Topic March

The Palace of Mirrors

from: Hazrat Inayat Khan -

Healing and the Mind World

(see also counsellor)

You can listen to all themes here

The mind-world in terms of the Sufi poets is called Aina Khana, which means the Palace of Mirrors. We know very little of the phenomena that this Palace of Mirrors has in it. Not only among human beings, but also in the lower creation we find the phenomena of reflection.

In the first place, we wonder how the small germs and worms, little insects who live on other small lives, reach their food and attract their food. In fact, their mind becomes reflected upon the little lives, which then become their food.

The scientist says that animals have no mind. It is true up to a certain point. They have no mind, not what the scientist calls mind, according to his terminology; but according to the old knowledge, the same intelligence which is in a human being is to be found to a lesser degree in the lower creatures. They have a mind, but not such a clear one; and therefore, comparatively speaking, we might say it is the same thing as having no mind. But at the same time, for the mystic, who calls the mind a mirror, it may not be so clear, yet it is a mirror.

Friendship, hostility, the fights which take place among birds and animals, their becoming mates, all this takes place not as thought or imagination, but as reflection from one mirror to the other. What does it show? It shows that the language of the lower creation is more natural than the language human beings have made, and he has gone far away from that natural intuitive way of expression.

You may ask any rider about the joy of riding, which he considers greater and better than any other form of sport or enjoyment. He may not be able to give the reason for it, but the reason is this phenomenon of reflection - when the reflection of his thought has fallen upon the mind of the horse, when the two minds are focused on each other and the horse knows where the rider wishes to go; the more sympathy there is between the rider and the horse, the greater joy we experience in riding.

After riding on horseback, instead of feeling tired we feel exalted; the joy is greater than the tiredness. And the greater communication there is between the mind of the horse and the rider, the greater the joy the rider derives from it, and so does the horse. The horse begins to feel sympathy with his rider in time.

A story is told of an Arab rider who fell on the battlefield. There was no one near to take care of his dead body, and his horse stood there for three days in the scorching sun without eating, till people came and found the dead body. The horse was guarding its master's body from vultures. There is a story of a dog that howled for three days after the death of its mate, and died at the end of the third day. That is the reflection by which they communicate with one another.

There is the story of Daniel, who entered the den of lions, and the lions were tamed instantly. Did he will them to be so? No. It was the calm and peace of heart of Daniel reflected upon the lions that made them quiet like him. His own peace became their peace; they became peaceful. One might ask if after Daniel had left the lions’ den, they remained the same. It is open to doubt, though this does not mean that something was not left there; but the predisposition of the lions remained, and no sooner was Daniel out of the den than the lions woke to lionhood again.

Very often birds and animals give warnings of death in the family. We might think that they know from somewhere, or that they have a mind that thinks about it. The condition is reflected upon them. The condition of the person who is dying, the thought of those who are around him, the condition of the cosmos at that time, the whole environment, everything there is reflected on their mind. And they know, they begin to express their feeling, and they become a warning of the coming death.

Do animals project their thought and feeling upon the human being? Can a human being reflect the feeling of an animal? Yes, sometimes human beings who are in sympathy with a pet animal feel its pain, without any other reason. The animal cannot explain its pain, but they feel how the animal is suffering. Besides, the most curious thing is that on farms we can see shepherds, reflecting the feelings of the animals; they make noises, sing, or dance in a way that resembles animals’ sounds and movements, and show in many ways the traits of animals.

It was not a fantasy when people said that the saints in ancient times used to speak with animals and birds; it was the truth. Only, they did not speak with them in language such as we use in our everyday life; they spoke in that natural language in which all souls communicate with one another.

The will-power develops by focusing our thought on a certain object of our concentration; and therefore we can develop that particular thing better than any other thing by our willpower. For instance, those who play brass instruments in an orchestra naturally develop the power of blowing instruments, and they will also be able to play the wood instruments, clarinet or flute; but at the same time if they have practiced the horn, they can play the horn yet better than the flute; because, although there is blowing in both, they are accustomed to that special instrument.

So with concentration. For instance, if a snake-charmer with all his power of attracting snakes went near the bank and wanted to attract a purse, he could not very well do it. He can attract snakes, but he cannot attract a purse. At the same time, once the will-power is developed in any direction, it will prove to be useful in all things we do.

There is so much that we could learn in little things, which can reveal to us the greatest secret of life, if only our eyes were open and if we were eager to observe the phenomena.

 It is more difficult

to tame a human being than a lion.


Hazrat Inayat Khan: Vadan - Boulas

(Maheboob Khan, Hazrat Inayat Khan‘s brother, has composed music to a row of aphorisms of Hazrat Inayat Khan in the middle of last century, as this ‚Every Step in Thy Path‘. Mohammed Ali Khan, Hazrat Inayat Khan’s cousin, has sung this song around the year 1956 in a concert in Zürich – here you can listen to it)

Gayan as E-book - click here

Vadan as E-book - click here

Nirtan as E-book - click here

(these E-book are free of all charge - use their treasures well!)