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Volume II - The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word


In this volume, the second of The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan, an attempt has been made to group together most of the Sufi mystic's teaching concerning sound and music – sound as the basis of creation and music as an essential means towards spiritual development.

Having been a musician of renown before he gave up his art in order to dedicate himself entirely to the Sufi Message with which he was entrusted, Inayat Khan readily followed the practice of the ancient Sufis in expressing esoteric truths in terms of sound and music. He once described this as follows:

'I gave up my music because I had received from it all that I had to receive. To serve God one must sacrifice what is dearest to one; and so I sacrificed my music. I had composed songs; I sang and played the vina; and practicing this music I arrived at a stage where I touched the Music of the Spheres. Then every soul became for me a musical note, and all life became music. Inspired by it I spoke to the people, and those who were attracted by my words listened to them, instead of listening to my songs. Now, if I do anything, it is to tune souls instead of instruments; to harmonize people instead of notes. If there is anything in my philosophy, it is the law of harmony: that one must put oneself in harmony with oneself and with others. I have found in every word a certain musical value, a melody in every thought, harmony in every feeling; and I have tried to interpret the same thing, with clear and simple words, to those who used to listen to my music. I played the vina until my heart turned into this very instrument; then I offered this instrument to the divine Musician, the only musician existing. Since then I have become His flute; and when He chooses, He plays His music. The people give me credit for this music, which in reality is not due to me but to the Musician who plays on His own instrument.'

Of the four books included in this volume The Mysticism of Sound was first published in 1923 and Cosmic Language in 1937. They consist of lectures given by Hazrat Inayat Khan to his pupils. Music is the title of a hitherto unpublished series of lectures of 1921, to which have been added some other papers on the same subject. Under the heading The Power of the Word have been grouped several public lectures bearing that title, together with two other important lectures: 'The Word that was Lost' and 'Cosmic Language', the former of which was published in the quarterly Sufism of September 1923.


checked 22-Oct-2005