The Spiritual Teacher
excerpts from the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan
Mysticism, The Path of Initiation and
Discipleship by Hazrat Inayat Khan
A real teacher is only an instrument of God. It is his presence, what he wishes for you that helps; not the words he speaks. When I asked my teacher what is the sign of a real guru he says, 'It is not his form, it is not his appearance, it is not what he says; it is his atmosphere, it is what his presence conveys to you, it is what his atmosphere tells you.'
from The Vision of God and Man by Hazrat Inayat Khan
from Sufi Mysticism by Hazrat Inayat Khan
"Sangatha III", by Hazrat Inayat Khan (privately circulated)
According to the Sufi point of view there is only one teacher, and that
teacher is God Himself. No man can teach another man. All one can do for another
is to give him one's own experience in order to help him to be successful. For
instance if a person happens to know a road, he can tell another man that it is
the road which leads to the place he wishes to find. The work of the spiritual
teacher is like the work of Cupid. The work of Cupid is to bring two souls
together. And so is the work of the spiritual teacher: to bring together the
soul and God. But what is taught to the one who seeks after truth? Nothing is
taught. He is only shown how he should learn from God. For no man can ever teach
spirituality. It is God alone who teaches it. And how is it learned? When these
ears which are open outwardly are closed to the outside world and focused upon
the heart within, then instead of hearing all that comes from the outer life one
begins to hear the words within. Thus if one were to define what meditation is,
that also is an attitude: the right attitude towards God.
from The Alchemy of Happiness by Hazrat Inayat Khan
If truth is to be attained, it is only when truth itself has begun to speak, which happens in revelation. Truth reveals itself; therefore, the Persian word for both God and truth is Khuda, which means self-revealing, thus uniting God with truth. One cannot explain either of these words. The only help the mystic can give is by indicating how to arrive at this revelation. No one can teach or learn this, one has to learn it oneself. The teacher is only there to guide one towards this revelation. There is only one teacher, and that teacher is God. The great masters of the world were the greatest pupils, and they each knew how to become a pupil.
from Sufi Mysticism by Hazrat Inayat Khan
The Sufi teacher never wants his pupil to become an occultist or a great psychic or a man with great power. This does not mean that he will not become powerful, but the responsibility of the teacher is to develop the personality of the mureed (student), that it may reflect God, that it may show God's qualities...
... Read the Beatitudes in the Bible; has Christ not taught the development of personality? Did he not teach the building of the character? Did he not show in his life the innocence which proves the angelic heritage of man? Did he say, 'Be ye occultists,' or 'Tell people their fortunes,' or 'Correct people of their errors'? Never. What Christ taught was, 'Make your personality as it ought to be, that you may no more be the slave of the nature which you have brought with you, nor of the character which you have made in your life; but that you may show in your life the divine personality, that you may fulfill on this earth the purpose for which you have come.' ”
[The Sufi teacher] does not give anything to or teach the pupil, the mureed, for he cannot give what the latter already has; he cannot teach what his soul has always known. What he does in the life of the mureed is to show him how he can clear his path towards the light within by his own self.
from Philosophy, Psychology, Mysticism by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Among the false teachers I first met the hypocrite, who increases the number of his adherents by telling most wonderful stories and showing them tricks of phenomena. The second apostate was pious, disguising his infirmities and failings under the cloak of morality and always busy with worship and prayer. The third was the money-taking master, who eagerly seized upon every opportunity of emptying the pockets of his pupils. The fourth was he who was greedy for the adoration, worship and servility of his followers.
This experience of different Murshids prepared me for the ideal master.
from The Vision of God and Man, Confessions by Hazrat Inayat Khan
At one time I wanted to take a
friend to meet my murshid. This friend was a very material man, restless
and pessimistic and doubting and skeptical. And everyday I urged him to
come with me and meet my murshid. 'But,' he asked, 'what can he do for
me?' I said, 'You can ask him something.' He said, 'I have twenty
thousand questions to ask, when could he answer them?' I said, 'You can
ask one or two of the twenty thousand, that is already something.'
'Well,' he said, ' one day I will see.' And indeed sometime later he
came along, but the moment he reached my murshid's presence he forgot
every single question and did not know what to ask. He was sitting
spellbound and breathing the atmosphere of the master's presence; he had
no desire to ask a question. And after the interview, when we were
leaving the house of my murshid, he again began to feel inclined to ask
twenty thousand questions, this time of me, and when I asked him why he
had forgotten them there, he only answered, 'I cannot understand why.'
from "The Vision of the Mystic" by Hazrat Inayat Khan
from "Friendship" by Hazrat Inayat Khan
from "Reason" by Hazrat Inayat Khan
What is the relation of the mureed to Murshid, and of Murshid to the
mureed? And my answer to this is, do not think of any hierarchical
relation with Murshid: only think of what relation your own heart and
your own intuition tell you. If you think of Murshid as your brother, it
is true; if you think of Murshid as your friend, it is true also; if you
think of Murshid as your spiritual teacher, it is true; and if you think
of Murshid as your servant, it is also true. Besides this, there is no
place for any other discussion. Your Murshid is a human being, and as
such he is liable to shortcomings. You may give him your confidence and
trust, and know him as a human being. Murshid's murshid used to say,
"There are many friendships in this world, but the friendship between
murshid and mureed is in the path of God, in the path of Light and
Truth." Therefore every earthly relation may have a chance to break, but
the relation between murshid and mureed is not for the life on earth
only. It is this belief which keeps their souls together, helping each
other along the spiritual path.
from "Classes for Mureeds, I", by Hazrat Inayat Khan (privately circulated)