This is a book on love, integrating the human aspects of it with its divine essence. Spiritual liberty is a prerequisite for this integration. It refers to a state where one is no longer dependent on outer circumstances and on the fancies of one's mind.
Therefore, it is also a book on the spiritual path which leads man from imperfection to perfection, from self- consciousness to ever-flowing sympathy. It is the path of the unfoldment of the soul. The soul is the lightning spark of the Divine Sun within us. It is the most original part of our being, which will be the only part lasting forever, ultimately unified in its divine origin. Thus it is a book on birth and death also, on life here and in the hereafter, on reincarnation and spiritism.
All these items are treated from both the philosophical and the psychological- points of view, and integrated by the mystical perspective
The present volume is the first of a series including all the works intended for publication of Hazrat Inayat Khan (Baroda 1882-New Delhi 1927), the great Sufi mystic who came to the Western world in 1910 and lectured and taught there until his passing away in 1927,
A new edition of this series, which was published for the International
Headquarters of the Sufi Movement in the West in the '60s, is now made available in the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. In this way Hazrat Inayat Khan's inspired and universal vision of the Sufi Message returns to his own beloved country, where it originated and where interest in it is growing.
This book and other volumes of this series have not been written down by the author. They contain his lectures, discourses and other teachings as taken down in shorthand and other handwriting. When preparing for publication great care was taken, not only to avoid distortion of their intent and meaning, but also in leave intact, as far as possible, the flow of mystical inspiration and poetical expression which add so much to their spell, and without which a significant part of his message would be lost. Although speaking in a tongue foreign to him, he moulded it into a perfect vehicle for his thought, at times somewhat ungrammatical and unusual, but always as clear and precise as his often difficult and abstruse subjects would allow.
It goes without saying that neither in the present nor in the previous edition anything has been altered which would involve even the slightest deviation from the author's intention and no attempt has been made to transform his highly personal and colorful language into idiomatically unimpeachable English. Already so much is necessarily lost by the transfer of the spoken word to the printed page that every effort has been made, as it should, to preserve the Master's melodious phrasing, the radiance of his personality, and the subtle sense of humour which never left him.
Hazrat Inayat Khan's teaching was nearly all given during the years 1918- 1926. It covers a great many subjects, several of which were
grouped in series of lectures and taken up again some years later. Certain subjects may cover nearly the same ground as others; stories and examples which abound in most of his works are met again elsewhere; and much of what he taught one finds repeated in several places. This was intentional, as repetition belonged to Hazrat Inayat Khan's method of teaching; it is for the student to become aware of the subtle differences in each context. For these and other reasons it would be difficult to follow a rigid system in publishing Hazrat Inayat Khan's works; a chronological grouping of his lectures would he very unsatisfactory, and a stringent classification according to subject-matter hardly feasible.
The complete series contains fourteen volumes. The last volume is the Index. This edition is the first one to present an index to the Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Each volume is complete in it, and therefore may be read without any necessity to study following or previous ones. However, one may get a spiritual and mental appetite to continue reading. One will find that a meditative way of reading will convey not only the words but also the spiritual power emanating from them, tuning mind, heart and soul to the pitch which is one's own.
"Beloved ones of God, you may belong to any race, caste, creed, or nation; still you are impartially beloved by God" (p. 11). This book is on our divine heritage, the light of the soul, a spark of the Divine Light. The soul longs for freedom. Therefore Hazrat Inayat Khan has termed the Sufi Message the message of spiritual liberty. This refers to the state where one is no longer dependent on outer circumstances and on the fancies of one's mind for inner peace and happiness. Liberty is reached through discipline. Discipline is gained through love and sympathy for both the goal and the way.
This book presents a number of texts on this subject matter. In 1910 Hazrar Inayat Khan set forth from his native India to the West, where he was to bring his Sufi message. In the first four years he travelled extensively in the United States and Europe, and at the outbreak of the First World War he settled down temporarily in London, where he gathered around him a group of pupils to whom he started to teach the fundamentals of Sufi thoughts and ideas. A part of those teachings which were suited for wider distribution were collected in the books contained in this volume, the fifth of the series now in course of publication
A Sufi Message for spiritual Liberty is the first of these. It appeared in 1914, in 1918 followed by Aqibat, Life after Death. The other books of this Volume, Love Human and Divine, Pearls form Ocean Unseen, and The Phenomenon of the soul were published in 1919. Metaphysics is also an early set of teaching; its first publication however, was deferred to until 1939
The part on Spiritual Liberty is a wonderfully concise presentation of the Sufi way, with a stress on enlightened philosophy, which in Pearls is Supplemented by the psychological side of it, all permeated by the inspired mysticism of the Murshid.
Aqibat and The Phenomenon cover the item of death and life hereafter in chapters like Death. The day of Judgment, Heaven and hell Manifestation, The world of the angels, Heredity and Reincarnation.
Besides, it touches spiritism in obsession, Haunted places, and Spiritualism. Metaphysics supplements this part of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s philosophy by offering views on the relationship with our life on earth, and the soul’s relation to one’s body and mind ending with a wonderful chapter on the radiance of the soul.
Love Human and Divine teach the essential morals of love, not in terms of do’s and don’ts, but of the wonderful essence of it: to forget the self absorbed as one is in the beauty of the self. It is illustrated by some ancient stories on the subject.
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