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



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 Message Papers

The Message

September 1, 1925

My Blessed Mureeds,

There often arises a question in the mind of a faithful devotee of the Cause. One thinks, "If one would know Murshid better," or, "If one would understand the Message more fully." Is it not enough for my true mureeds to know that Murshid is a servant of God and humanity, whose privilege it is to have sincere friends like you to stand by him in his strife?

And in answer to the question of what the Message is, I would say that it is not in particular dogmas which I would call the Message, nor is it certain new doctrines which are given to you which I would call the Message. There are no moral principles preached here to name them as the Message.

The Message should be regarded in two aspects.

  1. The one aspect is that, in spite of all culture and progress, humanity is going backwards, and that lacking is the absence of true idealism. It is a shadow of idealism which pulls man down towards the earth.
  2. The real idealism is a ladder that helps man to reach that purpose for which the world was created. If in the form of devotion, in the form of philosophy, in the form of mysticism, there is anything given by this Message, it is the ideals which ennoble souls, and which make souls realize their origin, which is divine aristocracy.

A man unconscious of that noble spirit which is in him remains poor with all the wealth and position he may have. The lack of rest and peace which we find in the world today, and which is continued in spite of all different efforts being made to bring about peace, shows what is lacking, what is absent in humanity.

It is not necessary that an idealist must be impractical, that an idealist must be dreamy, that an idealist must be imaginative. One can have practical sense, one can have common sense, one can do all things in the world that are necessary and yet be idealistic; that is the lesson to be learned today.

The more we study the life of many with wealth and position, with rank, with power, at the end of examination we see them too small for all they have; they are most limited, with closed eyes. And when one sees with open eyes one will see that they are the ones who are dreamy, who sleep, and whose imaginations are worthless.

No one who has seen human nature with the x-ray of his heart will deny the fact that there is some spirit in many people today which is not allowed to mature. And that is the spirit of idealism, a spirit which helps one to go upwards, to rise, a spirit which helps one to express that nobleness which is divine in man. If the Sufi Message takes the form of an esoteric school, through all these forms it has to give one and the same thing: to give the ladder to mankind to climb upwards.

And you will ask, "How shall I define what idealism is?" The ideal is something which one keeps before one's eyes, something which is not easily reached, something which is not easily touched, but which one cam always see and keep before one, and try one day to reach. The person who has the ideal naturally has sentiments, his imaginations are graceful, his thoughts wonderful, his actions beautiful, his atmosphere magnetic. For it is the ideal which makes life worth living.

If all that the earth can give one, one has, and not the ideal, one will soon be tired of it. No doubt, this keeps man living, when he thinks, "I have not money," or, "I have not power," or, "I have not something else." And when he is waiting, in that waiting either he is striving or struggling in order to get it, and that makes him live and pass time. But if he dives deep into the secret of life he will find that even such things which one has not got, if they were at one's disposal, even then one would not be satisfied.

There is only one way for life to be worth living, and that is that there should be someone to look up to, that there is something before one to attain to, there is something that one can hope to gain or to attain. And in this way, from one thing to another thing, one arrives at the throne of God, the ideal which is worth attaining, which is the only ideal worthwhile.

The sign of life is enthusiasm; the sign of life is aspiration; the sign of life is hope. And if one has not got any of this, life is not worth living. Only hope to realize something which is worthless makes life worthless. Something which is passing makes life mortal. The aspiration of something which is dense turns one to denseness. A higher aspiration ennobles the soul, producing out of it all virtues which belong to man.

Take for instance, two persons. One person has everything in life to make him happy, and he is without an ideal before him. The other person has nothing in his life to make him happy, but there is an ideal before him. It is this person who is living, and the other person is dead with all he has. That shows that there is a side in man's being -- call it spirit -- which remains unsatisfied with all that one has attained in one's lifetime. The satisfaction of the spirit, which is the deepest being of man, lies only in the pursuit of the ideal.

With all progress that humanity makes, idealism neglected will show at each step towards progress a great lack, and nothing can substitute that lack. If there is anything that fills the gap, if there is anything that makes a bridge between God and man, it is the ideal. Naturally optimism comes when there is an ideal. Pessimism vanishes when there is an ideal. A new hope springs, and that hope brings a new life, when there is an ideal. And when there is a hope, willpower naturally develops. There is no hope without desire, and there is no desire without a will. All things change in one's life as soon as one has placed before oneself an ideal.

There cannot be a greater ideal than the thought of serving humanity in the path of God, in the path of truth. It is in this ideal that we all unite in the Sufi Movement, and in working for the Message. It is this ideal that we have to carry out. If it was not for this ideal then it would not be necessary to work for the furtherance of the Cause. One would have taken his practices, would have sat in solitude, would have tried to develop himself.

I was often amused to hear from people saying, "I would be very glad to render services to the Cause, as soon as I have attained spirituality." That means in return for the spiritual bliss the individual will give his service to the Cause. It is a good bargain. In reality, it is through service that we go higher, and it is through service that we attain that bliss which we wish to attain.

It is not necessary to wait until we become spiritual. For what is spiritual?

  • The ordinary meaning of being spiritual is to have spirit within us; we have it.
  • The other meaning of being spiritual is to rise to perfection. That can be accomplished by forgetting one's own spiritual progress, by doing an the service which one can for others; it naturally makes one spiritual.

The person who waits and says, "I will do things when I am spiritual, and once I have become spiritual I shall do wonders," it is just like saying, "I will be generous when my ship comes." But who knows when the ship will come? Who know when he will be spiritual?

Spirituality is not attained by saying, "I will be spiritual one day." One must begin to do all one can for others; it is in this way that one gains spirituality. It is not by thinking that one will be spiritual, it is by forgetting about it that one will arrive at that stage.

There is not need for a person to worry about being spiritual; to be spiritual is to be natural. It is unnatural not to be spiritual. How can a spirit not be spiritual? Is man his body, or is he his soul? The man is his soul; then naturally he is spiritual to begin with. He has forgotten it. I have seen many people worrying over it, and they do not know what it is that they worry about. What is that they expect to attain?

No doubt, where there is an ideal, naturally the soul is uplifted. The greater the ideal, the greater the power. The higher the ideal, the higher the soul is lifted. The one who has a perfect ideal of God before him, he is always drawn towards perfection. He need not trouble or worry about it. He only has to hold the ideal before him and he will be lifted up.

It is this upliftment which is called liberation. God Bless You.