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



Superstitions, Customs, and Beliefs





Everyday Life




1.1, The Power of Breath

1.2, The Culture of the Breath

1.3, Sending the Breath

1.4, Five Aspects of Breath -- 1: The Air Stream

1.5, 2: The Electric Current of Breath

1.6, 3: The Rhythm of Breath

1.7, 4: Breath the Bridge to God

1.8, 5: Breath the Vehicle of the Self

1.9, The Mysticism of Breath

1.10, Color and Sound

2.1, Swinging Breath

2.2, Regularity of Breath

2.3, The Life-Power

2.4, Full Breath

2.5, The Rhythmic Breath

2.6, Be Conscious of Every Breath

2.7, Direction of Breath

2.8, Breath in the Development of Mind

2.9, Contraction and Expansion

2.10, Communication Through the Breath

3.1, The Length and Breadth of Breath

3.2, Inspiration

3.3, Thought Reading

3.4, Nafs-i-Garm

3.5, The Unknown Dimension

3.6, Breathing and Meditation

3.7, Breath Is Likened to Water

3.8, Breath and Magnetism

3.9, The Subtle Waves of Breath

3.10, The Mystery of Breath

Vol. 13, Gathas


1.3, Sending the Breath

Breath in the Sufic term is called Nafs. The breath spreads through the whole body like a tree, and its stem is felt by man, and it is this stem which man in his everyday language calls breath. All the branches of this tree the mystic calls by different names. A mystic sees the whole body as a plant of the breath. Therefore in the Sanskrit language breath is called Prana, which means the very life. It spreads life and magnetism in all parts of the body, for breath in itself is life, and is magnetism.

Deformity of form and feature is often caused by disorder of the breath. Lack of proportion of the body, in form and strength, is also caused by lack of order in the breath. By exercises for physical culture and exercises of voice production breath can be developed in different parts of the body. It can especially be noticed in the fingers of the violinist that by constant practice on the violin he puts a sort of magnetism, of life, into the strings his fingers touch. This example is a plain proof that it is not the fingers that play nor the violin that sounds, but that they are instruments of life.

The importance of breath is only now becoming known to the scientific world, and there is much of this mystical subject which is unexplored. But mysticism has been founded on the science of breath. There is no mystic, whether Buddhist, Vedantist, or Sufi, who makes use of another process than that of the breath. Breath is the first lesson and it is also the last.

A mystic becomes capable of sending breath to any part of his body, thus he is able to send life, radiance and magnetism to any particle of his body. The question, "Does he send the breath by his power of will?" can be simply answered by "Yes," and yet that is not enough. If there are no strings on the violin, you cannot play on it by will-power. So long as the adept has not balanced his breath, and controlled it, and purified it, and mastered it, it cannot bring about the proper result.

Therefore it is of no use to try to make use of breath for psychical or occult attainments until one has caused the breath to be in such a condition that it can work properly in the body. Many therefore, are not successful in spiritual attainments because before making use of the breath in the body, they want to produce psychical phenomena. You cannot play Beethoven perfectly on a piano which is out of tune. The body is the instrument for every experience, worldly or spiritual, and it is not right to say that the body does not matter, only the spirit counts. It is just like saying that it does not matter whether the instrument is tuned, it is the music that counts.

The mechanism of the body is so made that in each direction breath accomplishes a certain work, even to such an extent that the degree of its strength differs on the right and left. By a deep study of breath a seeker after truth will find that, as every particle of his body is formed and nourished by breath, so from that and according to that his character is formed.