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 Message Papers

Relationship Between Murshid and Mureed

July 7, 1925

My Blessed Mureeds,

The relation that exists between Murshid and mureed is so subtle and so delicate that only a few persons can understand it. It is not a relationship between a professor and a student. It is not a relation between an engineer and apprentice. The one who does not know it, for him it is nothing; and the one who knows it, for him it is everything. The light of the stars and planets which we see is in accordance to the light that it responds to. And since the relation between the Murshid and mureed is connected with light, the nature of this relation is also similar to that of the stars and planets.

No doubt, in the East, often a child learns of that relationship from his parents; and as he grows, he grows up with that idea in his mind. And for him this relation, whenever it may be established, it is not new. In the West there are many souls born with the tendency of a mureed, with the soul of a mureed, the have mureed's inclination, mureed's seeking. But as everything else around them, instead of giving that idea, tries to remove that idea from them, and they have to resist against it, it becomes necessary here for the Murshid to bring this subject before mureeds; whereas in the East no murshid would ever think of bringing this subject, for he knows that: how can it be otherwise?

One sees four different tendencies of mureeds while working in this line.

  1. One tendency is that: "I am looking for something, I am seeking after something. If I can find it anywhere, I may just as well find it here. But one thing is as good as the other thing. One way leads to the same goal as the other way. " He is quite correct, no one can deny the truth of this idea. Only he is further than where a mureed is expected to be.

  2. And there is another tendency that is: "I will try and learn and understand what I can learn and what I can understand. And I will try to grasp the ideas that fit in with my (preconceived) ideas; and what does not fit in with my ideas I will overlook it." This is no doubt a tendency of compassion, of tolerance, and of forgiveness. But still he is further than the place from where a mureed ought to start.

  3. And then there is a third tendency, that tendency is: "I will hurry up and learn all I can. I can spare to give so many weeks, months, or years, which I will try to give, if nothing takes me away from it. I shall have patience, and do all that is asked me to do. But then it depends upon the result. The whole future depends upon what results I get from it; and upon that I shall arrange my future action." He is right also, he has a reason; only he is further than the place from where a mureed begins his work.

    These three tendencies which I have just now spoken before you show that the soul has not yet understood the real meaning of a mureed.

  4. And then there is a fourth tendency. And that tendency is that: "I take my journey in the path of truth; and my first step is trust; fall or rise, I will take what comes. For me it will be rise just the same." His first step is firm, and he promises to go further.

This path of spiritual realization is a path of self-abnegation. And self-abnegation is not only in thinking, but it is in doing, in everything one says or does. The examination of that self-abnegation is given to Murshid. And the price of this self-abnegation comes from God.

If one has not been able to forget oneself, and all one knows and believes, then one is holding something back which is keeping him behind. And the condition of this journey is that one should be free from all that restricts one to a certain belief, to a certain idea, to a certain thought, upon which he has fixed his mind. For then he is nailed on the ground upon which he stands, he cannot walk. In order to walk he must be free.

When the Sufis asked the candidates, "Are you free?", this did not mean are you free from any relationship or connection or affairs in the world. That, freedom did not concern. When a sage asked, "Are you free?" that only meant is your mind free from thoughts and beliefs and feelings that restrict you. If there is a restriction then you are nailed there, then you are not free to come with me.

And they used to ask a candidate who wanted to follow the path of truth: "Do you know the way? If you know the way, then you do not need to accompany me. You know it already." Because it must not be that after having walked ten steps with me, you will say: "I know this way. By this way also I can go." Then you may just as well go alone. You do not need to take a guide.

Friends, the whole thing is this: that we all are accustomed to learn and acquire in our worldly life is with an attention to be something. But the condition of this path is different. The condition of this path is to strive to be nothing. And the outcome of it is that by being nothing you become everything. But that comes after. If one has not gone through the gate which makes one nothing, one cannot expect to arrive at that culmination where one is everything. If it was so easy that one would understand it in one sentence, that "all is God and God is all," and by understanding that one arrived at perfection, the spiritual perfection would have been the easiest thing possible; easiest of all things.

But why it is most difficult of all things is this, that intellectual realization does not suffice the purpose. It is not learning that is required; it is "being" that is wanted. And when one says, "I want to be filled," one must first be empty. And when one says, "Why am I not filled?" the very reason is that he is not yet empty. If anything keeps us back, it is nothing else. It is not what we possess, or it is not our friends, or those with whom we have any affair, a business, or profession; it is not that. What keeps us back is our self. And to practice this first makes oneself empty, respondent to Murshid.

And when this rehearsal is done, then performance begins. In the performance the same thing is done with God. The experience that I have had in my work very few esoteric teachers in the East can even imagine. Those who have the idea that every mureed comes prepared, they cannot imagine that the first work is to prepare a soul to be a mureed, and then to train that mureed to the highest knowledge. And mureeds who are not accustomed to these ideas when they accustom themselves to it, no doubt they show a greater response than a mureed would show in the East, who is already trained in that path.

And now there is a question: in what way can one show that response?

  1. And the answer is that the first step in showing response is trust in Murshid, in the path, in guidance.

  2. And what is the second step? The second step is perseverance. If one has trust in Murshid, faith in guidance, and no perseverance, then that keeps one back.

  3. And the third step is patience in the absence of result. One may have faith and trust, and one may persevere, but one may get tired.

  4. The fourth step in this path is the imitation. A mureed who imitates Murshid in his thoughts and in his way of thinking at things must not necessarily lose his point of view, but can add one more point of view to his own and perhaps he will find that point of view in time more useful. Besides, how Murshid says and acts under different circumstances, the mureed who has the chance of noticing it can acquire a greater spiritual knowledge than by reading many books. Because this is the living way of learning. If a mureed has not insight in Murshid's point of view, how can he attain to the realization of God? Once he has an insight in Murshid's point of view, he naturally will have insight in another person's point of view.

  5. The next step is self-effacing. And once a person has taken a step in self-effacing he is already close to the altar of God.

In conclusion, what I would like to say is that life is precious; and it becomes more precious when we appreciate our opportunity in life. Anything we can play with, and anything we can profit by. What we play with is lost; what we profit by is gained. And that depends upon our attitude. All the right and wrong done to us by others we can profit by, if we only looked at it from that attitude, from that point of view. When one takes a step in the spiritual path one must know that one's life is more precious than ever before, that the time is more precious than ever before. And to make the best of this opportunity is to profit by it as fully as possible. God Bless You.