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 Work in America

Brotherhood and Religion

The Esoteric Work

The Work in Belgium

The Message Papers

Lecture for Mureeds and Friends

The Work in America

December 17, 1923

I have the great happiness of meeting my friends again in Brussels, and in this house where the Message commenced. It is a great pity that our friend Madama Graeffe is not with us just now owing to her poor health. Nevertheless, we feel her with us in the heart just the same, and we pray from the bottom of our hearts that from this moment that we all pray together for her that she soon will be better and well.

Now coming to the question of the work of the Message. Since I left you I should like to say a few words in what way the work has been done. The Message was given in the different parts of the United States, in New York, in Chicago, in Detroit, in San Francisco. Of course the time was too short for a large place like the United States. In four months I had to finish my visit whereas four months only a city like New York would take. No doubt, after having spread the Message there was a great demand for institutions to be founded in different places for the study of philosophy, and only I was able to do so in a few places like Detroit, New York, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles. In San Francisco already a society existed.

Of course my greatest difficulty in the United States was that the response was greater, and to answer that response there is a lack of workers who are trained and ready to answer the great demand of the place. I returned with the hope that soon some of our friends will be ready with enthusiasm and with their study and practice to do what little they can, if not in their own countries, then in the United States. Since then I have met with people, some coming from the United States, who have taken a deeper interest.

In America, no doubt, I found that there is one thing which appeals to an American, whatever be his occupation or position, and that is the idea of brotherhood, it being a place where in this ideal the national constitution has been built. Any other problem might divide their intentions, but in the idea of brotherhood they will unite. There has been a great difficulty between America and Japan; but when the difficulty came in Japan, this disaster, when the President wanted some few millions, twice as much was at once contributed, because the feeling of brotherhood touches the heart of the people.

Brotherhood and Religion

When we think of this it shows that brotherhood is needed everywhere. No man who has some sense of divine ideal, will deny the fact that brotherhood is the main thing which . . . It is a great pity that religions, whether in the East or West, have their own creeds and Church. When it comes to brotherhood they say, "We have our brotherhood, you have yours." Each thinks, "They have their own brotherhood." Therefore the work of the Sufi Movement is not to create a Sufi Brotherhood. It is not a brotherhood, but a means to create a brotherhood, it is working for a human brotherhood.

There is a necessity of a certain organization. Therefore the organization has not only supplied the need for brotherhood, but also it has helped to support the two activities. The one part is the devotional part; what the world is lacking today is devotional attitude. People study and they want to practice if they can attain some certain power. But [what] they lack is devotion, which means the lack of a fuller life. If there is a trace of God to be found, it is in the heart of man. If it is not open enough, then the natural flow is closed, and the life becomes incomplete. To live a complete life is to live a life of that sympathy and friendliness which pours out on another person; to the one who deserves it in the form of love, to the one who does not deserve it in the form of tolerance.

Therefore if we have any religious work it is the work of recognizing that great spirit, which is called the Christ-spirit, in all different aspects, names, houses of worship. It is not to limit that spirit to a certain community or creed, but to find it as a spiritual . . . and recognizing it as such, that in whatever time or period if there has been a spiritual awakening, a guidance given, it all has been given from one and the same source. It is for us to know it as one; that if there has come enlightenment to people it has come from one source, instead of quarreling about it. Whenever it has come it has come from one life and one source. And if there have been different scriptures and teachers, they have been just veils of one truth. Why dispute over names? The spirit is one, God is one, religion and truth are one.

The Esoteric Work

Now coming to even more important work, that on which the strength of our whole Movement depends. That is the esoteric work in which anybody is received by the initiation. It is not in the ordinary word of initiation. It is a word, there is no word to interpret, Bayat we call it. Initiation is a trust. When the pupil says, "I give you my trust, that whatever you give me I am sure I shall be benefitted," the teacher says, "All I shall give to you, you will keep as your sacred trust." That is the teacher's trust. When the trust is given from both sides, that is an initiation.

What is attained by the initiation? One is to acquaint oneself with the deeper side of life. What is the deeper side of life? The education, whatever it is, not completed as long as one is keeping to the outer side of life, and not yet entered into the deeper side of life.

And now the question is how can one attain to the deeper side? It is quite a different meaning.

  • One method is to acquire the knowledge from the life without, and that is going to school and attaining the knowledge in that way.
  • Another method is quite different; it is not going to school or institution and study, but closing the door of one's room, sitting in solitude, closing the eyes, being oneself once again, and trying to put one's mind within, seeking the source within, getting the knowledge which [can] be gotten only from within.

Of course, that art has its rules and regulations which are not applicable to each in the same way, although the science is one and the same. Still, when a physician receives different people, to each he gives a separate prescription, for each condition, to get it right. In the same way with the Sufi esoteric work, every person that is initiated does not get the same thing to do, and in a different way. All the same it is one art or science, a science of tuning oneself within.

By this a person gets great power over himself. Willpower becomes strengthened, discipline develops, the vision becomes more dear. One develops more control, more magnetism and power not only upon oneself, but upon everything. Upon everything one has a power. I do not mean that one has a power on the weather, but by self-discipline one gets a power of resistance, a power over circumstances which upset a person.

Often a fine person has jarring influences from around, from those with whom one comes in contact, one's friends, one's enemies; everywhere one finds life most difficult. If one goes on like this it becomes nothing but a terrible life; one becomes irritated and one becomes a difficult object for others. But by attaining that strength which comes from the deeper side of life one is able to get above things, to overcome the influences which come up and jar one's sensibilities. They are all thrown back, and one can keep oneself in the right tone and rhythm. The purpose of life is to keep oneself in the right tone and rhythm.

The nature of life is to put us off the right tone and rhythm. Every moment is that struggle. Even for a saint or sage there is this struggle to meet; from the first moment one gets up in the morning one has to meet with this struggle. If it is so with the advanced souls, then what with the ordinary people? Therefore there are so many suicides, people unhappy. Very few you will find content. There are those who say they are content, but still no real content you will find.

That shows that life is a continual struggle. It is no need to say that it is not struggle; one must develop one's strength to combat with this struggle, and to harmonize, making rhythm and tone to cope with this struggle, creating at the same time harmony and beauty.

Therefore Sufism is called the philosophy of love, harmony, and beauty; that means to understand really what it means to create in one's everyday life this which is the seeking of every soul.

The Work in Belgium

Coming to our work in Belgium, I should like to say that we have not yet organized so that the work should go on in a way that it ought to go on; and to let it go like this means that we do not love our work properly. Not to do for the work means that the work which needs spreading now is starving of that help which is necessary. Now that I have come I feel still greater hope than I have ever had. I feel that from now the work will go on by every means possible. And only I ask the help of all those here, their kind thoughts, prayers, actions in whatever way you can do to help this work advance in Belgium. In England there are four branches working just now, in Bournemouth (Harrowgate?), London, Southampton, and Brighton; it will spread still more in America; it is growing in France; it is prospering in Holland. Now I am going to Denmark.

I am sure that my mureeds certainly are my great well-wishers. And when they see me work day after day in spite of all the different difficulties and oppositions, and knocking against the stone walls that are in my way and yet going on patiently and never thinking: this is a place where the work cannot go. Never. In England for six months I was speaking to three people; there was no fourth person to be found. If I would have lost courage, I would have gone to my country. I did not. After six months a fourth person came, and he brought a fifth person, and so it went on. We do not know, we cannot say.

After all this work that I have seen and done and now find that there have been terrible disappointments, gloom, and clouds, and feel: nothing can be done here. But I felt like the Prophet Muhammad in the desert, where men as thick as stones would not listen. He was crying aloud wisdom. They would not listen, they threw him out of his country three times, killed his disciples; he still was going on. And what happened? There was a time when the whole Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, India, China was benefitted by what he brought. But he had to give in the mountains to those who would not listen.

Difficulties before a practical person seem different. He says, "I must have a result." If I would have been waiting for results, I would have gone mad, or have made a suicide. For years there was no result. In Brussels I have been working for two years now. The result from a practical point of view may seem poor. But I have some valuable mureeds still. One may be more valuable than a thousand. But from now I feel that the work must grow, and a mechanism must be made, and the whole world must know that the Brussels Society must live. And I am sure that by the help of my workers in Brussels there will . . . God Bless You.