phenomenon. If there was a phenomenon it was themselves, their being; places flourished where they lived, the sky changed its light, the atmosphere changed. And the centuries changed it continually, the worst places growing into the best places, ordinary places turning into places of pilgrimage.

If the Sufi Message sought from a practical point of view what is best for its earthly progress, certainly we should ignore that mystical significance which is working behind our efforts. Never think that if Murshid was offered the sultan's palace in Constantinople he would change it for his hut in Suresnes. Where a mystic sits, he sits; where he stands, he stands. There is a mystical outlook, there is a mystical significance, there is a mystical point of view which is different from that which we call a practical point of view. Things of great significance are beyond what we call our practical point of view.

And now in conclusion I would like to say that we shall be content with the temple that one day will be built, and that we shall never think that the temple intended to be built can be too good or can be too beautiful for us. God Bless You.