Topic February

The Awakening of the Soul - 3

from: Hazrat Inayat Khan -

Sufi Teachings

(see also counsellor)

You can listen to all themes here

Before the word is spoken the expression of our face says it; before the thought has formed, the feeling speaks of it. And this shows that a feeling forms a thought, a thought that manifests as speech; and even before a feeling manifests it can be caught when we are able to communicate with the soul. This is what may be called communication: to communicate with the innermost being of a person. But who can communicate thus?

The one who knows how to communicate with himself, the one who, in other words, is awakened. The personality of an awakened soul becomes different from every other personality. It becomes more magnetic, for it is the living person who has magnetism; a corpse has no magnetism. It is the living who bring joy, and therefore it is the awakened soul who is joyous.

And never for one moment think, as many do, that an awakened person means a sorrowful, dried up, long-faced person. Spirit is joy, spirit is life; and when that spirit has awakened, all the joy and pleasure that exists are there. As the sun takes away all darkness, so spiritual light removes all worries, anxieties, and doubts. If a spiritual awakening were not so precious, then what would be the use of seeking it in life? A treasure that nobody can take away from us, a light that will always shine and will never be extinguished, that is spiritual awakening, and it is the fulfillment of life's purpose. Certainly, the things a person once valued and considered important become less important; they lose their value, and those which are beautiful lose their color.

It is just like seeing the stage in daylight: all the palaces and other scenery on the stage suddenly mean nothing. But it puts an end to the slavery to which everyone is subjected, for the awakened human being becomes master of the things of this world; he need not give them up. Optimism develops naturally, but an optimism with open eyes; power increases naturally, the power of accomplishing things, and he will go on with something until it is accomplished, however small it may be.

It is very difficult to judge an awakened soul, as they say in the East, for there is nothing outwardly to prove its condition. The best way of seeing an awakened soul is to wake up ourselves, but no one in the world can pretend to be awake when he is still asleep, just as a little child by putting a moustache on its face cannot prove itself to be grown-up. All other pretenses we can make, but not the one of being an awakened soul, for it is a living light. Truth is born in the awakening of the soul; and truth is not taught, truth is discovered. The knowledge of truth cannot be compared with the knowledge of forms or ideas; truth is beyond forms and ideas. What is it? It is itself and it is our self.

Very often people make an effort, though in vain, to awaken a friend or a near relation whom they love. But in the first place we do not know if that person is more awakened than we ourselves; we may be trying for nothing. And the other point is, it is possible that a person who is asleep needs that sleep. Waking him in that case would be a sin instead of a virtue. We are only allowed to give our hand to the one who is turning over in his sleep, who desires to wake up; only then a hand is given.

It is this giving of the hand which is called initiation. No doubt a teacher who is acquainted with this path may give a hand outwardly to the one who wishes to journey, but inwardly there is the Teacher who has always given and always gives a hand to awakening souls, the same hand which has received the sages and masters of all time into a higher initiation. Verily, the seeker will find sooner or later, if only he keeps steadily on the path until he arrives at his destination.

Waken me, Lord, through Thy Warner,

while I am asleep in the arms of error.


Nirtan - Alankaras

(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)

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