Caravanserai Magazine Archive

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


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.


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