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Sayings of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

(Rhythmic expressions of ideas)

Silence serves as a lock on the lips of the excitable; as a barrier between two hearts severed from one another; as a shield for the wise amidst fools; as a veil over the face of the unlettered before the well-versed.

Some are masters of success and some its slaves: the one who walks through life regardless of success, him it pursues; he who pursues success, him it eludes.

Love from above is forgiveness; from below, devotion.

One who returns more good for less good, is a good man; one who returns less good for more good, is selfish; one who tries to be even in the exchange of good, is a practical person; but the one who returns good for evil is a saint.

One who returns less evil for more evil, is ordinary; one who tries to be even in returning evil, is wicked; one who returns more evil for less evil is a devil; but the one who returns evil for good, for him there is no name.

He who guards himself against being fooled by another is clever; he who does not allow another to fool him is wise; he who is fooled by another is a simpleton; but he who knowingly allows himself to be fooled shows the character of the saint.

If you wish people to obey you, you must learn to obey yourself; if you wish people to believe you, you must learn to believe yourself; if you wish people to respect you, you must learn to respect yourself; if you wish people to trust you, you must learn to trust yourself.

Man proves to be genuine by his sincerity; to be noble by his charity of heart; to be wise by his tolerance; to be great by his endurance throughout the continually jarring influences of life.

He is brave who courageously experiences all things; he is a coward who is afraid to take a step in a new direction; he is foolish who swims with the tides of fancy and pleasure; he is wise who experiences all things, yet keeps on the path that leads him to his destination.

The warder of the prison is in a worse position than the prisoner himself; while the body of the prisoner is in captivity, he mind of the warder is in prison.

Life is a fair trade wherein all adjusts itself in time. For all you take from it, you must pay the price sooner or later. For some things you may pay in advance; for some you should pay on delivery; and for some later on, when the bill is presented.

Master is he who masters himself; teacher is he who teaches himself; governor is he who governs himself; and ruler is he who rules himself.

He who is afraid of vice is subject to vice; he who is addicted to vice is its captive; he who acquaints himself with vice is the pupil of vice; he who learns his lesson from vice, who passes through it and rises above it, is master and conqueror.

The simpleton eats more than he can assimilate, collects a greater load than he can carry, cuts the branch of the tree upon which he is sitting, and spreads thorns in his own path.

He who says, I cannot tolerate," shows his smallness; he who says, "I cannot endure," shows his weakness; he who says, "I cannot associate," shows his limitation; he who says, "I cannot forgive," shows his imperfection.

He who has failed himself has failed all; he who has conquered himself has conquered all.

Happy is he who does good to others, and miserable is he who expects good from others.

Love that is progressive is like the sweet water of the running river, but love that does not progress is like the salt water of the sea.

There are two kinds of seekers after God: those who make Him and those who mar Him.

Every thought, speech and action that is natural, sound and loving, is virtue; that which lacks these qualities is sin.

It is foolish to be deceived by others; it is wise to see all things, to understand all things, and yet to turn the eyes from all that should be overlooked.

It is man who causes his own death; his soul is meant to live forever.

Life is captivity, from which death is the release.

Belief in God is the fuel, love of God is the glow, and the realization of God is the flame of divine Light.

The first birth is the birth of man; the second birth is the birth of God.

What Brahma creates in years, Vishnu enjoys in a day and Shiva destroys in a moment.

Success leads to success, and failure follows failure.

It is easy to tie a knot of attachment, but it is difficult when you wish to unravel it.

Good praises good, but evil fights evil.

Fighting with another makes war, but struggling with one's self brings peace.

Snakes breed under the throne and scorpions multiply under the crown.

If you are subtle and intelligent, that is natural; but if you are simple and wise, that is a mystery.

We must forget the past, control the present, and prepare the future.

Mountains can be broken through, the ocean can be crossed, a way may be made through the air; but you cannot find a way to work with a person who is hardened in character, deep-set in his ideas, and fixed in his outlook on life.

What science cannot declare, art can suggest; what art suggests silently, poetry speaks aloud; but what poetry fails to explain in words, music can express.

He who does not miss the opportunity of doing some good is good; and he who seizes upon such an opportunity when it occurs, is better still; but he who always looks out for an opportunity for doing good, is blessed among men.

He who appeals to the human intellect will knock at the gate of the human brain: he is a speaker. He who appeals to the human emotions will enter into the hearts of men: he is a preacher. But he who penetrates the spirit of his hearers is a prophet, who will abide in their souls forever.

Passion is the smoke, and emotion is the glow of love's fire; selflessness is the flame that illuminates the path.

He who has spent has used; he who has collected has lost; but he who has given has saved his treasure forever.

He who knows not the truth is a child; he who is seeking truth is a youth; but he who has found truth is an old soul.

Be contented with what you possess in life; be thankful for what does not belong to you, for it is so much less care; but try to obtain what you need, and make the best of every moment of your life.

The rock can be cut and polished; hard metal can be melted and molded; but the mind of the foolish person is most difficult to work with.

From the body of love comes reciprocity; from the heart of love comes beneficence; but from the soul of love is born renunciation.

Make your heart as soft as wax to sympathize with others; but make it hard as rock to bear the blows that fall upon it from without.

The path of freedom leads to the goal of captivity; it is the path of discipline which leads to the goal of liberty.

The present is the reflection of the past, and the future is the re-echo of the present.

Strength increases strength, and weakness brings greater weakness.

Translation is the reincarnation, and interpretation is the transmigration of the idea.

He concerns himself in vain who thinks, "Why are not others what they ought to be?" But he who concerns himself with that he is not what he ought to be, is right.

He who fights his nature for his ideal is a saint; he who subjects his ideal to his realization of truth is the master.

To an angelic soul love means glorification; to a jinn soul love means admiration; to a human soul love means affection; to an animal soul love means passion.

He is living whose sympathy is awake, and he is dead whose heart is asleep.

What you create blindly your intelligence destroys, and what your reason creates is destroyed by your ignorance.

Man is his own example; if he be false, all is false to him, and if he be true, all is true to him.