Caravanserai Magazine Archive

Published 1988-2000 semi-annually on behalf of the Sufi Movement International by the Sufi Movement in Canada.


Caravanserai Magazine
1988 No.1

Published semi-annually on behalf of the Sufi Movement by the Sufi Movement in Canada, a registered non-profit society.


Hidayat Inayat Khan. "Brotherhood, Compassion, Beloved Ones of God"
Nawab Pasnak. "Faith, Wisdom and the Lesson of Tiresias"
Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan. "Science and Psychology"
In Search of Murshid's Words
The Ungratefulness of the World
Sharda Pirani Ameena-Begum Ora-Ray Inayat Khan. "O Beloved..."
Ameen Carp. "Brotherhood"
Virya Best. "Our Debts in Life"
Inayat Khan. "Caravanserai" (Scores)
Back Pages

Editor in chief: Nawab Pasnak Design & Layout: Sufia Sill
Editorial Board: Virya Best, Ameen Carp, Joan Gaisford, Hidayat Inayat Khan, Nawab Pasnak, Karima Sengupta, Karimbakhsh Witteveen

Caravanserai is published by the Sufi Movement in Canada on behalf of the Sufi Movement. Opinions expressed are those of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent those of the Sufi Movement or the Sufi Movement in Canada. © 1988 Copyright of all material remains with the originator.

Welcome, fellow travelers,
to the Caravanserai!

In the east, in days gone by, when the hazards of travel were many and the comforts were few, travelers often banded together in caravans for protection. Stopping places for the caravans were called caravanserais, and they were much more than a shelter where there was water and fodder for the pack animals. They were also a place to sit around a fire at night and exchange stories and information about the perils of the paths. In the day, travelers even in the same caravan might see each other only as silhouettes wavering in the heat haze. At night, under the starry sky, they could come together again, and perhaps meet other caravans as well. To the travelers, the caravanserais were a cheerful source of news, companionship and entertainment.

Of course, the caravan has long been used by Sufis as a symbol of the fellowship and guidance mureeds share when they travel together toward the spiritual goal. From that symbol, we have taken the name of this magazine, hoping that it too will serve as a place of information and refreshment for anyone drawn to the Sufi Message.

Caravanserai, published by the Sufi Movement, will bring you stories, poems, interviews, articles on Sufism and news of events of interest to Sufis. We are dedicated to carry on the work of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, who founded the Sufi Movement in 1910 — but that work has a wide horizon, and few topics will be out of place at this fireside. To begin with, we will publish twice a year, but we hope to increase the frequency as we become established.

It must be noted here that Caravanserai is not the first magazine to serve the Sufi Movement. The Sufi, and the Sufi Quarterly were published during the 1930's, and brought many interesting articles to their readers. However, it has been many years since there was a regular publication, and it is hoped that Caravanserai will grow to fill this vacancy.

To succeed, Caravanserai needs your support. It needs your subscription, and it needs your submission, whether news item or article or drawing or perhaps just a letter telling other travelers of the Sufi work in your area. On behalf of Caravanserai and the Sufi Movement, I urge you to fill in a subscription card, and send it today. Even better, send it with an article, or a poem, or a picture. Don't be shy. Let the other travelers hear your story and enjoy your voice...

Nawab Pasnak

1988 Volume 1. Hidayat Inayat Khan. "Brotherhood, Compassion, Beloved Ones of God"

Before venturing to define the deep meaning behind the concept of a Brotherhood of Mankind, it might be wise not to overlook the fact that hundreds of institutions have already had that very same dream. Why should we then believe that our activities in that direction are the first ever made, or the best available in our time? Would it not be preferable to transform our convictions into a reality so that our example of that great Ideal might perhaps inspire brotherly and sisterly feelings in all relationships with others, rather than expecting the same from them? Should we not refrain from intruding upon the beliefs of others with the harsh weapons of our own pre-conceived ideas?

Nevertheless, in working for the accomplishment of that Ideal, it would also be wise to become aware that one of the human tendencies is to level down to one's own radius of understanding all concepts with which one finds oneself confronted. All such concepts are thereby conditioned through the screening-process of obvious ready-made opinions, interpreting experiences according to individual evaluation.

Furthermore, while proceeding onwards on the path of understanding, one might discover sooner or later that mastership starts with discipleship; unfortunately there are more so-called masters than there are pupils. One might also realize that Truth need not prove itself; it is untruth which fights for self-assertion. In fact, that which is said in words and that which is done do not always really prove the true purpose; it is the attitude hidden behind the words and actions which might truly express the innermost intentions, which is communicated either consciously or unconsciously to others through the power of the thoughts and the magic of the feelings.

Let us start therefore by working on ourselves rather than wanting to master others; and let us stop wondering what others could do for us, but rather ask ourselves what we could do for others. What could we really do for others? This question is already answered when realizing that the first effort to be made is to vanquish one's own shortcomings, doubts, fears and worries; and to put into practice the basic principles of Love, Harmony and Beauty, accommodating these to all circumstances, whether one is dependent on others or whether they are dependent upon us ourselves. These principles also apply to all involvement with others, whether or not we appreciate their convictions, as well as to those whose understanding about good and bad does not always correspond to our own. In other words, our first duty to others is to make the best out of ourselves so that we might become some day an example and that they may then pluck the fruits of our experience.

In this connection, it might be useful to remember that an outer gain is not necessarily a real gain; it could eventually prove to be an inner loss. Conversely, a loss is not always a loss; it could reveal some day an unexpected gain. Obviously, one is constantly involved in problems; either one's own or those of others, problems which one handles, knowing that the more of those that are solved, so the more able one becomes to handle the many more which are awaiting our constant attention, as brothers and sisters to one another.

From a religious point of view, it is obvious that various world scriptures mention the Ideal of Brotherhood in terms of compassion, and that this special concept runs like a golden thread, unrestricted by dogmatic interpretations. In fact, compassion is the true origin of religion in its purest aspect, and is the soul force by which religion in all ages represented an outburst of devotional creativity. On this subject our Master explains that a basic tone is heard in all religious streams, and that each of these illustrates the cultural conditions of mankind throughout history. The various tones symbolize therefore the different religions, and the origin of all tones is hidden in the ever-present secret which truly reveals itself when all tones are harmoniously in tune with one another, reproducing thereby according to human interpretations, the music of the Spirit of Guidance.

This symbolical illustration of a cosmic altar of all religions helps us to realize that Truth has always been and shall always be, providing that the ego-mask is dropped and that one is not led into the darkness of the trappings of self-indulgence. Truth was originally seen crystallized in the various ancestral beliefs which in turn gradually influenced the cultural standards of the time. At other periods in history it has been seen crystallized in various religions such as in Hinduism, Buddhism, the religions of Zoroaster and Beni-Israel, as well as in Christianity and in Islam, besides also in all those whether known or unknown to humanity at large.

In other words, whether the holy word was spoken in the East or in the West, it is obvious that the Spirit of Guidance springs forth from one and the same source, and that this light can be discovered in all representations of the Divine Presence. Paradoxically, it is when giving up all wants to reach the inner goal that the goal which was longed for has already been reached. In fact, the longing and the goal itself are one and the same consciousness; just as lover and beloved are one and the same channel through which the Divine Presence becomes conscious, as soon as the concept of duality at the levels of human and Divine are overcome.

It is in this understanding that the Sufi draws the inner strength and the motivation to pass on the "Flag of Compassion" to all those in the world who are in need of experiencing the unfoldment of the wings of the great Ideal of a brotherhood of man, where brothers and sisters of different beliefs are all gathered around an altar of all religions, in a Universal Worship, with the humble longing to bring about a little bit of peace in the hearts of those joining; and who might thereby become inspired to also pass on further the spark of peace in the hearts of others.

In this Universal Worship, the Sufi Emblem which is the symbol of the Spirit of Guidance in all religions is also the emblem of compassion. It is a heart with wings illustrating the true nature of the heart which knows no limitations while on the wing, in its flight toward the Light of the Spirit of Guidance. That is symbolized by the five pointed star in the emblem; whereas the crescent moon represents the receptive and expressive nature of the heart which radiates compassion at all levels of consciousness.

The call of the heart is the basic tone heard in the Sufi Message of Love, Harmony, and Beauty, and which resounds during the entire journey on the path of spiritual understanding. This inner call reveals the secret of the heart's longing for the Light of the Divine Presence; and in this longing, it is compassion which offers the answer to the call, whether human or Divine. This explains why our Master greeted the followers of all beliefs with the words, 'Beloved Ones of God.' This magic formula which communicated the Ideal of compassion in so few words, also inspires us ourselves to become conscious of being Beloved Ones of God; realizing thereby our duties toward God and Mankind.

Therefore, beloved Brothers and Sisters, let us remember that Compassion which is the call of the heart is constantly guiding us in all our efforts to become living Temples of a Message of Spiritual Liberty; and this call is inviting us all to join in a Universal Worship of all religions, in the Fatherhood of God.



1988 Volume 1. Nawab Pasnak. "Faith, Wisdom and the Lesson of Tiresias"

Caravans are of interest not only to merchants and mystics, but also to scholars. In trying to trace the history of the human family, historians, archaeologists, paleo-anthro-pologists and other learned specialists often rely on the evidence of ancient trade routes. By studying the spread of a certain kind of pottery along these old pathways, for example, they hope to be able to say that some civilization grew out of some other, or show that this group learned writing from that, and then passed it on to others.

Usually the archae-and-other-ologists must study the hardware of a culture — the spear points, the pots, the fragments of corroded bronze. Rarely, we may get a look at the more transient artifacts of pre-literate societies, such as leather, cloth or basketry. Very seldom indeed, though, do we catch even a glimpse of what could be called the software of an old culture. In other words, we may conclude that a certain tribe valued cedar or traded bone buttons for ochre, but we have difficulty knowing just how the people of that tribe adorned themselves, or why they did it that way.

We can be certain, though, that customs and beliefs were passed along the trade routes, just as rope and salt and grain were. Over many years, the rhythm of whole trading caravans shuttling between different groups of people would have a profound effect.

Was there, then, some ancient ur-belief from which all later faiths have sprung? No. It was styles of belief that were exchanged, not the root of belief. The root of belief is universal. If it were not, there would be some people who believed, and others who had no belief. We can see, though, that every culture has a belief, and so does every individual. Even in this age, when faith is regarded by many as an optional lifestyle accessory, yet each one has a belief in something. Instead of looking for the grandfather of all religions, the student of unity should turn instead to the origin of religions, which is in the tendency to faith and aspiration found in the heart of every human.

Solomon the Wise said, "There is nothing new under the sun." It is a phrase often quoted when scientists, after great labour and expense, manage to reproduce artificially something a mosquito, perhaps, does quite naturally, and without spending a penny. But Solomon was not speaking of technology. He was speaking of that for which his name is now synonymous — wisdom. Wisdom has not changed since the dawn of the whole creation.

But surely Solomon had not heard the sutras of Gautama Buddha. Nor could he have known the Sermon on the Mount, nor the Holy Quran. How, then, could he proclaim wisdom complete, before Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed and other great teachers even got on stage?

It is like asking if the rain was different in the time of Solomon, or if the ancients had a different source of light from the sun, or if they breathed a different air. Real wisdom comes from a tuning of the heart and mind and spirit to the infinite wisdom of the seen and unseen universe, which some respectfully call God, others Allah, and still others humbly abstain from trying to name at all. It is the only source of the wisdom which graced Solomon's life, and it must be the same which inspired Rama, Shiva, Buddha, Zarathustra, Jesus, Mohammed, and all the wise souls, known and unknown to the world.

But if the same wisdom inspired each of these Messengers, why has the Message been sent again and again? Wouldn't once be enough? In fact, don't these different Messengers cause a lot of confusion by saying apparently different things? One could imagine the generality asking the Messengers to please get together, come up with one version, and stick to it.

But once is enough, for those who are awake to hear the wisdom pouring forth from these divinely inspired teachers. For those who are ready, a single word kindles an unquenchable flame in the heart. Many of us, however, are still sitting groggily on the edge of the bed — or are even still sound asleep in dream land. And in this material world, even the pure notes of the most finely tuned bell must fall beneath the hubbub of the crowd eventually. If the tones of wisdom, which guide and inspire all those seeking an answer to the mysteries of life, are to remain audible, the bells must ring again and again.

It is also true that the awakened ones have had to work with the (temporary) limitations of those they sought to raise up, and for that reason, they have cast the Message in different forms. It is only the need of the children that has caused so much diversity in the Message. The need is not in the Messengers.

The truly awakened souls hear wisdom speaking in the fall of a leaf, or the unfolding of a bird's wing, or in the silent singing and dancing of the stars. It is the students and the students of the students who have needed more tangible forms of teaching, accommodating their limitations. Therefore, at different times and places, the Message has been given in various forms — but those who study the inner meaning of these teachings will find no contradiction among them. It would be like looking into « different pools of water, and saying, 'In this one I see reflected a tree, and in that one, a mountain — therefore, one holds water, and the other does not.' The water reflects the place where it has fallen, but it is water all the same.

We know that the human race is one. Divisions rise up but they fall away, too. They are temporary, because they are based, after all, on illusion. From space, no borders are visible upon the globe. How, then, could wisdom be the possession of one particular group of people? It cannot. Wisdom is a light within all, waiting to be uncovered, and it matters nothing at all if the student digging to uncover that glow is guided by the whispers of the Master Jesus, or the strong hands of Moses, or the clear gaze of Lao Tzu. It only matters that he or she keep on digging.

But, some might say, in certain places they have a wisdom not known elsewhere. In the west there is material science, but in the east, there is mystical science — isn't there? If there is only material science in the west, how can there be wisdom?

The answer is that mystical science may be, or may once have been more readily accepted in the East, but wisdom is universal, accepted or not, and one proof of this is given in the story of Tiresias.

In ancient Greek legends, Tiresias was a blind sage. He appears in the plays of Sophocles, and in the story of Odysseus as well. When Odysseus was unable to get home after the Trojan wars, he at last sailed to the margin of the underworld, where he made a sacrifice in order to consult the shade of Tiresias. The existence of Tiresias is not that remarkable in itself, since every culture has sages. What is intriguing about Tiresias is the stories of how he came to be blind.

There are two versions to this story. One is that his mother, Chariclo, was a nymph, and a favourite companion of the Goddess Athena. Chariclo and Athena enjoyed bathing at a certain spring, and it happened one day that the youthful Tiresias, out hunting, caught sight of the naked Goddess. Aware of his glance, she instantly covered his eyes with her hand. Her touch struck him blind, but from sympathy for his mother, she gave Tiresias some compensation. His ears were opened, that he might understand the speech of birds; he received a staff able to guide him as well as if he could see; he was given the gift of prophecy and a life seven times as long as an ordinary mortal. One might wonder, if the goddess could do all this, why she did not merely restore his sight, but the story is symbolical, as we shall see in a moment.

The second version of how Tiresias was blinded is more elaborate. It is told that one day, walking on a mountainside, Tiresias saw two snakes coupling. Tiresias, not a member of the ecologically-minded Green Party, struck at the snakes with his staff, happened to strike the female, and was himself turned to a woman on the spot. He (or she) remained female for seven years, until he (or she) happened to again encounter a pair of coupling snakes, struck this time the male, and was restored to his (or her) former state.

Some time later, Zeus and Hera, the divine archetype of the quarreling married couple, were arguing about whether it was the man or woman who gets greater pleasure from sexual intercourse.* They decided to consult Tiresias, inasmuch as he had been both, and presumably would know the answer. Hera had declared that men got more pleasure from sex than women, but when Tiresias stated that women got nine times the pleasure, she was enraged and vengefully struck him blind. This time, it was Zeus who gave Tiresias the compensation of prophecy, being unable to undo his wife's act.

There is ample room in these stories for speculation on such themes as the battle of the sexes, man against nature and the psychology of the ancient Greeks, but these are only the cultural cloak for a profound, mystical symbolism. It is easily grasped in the first version: Tiresias, glimpsing the divine presence unveiled, indeed being touched by the divine presence, becomes blind to the outer world. One who has seen the beauty of the inner world cares no more for the illusion of the outer — but he is more sensitive, not less, and Tiresias' gifts testify to this.

Curiously, the second version tells the same story, though in a slightly different fashion. To anyone interested in such matters, the image of a male and female snake entwined immediately suggests the channels of energy spiraling up the spine, known to yogis and Sufis as Ida and Pingala, or the lunar and solar, or the receptive and expressive forces. Striking the female, Tiresias became that, or in other words, put his breath in that channel. Subsequently striking the male, he opened that channel, and then had both channels open. When both channels of the breath are open and unite in the seat of wisdom, known as the third eye, the mystic is in ecstasy; the seeker forgets himself in God-consciousness. In other words, the tale of the snakes is another way of saying that Tiresias stood before the Divine Presence, and the result was the same — blindness to the outer world, and an awareness of the inner which poured forth as prophecy.

The story of Tiresias is not only a wonderful distillation of truth, but it also shows us that wisdom is known in every culture, hidden in symbols appropriate to the time and place.

Wisdom is neither eastern nor western. It is not exclusive to churches, mosques, nor even Sufi temples, though it is the source of every faith and aspiration. It is everywhere, hidden in every form and every being, waiting patiently to be discovered. But those who have been true to their own aspiration, and looked into the depths of their own hearts first will have more success in seeing the light of wisdom elsewhere.

* I leave it to the reader to surmise how this argument started



1988 volume 1. Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan. "Science and Psychology"

The day when science and psychology will come to a certain understanding, on that day, knowledge will become complete. But when I say psychology, I mean psychology in the sense that 7 mean, not in the sense as is understood by most others. For that psychology which is known as a new philosophy is still in its primitive condition. What I mean by psychology is that which bridges material science with esotericism.

In order to get further in this subject I should mention first that the names 'matter' and 'spirit' are for our convenience. As far as we perceive life as something tangible we call it matter. And what is not as tangible as a substance, but perceivable, then that we call spirit, the knowledge of which we call psychology. But esotericism is that knowledge which is gained not by perception, not by tangibility of substance, but by revelation. And so we can divide the three different aspects of science in these names: science, psychology, esotericism. Science cannot be complete without psychology, nor can psychology be complete without esotericism. It is these three that make knowledge complete. And it is by these that one can hope to understand life more fully.

There is a vast field of knowledge in the realm of psychology. The knowledge of imagination, and the same turning into thought; the knowledge of feeling and the same turning into emotion; the knowledge of passion and the same turning into expression; the knowledge of impulse and its outlet; the knowledge of impulse and its suppression; the knowledge of attraction and the knowledge of its contrary effect; sympathy and antipathy, their origin and source, all these belong to psychology. Therefore psychology is a knowledge of tangible things, yet not of solid things that one can touch. And therefore it is more difficult to explain the laws of psychology in words than explaining the laws of the material science.

A perception must be developed in order to understand psychology better. It is the understanding of a law working behind the screen which is real psychology. It is the understanding of cause and effect in everything, in every action, in every aspect. And it is a stepping-stone towards esotericism, because it is a psychological attitude which leads one to esoteric knowledge. If a person cannot see the truth of esotericism or mysticism it is because he is backward in psychology. If a person is not able to see the hidden law he will not be able to see that hidden love which is called in the Scripture, 'God.' Esotericism therefore is a process of learning quite contrary to the process by which science is learnt. For science is learnt by analysis; esotericism is obtained by synthesis. If a person, while wanting to obtain esoteric knowledge turns things into bits, he is analysing them. As long as he is analysing them, he will never come to the understanding of esotericism.

Psychology needs two things: analysing and synthesizing. And by understanding psychology better, when one has accustomed oneself to synthesize as well as to analyse, then he prepares himself to synthesize only, in order to understand esotericism more fully.

Therefore acquiring esoteric knowledge is quite different from acquiring the knowledge of science. It is like going to the North for acquiring one thing, and going to the South for acquiring another thing. The ancient people therefore made the knowledge of science, of psychology and of esotericism as one knowledge, and they called it alchemy. And it was very convenient to explain to the simple person. They said: turning steel into gold. Therefore many who sought gold in life, they went into the pursuit of learning this alchemy. And some who went to the end, instead of finding gold, they became gold.

There is a story told in the East, which explains this idea in an interesting form. A king was anxious to find some man who really knew alchemy. Many came, but upon examination it was found that they could not make gold. In the end, someone told the king that there was in a village a person living who was simple, most unassuming, but it was said that he had the knowledge of alchemy. The king sent for him immediately, and he was brought in the presence of the monarch. When he was brought to the court, the king expressed his wish to learn alchemy. And the king told him whatever he might ask for it will be given to him.

"No," said the man, "I do not know any such thing as you ask."

The king said, "Everyone told me, everyone said that you are the person who knows it."

"No, King," he said. "You have found the wrong person. I am not the person who knows it."

"Look here," said the king, "I am going to sentence you to spend your whole life in prison."

The man said, "Whatever you wish to do, you may do. You have found the wrong person for what you want."

"Well," said the king, "I will give you six weeks in prison to think. At the end of the six weeks, I am going to have you put to death."

The man was put in prison. And every morning the king came to the prison and said, "Now have you changed your mind? Can you teach me? Now death is approaching, take care, give that knowledge to me."

And the man said, "No, King, go to someone else who has what you want. I am not the person you are seeking for."

And at night, every night, the king went as a porter and swept the floor and dusted the room, and took food for him and sympathized with him, and did everything he could do for him as a servant. The king asked him, "Is your head aching? Can I do something for you? Are you tired? Can I make your bed for you to lie down? Shall I fan you to sleep? It is warm, it is hot!" Everything that a person could do he did at that time.

And so days passed, and then one day remained. The next day was appointed for this man to be beheaded. The king visited him, and told him, "Now you see there is only one day remaining before your death. And this is your last opportunity to save your life."

The man said, "No, King, you are looking for someone else, not for me." But that night, when the porter came, this man put his hand on his shoulder and said, "Poor man, poor porter, you are so sympathetic, I will whisper in your ears a word, a word of alchemy, and that alchemy will change you from steel to gold."

The porter said, "I do not know what you say, alchemy. I only know to serve you. And I am only sorry that tomorrow you will be beheaded. That is the one thing that tears my heart. I only wish that I could give my life to save yours. I would be most thankful."

The alchemist said, "It is better for me to die rather than give alchemy to the unworthy. It is the same thing which I give you just now in sympathy, in appreciation, in love, which I do not give to that king, who will tomorrow take my life. Why is it? It is because you deserve it. The king does not deserve." Then he whispered in his ears the secret words, and instead of making gold, he became gold.

In the morning the king came to give him a last warning. He said, "Now here is your last chance. The moment has come when you must be beheaded."

The man said, "No, no."

The king said, "Yes, you have already given me."

The man said, "Did I give you? I did not give to the king, I gave to the porter."

This beautiful story gives us an insight into the idea. That process through which the king went as a porter, it is that process through which the knowledge of esotericism is to be gained. The other process, when the king demanded, that was not the right way of acquiring that knowledge. That knowledge never comes through that process.

The difficulty of esoteric knowledge at the present time is only this, that man trained in science is not yet capable of attaining to the esoteric knowledge, unless he goes through the process of psychological knowledge. In order to enter the gates of mysticism the first thing for man to understand is what feeling is, what service is, what sympathy is, what sincerity is. It is a great fault of learning today that the sentimental side, which is the most important side, is kept apart. It is like wanting a person to come, but not with his life, but as a corpse. In order to educate a person, it is as if the life should be taken out of him, and he should be turned from a living person to a dead one. Therefore we find the death of heroism, therefore we find the death of idealism, therefore we find the death of souls who have made impressions upon humanity and which have lasted for thousands and thousands of years.

What is to be revived in the present generation is the capacity of feeling. It is the thinking which is developed today, but not the feeling, and only after feeling comes seeing. And it is this seeing which is known in the English word, 'seer.'

Q: What is the best way in education to develop that feeling in children?

A: I think people at home are more responsible for it than at school, because this is the first work of home. But if, at home, such education is given and at school it is spoiled, then of course there is an inharmony. For instance, I will give you an example. When the children were quarreling over one another's toys, a nurse told the children, "You must keep your toy, you must not take away the toy of another child." The nurse taught them, "No, each of you has your own. The one has no right to touch the toys of the other." It was just, but it was not love. Then another one came who knew about it and who said to each child, "No, all the toys belong to all of you. And the best thing is to give one's toys to the other, that you play with each other's toys. Do you not like to see your brother or sister playing with your toy? You ought to be delighted to see that your brother or sister is playing with it." Well, that is the feeling that must be developed. This crude way in which sometimes people want to work up high ideals by troubling and fighting, that is not the way. The best way is the way of love, of harmony, of sympathy. And for that, feeling must be developed instead of thought. The present generation has made a great advancement in thought. But that is not enough. Now what is needed is the battery which stands behind thought, and that is feeling.



1988 Volume 1. In Search of Murshid's Words

Many have been inspired by the lectures of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, as published in the orange volumes and elsewhere. It is not generally recognized, however, that these lectures were recorded in notes taken at the time and immediately after by dedicated mureeds. The notes were later set down and published, but in the transcription and editing, it was possible for the sense to drift somewhat from Murshid's original meaning — and if the sense remained, it was even easier for the music of Murshid's thought to be changed. For some years, though, the Biographical Department, now under the guidance of Munira van Voorst van Beest, has been diligently reconstructing the lectures and classes through a careful comparison of all the material available. The result is a new series of annotated works, "Complete Works of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, Original Texts: Lectures on Sufism." The first volume in the series, "1923 II: July-September," was published this year. These sample pages give some idea of the tremendous work involved in combing through the often handwritten recollections of an event more than sixty years old.

Sirdar's handwritten text, probably copied from his own longhand record.

Suresnes, July 5th, 1923

Address to My Mureeds.1

There are certain things2 most necessary in working for the Cause. The first thing is to keep in mind that our service is for the world and not for a3 section of humanity, and therefore whatever be the particular part of the worker in the scheme of the working of the4 Movement, we5 must keep before ourselves6 the thought that we are working for the whole of human- ity,7 and in the work,8 that9 we are performing our particular part.

10The workers must understand the value of the saying that "life is an11 opportunity." Every moment that is wasted by not making the use12 of the opportunity, is lost; it will never come again.

Therefore13 be on the look-out, that we may not lose the14 opportunity of rendering our service to the Cause which is our sacred ideal.

The thing which is most necessary to consider in the working for our Cause, is to try and understand15 the psychology of the crowd and so to act fittingly in all different situations.

It must be understood by us16 to act with such a hope and courage that no thought of pessimistic nature may enter into17 our minds, to keep them18 away as a germ of decay, absolutely trusting in that19 eternal truth, that success is Truth and Truth is success.

We must know that the Message of Cod will be fulfilled, for it must be fulfilled, and we must think in contributing our service20 to the Message, it is our life's privilege, and we must do everything in our power to avail ourselves of the privilege of serving God and humanity.


1. The text of a tp. copy by Sk. Is the same as Sr. In Gd.hwr. a somewhat modified version under the heading "For the Use of the Workers of the Movement" apparently was meant for multiplication and spreading among a group of mureeds.
2. Added: "that the workers of the Movement must realize, which are"
3. "one" instead of "a"
4. "the" changed into "our"
5. "he" Instead of "we"
6. "him" Instead of "ourselves"
7. "world" instead of "of humanity"
8. "work-world" instead of "work"
9. "that" omitted
10. Added: "Secondly"
11. "the" instead of "a"
12. "the best" instead of "the use"
13. Added: "to"
14. "lose no" instead of "may not lose the"
15. Added: "human psychology, the psychology of the Individual and"
16. Omitted this first part of the sentence
17. "in" Instead of "Into"
18. "It" instead of "them"
19. "the" Instead of "that"
20. "services" instead of "service"

From the list in the same book, "Explanation of Abbreviations"

Gd.hwr. version shows the following differences:
Sirdar = Sirdar van Tuyll, an early Dutch mureed
tp. = typewritten
Sk. = Sakina Furnee, later named 'Nekhbakht' by Pir-o-Murshid. She was
one of his secretaries and she took down in shorthand the main part of his teaching.
Gd.hwr. = handwriting of Sherifa Goodenough, who became a Murshida in August '23.


1988 Volume 1. 'Sharda Pirani Ameena-Begum Ora-Ray Inayat Khan. "O Beloved..."

Poems from Thy Rosary of a Hundred Beads, a collection of poems written 'To Daya, Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan', by 'Sharda Pirani Ameena-Begum Ora-Ray Inayat Khan', after Murshid's death.

In India

Far across the seas to the land divine
Where mystery reigns supreme,
God carrieth there each thought of mine
And every wondrous dream.

Under warm sun, in a golden tomb,
Resteth Thy beautiful form,
Midst the fragrant roses that round Thee bloom,
Sheltered from wind and storm,

With unceasing peace for many an age,
O holy One, Thou art blest,
Numberless souls to pay Thee homage,
And kneel at Thy feet to rest.

When Thou Wert Near

What need had I for the light of the day
Or the moon in the night to lead the way,
O Beloved, when Thou wert near?

What need had I for the summer's warmth
Or the cooling breezes swaying forth,
O Beloved, when Thou wert near?

What need had I for a bright sunny morn
Or the shining stars, the dark sky adorn,
O Beloved, when Thou wert near?

What need had I for the showers of rain?
The fruits and the flowers Thou didst sustain,
O Beloved, when Thou wert near.

O Death

O Death, my comforter art Thou,
The healer of my wounds enow,
Thy yielding glance do I beseech
And for Thy soothing hand I reach.

1 yearn for Thee, years pass me by,
Thou contest not, but from my cry
I hear an echo o'er the hill, “A sacred duty first fulfill.”

1988 Volume 1. Ameen Carp. "Brotherhood"

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan designated the activity of brotherhood as one of the main activities of the Sufi Movement. While the Universal Worship expresses the devotional side of the Sufi Movement, and the universal ideal of one religion with many expressions, and the esoteric school gives the pupil the necessary training in the unfoldment of the spiritual potential within him, the brotherhood is the expression of love and respect for the fellow beings with whom we share our life on earth. Murshid Inayat Khan often said, 'What does it help if we achieve mastery, but keep it to ourselves?' His teaching, like that of the great Sufi masters before him, always was: live in the world, accept life with all its duties and responsibilities, but yet be not of the world. Be part of the world, but be not attached to it.

The vision our Master has given to us is of the brotherhood of man in the fatherhood of God. We are not here on earth by chance and we are not only linked with each other by family relationship and friendship, or perhaps a certain comradeship working for a certain ideal. The concept of brotherhood in the Sufi vision of life goes deeper; the Sufis see life on earth as an opportunity given to the soul to be awakened to full consciousness of its divine origins and divine goal. Whether the soul grasps this opportunity depends on the intensity of its longing for reunion with its maker. The more the light of the soul starts to radiate, the more it will attract other souls. The more it becomes conscious of its task, the more it will be aware of the needs of others, realizing that they are on the same path.

In others the seeker recognizes the same light, the same spirit, the same longing, the same origin, the same goal. And in them he will gradually recognize the same divine manifestation that he himself is. God manifesting in man, as God manifests in animals, plants, minerals, planets, the sun, the moon, the infinite space and the infinitely small.

As love grows in the disciple's heart a need is felt to express it freely to all who are near: wife husband, parents, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, friends; then to further acquaintances, sick people, the elderly, those in need, to neighbours, and to strangers. Then even to those who offend us, criticize us, make life disagreeable. Is love not capable of forgiving those who offend? The circle covered by our growing love increases when our love grows.

In the service of brotherhood, one gives of oneself spontaneously, not asking for a return, nor even thinking about it. One gives because the urge is there to give, one gives service because the longing is there to be of service.

What can we do as Sufis to make this activity of brotherhood a reality? While the Universal Worship, the Inner School and the Healing are well defined, the brotherhood does not have a defined structure: the goal is there, the ideal is there, but the path and the duties one must find oneself. Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan often said in his addresses to world brotherhood workers that he wanted his disciples to work for the prisoners, the sick, the people in need, but no outline was given how to deal with it. This is understandable, because in each country the regulations to visit prisoners are different, the rules to visit sick and elderly people are different.

We are left quite free to develop out our own ways of doing this brotherhood work. Our longing to serve will sooner or later open doors. Our willingness to share that which we have found will blossom in beautiful new contacts. Our desire to be of help will overcome barriers, will surmount resistances, will take away reservations.

We should feel the warmth of the familyhood of mankind. Brothers and sisters we are. All hindrances, limitations, imperfections, differences must go and will disappear once we have decided that we wish to serve.

It is good to contact other Sufis on our travels and learn from them how they work. By sharing experiences we benefit from what another has learned and vice versa. Besides, it is good to discover that there is somehow a network of dedicated workers for brotherhood all over the world. We can easily find the names and addresses in other towns and countries, by asking the national or international secretariat.

Then it is good to discover what other people regard as precious, as holy. Their beliefs, their traditions, their goals are as important as ours. Do not stay in your own corner, but discover the world and come and see how many sided God's manifestation is — and how one!
Then, by sharing meals with strangers, by sharing discomfort, by struggling with foreign languages, customs and beliefs, we discover that we are not different, but fundamentally one. That is the path of brotherhood!

In thinking positively of another, by sending loving thoughts, warm kind feelings, by wanting to share, to serve, to give, we contribute to the family of man, God's family.
Brothers and sisters, the more you think about this expression, and experience it consciously, the more the brotherhood of man in the fatherhood of God becomes a reality. You pray for it, you work for it, you find your destination in it.

May the Message of God spread far and wide, illuminating and. making the whole humanity as one single brotherhood in the Fatherhood of God.


1988 Volume 1. Virya Best. "Our Debts in Life"

The following talk was first delivered in Murad Hassil, Katwijk, during the Summer School of 1986. It has been slightly edited for publication.

Friends, I should like to share with you a little story, something that happened between my own father and Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan.

It was about 1920 or 21. Following demobilization after the First World War, my father, Shabaz, had started a small business. As he did over and over again in his life, he had tried also to help someone else, taking him in as a partner.

This person had let him down, so badly that the business was ruined. Suddenly, with a wife and small child to support, my father had nothing left. As you can imagine he was very upset about it and he went to Murshid with his problem, and his sadness and bitterness about the 'friend' who had betrayed his trust. How could he again trust anyone? As always, patient and so understanding, Murshid listened to his troubles and saw the deep hurt he had suffered. Murshid always spoke to each mureed in the language he would understand. Knowing that before the war Shabaz had been trained as a banker, Murshid used the language of banking to help him, and this is what he said:

"My friend, make God your Banker. Put into your account all the good you can do, as a credit, and leave God to sort out all the debits. If other people owe you something, just place that debt with God and allow Him to balance the accounts. Then forget about it, leaving the matter in His hands.

But always do your best to make sure your account is in credit. Then you can truly leave the rest to God. Be sure that always you will be repaid in the end, if not in one way, then in another, for He is the great Balancer.

In fact, accepting Murshid's counsel, very shortly after this Shabaz was offered a job with his old bank, which asked him to go out to Brazil! Murshid then told him that this 'job' was only an excuse. In fact, it was his task to take the Message, to that country.

Many is the time over the years that in my own life's problems I have thought of these words of Murshid's: "Make God your banker," and permit Him to sort out the debts that are owed to you, first making sure that your account is always in credit. There is no need for us, as Sufis, to enforce the payment of debts from others. Who knows? Perhaps it is we who are owing in some way! Maybe unconsciously we have given a hurt that can no longer be put right. The Brazilians have a lovely custom: when parting from a friend for any length of time they will say, "If there is anything I may have done which has hurt or offended you, please forgive me now."

Always in life there are two very strong attractions, love and hate, and it is so much wiser to let love alone be our link with all we meet, and to leave the balancing of accounts to God. This has many advantages, the most important being that it clears our mind and heart from bitterness and resentment and frees us to live more fully, more joyously, more creatively. We can live in the 'precious moment' in the NOW, free from guilt and self pity, remembering that we too are bound to incur debts, for that is the burden that comes with life on earth, as Inayat Khan also tells us. Remember, if we can accept what comes to us in life, then we can grow. The tests and trials which we have to face will strengthen our spiritual muscle and we need not waste energy in blaming others, or even circumstances, but will look out for the lesson we should, perhaps, be learning.

There is, maybe, another aspect which we should also consider, and that is that our inner unfolding is not just beneficial to ourselves. In every little victory in our journey towards the Goal, every other being in the world also benefits. "No man is an island unto himself." In The Evolutionary journey by Barbara Marx Hubbard, she puts it this way: 'The Universe itself is growing through us." Murshid also tells us that everything we think or do has its reverberation throughout the universe. As we each strive towards the Light, and work to uncover or discover the Divine within, then the whole atmosphere around us changes and becomes 'Lightened.' As more and more of us work for this discovery of the Divine within us and within our fellows, which Inayat Khan tells us is the essence of the Message for this Age, so the whole atmosphere of the world will be filled with Light, and there will be a snowballing effect. This is the only way to bring Peace on Earth — not by telling others what to do but by becoming ourselves, a manifestation of God's Message to mankind, allowing His light to reflect in our hearts. It is then that this planet will become a planet of Light and of true brotherhood.

Remember the wonderful story of Aladdin, and how Murshid gives us the key to understanding it. Every detail of that story is symbolical, every character an aspect in the development of the Traveller on the Path.

Who is the Magician who calls himself Uncle' to the boy? The teacher, the Elder Brother, or brother of his Father! What is the rocky cave to which the Guru takes him, opening it with a man-tram? Aladdin's own stubborn heart, touched at initiation! The 'Magician' gives him a 'ring' to protect him and sends him into the cave to find the lamp. What is the ring? A shield of protection through initiation, given by the master, and also the effect of prayer or practices, which maintain our link with God. When Aladdin discovers many jewels in the cave, he so loads himself with these that he is unable to raise the lantern, to offer it to his Master when he is asked for it at the mouth of the cave. So the Master closes him in the cave, alone with his 'jewels,' which are now worthless, until he can learn to let go of these attractions. What are these jewels? Perhaps the love and respect of others towards one who has entered the Path? If we allow pride and conceit to enter our hearts, then these jewels become just worthless stones which weigh us down.

Eventually, realizing this, we start to pray for help, and in so doing we 'rub the ring' and rediscover our link with God, for the Genii of the ring comes to ask us what we require of him. This is a very important stage in our development as Sufis — the realization that honour does not belong to the individual when on the path. It belongs to God. It is the Divine spark in man which we all love. It is not really the personality which attracts. That is only the mask that covers the inner light. What does attract is the amount of light that shines through, the Divine which is channeled; for every soul is seeking God. In fact, it is the NOT-self, the emptiness, the crystal clarity of the vehicle allowing the Divine light to shine through, which calls to the Divine in us. Thus, when we see it in a loving soul, an illuminated soul, the light within us reaches out in welcome to that which it recognizes as being of its own origin, for it gets a glimpse of that to which it longs to return.

Therefore, when respect or love is offered us, we should know that it is for that of God which, for a moment, we have been able to channel through. Always we must remember not to hold that jewel to ourselves, letting it weigh us down, but we must offer it to where it really belongs, that is, to God, thanking Him also for using the empty channel of our being, which we have freely offered, so that it is no longer 'ours.'

Charles Morgan says, "There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved. It is God's finger on man's shoulder." Indeed, we should let the acts of love from others be a lovely surprise, welcomed as a priceless gift — but they are not ours, really, never to be demanded as a right. We should never hold them to ourselves, but accept them in His Name, then to be offered silently to Him, for it is to Him they really belong. We are only His instruments. By doing this we link ourselves to the Ocean of Love, the never ending Source.

Do you remember in the myths, I think it was Thor who was asked if he could empty the bowl of wine in one draught? Being so strong, he was sure he could, but the invisible end was linked to the ocean. However hard he tried to empty it, the level in the cup hardly moved. Thus it is when we are able to keep our connection with God, the Ocean, ever open, as a two way channel, opening our hearts in Brotherhood, aware of the needs and feelings of others, and allowing His love and peace to flow towards all, in joyous service and oneness, not asking a reward, but giving freely in His Name and rendering back to Him all thanks received.

Yes, we will make mistakes, and fall by the wayside, but we can pick ourselves up and try again, for we are none of us perfect. If we were, we would not still be here on earth!

As we know, the Sufi path is a way of life, and, as light bearers we can, slowly, also become the Way, a real channel of communication — if, that is, we can remain empty of self. And we can always remember that one method of keeping the balance in this great journey is, 'to make God our Banker!'


1988 Volume 1. Rahema E. A. Alexander. "Children of Eternity. Random Notes on New Age Music"

One of the most culturally pervasive phenomena of the New Age is its music; and since, when we speak of New Age Music, we usually mean, specifically, electronic music, we might find it helpful, at the outset to define it. Electronic music is that performed on instruments which generate sound electronically, such as synthesizers; and those which modify sound, such as reverberators. We may also include reed and string instruments, such as the electric flute and the electronic violin, which derive their distinctive character through electronic amplification.

But how new is New Age Music? The term 'electronic music' came into use around 1930, following the development of several prototypical instruments in the nineteen twenties, which are of interest chiefly as forerunners of the instruments mentioned above. But it was not until after the end of WW II that this music had its greatest impetus, following the invention of the tape recorder in 1948, and in 1955, the development of the synthesizer. And as it has evolved over the years, electronic music has given rise to completely new systems of musical notation. The earliest composers of electronic music were influenced by the serial school and musique concrete, among them Pierre Schaeffler, Karlheins Stockhausen, Milton Babbitt and Otto Leuning, to mention only several. Marie Davidovsky continues today in this more or less classical tradition.

Without going further into the historical background of New Age Music, we may say that this music can be 'pure', that is, written for electronic instruments only; it may consist of combinations of taped sounds including those of the natural world, in addition to the music; or it may consist of combinations of electronic sounds in tandem with the sounds of conventional instruments.

Most electronic music is distinguished by its complexity. Magnetic tape, upon which much of it is composed, may be cut or spliced, thus creating a rich montage of contrapuntal systems, timbres, rhythms and percussive effects. The province of this music is the entire spectrum of sound.

Synthesizers can be played, as we have said, in combination with not only the instruments of the traditional Western orchestra, but also with such culturally diverse ones as the Japanese koto and shakuhachi, the Balinese gamelan, the Indian vina, tabla and sarangi, the Persian santur and the African drums and m'bira or thumb piano, among others. The world of New Age Music is truly that of the global community.

Electronic music has become so widely diffused throughout our culture that often we are hardly aware that what we are listening to is, in fact, electronic music; from rock ensembles to discotheques, as 'background' music for films and television documentaries and dramas, on the radio, and even in the traditional concert hall.

Some New Age Music is composed specifically for relaxation or healing, or as a non-intrusive background for meditation, prayer or guided imagery, for example that of Steve Halpern, Danile Kobialka, Georgia Kelly and Robert Burns and Ron Dexter, among others. Often it includes pretaped sounds from the natural world, such as birdsong, the sound of wind and water, or even, as in Steven Halpern's 'Leviathan Blue', the songs of the humpback whale.

Further, in an age of space exploration, many composers of New Age music are preoccupied with images of near and outer space, as is seen in such titles as 'Sun Space' (Daniel Kobialka), 'Dawn' and 'Eventide' (Steven Halpern), 'Celestial Meditative Music' (Albert Gorayeb), and the award winning Down to the Moon' (Andreas Vollenweider). One popular programme of electronic music on the American public radio is entitled 'Hearts of Space', and indeed much electronic music has an ambience that suggests to the listener being detached from the body and floating in space. But even more important, much of it as we have already seen is intended to encourage an exploration of inner space.

Another characteristic of electronic music is its repetitiveness. Pir-o-Murshid Musharaff Moulamia Khan has suggested in an address preceding a Sama in 1967, that repetitiveness in music creates a more abstract sound. Moreover, the deep, organ-like drone of the synthesizer at times suggests to the listener the mantram of the Nada Brahman, OM.

What, specifically, then is this 'new' music saying to us? To recapitulate briefly, New Age music speaks to us of our roots in the natural world, or our interconnectedness with each other and with the global community, of our perceived destiny in outer space, and even more importantly, of our spiritual legacy as children of Eternity. And music being the universal language, New Age music is instantly accessible to anyone, in any part of the world.

Electronic music will not, at least in our own time, displace the standard classical repertoire, but it can point in new directions both for the composer, and for the informed listener.


1988 Volume 1. The Ungratefulness of the World

In 1973, Murshida Shahzadi Musharaff Khan privately published a collection of anecdotes and Sufi tales, as told by the companions of Inayat Khan, that is, his brothers Maheboob and Musharaff and his cousin AH. The book was a labour of love of many people; stories were written down in different hands and published in facsimile form. We are privileged to present the following story as remembered by an anonymous mureed.

The story of ungratefulness, usually of an animal to man's kindness, is variously told in different parts of the world. One of AEsop's fables tells of a snake who repaid kindness with venom. Parallel tales are told in China, Mexico and Black American folklore. In Cambodia, there is a tale very similar to this one, called The Man Who Knew How to Cure Snakebite, in which a man revives a dead tiger. In the Cambodian version, the judges wish to find for the man, rather than the tiger, but are afraid to. Of course, there is wisdom in every version, according to the subtlety of the reader.

The Ungratefulness of the World
told by Shaikh-ul-Mahshaikh [Maheboob Khan] with great liveliness

A tiger was imprisoned in a cage and complained bitterly of his fate. A man was standing before the cage listening to the tiger pleading about the injustice done to him — that he had lived in the wilderness in freedom and that he longed to go back there. This was his only wish, his only longing, to go back to the wilderness where he belonged, far from mankind, among his own. Why, after all, should he be captive? He did not wish to harm anyone!

There was much sense in what he said, thought the man, and he was willing to open the cage which was locked from the outside. "But," he said to the tiger, "but if I help you to escape, surely you will harm me when you are free."

"Oh, no!" said the tiger, "surely not! Why should I do you any harm after you have given me liberty? I will only be most grateful! No, no; I promise you, I won't do you any harm!"

Well, the man was reassured by this and he opened his cage! But — there is a saying never to trust a creature with a tail — when the tiger was free he rushed at the man, who quickly jumped into the cage and locked the door behind him. The man of course complained that the tiger was unjust, that he had not done as he promised, and so on.

"O, yes?" the tiger said, "you say that I am ungrateful, I am unjust? But what about you, O man? Do you not know that of all creatures man is the most unjust? We shall ask witnesses in this affair, and you will hear what kind of creature you are: how untrustworthy, how unjust, how ungrateful!" — And so the tiger asked for witnesses. First the cow came. And to the questions of the tiger, the cow gave answer, while she chewed the grass. "Yes, it is true, man is the most ungrateful creature I know. First when I was younger, he took from me my milk which was meant for my own children. Then he took my calves away from me. I gave him all this, and yet now that I am old and have no more calves to give, and no more milk to give, and just would like to have a peaceful end to my life — just a little grass is all I ask for — no, all that was not enough, he wants still more, he wants to send me to the butcher to get from [me] my meat! How can one trust a man? You serve him whole your life, give him all you have to give, and still it is not enough, he wants your last bone!"

"Well, O man," said the tiger, turning to the cage, "what do you have to answer? But we will call another witness, this time not even an animal, for even the palm tree has declared that he wants to give witness to your ungratefulness and cruelty."

Then the palm tree, standing quietly in the neighborhood of the cage, spoke. "Yes, I myself am not a greedy person. I am concerned with very little. I can grow even on the most sandy soil, and I do not ask much room to spread my branches, as I grow straight up, so nobody can have any complaints about me. When men come and are tired from walking in the hot sandy desert, I show myself already from afar so they can find me, and when they come, I give them the shade of my leaves and branches and a little cool breeze. But then when they are rested they take big stones and instead of being thankful they throw the stones at my fruits damaging my branches and taking away my fruits."

All the animals who had come around listened in serious agreement, while the man in the cage listened with the greatest astonishment.

Then the third witness was asked for, and from the crowd came forward the fox! He walked very solemnly, as if he were in deep, deep thought. He bowed before the tiger, and waited a while before he began to speak. Then slowly he started talking, a deep frown showing above his eyes. "You see, gentlemen," he said, "before giving my judgement there is something I would like to know first, as I do not quite understand, and that is, why is this quarrel going on; what has happened? Something must have happened first!" Then they all started to explain the story to the fox, and many spoke at the same time. "No, no, no!" said the fox, "not everybody together, then I can't understand it at all! What are you all saying? The tiger was in the cage? But this man is in the cage, not the tiger!

First I must know the exact facts, the exact situation. How was it? The man was standing before the cage? Well, come out then, you,.. .so, all right. That is that. And the tiger was in the cage? Then we must see how the tiger was in the cage. All right! Well done! And the cage was locked? Oh, I see, in this way!" (The man showed him how it was locked and how he opened it.

"O yes," the fox went on, "like that it was, first this and then so, yes, then it is locked, yes." The fox looked how the man locked it again. And then the fox suddenly turned himself to the man and said, "And now, run away, you fool, and never be tempted again to let a tiger free, which is locked in a cage!"

The selfless pure-hearted spiritual people sometimes are taken the best of their innocence and goodness by clever-minded men who wish for power and influence. But yet the spiritual man by his pure intelligence can solve any complicated situation.


1988 Volume 1. Inayat Khan. "Caravanserai"

It is well known that Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan was a superb musician, but lamentably few of his compositions survive. One is the following setting of lyrics from the Fitzgerald translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, which was very popular in the early part of the century. In fact, ‘The Caravanserai' was one of a series, subsequently arranged for voice and piano by a London composer, Dr. Albert Edwards, and sung by Murshid's cousin Mohammed Ali Khan, the renowned tenor. It seems these songs were part of a play based on Khayyam, either planned or actually staged by Murshid and his brothers is not clear. Most of the songs have been lost, but this one has been preserved through the musical memory of Pir-o-Murshid Musharaff Khan, who sang it by heart to Hakim van Lohuizen in 1955. Hakim made a staff notation for voice and piano at the time, which he recently revised for this publication. The melody is based on the hexatonic evening raga Kaushi Kanada, and offers a beautiful atmosphere, as well as a link with Hazrat Inayat Khan's London years.



1988 Volume 1. Back Pages

The renovated Dargah Inaugurated

The renovated and enlarged Dargah Sharif or tomb of Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan was inaugurated at a ceremony on March 29 of this year, in New Delhi. We are happy to include two reports on the work in India: a note on the Hazrat Inayat Khan Memorial Trust by deputy administrators of the Trust, Wali and Walia van Lohuizen, edited from the souvenir booklet ‘The Radiance of Love, Harmony and Beauty,' and some personal notes made by a long time mureed on her first visit to the Dargah.

The covered space around the mazar [tomb] measures about 34'xl9.5' having openings on all the walls except ...the north wall toward the service lane [which has] prayer panels. The openings of all these walls are having white marble stone Jali in pentagon design with a five pointed star, apart from marble tiles cladding outside and inside both.

A cut out measuring 9'x9' has been provided in the middle right above the mazar proper. This cut-out is covered with a golden yellow fiberglass dome, laid over a raised square in an arch-shaped structure so that it is easily noticeable...

— New Delhi architects M.A.U. Khan and M. Elahi

About the Dargah and the Trust

The Hazrat Inayat Khan Memorial Trust, located in New Delhi, has been created for religious and charitable purposes. It is founded on the Sufi Message of love, harmony and beauty, as brought by Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927).

The goal is two fold: to unite all people longing for love, harmony and beauty; and to create not only a physical opportunity for this to happen, but also to create the appropriate atmosphere.
The original first activity of the Trust was — and remains — to take care of the Dargah (memorial tomb) of this Sufi saint and master, who worked for human brotherhood, religious tolerance, mysticism in daily life, the unity of religious ideals, and a practical life philosophy. [...]

During the last ten years the Trust has worked to make the Dargah a dignified place and has begun making it suitable for the Sufi work. It is becoming a place of peace and happiness suitable for silence and meditation, a home for everybody looking for inner experience, its atmosphere charging every open-hearted visitor with exaltation and new energy. It is intended to become an ecumenical meeting ground in the real sense of the word for Hindus, Buddhists, Parsis, Sikhs, Jains, Jews, Christians, Muslims, and all others with sympathy in their hearts. At the same time, it must serve as a place of help for our fellow men.

Here everyone can feel at home and free, and can meet people from other circles on 'neutral' yet warm and inspired ground. It is a centre for the spreading of the ecumenical Sufi Message of love, harmony and beauty [which is] a Message of universal brotherhood and tolerance, a basis for inter-religious brotherhood, a platform for inter-communal understanding and a spiritual centre.

Gradually, the land around the Dargah had become completely occupied by temporary dwellings. To enlarge the area for our direct use was a very difficult and expensive task, because the Trust wanted to help the tenants living on the spot in acquiring better accommodation. In certain cases the Trust has given some help to tenants starting businesses.

In this way it also became possible to make some space available for the social, medical and educational programs of the Hope Project Charitable Trust, another Sufi organization working in the name of Hazrat Inayat Khan. The work of this Trust is to provide free social services to those living in the community around the Dargah.

This is quite in the tradition of Sufi Dargahs in India; as well as spiritual activities, the material requirements of those in need are also provided for.

In 1988 the new Dargah building was inaugurated. It was constructed around the original mazaar (tomb) by ASEMA Architects and Tirath Singh Contractor in close contact with the Trust. Its simple design, beautiful materials and harmonious proportions may be a symbol for the scope each individual has for the design of his life and the development of his heart. With this new building new opportunities are opening up.

Even before that time the activities of the Trust had grown steadily and become more intense. During a greater part of the year there are daily prayers and meditations, weekly qawwali concerts, weekly classes of the Inner School; each month Universal Worship is held [...] Occasionally there are concerts of spiritual classical Indian music, [since] music plays such an important role in Inayat Khan's Message. There are regular lectures and courses and the free distribution of food to the local population. There is a small library in a preliminary form, on the fields of Sufism, philosophy, psychology, mysticism and comparative religion.

Further activities are envisaged. The first of these is realized by the publication [in India] of the series of volumes on the Sufi Message by Hazrat Inayat Khan. In the near future the Trust hopes to publish a Sufi journal: 'The Alchemy of Happiness.' Brotherhood meetings will be organized amongst followers of different religions in order to increase mutual tolerance through understanding and realization of the essentials we have in common. Courses will be developed on the Sufi Message on subjects such as: the unity of religious ideals, moral culture as the way to God, the development of personality, the tuning of mind, heart and spirit, etc. Further opportunities will be created to participate in meditation, silence, prayer and spiritual music in order to develop the feeling of sympathy within so that it may radiate. In 1987 the Circle of Friends of Hazrat Sufi Inayat Khan was inaugurated. It is open to all those sympathizing with the Sufi Message of today, who feel stirred by the ideas and ideals of love, harmony and beauty, balance and tolerance, understanding and moral culture; those who look for spiritual development yet standing in the world; who want to strengthen the unity with other friends in order to share and contribute to the development of these ideals within oneself, amongst one another, and around, on a foundation of ever growing sympathy.

Individual Dargah Pilgrimages

As part of an expanding program of service, the Hazrat Inayat Khan Memorial Trust is now offering assistance to Sufis wishing to make pilgrimage to the Dargah of Hazrat Inayat Khan.

This assistance is offered on a trial basis to supplement the group tours organized by Ameen Carp and Shahabuddin Less. For now, the offer is only possible when Wali and Walia van Lohuizen are in Delhi. During these times, visitors will be able to share in daily prayer and meditation sessions, courses and concerts.

Wali and Walia will be most willing to help organize or guide your retreat. They can also help with practical matters, such as making reservations for cheap and decent lodging, giving advice about meals, and the possibility of other activities in India. Plans are also under consideration to improve existing facilities at the Dargah to allow for some private retreat space during the day.

Wali and Walia will be in Delhi from October 5th to November 12th, and again in February and March of 1989.

Report from India

Murshida Hayat Stadlinger was a young girl in 1926 when an inner voice directed her to join her family in Paris. She had heard Pir-O-Murshid Inayat Khan speak in America, and she hoped in Europe she might find the opportunity to hear more. She managed at last to find Fazal Manzil in Suresnes as the Summer School was drawing to a close. She was initiated in the Sufi Message, and treasures to this day her membership card, signed by Murshid himself. Shortly after her initiation, however, Murshid left for the east, where he passed away on February 5th, 1927. Murshida Hayat now lives in Oakland, California, and this year she had the opportunity to visit India, on the occasion of the Urs, the commemoration of Murshid's passing. It was her first visit to the dargah or tomb, which has recently been enlarged and rebuilt through the efforts of a number of dedicated mureeds. While in India, she generously kept notes for Caravanserai, and excerpts follow.

The Urs

We arrived just before 11 am — group had been in meditation since 6 am! But they finally straggled in from the land of ... where they had been & and assembled around our dargah.

A native orchestra began — & did they play for about an hour [...] led by an ancient who talked to the orchestra. Occasionally I heard "Inayat" and/or "Hu." [...]

This really is a holy place — serene & forceful. Yesterday when I came to it — alone — & crept in it to give my salaams & greeting to Murshid, the force was so tremendous & powerful, I could scarcely stand it. And so serene! The little birds fly around, coming in from a feathery tree visible through openings in the ceiling — not directly over the dargah — but on either side of the cupola. And now and then a beautiful little chipmunk flitted its way through. It is a loveable place.

After lunch [...] the children gave a performance. The lower floor was filled with people [...] There were different singers, and then a little orchestra. And a cute dance by about 6 or 8 little girls, all dressed for the occasion in charming saris & other equipment. One youngster had trouble — constant trouble — with her balloon trousers. They kept sliding down from the waist. And every time she came to the fore, she hitched her trousers. I'll bet she was wearing the bloomers of a big sister for the occasion [...]

A Dutch couple, Wali and Walia have an apt. at the other side of this walled enclosure [...] They seem to be at the head of the committee to care for the tomb. Beautiful people [...] oh, so sincere & conscious of their responsibility [...]

Before the ceremony, or at least somewhere along the line, someone took a snapshot of me & the elderly, much bearded Indian grandson of Murshid's teacher [...] We stood just in front of the side of the dargah, which was so impressive with its curtain of garlands plus all the garlands of roses we had placed against it [...] I got permission from Walia to have a garland of roses from it to take home to give our groups in California as a memento. She was pleased to give them to me at the end of the evening concert, which followed the Universal Worship.

[...] So much for the Urs. It was a magnificent experience & brought me close to many Sufis [...]

Leadership structure revised

Murshid Zade Hidayat Takes Larger Role

In January of this year, Murshid Karimbakhsh Witteveen, General Representative of the Sufi Movement, announced certain changes to the leadership structure of the organization. The structure had last been revised in 1982, when a committee style leadership was adopted. This was the result of an agreement which was to lead, it was hoped, to a unification of the Sufi Movement and Pir Vilayat Khan's Sufi Order International. For various reasons, that unity has not come about, although efforts toward contact and cooperation are still being made.

Murshid Karimbakhsh's announcement read, in part: To adapt the cooperative leadership to the evolving needs in the new situation, it is desirable to concentrate the leadership of the activities in one of our leaders, while maintaining the principle of decision making on a consensus basis; focusing together on the inner guidance by Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan. This would give greater strength and unity in developing the activities of the Sufi Movement along the lines given by Pir-o-Murshid.

We feel that Murshid Zade Inayat Khan, Pir-o-Murshid's second son, with his deep commitment to the Message and devotion to the ideal of brotherhood, should now take over the leadership of all esoteric and exoteric activities. Accordingly, he is now acknowledged — in the official terms of the by-laws of the activities of the Sufi Movement — as:

Pir-o-Murshid of the Esoteric School of Inner Culture named Sufi Order; Seraj-un-Munir of the Religious Activity of the Movement named Universal Worship; President of the section for Social Work named World Brotherhood; Inayat of the Healing Activity of the Movement named Spiritual Healing;
Head of the Activity of the Spiritual Symbology (including Zirat).

Murshid Zade Hidayat Inayat Khan — who expressed the wish to continue to be addressed as Murshid Zade, in the way his father used to call him — will exercise these leadership functions in consensus with the Representative General, who will remain responsible for the organization and administration, and a general leadership council which [...] will be responsible for the overall guidance and supervision of the activities of the Sufi Movement
The leadership council now consists of Murshid Karimbakhsh Witteveen, Murshid Zade Hidayat Inayat Khan, Shaikh-ul-Mahshaikh Mahmood Khan and Murshida Shahzadi Musharaff Khan, with Murshida Ratan Witteveen as secretary.

Murshid Karimbakhsh concluded:

We pray for divine guidance in our work and appeal to all leaders and mureeds to give their full support and allegiance to the leadership so that we can cooperate with love, harmony and beauty for the great aims of the Sufi Movement as set out by Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan.

Sufi work in Brazil

In 1921, Shabaz and Nuria Best and their daughter Joyce sailed from England to Brazil, as Shabaz had been asked by the Bank of London and South America (now part of Lloyds) to take up a post in their Rio branch.

Both Shabaz and Nuria were direct disciples of Hazrat Inayat Khan, and when he heard of this transfer Murshid told them that the real reason for their journey was to take the Message to that country.

The family lived in Rio de Janeiro until 1952 and during that time, Shabaz and Nuria initiated many mureeds, held weekly services of Universal Worship, Healing services and Mureed classes, and also arranged to have translated and published several of Inayat Khan's books. When they left to return to England, the work was handed on to a small group of faithful mureeds, of whom now only one is still alive, Helena Passos Rist.

Dona Helena has done wonderful work over the past years, revising the original translations into more modern Portuguese and adding several further volumes, all of which have been published, again by her efforts. At the same time she has translated many of the mureed papers and holds regular classes, Healing services and Universal Worship, in spite of ailing health and increasing blindness. She is working on another translation at the moment, but the books already published in Portuguese are: The Inner Life; The Purpose of Life; The Mysticism of Sound; Health; Confessions; Life After Death; Character Building; The Art of Personality; Mental Purification; The Way of Illumination; Cosmic Language; Education; The Mind World; Music; The Alchemy of Happiness; Sufi Teachings and Gayan.

The response to these books all over the Portuguese speaking world has been most encouraging, and Dona Helena receives many letters asking for guidance and also asking that Centres be set up in their particular cities. Unfortunately there are not enough people trained as yet, able to carry out this additional work or go to these different cities. However, undoubtedly the books are answering a heart-felt need amongst the Brazilian people and also wherever Portuguese is spoken, and it is hoped that in time it will, indeed, be possible to start new Sufi Centres within that large country.

There is still much work waiting to be done, as in so many other places too, but it is always encouraging to know how much the Message has spread already, and we greet our Brazilian brothers and sisters and wish them much happiness and success in the wonderful work they are doing.

— Virya Best

Berlin Centre to Host Murshid Karimbaksh

Although forced to go underground during the 1930's and 40's, the Berlin Centre is one of the oldest Sufi Movement centres, having been founded in the time of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Today the Berlin Centre continues to work for the spreading of the Sufi Message. As well as a full program of regular activities, the centre will host the Sufi Movement's General Representative, Murshid Karimbakhsh Witteveen for three days in January, and Ameen Carp for three days in April. The program for Murshid Karimbakhsh's visit is: a class for mureeds on Friday, January 27th; a public lecture on Sufism on Saturday, January 28th; a Universal Worship ceremony on Sunday, January 29th. For more information on this and other activities, contact Wakil or Petra-Beate Schildbach, Menzelstrasse 9,1000 Berlin 33, telephone 826 45 34.

New Representative in Switzerland

Congratulations to Karima Sen Gupta who has taken on the job of National Representative in Switzerland. She will be ably assisted by her husband, Kabir, and replaces Mangala Bernouilli, remembered for many years of devoted service to the Message. For information on activities in Switzerland, write to Karima at Bleimattweg 18, CH - 4104 Oberwil.

'Orange Volumes' to Get New Life

Many mureeds owe their interest in the Sufi Message to a chance encounter with the words of Hazrat Inayat Khan in one of the 'orange volumes.' In recent years, however, these much-loved books have become harder to find on bookstore shelves, and some, such as Volume VIII, Sufi Teachings, have gone out of print entirely. This situation is expected to change with the announcement of a new agreement between the Sufi Movement and an English firm, Element Books.

Beginning in 1989, Element Books of Shaftsbury will be the world wide distributors of the volumes. The company has a proven track record in esoteric literature, and connections around the world. At the same time, work is under way to re-publish the volumes in a revised, expanded format, with soft covers rather than hard. Element Books has advised the Movement that the economy of soft covers is essential to secure commercial sales.

The revision of these volumes is a separate task from that of the Nekhbakht Foundation, which is producing the carefully annotated, scholarly editions of the 'Complete Works' series. The orange volumes contain material which was heavily edited in some cases, and it is the intention of the Movement's Publications Committee to move back toward the original, while retaining a consistent, accessible style. Volume II, The Mysticism of Sound, is now ready and is being printed.

The Sufi Movement is active in Mexico.

A centre in Ciudad Juarez, in the northern province of Chihuahua has been in existence for the past ten years, under the guidance of Sr. Hafiz Roberto Castillo. Sufis come from both Juarez and the city of El Paso, just across the Rio Grande river in Texas for classes and Universal Worship. In 1987 Sufia Sill introduced the Sacred Element Dances there. Hafiz and his son Puran have made some progress translating the works of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan into Spanish; as these become available they are being forwarded to the International Secretariat, for the benefit of others seeking information on the Sufi Message in Spanish


Alabanza a Tí, Supremo Dios,
Omnipotente, Omnipresente,
Todo penetrante, el Unico Ser.
Tomanos en Tus Paternales Brazos,
Levantanos de las densidades de la tierra;
Tu Belleza adoremos,
A Tí gustosamente nos rendimos,
Misericordioso y Comprensivo Dios,
El Señor Idealizado de toda la humanidad.
A Tí solamente adoremos, y hacia Tí
Solamente aspiramos;
Abre nuestros corazones hacia Tu Belleza,
Ilumina nuestras almas con Tu Luz Divina;
jOh, Tú, La Perfección de Amor,
Armonía y Belleza;
Todo Poderoso, Creador, Sustentador,
Juez y Perdonador de nuestras faltas,
Señor Dios del Oriente y del Occidente,
De los mundos del arriba y de abajo,
De los seres visibles e invisibles;
Vierte sobre nosotros Tu Amor y Tu Luz,
Da sustento a nuestros cuerpos, corazones y almas,
Usanos para el proposito que Tu Sabiduría elegido,
Y guíanos por la senda de Tu propia Bondad,
Acercanos a Tí en cada momenta de nuestra vida,
Hasta que en nosotros sea reflejada
Tu Gracia, Tu Gloria, Tu Sabaduría, Tu Gozo y Tu Paz.