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



Love, Harmony, and Beauty

Nature's Religion

The Personality of God

Silent Life

The Will, Human and Divine

Mind, Human and Divine


Developing Will-Power

Personal Magnetism

Love, Human and Divine


The Effect of Prayer

The Mystery of Breath

Character and Fate

Gain and Loss

Stilling the Mind

The Knowledge of Past, Present, and Future

The Planes

Spirits and Spiritualism

The Desire of Nations


The Freedom of Soul (1)

The Freedom of the Soul (2)

The Freedom of the Soul (3)

The Ideal Life

The Journey to the Goal

Intellect and Wisdom

Simplicity and Complexity


Friendship (1)

Friendship (2)

The Four Paths Which Lead to the Goal

Human Evolution



Stilling First the Body

Mental Creation

The Attainment of Power

What the Power of Breath Can Do

Vol. 7, In an Eastern Rose Garden

Stilling the Mind

Stilling First the Body

Before one can understand the use of stilling the mind one must consider the discrepancy between advising that the mind be stilled and advising that the body be not stilled. Life is nothing but an activity in all things. Inactivity of the body takes away its vigor and strength; the muscles do not have a chance to develop; the lazy, inactive person is always suffering from indigestion or some such ailment. How then can it be that when the mind is made still it will not suffer loss of vigor and strength? Would not stilling the mind stupefy a person? If the voice is to develop, it must be used in singing exercises and in carrying out certain practices; if the muscles are to develop, they must be used. How then can stilling the mind create power of mind?

There is great truth in this objection. Stilling the mind would stupefy and render it powerless, did the person not understand life's secret, life's law. It is true that in life on the physical plane our exercises and activity of the day must give place to rest, comfort, and sleep during the night. If our body does not receive that rest, it can never flourish. We need more rest than activity; we need more comfort than toil; and if we do not get it our health becomes unbalanced. So it follows that just as it is necessary for the body to have comfort and rest after toil, so is it necessary for the mind to have rest and peace after thinking and working.

Indeed, the mind is composed of finer elements, whereas the body is made of grossest elements, and that makes a great difference in activity. The higher the plane of existence, the more active one is; the lower the plane, the less are the activities. That is why the mind is naturally more active than the body. Therefore, if after toil rest is necessary, how much more does this apply to mind than to body! We usually rest our body at will whenever circumstances allow us to; we recline on a couch or in an armchair after corning back from the office or work, and at night we rest and go to sleep; but when do we give the mind a rest?

Rest for the mind is as necessary as rest for the body, and yet we always keep the mind in action. It is constantly at work even if our body is resting. Even if the body is sleeping, the mind is producing dreams, and is constantly at work. Many people stand at their work the whole day, during which the mind is no less busy with the work on the physical planes than is the body, for mind works with body; and yet they work with the mind the whole night long. The body is having rest and comfort, but not the mind. Even in an armchair they are still imagining, still working with the mind.

The mind has no leisure; it is perhaps worrying, or planning, or thinking over the struggles and anxieties of which life is so full. There is hardly ever a time when the mind is at rest, except when nature gives it a rest because it is too exhausted to work any more. The mind says, "I will have a good sleep." And if it has two hours" sleep only, still one wakes up with such joy and strength that all the world seems new. If there have been dreams, one can only say that one has been asleep, but one does not feel rested, because that part of the being has not had any rest.

All this shows the great practical need for the mind to be at rest, for the mind to be stilled. Those who make it a principle that work is always an advisable thing are one-sided. Balance lies in perceiving that work and rest are equally necessary for good health, both physical and mental.

The work of the body is sometimes kept under a man's control, but he does not keep the work of the mind under his control. This is not became he cannot do so; it is became he never thinks about it. Does one ever stop to ask oneself, "Why was I thinking? Was there any purpose in those anxious, worried thoughts? Was it not that the mind was just allowed to go wherever it wanted? While sitting quietly in a chair, were not the thoughts active with things that have nothing to do with my life, with things that do not matter in the least either to myself or to anyone else? It was just a waste of energy.'

The more the mind is allowed to go on without purpose, the more likely it is to become a vehicle or machine, which all manner of influences around it of other human beings or spirit obsessions will employ instead of its owner. If the user of that mind is a sensible person, then it may perhaps act properly, but otherwise the work of the mind is wasted. In any case it would not be a fulfillment of the purpose of his life. This purpose is to learn mastery, not to be a vehicle for others to use. He who does not direct his own mind lacks mastery.

All this shows that the very first lesson that the mystic learns in life is the training of mind. It is not stilling the mind; stilling comes afterwards. The first thing is to train, to check the activities. This is illustrated in the words "imagination" and "thought." Sometimes we use the word thought when we should use the word imagination; sometimes imagination when we should use thought. Both are different forms of activity of mind.

  • In the first case the imagination, the activity of mind, is uncontrolled, without our intention, and is not directed towards a certain purpose. A person may be imaginative, and his imaginings may appear like beautiful flowers. But if there is no purpose, the flowers are of no use to the plant; that beautiful things have been produced is no credit, because no one knows from what source the imaginings have come.
  • But in the case of thought, this is directed imagination; it is a controlled activity of mind. That is why we cannot call a thoughtful person imaginative, nor can we call an imaginative person thoughtful. He is thoughtful whose mind is directed by his will, whose mind fulfills his intentions, whose mind is under the control of his intention.

Imagination may be very beautiful or just the opposite; it may be right or it may be wrong. Many people who are praised as being imaginative may really be in the first stage of insanity. Only those who have controlled the activity of their minds have given deep thoughts to the world.

Those whose minds are working mechanically like a machine, or just reflecting the activity of those around them, may appear to be living beings, but the mystic would say differently; for it is not till a person has gained mastery over his mind, till he is above this activity, that he is a ruling power, a true person.

When we think about it, we find that all the things that are accomplished in this world are accomplished by the power of mind. As it is written in the Vedanta, "The world is the creation of the mind of Brahma." That is, it is the thought of the Creator which has created the world. And if it is the Creator's thought that has created this world, then we ourselves are not far from Him. The soul of man is the spirit of the Creator, and therefore has within it the same power of creating by the power of mind as his Creator has. Whatever man creates in science, in art, in phenomena or wonder-making, in poetry, in music, in pictures, in everything that he brings into being, is all achieved by the power of mind.

What is man? Is not his soul divine substance? The very word man is from the Sanskrit Manu, which means mind. Man is what his mind is, what he thinks. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is." Even the future, as well as the past, is what he thinks, because he himself becomes the image of his thoughts. God created man in the image of his thoughts. If there is any self of which one can say, "This is man", it is the mind. The three Sanskrit words Mana, Manu, Manusha show that man is his mind, is the product of his mind, and is also the controller of the activity of mind. If he does not control his mind, he is not a master but a slave. It lies with his own mind whether he shall be master, or whether he shall be slave. He is slave when he neglects to be master; he is master if he cares to be master.

Mastery lies not merely in stilling the mind, but in directing it towards whatever point we desire, in allowing it to be active as far as we wish, in using it to fulfil our purpose, in causing it to be still when we want to still it. He who has come to this has created his heaven within himself, he has no need to wait for a heaven in the hereafter, for he has produced it within his own mind now.

There is a story of a murshid and a mureed. The mureed said, "O, Teacher, I should like to see heaven." The teacher said, "Yes, this is the way you should meditate in order to see heaven." So the mureed went and did so; but the vision of heaven which he had was not as described in the scriptures, a place where one enjoys nothing but comfort and luxury, milk and honey, marble halls and white robes, beautiful gems and jewels, garlands of flowers, and the waving of palms. He could not see any of these, and he asked himself, "Has the murshid perhaps shown me a wrong heaven, or have the prophets given a wrong message in the scriptures?'

So he went back to his teacher saying, "Now I should like to see hell." The murshid said, "Yes, this is the way you should meditate in order to see hell." And then the mureed did this, and he saw in a trance that there was certainly such a place, but there was no fire or snakes or serpents or thorns or tortures or imps or flames such as have been described to people throughout the ages. So he could not understand whether his vision was right or wrong; and he went back to the teacher, and said, "I have seen in this way: I have not seen in heaven the things that are promised, nor have I seen in hell the things which are foretold as being there."

"O, the teacher said, "all the things promised for the hereafter you will have to take there from here. They are not kept ready for you; you will have to bring them with you. If you take sorrows with you, you will find them there; if you take hatred, you will find it there. Your mind is like a gramophone record, and if you use a harsh voice, the instrument produces a harsh note; if beautiful words and tones, it will sing beautiful words and tones. It will produce the same record that you have experienced in life. Indeed you have not to wait till after death in order to experience it; you are experiencing it even now."

Everything is reproduced before us now, if we would only listen to it and perceive it. Every good or bad word or deed is reproduced before us, though it seems as in a dream.

If we watched life keenly, we should see how true this is. Joy, sorrow, love, all depend on our thought, on the activity of our mind. If we are depressed, if we are in despair, it is still the work of our mind; our mind has prepared that for us; and if we are joyful and happy, and all things are pleasant, that also has been prepared for us by our mind. It is only when our mind works without control that unhappiness, sorrow, trouble, pain, or whatever we experience comes without our intention. No one could wish to create hell for himself, all would create heaven for themselves if they could; and yet how many allow their minds to create these things for them, regardless of their own intention.

The control of the activity of mind is called concentration in the language of the mystics. The meaning of this word is often not rightly understood. People are apt to think that concentration means only closing the eyes. But one may close one's eyes for hours, and still the thoughts keep continuing Like a moving picture. People are never at rest, never at peace; anxiety and sorrow do not disappear just because they close their eyes. It is concentration that does that. Concentration is activity of mind in the direction desired; our desire dictates in which way the mind is to be active; the mind acts according to our wishes.

How difficult it is to do this is best known by those who have tried. As soon as the mind is still and inactive it begins to jump and run away from control. It runs in every direction but in that which we wish. We hold it; it slips away. Not till one begins to try and concentrate does one see how uncontrollable and unruly the mind is.

This truth is pictured very well in the story from Ramayana, the great Hindu scripture, which tells about Rama's two children Lahu and Kusha. The myth explains the condition of the human mind as being like that of an unruly horse. Is it not always running hither and thither; is it not like a wild horse running from place to place, farther away every time we think we are able to touch it? When a person says to himself, "I will not think of anything", do not a thousand thoughts come? That shows that its nature is like that of the unruly horse, which needs skill to control it.

The key to the problem of controlling the mind, the key to concentration, is given to us by our elder brother, the murshid among the Sufis, the guru among the Hindus, who is a teacher with experience of the horse, having trained it and mastered it. He says, "If you are without the right friend, you will perhaps succeed in catching the horse, and perhaps you will not. But if you know the right way in which to go about catching it, you will not be long in doing so." That is why it is so necessary to have a method of concentration. Mystics, yogis, faqirs, ascetics, have a method; and by learning that method the concentration is easily obtained. When the mind is controlled and made into a vehicle, absolutely in our hand, working as we desire, then we can still it also.

The benefit of stilling is even greater. If one only grasped the benefit of perfect stillness, even of only the body! We see a symbol of that stillness in the statues of Buddha, or of Krishna, or in other idols. What an effect that has! Compare it with the effect of a person who comes into our presence and is always active, rubbing his hands, moving about, raising his shoulders, making grimaces, tapping on the table, scratching, fidgeting in some way or another. Does he not make us fidget too? The whole atmosphere becomes disturbed. Why? Because there is an intense activity of mind having its effect on the body. The body and mind are both in an unrestful state, which affects everyone present, for it produces unrest in the whole atmosphere. We may not be conscious that this is so, but unconsciously we feel disturbed.

The great comfort that one finds after waking from a deep sleep cannot be compared with anything in the world; but more than that, the mystic sees in sleep the symbol of a great mystical state.

Rumi, the Sufi teacher of Persia, says, "O sleep, in thee I find the divine bliss. Thou makest patients forget their illness; thou makest kings forget for the moment that they are in a palace; thou makest the prisoners forget for a moment that they are in captivity. What bliss, what joy of bliss when the soul is freed from these limitations, from the presence of the different aspects of life that are keeping it captive!'

Sleep is the time when the soul is free. That is why deep sleep is so important a state to the mystic. In the East they say: when a person is asleep do not wake him; it is a great sin to do so. Of course in the West they cannot say this, because if he does not go to his work in the morning, what then? It would be a great sin if we did not wake him.

As there is such comfort and joy and so great a secret of heavenly peace during sound sleep, so there is a greater joy and peace and inspiration when the mind is stilled. The mind is so like water that our poets always call it the sea, the ocean. The nature of water is that as we look into it we see a face reflected there, our own image. If the water is not still, the face is not clear; when the water is still everything reflected in it is clear. So it is with the mind. When the mind is stilled it hears what another person says, it can ponder upon anything that it sees; and when one is sufficiently developed the mind can hear even what is said from the other side; even what God says from heaven.

Therefore it is those who have first accomplished stillness in their life, who have enabled the ears of their heart to listen to the Word of God. And what an atmosphere such persons can produce, what effect their presence has! It is more than healing, more than medicine. A man with a perfectly stilled, comforted, and rested mind will at once raise up another who is going through distress, or restlessness, or pain, or ill-temper, or worry, or anxiety. The very presence of one whose mind is stilled gives such hope, such inspiration, such sympathy, such power and life. All the heavenly properties flow so smoothly and freely from the person whose mind is stilled that his words, his voice, his presence, all react upon the mind of others; and as he stills his mind, so his very presence becomes healing.

Mental Creation

So absorbed are people in this visible creation that they very seldom think of the value of that other creation which exists within themselves. Those outer things that tempt, that attract attention, that are of interest, are all pursued by so many persons, who therefore become limited and unaware of that other creation which goes on unconsciously within.

In reality every man is a world within himself. But how little he reflects about it! He is always conscious of being just like a drop in the ocean, whereas he does not know of the other state of being, in which he is the ocean and everything else a drop.

There is a passage in one of the sacred books relating how God created the earth and then created the heavens. What does this mean? Was heaven created after the earth? The meaning is that this creation which is around us is first impressed upon the mind, and then the mind creates its own world, its own heaven. It is the creation of mind, a higher world, yet within ourselves; and this world may be heaven, or it may be the opposite. As Omar Khayyam writes, "Heaven is the vision of fulfilled desire, and hell the shadow of a soul on fire", which shows that the desire is the source of heaven and its fulfillment. At the same time it is mental fire and disappointment, or worry, or anxiety, or torture that is the shadow of the soul on fire.

Centuries ago Zoroaster taught that there are three kinds of sin, and three kinds of virtue: those of thought, speech, and action.

A person always takes virtue to be virtue in action, sin to be sin in action, never thinking about virtue and sin in speech or thought. Sometimes man's thought is stronger than his speech or action. It is the experience of every mystic and every person who has trodden the path, that the power of thought is much greater than that of speech or action. In our everyday life we often find that if we think of a person bringing a certain book or flower we desire, he comes to see us, bringing this book or flower with him. We had not expressed the desire, and yet it has been fulfilled. Such is the power of thought, the creation of mind. "Thoughts are things", it has been said. But they are more; thoughts are beings. They are as much living beings as we are; they work as we work; they have life in them. The body can generate, but the mind can generate too, it is the generation of the mind which we call thought or imagination. Thought is controlled, whereas imagination is not.

There is a saying in Sanskrit, "There are numberless gods, and yet there is one God."

This means that as every planet is a world, so every mind is a world; it is a living world. The question is, if we make our world and mold our life, why should we have unhappiness, why have troubles in life, why have failures in life? The answer is that it is neither the fault of the Creator nor of the world; it is the fault of our ignorance; it is our lack of knowledge. Buddha pictures this lack of knowledge in this way: it is as if you are clinging to the branch of a tree in the thick darkness of night so that you cannot see what is beneath you, whether it is land or sea; so you are all the time afraid of falling. You keep on clinging to the tree and suffering with the fear of how long it will be before you have to let go, thinking, "How long can I cling to this branch?" Yet under your feet there is nothing to be seen. Such is life until light comes. Then it is like the coming of the sun. When the sun rises you find there is no water, and hardly any space; for the ground is just beneath your feet.

The land of immortality seems so far from us. But when the sun of knowledge arises we see that it is near, so near. Once man knows that, he need not be taught morals or virtue; he knows what is best for him, whither to go; he knows his own creation. He knows that if he creates hideous spirits in his thoughts, they will become monsters which will work against him and will ruin his own life. But if man creates the spirit of love and kindness, others will help him in his need, and he will always be surrounded by love and kindness.

Once people realize this their life becomes different; they become the healers of men; they sympathize with the trouble of another; they serve in the difficulty of another; they seek to know if they cannot do something, cannot help in some way. A word may help; a thought of kindness and of sympathy will help. Whatever they do to others they do to themselves, because every thought of kindness or goodness or sympathy has generated a world of sympathy around it; and such persons cannot be without it. Even if they go to a land where no one knows them or understands them, they can still attract sympathy and love, if they have created that within themselves.

This shows how important it is to be careful of what one says. If one acts under the spell of anger, says such things as, "I don't wish to see his face", or any evil words, then the speaker wishes he had not said or done such things after the spell has gone; not even about an enemy would he wish to have said these things. But at the time he did not realize that what he created lives. That which he has created he will be afraid of, and it will become his own enemy as well as the enemy of the person against whom his wrongful thought was directed. Not only that, but he will generate many more of the same kind. Once one bad thought is created, in the spirit of anger or annoyance, a thousand other spirits are created out of it. A world may be created by giving an outlet to one single weakness.

All that we collect and gather in the external world for our happiness and comfort is limited. Not even a thousandth part of this world that we possess can we really call our own kingdom, our world. But our mind can create and can collect numberless thoughts and impressions, which all make up its real world. All our possessions, all that we collect in life, all these things which we shall have to leave one day are transitory; but that which we have created in our thought, in our mind, that lives.

A person thinks, "Some day I should like to build a factory." At this time he has no money, no knowledge, no capability; but a thought came, "Some day I should like to build a factory." Then he thinks of something else. Perhaps years pass, but that thought has been working constantly through a thousand minds, and a thousand sources prepare for him that which he once desired. If we could look back to all we have thought of at different times, we would find that the line of fate or destiny, Kismet as it is called in the East, is formed by our thought. Thoughts have prepared for us that happiness or unhappiness which we experience. The whole of mysticism is rounded on this.

If thoughts can accomplish this, so can love or imagination; even a dream can accomplish it according to the impression which it makes. Some thoughts are like things, like objects, other thoughts are like beings. Some thoughts are like angels by our side, and some are like devils. They are all round us, either helping us towards the accomplishment of the objects before us, or drawing us back from those things we wish to accomplish.

One person may think, and perhaps the result of his thought is very feeble; another has a thought today, and tomorrow the desire is fulfilled. Why is this? It is because of the power of thought. In the thought of one person there is more life, in that of another there is less life. The difference between an object and a living thing is that there is more or less life in them. But where there is consciousness and activity we call that life, and we call that which lacks intelligence and consciousness an object. Yet in reality both are alive. A person with a weak will has no strength in his thought. If he thinks a thousand times, it has no effect, because he has not that vitality or energy which is necessary for thought to live.

What is the vitality which gives life to the thought? It is the same in man as in the vegetable or in the mineral kingdom. In one case the life is on the surface, in the other it is hidden. That is why we call them things in one case, and beings in the other. So there are dead thoughts, and there are living thoughts. To which class a thought belongs depends on the power called will-power. When there is will-power, the word is both spoken and done.

This idea is expressed by the words Kalpa Vraksha, the tree of desire. The story is that whoever happens to sit down for a moment under this tree will have his wish fulfilled; yet nobody knows where this tree is to be found. The tree is the mind; its root is the heart. That which gives power to thought, gives spirit or life to thought, is feeling. A man without feeling is as though dead; with feeling he is living, and so is his thought. Thought with feeling is a much greater power than thought without feeling. Merely to say, "I like your picture so much" will have no effect when there is no feeling behind it. It is just a string of words. There is no life in it. But when these words are uttered with feeling they go through your heart also; the thought becomes living.

There have been great people whose living thoughts could make anyone live; they could impart life and heal. They have left their thoughts behind them, and people have treasured them as scriptures, as holy books; they have taken them for a religion. Such thoughts can never vanish nor die, such a long life has been given to them. Whatever form their thoughts have taken, whether music, prose, poetry, aphorisms or precious sayings that will never die, they will live for ever. There are others who have not known the value nor the immortal character of this creation of the mind; they pass through life without realizing its value. Such persons are foolish, stupid, grumbling all the time about people, and criticizing others.

A Hindustani poet has said, "Beware before you speak a word; you do not know that this world is a dome, and that in a dome there is an echo."

So, in this world, whatever one utters is re-echoed. If a good thought is sent to a person, he may not know of it; yet we have sent a good thought, a thought of kindness, sincere sympathy and love. We may not tell him; we may not see him; but after even ten years we will find something was prepared for him; something has made the friendship closer. He will know that we have thought about him. The secret of this is that life is one. In it all these phantoms live and move; and we think that everybody is a different life, and yet there is only one life, which the mystic calls God, who cannot be divided.

The Sufi says that man is not a part of God, for how can God be divided? Can one divide space? Since space cannot be divided, how can God be? How can this one life be divided? There is no division. There is no wall between any two people in this world.

Whether the thought be of bitterness, or sympathy, or love, or kindness, it reaches the other person. When the thought has feeling behind it, it has life, whether the feeling be of bitterness or of kindness. If it is bitterness it will destroy. But the consequence of such a thought will be that it will return to the giver; it will surely rebound; it will surely return to him who sent it. Whether it was bitterness, or whether it was kindness it will return just the same. But more than that: this thought generates as surely as do germs and worms. One thought of love gathers a thousand beings of love and kindness around one.

There is a prophecy in the Bible that when the next Teacher comes, he will bring ten thousand holy ones in his army. What does this mean? Does it mean ten thousand visible people? No, there will be numberless thoughts of goodwill and service to mankind which will become his army.

Externally we are a single being, but internally we are a world. As vast as is the world around us, so vast is the world within.

Asif says, "The limitation of the sky and land cannot be compared with man's heart. If man's heart be wide, there is nothing wider than this."

All can be accommodated in it; heaven earth, sun, moon, all are reflected in it. It becomes itself the whole. This world becomes as one chooses to make it. If man only knew that! But since he does not know that, the world is not heaven, but has become its opposite.

We blame others for our sorrows and misfortunes, not perceiving that we ourselves are the creators of our world; that our world has an influence upon our life within as well as upon our life without. For instance, if a person is blamed by the self within, he will be blamed by everybody else, and if he is admired by it, he will be admired by all around; if the self within feels guilty towards someone in the external world, he will feel guilty, and if it feels doubt about the right spiritual path, he will go through the world in that spirit of doubt.

We read in the scripture how Moses spoke with God on Mount Sinai. The angel Gabriel brought a message to the prophet. What was the angel? What was Mount Sinai? Mount Sinai is the mind of man; God is within it; it is man's feeling that builds a bridge from man's mind to the mount of God.

Rumi says so beautifully, "There is a flute, one end of which is between the lips of God, and the other end of the flute is in the heart of man."

What a wonderful metaphor! When man's heart is awakened, when the thoughts have become living beings, then whenever this feeling comes its current runs from infinite to finite, from the objective world back to the world unseen, from God to man. A current is established. It is man's thought which is the bridge to heaven.

Whatever the thought of man has built, it becomes his heaven, with the singers, the Upsaras and fair ones. This is the true heaven. A man with an army of beautiful thoughts is in the Garden of Eden. He has produced a garden within himself.

There is a verse of Bedil, "These beautiful gardens and flower-beds, if you wish to have them round you, you need not go and see them in the external world. You need only open the gate of your heart to see them there, and you will enjoy them."

People think such a world is only imagination, only exists in thought; but really this world is the only one that will remain in the hereafter. There will not be any other world, for this physical world will not remain. Every soul is creating a world. However vast a planet may seem in comparison with the mind of man, in reality the mind of man is vaster. There is a world in this planet.

As the Hindus have said, "Our planet has a god, and man is the god of his planet."

First one must know what one needs and become the master of oneself and of one's thoughts and one's life. Then one's personality will become agreeable and pleasant to others, and one will become a blessing to all one meets in this world.

The Attainment of Power

The possession of power brings with it the desire to attain more. We can attain everything that we desire if we only know how. No one attains a higher position unless he follows some hidden trend. The tendency to arrive at some perfection is that which causes one to attain a greater perfection. Even if he attains wealth, a man is tending towards perfection. Napoleon attained something hidden which was great and wonderful, if we could only understand it. So a merchant may perhaps have begun by selling empty bottles, and ultimately becomes wealthy enough to be able to found colleges, libraries, hospitals, and so forth, which proves that there was an inclination to a certain perfection.

'When two hearts unite, they can break even mountains." As two fuse in love, the more does intuition grow, the more does one understand whether the other is happy, or pleased, or displeased, whatever distance may separate them. This is nothing but just the unity of the one person with the other. It is clairvoyance. The mother knows the condition of her son at the battle front. She can see him in her dreams. Hearts which are united in love perceive the state of mind of the loved ones. They do not have to study mysticism or concentration, for they have natural concentration. The mother does not pretend to meditate; love teaches her more meditation than a person who pretends to study it can attain. One cannot, however, hold an object in mind when the heart has nothing to do with the object. Pebbles are not made to eat, and therefore one cannot eat them. The mind is never so satisfied with either an object or a being which it does not desire; therefore it is no use to concentrate specially on what the heart does not desire. The heart which does desire needs no special concentration.

Nothing gives greater power of confidence than love. If one loves a person, one has confidence in that person. Hence the mother is as a god to her child. The hen is the most timid of birds until she has chickens; at that time she is under the spell of love, and would not hesitate to fight even an elephant if he were endangering her brood. This shows the power of love. Can any charm or amulet be more powerful than this? The one with a loving heart will travel furthest.

Power can be attained artificially, by magic, or by the different laws of the power of sound, of words, or of concentration. Such power can make a person ill, can make a person run away from the country, can make two hearts separate; many wonders can be performed by the power of concentration.

We do not exist only as body; we exist as heart, as soul. If the heart is kept dead all our life, and we give the body all the things it wants, soft cushions and comforts, is this all we need? The heart is still hungering. The heart wants to see that it is living. The heart longs to be alive. It has been created to love, and it is not loved; it wants to melt. But though it wants all the love and kindness to come to it, it withholds giving when the time comes for it to give. We accept love when love is offered to us, but when the time comes to give, we do not give. But can love really be given? Is love trade? Until this is known, it is impossible to understand love.

To love is to possess a heart, but not as a demon possesses a human being. When a person "comes alive", this means that he has become the possessor of a heart. Whose heart? Heart is that factor of our being, of our thinking, which feels within itself a longing to express love; it is an awakening of love and to a feeling of love. This is the factor which produces thought; this is the factor which produces feeling; in this lies the creative power. All the power which one can possibly wish to attain throughout life is reached by this means.

How can power develop in the absence of unity? Suppose everyone had magnetic power. They would make all the money they could from their clients. Would it be just for some to possess the power of making money, and for others to be perpetually their victims? No, and that is why mysticism was kept hidden for the protection of these others. Those who are not worthy of the hidden knowledge would use their power for selfish purposes, for themselves and for those who belong to them. If ordinary people had this power, one could not even compare them with the devil. Rishis, saints, and sages have experienced the selfishness of man. They know it would be bad for the world if this hidden knowledge were revealed. And who deserves to be illuminated with this knowledge? He alone deserves it who develops his soul in the thought of unity; and he alone receives it.

The progressive steps of enlightenment in the use of power are shown when a man transfers his ambitions first to his family and then from his family to his city, from his city to his nation, from his nation to the whole world, and from the whole world to the whole universe. When the joy of every person he sees is his joy, when the pain of every person is his pain, then he becomes a conqueror and attains power.

What the Power of Breath Can Do

Breath, being the secret of all being, is the most important of all things. Whether we have a free body or not has nothing to do with it. If we gain in weight, we are only getting a heavier coat; but our true being is the breath. When the breath has left the body, the body is useless. Therefore the importance of our being lies in the breath.

Breath is God. If God is manifest in anything, it is in breath. The activity of our physical being depends on our breath. This keeps up the rhythm of the pulse and the rhythm of the beats of the brain. The centers are kept up by the rhythm. If the rhythm stops, the centers stop. As the tick of the watch, so is the swing of the breath. According to the rhythm, so is the condition of the body. Disorder in breath means illness.

In anger the rhythm of breathing is much quicker, even so much as to make speech impossible. The saying, "speechless with anger" is proverbial. Therefore the breath acts on the mind as well. The lion, the leopard, and other fierce creatures have a very irregular breath; there is no rhythm; they are short-lived. The cobra never becomes excited; it breathes slowly, and attracts its food from any distance by mere concentration of will. It is very long-lived.

Breathing is the effect of breath. It is really a vibration rising and failing. There is a vibration in all things, in life and birth, and consequently all things have rhythm. It is the activity of God and nothing else. There are different rhythms for the day, the hour, the minute, for forty days. There is a connection between this rhythm and the "life of the universe like so many candles and lamps.

Word; light; creation. The breath is the Word. We cannot utter a word without breath. But a word is double as it consists of breath and sound, and breath stands by itself. The sense comes before the sound.

Athletic exercises are basically exercises of breathing. A porter does not become physically developed because he does not use his breathing for that purpose. He has had exercise without benefit.

If the breath did not manifest through the voice, it would manifest in some other way, as the absent sound of thought. Wherever it is directed, it will go. If you do not speak and yet think the same thought, the breath will travel silently. People think they cannot hear except with their ears, they are so attached to their physical body. But as soon as a man is convinced that he can hear without ears, he will do so without speech. One can tell that a person is angry without his speaking, because he reveals it in his whole vibration. The very way a person says "yes" tells you whether he is willing or not willing; it depends on the character of the breath at that moment.

People who live a material life reveal it because the breath becomes material and makes a noise. It has become so dense that it actually makes a noise. In refined persons the breath is also free. Cows and camels and buffaloes make a noise when they breathe. This at once shows the fineness or coarseness of the individual. Those who perceive these things can see them clearly.

All the different moods that we are in -- inclination to laughter or crying, heaviness, exaltation, or meditation -- all result from the breath. It changes in activity so many times during the day and night. As it changes, it expresses a certain element, earth, water, fire, air, or ether, and it makes one feel inclined to do certain things in accordance with the element.

All the different desires originate in breath; even the character of a person, even his luck, all depend on the breath. Those who know the mystery of breath can read the soul. Breath is a link from God to man. Breath is purified by prayer. Fire-worshippers keep a fire before them in order to keep their breath in rhythm.

The science of breath is only transmitted by word of voice from the teacher when he sees someone worthy to learn. There are three stages: Jelal, force of breath; Jemal, the gentleness of breath; Kemal, perfection of breath. The latter stage culminates in miracles. A book is a dead teacher. People continually send their breath into undesirable centers. It is essential to have a living guide, and not to try and study from books.

A pure and good life is far better for the breathing. Do not let tranquillity be disturbed, and the rhythm of the breath will keep regular; the mind will keep in good condition, and the body healthy. Do not be too attached to anything in the world; do not be a slave to anything. Be beyond all desires. Observe the law of cleanliness, the law of balance, doing good to others, having good wishes, good thoughts, keeping a high ideal, and always wishing to attain the ideal. By doing these things the breath itself will become fixed in the same mold.