Caravanserai Magazine Archive

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


1990 Volume 5. Hazrat Inayat Khan. "The Work of our Movement on the lines of Brotherhood"

Words of Murshid

The following is an excerpt from Complete Works of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, Original Texts: Lectures on Sufism, 1923II. It is the fruit of meticulous labour by the late Munira van Voorst van Beest of the Biographical Department, assisted by Sharif Graham, and is published by East-West Publications. We regret that space does not permit the full explanation of the abbreviations in the annotations, but Sk. refers to Sakina Furnee, one of Murshid's secretaries; Gd. refers to Murshida Goodenough; Hq. t. means a typewritten document from Headquarters; Sr. refers to Sirdar van Tuyll van Seerooskerken.

Sakina's undated longhand reporting, which may be her shorthand transcription; the latter, however, has not been found in the archives.
Summer 1923'

2The Work of our Movement 3on the lines3 of Brotherhood.

This line of work is really speaking the fulfilment of every activity of our Movement.

One activity of our Movement is the esoteric School in which people are initiated, and they4 advance grade by grade individually developing the5 soul towards the attainment of spiritual realization.6 There is another activity which is 7a devotional activity,7 which is called8 Church of All or the Universal Worship, and9 it is a religious activity; religion, not in '┬░the sense of a sectarian activity.10 On the contrary, a religious activity which brings souls to that11 true religion which stands above all sects. But whether we strive'2 the path of religion or we journey through the path of mysticism, it is for one object: that we may be best fitted to live the ideal of brotherhood. If a person was ,3such a great'3 mystic that he was the greatest Master, or if a person was so pious and religious that he was the greatest saint and yet'4 if he did'5 not live the idea'6 of brotherhood, ,7it was of not great importance whether17 spiritual realization is realized'8 in the'9 practical20 life by observing the idea21 of brotherhood. At this time when the world needs the idea21 of brotherhood more than 22at any other time22 in the history of the world, it is our privilege and destiny to do all we can to bring about the23 ideal of brotherhood24 in our own lives first and then25 to spread26 outside27 in the world. Any problem or28 theory or doctrine intellectually29 studied is of no value unless it is30 practised. Ten thousand people crying3' out "brotherhood" and one person living it, is32 equal or perhaps33'34 better. Brotherhood is not a materialistic ideal,35 it is a spiritual ideal. The materialist36 cannot understand 37what brotherhood is in its real sense of the word.37 For38 the39 reason is40 that the materialist36 can 41go as far as saying41 "another brother42 is as good as me43 and therefore my happiness is in sharing all the44 good with another". But the spiritual person says "another45 person is me. His happiness is my happiness46," and therefore this47 highest ideal of brotherhood which spiritual realization can teach, materialism cannot teach. Therefore 48inspite of all48 that this49 activity which is50 going on 5'in the world just now5' to bring about a world brotherhood52 is not53 being successful, because the life of brotherhood which is its very breath, is the realization of the same God in oneself as well as in another.54 The work of the spiritual man is to forget his false self, and 55what does he realize by forgetting?55 56He realizes the true self,57 the realization of God, and that self is not only in himself56 but in his neighbour also.

There is no doubt, every man more or less loves the ideal 6 of brotherhood. 58l do not say58 of a person who is not 59in his right mind,59 but a normal person, he60 cannot deny61 the idea16 of brotherhood being62 the only idea16 which can be called 63religion or spirituality.63 64But the question is in practising it. It is easy to know it intellectually,64 65but when it comes to practise66 it, it becomes67 very difficult. It needs sacrifice, it needs humbling68, it needs endurance, it needs patience, it needs forgiveness, it needs that brotherly sympathy for every soul who69 stands next to us, and65 it is the power of love alone which will raise man through the pettiness, 70smallness71 of human nature to rise to that 72high ideal of brotherhood which is72 the true aristocracy73 of the human soul.

Instead of the blank, Sk. afterwards filled In "purpose". As usual Sk. did not keep herself a copy of her reporting, which she sent to Hq. Evidently she did not remember that she had taken down the word "aristocracy" In her Ih.r. and she added "purpose" In copy.

74Now the question is that75 how can we set to work about it? We have only taken our first step in this direction, many steps more we have to take. The first step is that wherever our Movement is established, there we have one day or two days in a month when we have such meetings of World Brotherhood. In this meeting we have the lecture given by our own members or by our friends, a lecture on the problems of our every day life and its relation to spiritual ideal. Therefore this meeting platform gives scope to members and to friends who have some ideas to suggest for the well-fare of humanity, that they may bring their idea before their friends, and in this way by hearing the ideas of different friends and on these most important questions, we shall be able some day to make our thoughts more distinct as to the working of this idea and thus we shall be able to set forward our blessed Movement in order to accomplish our sacred ideal, the service of man and God.74


1. Sk.lh.r.: over It was added In Gd.hwr, "Summer 1923 (Rep. by S. Furnee)"; Sr.: "Sunday, July 15th 1923"
2. Sr.: "About" added
3. Hq.t.: "In the Line" Instead of "on the lines"
4. Sr.: "they" omitted
5. Ibid.: "their" Instead of "the"
6. Ibid.: "perfection" Instead of "realization"
7. Ibid.: "devotional and" Instead of "a devotional activity"
8. Ibid.: "the" added
9. Ibid.: "and" omitted
10. Ibid.: "a sectarian sense" Instead of "the sense of a sectarian activity"
11. Sr.: "the" Instead of "that"
12. Ibid.: "In" added
13. Ibid.: "so great a" Instead of "such a great"
14. Ibid.: ", still" Instead of "and yet"
15. Hq.t.: "does"
16. Sr.: "Ideal" instead of "Idea" or vice versa
17. Ibid.: "It would not avail much". Instead of "It was of not great Importance whether";
Hq.t.: "it Is not of great importance If"
18. Sr.: "Is attained" Instead of "Is realized"; Hq.t.: "Is not realized"
19. Sr.: "the" omitted
20. Hq.t.: "dally" Instead of "practical"
21. Sr., Hq.t.: "Ideal"
22. Sr.: "ever before" Instead of "at any other time"
23. Ibid.: "this" Instead of "the"
24. Ibid.: "of brotherhood" omitted
25. Ibid.: "thus" instead of "then"
26. Sr., Hq.t.: "it" added
27. Sr.: "outside" omitted
28. Hq.t.: "as"
29. Sr.: "intellectually" omitted
30. Ibid.: "be" Instead of "Is"
31. Ibid.: "calling" instead of "crying"
32. Hq.t.: "are"
33. Sr.: "even" Instead of "perhaps"
34. Hq.t.: "the one is" added
35. Sr.: "Ideal" omitted
36. Hq.t.: "materialistic" instead of "materialist"
37. Sr.: "brotherhood" Instead of "what brotherhood is In Its real sense of the word"
38. Hq.t.: "For" omitted
39. Sr.: "the" omitted
40. Ibid.: "is" omitted
41. Ibid.: "say" instead of "go as far as saying"
42. Hq.t.: "brother" omitted
43. Ibid.: "I" Instead of "me"
44. Sr.: "my" Instead of "the"
45. Ibid.: "that other" instead of "another"
46. Ibid.: "mine" Instead of "my happiness"
47. Sr., Hq.t.: "the" Instead of "this"
48. Sr.: "inspite of all" omitted
49. Hq.t.: "the" Instead of "this"
50. Sr.: "now" added
51. Ibid.: "In the world Just now" omitted
52. Hq.t.: "the attempt" added
53. Ibid.: "not" omitted
54. Sr-.: "the others" Instead of "another"
55. Ibid.: "what does he realize by forgetting?" omitted
56. Ibid.: "And so to realize the true self which is God, and this true self not only in him" instead of "He realizes the true self, the realization of God, and that self is not only In himself"
57. Hq.t.: "that Is" added
58. Sr.: "I don't say this is true" instead of "I do not say"; Hq.t.: "This Is not said"
59. Sr.: "sane" Instead of "In his right mind"
60. Sr., Hq.t.: "he" omitted
61. Sr.: "that" added
62. Ibid.: "is" instead of "being"
63. Ibid.: "religious or spiritual"
64. Ibid.: "The question is how to practise this ideal which Is easy to know" instead of "But the question Is In practising It. It Is easy to know It Intellectually"
65. Ibid.: "The difficulty Is that practice needs sacrifice, needs humility, needs endurance, needs patience, needs forgiveness, needs brotherly sympathy for every soul who stands near one"
66. Hq.t.: "practising"
67. Ibid.: "is" Instead of "becomes"
68. Ibid.: "oneself" added
69. Ibid.: "that" Instead of "who"
70. Hq.t.: "the" added
71. Sr.: "smallness" omitted
72. Ibid.: "this Ideal" Instead of "that high ideal of brotherhood which Is"
73. Ibid.: "answer" in his hwr. copy; a blank In his tp. copy;
74. Ibid.: this last paragraph Is not Included
75. Hq.t.: "that" omitted


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