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





















































Compilation Concerning Spirit Communication (1)

The Spiritual Motive Is Service



Mediumistic Person


Development of Personality

Automatic Writing

Calling Upon the Dead



Compilation Concerning Spirit Communication (1)

Man is seeking for phenomena, he wants wonder-working, communication with ghosts or spirits, he is looking for something complex; and yet the simplest thing, and the most valuable thing in life is to find one's true self. Now in America, to my great disappointment, I found this one great drawback. It seems that thousands and thousands of people are every day after the spiritual pursuit. One day they go to one thing, another day to another thing. Just as one goes to one of the many theaters, so they go to a great many discussions on subjects, to anything new and sensational.

Therefore even the spirituality has become sensational, it is a diffusive of the whole thing. It is a kind of stage that they are going through, that they really do not know what they are seeking. After hearing a hundred lectures and after having read five hundred books they really do not know which is which.

Now there is a book which is very popular, on the Masters of the East, written by a man who never went to the East. Everybody has read it; everybody asked me, 'Have you read this book? It is such a wonderful book,' and some people think, 'Is it not a good thing that some people get interested in these things?' Really speaking, this book has helped me very much, because wherever people had read this book they came to hear me. It helped me very much in advertising; at the same time how many people are deluded by it. And anything that you further by falsehood, it leads to falsehood. Besides, the success of falsehood is false. He has made a very nice novel; the book is like a novel. It tells about the Mahatmas, Masters, sitting in the caves of the mountains of the Himalayas, it describes the scenery from imagination. He is a good play-producer. He has made a beautiful play out of it, made a book of it. This book is read by hundreds and thousands of people. But then, when something impresses them, do you think they will leave him alone? No, they will follow him, they pursue him and pull him to pieces. He never even went to India once. Suppose fifty, hundred persons have found it. And tens of thousands have read his book, they all believe in him. It is a state of chaos.

Now there is so much spiritualism going on in the United States. And then there is a man, whose name is Houdini. He does magic performances, something like a juggler; he has a great name. Now he is after spiritualists, he wants to see every spiritualist in every town. I think one thing is that people are interested in spiritualism, another thing is that people are interested in Houdini.

I thought, 'What interest has Houdini in it?' The whole interest Houdini has in it is to make a sensation and make his performance known, also a monetary interest. The man who is after Truth does not pursue after falsehood, a man who is after Truth has no interest in it. He is doubting if he can find Truth in the garden of falsehood somewhere. People say, "Is he a Fakir?" It is a false Fakir. Would you think that a true Fakir is so little evolved as to disbelieve in the hereafter and the soul? Houdini disbelieves; he has no belief. He is in the pursuit and wants to find belief somewhere, if he can; at the same time material gain because it makes him known.

The Spiritual Motive Is Service

What do I expect from my mureeds? I expect a right attitude towards that motive for which they have taken this journey in the spiritual path. What is the right attitude? In the first place to be clear as to their spiritual motive.

  • It is not promised to my mureeds that they will be made wonderful people,
  • that they will work wonders,
  • that they will perform miracles,
  • that they will make prophecies,
  • that they will show phenomena,
  • that they will cast out devils.
  • It is not meant that they should see colors or lights, or phantoms, fairies or houris, in order to become spiritual.
  • It is not wished for that my mureeds will become so learned that they will dispute and argue, and gain success in arguments and disputes.

What we mean by spiritual attainment is that my mureeds will try and make themselves best fitted to serve their fellowmen. If I, at the end of my life, could claim this, I will be most satisfied, and the purpose of my life will be fulfilled. And if I will see this motive, in whatever degree, being fulfilled in the lives of my mureeds, it is this which will bring me satisfaction.


And now many today are apt to understand the Message of God to be in the same way as the message of the mediums. And there are some who understand the Message in the same way as they understand an obsession. That a man who is obsessed by a philosopher begins to speak a philosophy and when his obsession has gone, then he cannot speak about it. And it is true too. There are persons who will speak most intelligently on philosophy, on metaphysics at the time when they are obsessed. And when the obsession has gone, they are left just like a horse without a rider. Because when they speak they are not themselves.

I have known a girl in Bombay, who never learned Persian in her life, nor Arabic. But there used to come a condition upon her, when she used to speak in Arabic and Persian. And the parents were so surprised, that they brought learned men, who understood Persian and Arabic and she discussed with them on philosophical and metaphysical subjects for hours and so wonderfully that very often she defeated them in the debate. And yet when that influence went from her, she could not even understand one word of Persian.

That has nothing to do with Prophetic Message. God does not take hold of a certain body and obsesses a certain body, in order to give His Message to the world. These two things are quite different, an obsessed person is quite different from the Message of the Prophet. This must be distinctly understood.


And then there is another point of view and this is of the medium, that the medium tunes himself into a negative state, where any soul can take hold of his body for a moment and begin to speak through him. Sometimes the medium says right, sometimes it says wrong, sometimes true things and sometimes things which are false. But it has nothing to do with the Prophetic Message; it is the abuse of the name of the Prophetic Message. When the medium uses it there is a mediumistic message and when an obsessed person uses it there is a message of obsession.

Mediumistic Person

And then there is a person, and that is mediumistic person. The difficulty with mediumistic person is more than with anyone else, because mediumistic person comes and says one day that: "my spirit-guide has said that you are my teacher and you are everything, and my spirit-guide has said that your path, the Sufi path, is my path." And then I say: "Yes." "And you are everything!" Then after a month he comes and says: "My spirit-guide has said that this is not the path for me." You cannot reason with him, because the same guide which has come for him, the same guide does not come. You cannot reason any more. He can even say so far as: "My spirit-guide says that this is the wrong path." You cannot say anything. One day the spirit comes and says: "You are nothing."

If there is a spirit-guide, in one hundred cases ninety-nine cases are imaginative spirit-guides. Maybe that in one case there is a spirit-guide. But if there are, ninety-nine among mediumistic people imagine that there is a spirit-guide. Besides, if everyone had to learn from spirit guides, why should Jesus Christ have come to the earth. Then the Prophet who is meant to walk on the earth would not have been sent to walk on the earth, everything, the same difficulties and troubles to go through as man. That is the Source that God has given to man to follow instead of following someone in the other world. What is the use. In that case they become dead; their faces become dead, their atmosphere becomes dead, their words become dead.

One often sees, the most advanced mediumistic people, their atmosphere is dead. Because they have to come to a point, negative point, in order to connect themselves with the other side. And therefore this dead point keeps them dead, simply dead. I wish that they would die before death in order to reach spiritual perfection, instead of dying before death to get connection with a spirit. And what do you get from the dead? The same thing what it has. It gives death. No, that is a wrong tactic, that gives a great trouble to the teacher.


Q. If you feel that someone is sending you bad thoughts, how can you protect yourself from that person? If you feel that he is displeased with you, he is sending you bad thoughts, what can you do?

A. Well the best thing for that is to do the zikr. Zikr is the greatest protection.

Development of Personality

Read the Beatitudes in the Bible, what Christ has taught. Has he not taught the development of personality? Did He not teach the building of the character? Did He not show in His life innocence that shows the angelic heritage of man? Did He say: "Become occultists" or "great psychic people," or "correct people of their errors?" What He taught was how to make your personality as it ought to be, that you may no more be the slaves of that nature which you have brought with you, nor of that character which you have made in the world; but that you may show the Divine in your life, that you may fulfill in this earth the purpose for which you have come.

But now you will say: "What experience does a mystic have? Does he see colors, does he communicate with spirits, does he wander in the higher worlds, does he read thoughts, does he psychometrize objects, does he perform wonders?" And the answer is that to a mystic all these things are elementary. And those who do these things are quarter-mystics, half-mystics. A mystic who is a thorough mystic, for him these things are children's play. These are not beyond his power; they are within his power. But the power of a mystic can be so great, and insight can be so keen, that the ordinary man cannot imagine it. And for the very reason that an ordinary man cannot imagine it, a mystic who looks not different from an ordinary man, cannot profess to see or know or feel any better. Naturally therefore, the real mystic, who has arrived to a point of understanding, makes the greatest effort to keep his power and insight covered from the eyes of all. And there comes the false mystic, who comes out and claims perfection, and prophecies, and power, and wonders that he can work.

All inspirations are revealed, the mysteries and secrets of life manifest before the view of the one whose heart is prepared by love. All manner of virtues spring from it. We hear they talk of ecstasy; some say that visionary people or perhaps those who see spirits and ghosts they have ecstasies. No, they do not know what ecstasy is. Ecstasy is a feeling that only comes when the heart is tuned to that pitch of love, which makes it melted, which makes it tender, which gives one gentleness, which makes one humble. This is a subtle subject. In speaking of it, I must say that it is better to have our connection more with the beings living upon earth than to have the craze to meet with the people on the other side of life. It is here that we are meant to evolve, and by being absorbed in those who have passed away we are taken away from the life we are meant to have, and then we live on earth as dead. People in pursuit of the spirit show on their face the dead expression.

Without enquiry, a thought comes to you which tells you of a coming event. People sometimes take this to be a "spirit-communication"; sometimes they take it to be a thought-transference from someone else. But intuition is a greater and higher thing than a spirit-communication or thought-reading, because it is pure; it is your own property; it belongs to you. In this you do not depend on a spirit or upon another person sending a thought to you. In this you are perfectly independent. You receive the knowledge from within, which is far superior, and greater and higher.

Hallucinations sometimes arise from thought and from mind. We call it "obsession" when it comes from without. Sometimes the living person can express and the spirit respond. We are not doing spirits any good by calling them when they have no body; we have a body. Why not let them forget the experience of this world of illusion rather than attract them? What good will it do them? One should only trouble others when one needs them very much. We should use ourselves as the vehicle of all experiences. We can communicate much better with another person who is clothed like us than we can with a spirit.

Is not God enough for our souls and sufficient to inspire us and to illuminate our wills? Is He not sufficient to guide our souls? Is He any less than a Friend here or in the spirit life? He is the great Well-wisher. In Him mercy is complete. He is Soul of all souls. When we devote ourselves to the thought of Him, all illumination and revelation is ours. God-communication is the best communication that true spiritualism can teach us. Some people profess to have clairvoyance and clairaudience, and very often delude others by giving false prophecies; but the one who lives the inner life does not need to prophesy; he does not need to tell others what he sees and what he hears. It is not only that he is not inclined to do so, but also he sees no necessity for it.

Automatic Writing

Q. If a person is obsessed to write automatically in normal state of mind or in trance, shall he do so, or resist this tendency? Even if it seemed inspired by an enlightened spirit. If he is to follow the call, how can he tell if it comes from a good or evil power?

A. Every soul must not take upon itself such a risk of attempting anything in the line of phenomena. Because it is full of danger for a soul unacquainted with such things. And if they ever want to have any experience in that way, they must first of all find a teacher in whom they have full trust, and then ask him if they are fit for it.

Calling Upon the Dead

Q. Is the soul hindered in its progress by being called back to earth by mediums and by sorrowing friends?

A. Certainly. Suppose a person was going from here to Paris, and he has not yet gone as far as that door, and someone called him: "Please, stop, come here." Perhaps he has gone further, and there a person calls: "Please, stop I want to speak to you." It means that he always will be detained, he will never arrive there. Then the purpose for which he was going is hindered. Now it is meant that he must go further; to call him backward, I should think is a fault against the nature itself.

With all our love and affection, the one whom we love, if it happens that that soul has passed, and is going forward, it is better to help that soul to go forward; and that one can do by sending one's loving thought, helping it on to go forward. It amused me sometimes people telling me: "I have loved someone so much, that I would not like that person to go far, that I might not be able to catch him. Will he stay in the same place until I come?" It is most amusing; to detain a person - if that person was meant to be with another person, he would not have gone. It is for his good. Detaining him would be pulling him back from that progress which is the longing of every soul.

This teaches us another idea, that those who mourn after their dear ones they certainly continue to give those who have departed pain. Because from this world, instead of having a better experience and reflecting it to them, they gather pain and offer it to their dead. The most wise thing that one could do for those who have passed is to project the thought of joy and happiness, the thought of love and beauty, the thought of calm and peace. It is in this way that one can help the dead best. God bless you.