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



1. What Is My Purpose?

2. The Desire for Life

3. the Desire for Knowledge

4. The Desire for Power

5. The Desire for Happiness

6. The Desire for Peace

7. Dharma

8. Connected to the Earth

9. Spiritual Means Living

10. Perfection

11. Tolerance

12. The Knowledge of Self

13. Being Truth



Vol. 1, The Purpose of Life

4. The Desire for Power

It is the desire for all one wishes to achieve that gives one the desire For power. One desires power in order to hold something, to make something, to attain something, to work out something, to attract something, to use something, to rule something, to assimilate something. If it is a natural desire, there is an answer to this. For there cannot be a desire to which there is no answer; the answer to the desire is in knowing that desire fully. Whatever power is gained by outside efforts in life, however great it may seem for the moment, it proves fatal when it comes to be examined. Even such great powers as the nations which existed just before the war, took no time to fall to pieces. There was an army, there was a navy, there was property, a state. An empire such as the Empire of Russia, how long it took to build it! But it did not take one moment for it to break up. If the outer power, in spite of its great appearance for the moment, proves fatal in the end, then there must be some power hidden somewhere, a power which may be called worth-while; and that power is hidden in man.

A person in the intoxication of outer power that he possesses overlooks the cultivation or the development of inner power, and, depending upon the power that does not belong to him, one day becomes the victim of the very power that he holds. Because, when the outer power becomes greater and the inner smaller, the greater power eats up the inner power. So it is that the heroes, the kings, the emperors, the persons with great power of arms, wealth or outer influence, have become victims to the very power upon which they always depended. So one thinks, "If the outer power is not to be depended upon, then where is that power to be found upon which one can depend?" And that power is to be found in oneself. What power is it? In the terms of the Sufis that power is called Iman, conviction. And how is that power built?

That power is built by what the Sufis call Yaqin, which means belief. It is belief that culminates in conviction. The one who has no inclination to believe, will never arrive at a conviction.

But now there is a question. Is even a power developed in one's personality not a limited power? True, it is a limited power. But by following that teaching which Christ has given in the words, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all things shall be added unto you", that power is gained which is unlimited power. If not, there is no meaning in calling God "Almighty." The benefit of this word "Almighty" is in its realization. This teaches us in the first place that all might is one might. Although outwardly we see different powers, one greater than the other, either in harmony or in conflict, limited powers working for or against one another, yet by inward realization one finds that there is but one power. In support of this the Qur'an says that nothing is powerful except it shows the same one power, the power of the All-powerful. In other words, in the limited aspect which we see, and in its absolute being, there is only one power. It is, therefore, that there is no might to stand against that power we call Almighty Power, that there is no power to work against it; that all aspects of strength and power are from it, and in it, and will be assimilated by it in the end.

Now the question is, "How can one get in touch with that Almighty Power?" As long as one's little personality stands before one, as long as one cannot get rid of it, as long as one's own person and all that is connected with it interests one, one will always find limitations. That Power is touched only by one way, and that is the way of self-effacement, which in the Bible is called self-denial. People interpret it otherwise. Self-denial, they say, means to deny oneself all the happiness and pleasures of this earth. If it were to deny the happiness and pleasure of this earth, then why was this earth made? Only to deny? If it was made to deny, it was very cruel. For the continual seeking of man is for happiness.

Self-denying is to deny this little personality that creeps into everything, to efface this false ego which prompts one to feel one's little power in this thing or that thing; to deny the idea of one's own being, the being which one knows to be oneself, and to affirm God in that place; to deny self and affirm God. That is the perfect humility.

When a person shows politeness by saying, "I am only a humble little creature", perhaps he is hiding in his words. It is his vanity, and therefore that humility is of no use. When one completely denies oneself, there are no words to speak. What can one say? Praise and blame become the same to one; there is nothing to be said. And how is this to be attained? It is to be attained, not only by prayer or by worship or by believing in God; it is to be attained by forgetting oneself in God. The belief in God is the first step. By the belief in God is attained the losing oneself in God. If one is able to do it, one has attained a power which is beyond human comprehension.

The process of attaining this is called Fana by the Sufis. Fana is not necessarily a destruction in God. Fana results in what may be called a resurrection in God, which is symbolized by the picture of Christ. The Christ on the cross is narrative of Fana; it means, "I am not."

And the idea of resurrection explains the next stage, which is Baqa, and which means, "Thou art", and this means rising towards All-might. The divine spirit is to be recognized in that rising towards All-might. Fana is not attained by torturing oneself, by tormenting oneself, by giving oneself a great many troubles, as many ascetics do. For even after torturing themselves, they will not come to that realization if they were not meant to.

It is by denying one's little self, the false self which covers one's real self, in which the essence of divine Being is to be found.