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Sayings of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

(Illuminated words)

The spiritual guide performs the role of Cupid in bringing the seeking souls closer to God.

The Sufi's tendency is to look at everything from two points of view: from his own and that of another.

The true religion, to the Sufi, is the sea of truth, and all different faiths are as its waves.

The pure truth not every man can see; if he can, he needs no more teaching.

The Creator is hidden in his own creation. Natural religion is the religion of beauty.

The same light which is fire on earth and the sun in the sky, is God in heaven.

All surrender to beauty willingly and to power unwillingly.

The creation is not only the nature of God, but also His art.

Vanity is the impetus hidden behind every impulse, that brings out both the worst and the best in man.

Time and space are but the length and breadth of the infinite.

It is presumption on the part of man when he demands in words an explanation of God.

Among a million believers in God, there is scarcely one who makes God a reality.

The God-ideal is the flower of creation, and the realization of truth is its fragrance.

A true worshipper of God sees His person in all forms, and in respecting man he respects God.

The hidden desire of the Creator is the secret of the whole creation.

Vanity is the sum total of every activity in the world.

Beauty is the object which every soul pursues.

Beauty is the life of the artist, the theme of the poet, the soul of the musician.

A charming personality is as precious as gold and as delicious as perfume.

A dancing soul shows its graceful movements in all its activities.

A charming personality is like a magnificent piece of art with life added.

Life is the principal thing to consider, and true life is the inner life, the realization of God.

The soul of Christ is the life of the universe.

The mother was the stepping-stone of Jesus to Christhood.

God speaks to the prophet in His divine tongue, and the prophet interprets it in the language of man.

The evidence of prophecy is the personality of the prophet.

The true sword of Muhammad was the charm of his personality.

As the whole of nature is made by God, so the nature of each individual is made by himself.

When the personality of an artist is absorbed in his art, it becomes art itself.

Vanity is a mask over the hidden object that attracts every soul.

Vanity is the crown of beauty, and modesty is its throne.

Without modesty beauty is dead, for modesty is the spirit of beauty.

All beauty is veiled by nature, and the greater the beauty the more it is covered.

The beauty which modesty covers, art gently uncovers; while respecting the human tendency, it unveils the beauty which human conventions hide.

Modesty is the veil over the face of the great, for God Himself is most modest, who is seen by none except those intimate with Him.

God lives in nature and is buried alive under the artificial forms which stand as His tomb, covering Him.

Nature is the very being of man; therefore, he feels at one with nature.

In the country you see the glory of God; in the city you glorify His name.

True art does not take man away from nature; on the contrary, it brings him closer to her.

A good reputation is as fragile as a delicate glass.

A good reputation is a trust given to a man by other people, so it becomes his sacred duty to maintain it.

Either take good care of your reputation, or do not care for it at all.

The man who has no reputation of his own has no regard for the reputation of another.

A man without a character is as a flower without perfume.

In the sense of honor there is a divine spark hidden.

Love is the net in which hearts are caught like fish.

While everybody asks, "Why?" of his neighbor, the mystic asks this question of himself.

The man of wealth is often merely the doorkeeper of his treasure house.

Every person inherits from his ancestors not only his body, but his mind also.

The wretched always look for some excuse to be miserable.

Man is pulled from four sides in life: by nature, circumstances, law, and the ideal.

The child born on earth is an exile from heaven.

You must never joke with a fool; if you throw a flower at him, he will throw back a stone.

No tie can bind you if your heart is free.

The stilling of the heart is the true alchemy which turn mercury into silver.

In all directions of progress the ideal is the compass that shows the way.

Great personalities are few in the world, and fewer still those who know them.

No person living on earth can come up to your ideal, except some hero of a story of the past.

The one whom you expect to be your ideal will prove to be your ideal some day when he has gone past.

The true ego is born of the ashes of the false.

If by accident you step into the mud, it is not therefore necessary to keep on walking in the muddy path.

Matter is a state of spirit.

A living word is life itself.

The words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels.

The whole world's treasure is too small a price to pay for one word that kindles the soul.

Sympathy breaks the congestion of the heart.

A real success is proved by its durability.

An action is a reaction of thought.

Reason is the master of the unbeliever and the servant of the believer.

When a desire becomes a steady thought, its success is assured.

No sacrifice is ever too great to be offered in the cause of liberty.

Of what use is your sense, O' sensible one, if it causes you to mourn over the opportunity you have lost?

Stand through life firm as a rock in the sea, undisturbed and unmoved by its ever-rising waves.

If you fail yourself, everybody will fail you.

Love climbs the mountain of life step by step.

The discovering of error is the uncovering of the light.

The truth, sincerely spoken, must certainly calm the heart of the listener.

A fruitless life is a useless life.

Gold is that which proves to be real to the end of the test.

To make God intelligible you must make a God of your own.

Truth alone can succeed; falsehood is a waste of time and a loss of energy.

What begins with deception continues and ends in deception.

The wise say in one word what the foolish cannot explain in a thousand words.

Spiritual attainment is the true purpose of every soul.

The more people you can get on with, the wiser you prove to be.

If you wish for relief in life, rise above complexity and conventionality.

It does not matter what you have lost, so long as you have not lost your soul.

One single moment of a sincere life is worth more than a thousand years of a life of falsehood.

Burning words rise from a flaming heart.

His own attitude becomes an obstacle on the path of the pessimist.

Lack of patience starves virtue to death.

Success gives an appearance of reality even to false things.

The seeming death is the real birth of the soul.

Worrying about the faults of others is an unnecessary addition to the worry we have over our own faults.

He who is the master of his own domain is the ruler of life.

To repress desire is to suppress a divine impulse.

The "Yes" or "No" of a reserved person has more weight and influence than a hundred words of a talkative person.

A truth that disturbs peace and harmony is worse than a lie.

No one can sustain disharmony in life, though many ignorantly maintain it.

It takes a thousand lies to prove one false statement true; but in spite of all, the lie will prove false in the end.

That person becomes a conqueror of life who learns to control his tongue, both as to what it should say and what it should not say.

When it is difficult for the wise to judge the action of the worst sinner, who but a fool would be ready to judge a holy man?

Preaching needs art; speaking only is not sufficient; there are many who can speak the truth as a smith would hammer on the anvil.

Initiation is taking a step forward in a direction which one does not know.

Means sufficient for the simple needs of everyday life are a greater boon than the riches that add to life's struggle.

The first step in intuition is to understand the symbolical meaning of different things, and the next is to express them symbolically.

It is not a particular religion that can produce spirituality in man; spirituality depends upon the tuning of the soul.

For everything there is a time, so there comes a time for the unfoldment of the soul; but the period of that development depends upon the speed of the progress man makes through life.

In order to arrive at his ideal, man must first realize his follies, and next, try to become better, believing that he can change.

All things in their beginning must be guarded from the sweeping winds of destruction, as the young plant must first be nurtured in a glasshouse.

When it is difficult even for the worldly man to live in this world, how much more difficult must it be for the spiritual one!

The ignorant believer, by his claim of belief, causes a revolt in an intelligent person, thereby turning him into an unbeliever.

A selfish person cannot imagine anyone being unselfish; therefore, he always suspects the unselfish one of falsehood.

Truth is the light which illuminates the whole of life; in its light all things become clear, and their true nature manifests to view.

As water is the cleansing and purifying element in the physical world, so love performs the same service on the higher planes.

It is very difficult to evolve oneself and at the same time keep in tune with the unevolved; it is like being drawn from above and pulled from below.

God's majesty is seen in nature, but even the greatest grandeur of human life reveals Him only in miniature.

The way of the Sufi is to experience life and yet to remain above it; to live in the world and not let the world own him.

Man as a human being is capable of loving one, but his soul as the light of God is capable of loving not only the world, but even a thousand worlds; for the heart of man is larger than the whole universe.

When man has to choose between his spiritual and his material profit, then he shows whether his treasure is on earth or in heaven.

Life is an opportunity, not only of accomplishing one's desires, but of fulfilling even the deepest yearning of the soul.

Nobility of character is as inborn a quality in man as is the fragrance in the flower; it cannot be learned or taught.

It takes but a moment to drop down from heaven to earth; but for rising from earth to heaven, even a long lifetime may be insufficient.

True happiness is in the love-stream that springs from one's soul, and the man who will allow this stream to flow continually, in all conditions of life, in all situations, however difficult, will have a happiness that truly belongs to him.

A good person proud of his goodness turns his pearls into pebbles; an evil person full of remorse may make jewels of common stones.

One word of the truly inspired answers a hundred questions and avoids a thousand unnecessary words of explanation.

If you live in the vision of the past, dream on, do not open your eyes to the present. If you live in the eternal, do not worry about the morrow. But if you live for the time to come, do all you can to prepare for the future.

The bare truth alone is not sufficient; truth must be made into wisdom. And what is wisdom? Wisdom is the robe of truth.

If you walk on the path of light and yet seek the darkness, it is like being pulled by the two poles of the earth; you are torn between them, and can go in neither direction.

Love in its fullness is an inexpressible power which speaks louder than words; there is nothing that man is too weak to do when it gushes forth from his heart.

Joy and sorrow are each part of the other. If it were not for joy, sorrow would not exist; and if it were not for sorrow, joy would not be experienced.

Man wonders about his past and future; how wonderful would life become to him if he only realized the present!

Every moment of life is an opportunity, and the greatest opportunity is to know the value of opportunity.

It is the spirit of discipleship that opens the vision; its attainment is most necessary in one's journey along the spiritual path.

When it is so very difficult to prove truth to be true, how much more difficult must it be to prove true what is false!

Purgatory is that state which mind experiences between the birth of thought and its materialization.

It is the darkness in our own heart which, falling as a shadow on the heart of another, becomes doubt in him.

Truth conceived by the mature soul is expressed as wisdom.

Selflessness is pleasing not only to man but to God.

It is better to refuse than to accept anything unwillingly.

No love-offering can be more precious than a word or act of respect, for the highest expression of love is respect.

You must find your ideal in yourself; no ideal in life will prove lasting and true except the one you yourself make.

All that lives is spirit, and all that dies is matter.

Believe in your own ideal first if you wish others to believe in it; unless you respect your ideal yourself, others will not respect it.

Power most often costs more than it is worth; the man who attains power, not knowing its proper use, loses it in the end, for all that is held by power will some day revolt.

Man proves himself to be great or small according to the importance he attaches in life to the greater or smaller things.

Goodness and wickedness both exist in human nature at the same time; only when one is manifest the other is hidden, like the lining inside the coat.

Through matter the soul attains to its highest realization; therefore, the physical body is a necessity for the fulfillment of its purpose.

There is no end to reproaches; not only those at a distance or those near to one, but even the members of one's body will some day reproach one for not having received proper care and full attention.

There are many ideas which intoxicate man; many feelings act upon the soul as wine, but there is no stronger wine than selflessness.

The absence of generosity means that the doors of the heart are closed; nothing from within can come out, and nothing from without can enter in.

There is nothing on earth or in heaven which is not within the reach of man. When God is within his reach, what can be beyond it?

The seeking of every soul in this world is different, distinct, and peculiar to himself; and each can best attain the object of his search in God.

Man's individuality is proved by his wisdom and distinguished by comparison; God, being perfect, is unintelligible to man.

The expression of sentiment is an outlet for the energy of the heart, which if conserved would be a power in itself.

If a desire is not fulfilled it means that the person did not know how to desire; failure is caused by indistinctness of motive.

The personality of the prophet is the divine net in which God captures the souls drifting in the world.

A clever person with a biting tongue is like a serpent with its poisonous fang; his sarcastic remark is more hurtful than a scorpion's sting.

Let not your reputation fall into the monkeys' hands; they will look at it curiously, will mock at it, laugh at it and snatch it from each other; in the end they will tear it to pieces.

Do not entrust the devil with your secret; if you do, then he who is meant to be your slave will become your master.

Self-confidence is the true meaning of faith, and in faith is the secret of the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of every desire.

With trust in God, with good will, self-confidence, and a hopeful attitude towards life, man will always win his battle, however difficult.

Silence in modesty speaks louder than bold words. The cracker cries aloud, "I am the light," and is extinguished in a moment; the diamond, shining constantly, never says a word about its light.

It is not by the servility of those around him that the king is exalted; it is in the honor in which they hold him that his kingship exists.

All things existing have their opposite, except God; it is for this reason that God cannot be made intelligible.

We each create our own God, but only His form we imagine, not His life, thus making many gods out of the one single Being.

God alone exists, whether thought of as one God or as many gods, for all numbers are simply an extension of one.

When the human heart becomes conscious of God, it becomes like the sea: it extends its waves to friend and foe.

True spirituality is not a fixed faith or belief; it is the ennobling of the soul by rising above the barriers of material life.

Truth is purifying, it is most lovable and peace-giving; but what is truth? Truth is that which cannot be spoken.