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Sayings of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

(An illuminated word)

God and the devil are the two extreme poles of the ego. One represents perfection, the other limitation.

The moment man realizes when to speak, and when to keep silence, he takes his first step in the path of wisdom.

Living in the world without insight into the hidden laws of nature, is like not knowing the language of the country in which one was born.

A continual pursuit after the impossible is the chronic disease of man.

Seeking after that which is beyond one's reach is the oil which feeds the flame of hope.

The surface of the human intelligence is the intellect; when it is turned outside in, it becomes the source of all revelation.

Nothing is impossible; all is possible. Impossibility is only a boundary of limitation which stands around the human mind.

Facts lose their color in the face of truth, as stars pale before the sun. It is not difficult at all to please the saint; he can most easily be pleased. The difficulty is in pleasing the other, who is the opposite of the saint.

So few in this world discriminate properly between their want and their need.

A responsible person is worth more than a thousand men who labor.

It is true that the light of wisdom must continually be kept alight, but it is difficult always to act rightly.

Either you must pass from all things that interest you in this life, or else they will pass you; for the nature of this unstable life is changing.

Through every condition, agreeable or disagreeable, the soul makes its way towards the goal.

The lover who leans upon the beloved's response, his love is like the flame that needs oil to live; but the lover who stands on his own feet, is like the lantern of the sun that burns without oil.

A simple statement often takes away the charm of something which may be left unsaid.

If people do not come up to your mark, do not become annoyed, but rejoice, knowing that your mark is high.

The sense of discretion is instinctive, and it is the life one lives that either shapes or deforms it.

There is no gain without sacrifice; if there be any, sacrifice must follow.

Are you looking for an ideal soul? Such a person has never been born. But if you still seek after him, then you will have to create one of your own imagination.

When you have learned all there is to be learned, then you will realize that there was nothing to be learned.

The moment a prisoner feels that he will no longer remain in the prison, the prison bars must break instantly, of themselves. Contentment raises man above the strife of worthless things and beyond the limitation of human nature.

It is seldom that too little is said and too much is done, but often the contrary.

The motive power is creative and constructive, yet it is motive that limits the power which is limitless.

All pain is significant of change; all that changes for better or worse must cause a certain amount of pain, for change is at once birth and death.

All conventionality, that has limited the life of man and has removed it far from nature, comes from sex distinction.

Man was sent into the artificial world that he might meet every conventionality, in which lies all tragedy of life.

One who lacks imagination, and is of little faith, is unable to tread the spiritual path.

Faith and imagination are wings of the bird that flies in the spiritual spheres.

If the owl of Sophia had been as wise as she, it would not have sat in her presence so spellbound.

Kindness which is not balanced with firmness may prove to be weakness.

People are not only ready to profit by your wisdom, power, and greatness, but they are also eager to take advantage of your ignorance, weakness, and inability.

Being able to trust others apart, if you have learned to trust yourself, you have accomplished something.

Every person has a place in life, and no one can hold a place long that is not his own. By trying to look upon life not only from one's own point of view but also from the point of view of another, one loses nothing, but on the contrary widens the horizon of one's view.

To express an impulse gives relief, but to control it gives strength.

Perfection is attained by five achievements: life, light, power, happiness, and peace.

By creating happiness, one fulfills one's life's purpose.

If dogs bark at the elephant, it takes no notice and goes on its way; so do the wise when attacked by the ignorant.

There are many wrong paths, but there is one right way that leads to the goal.

You will find reasons, whether you want to be pessimistic or optimistic, to support your view.

The seer distinguishes between the real and the unreal, until he arrives at a point where all to him becomes the reality.

When you do not concern yourself with the consequences, then alone you may freely express your impulse.

One cannot be wise and foolish at the same time, for light and darkness cannot dwell together.

Illuminated souls do not seek after occult powers; but occult powers, by themselves, come to them.

It is not the heart of earth in which to confide, for it brings forth all that is given to it in simple trust; it is the soul of heaven which is trustworthy, for it assimilates all in its own being.

Why? is an animal with a thousand tails. At every bite you give it, it drops one of its curved tails and raises another. Its hunger is never satisfied so long as its mouth is open. Life is the longing of every soul; the one who seeks life through death becomes immortal.

Those whom you have lost here, you will find in some other place.

In the friendship, as well as in the hostility of the worldly, there is pain.

"Yesterday I was not wise enough, today I understand, tomorrow I will do better!" So man thinks and life goes on.

The prophet is the painter of that ideal which is beyond man's comprehension.

What does it matter if Krishna was Christ, or Brahma was Abraham? One thing is true: that there was, there is, and there always will be a knower of God, a lover of souls, a server of humanity.

The man who tries to prove his belief superior to the faith of another, does not know the meaning of religion.

When a person argues on a problem, it does not always mean that he knows it. Most often he argues because he wants to complete his knowledge without admitting his ignorance.

The light illuminates the path of those who are distant from it; those who are near are dazzled by it.

There can be no comparison between art and nature; for art is as limited as man, but nature is as perfect as God.

Self-effacement does not in any way lessen; it only makes one limitless.

Duty is not necessarily the purpose of life; still, in duty one finds a road which leads one to the purpose of life.

No sooner is the God-ideal brought to life than the worshipper of God turns into truth. Then truth is no longer his seeking; truth becomes his being; and in the light of that absolute truth he finds all knowledge.

It was not the Lord who was crucified, it was his limitation. If an idol made of rock is made God by its worshippers, why then should a personality not become Divinity for the devotees?

The one who makes fun of another, seldom knows that there is something laughable in himself also.

Every man has his own reason; therefore, two persons cannot always understand each other.

There is one thing to be said against the kind-hearted: that they never can be kind enough.

Whether a small person loves you or hates you, in either case he will pull you down to his own level.

To delve into a matter which matters little, is like raising dust from the ground.

It is belief which in its perfection becomes faith.

Even a plain thought gets tangled when told to a person who has a knot in his head.

When a thoughtful person risks falling at each step he takes in the path of life, what about a thoughtless person?

Despair not if your friend has taken advantage of you, but be contented, knowing that it was not your enemy.

There are habits which can best be prevented before one has formed them. Once you have taken to a habit, then it is difficult to give it up.

Rules of the world are different from the law of the path that the mystics tread.

He who fights for justice in the affairs of this world, may fight forever, for he will never find it; justice is only manifest in the sum total of life.

When you stand on this earth and look at life, there is all injustice and chaos everywhere; but when you rise above and look below, it is all just and perfect, and everything appears to be in its proper place. When man arrives at God-knowledge from self-knowledge, he makes God as small as his little self; but when he comes to self-knowledge through the knowledge of God, he becomes as large as God.

The supreme law is that all is just and all is right. But is this law to be proclaimed? No, it is to be understood.

The attribute is not important; it is the possessor of the attribute who is important.

If someone can discover, with any authority, the true source of happiness, he can find it only in pain.

Faith is the culmination of belief. It is that faith which is the mystery of life, the secret of salvation.

It is not evidence which gives belief. Belief which stands above evidences is that belief which, in the end, will culminate in faith.

Belief is the food of the believer; it is the sustenance of his faith. It is on belief he lives, not on food and water.

By learning to think, one develops dignity in nature. The more one thinks, the more dignified one becomes, because dignity springs out of thoughtfulness.

Reason belongs both to earth and heaven. Its depth is heavenly, its surface earthly; and that which fills the gap in the form of reason, between heaven and earth, is that middle part of it which unites it. Therefore reason can be most confusing and reason can be most enlightening.

The reason why man seeks for happiness is not because happiness is his sustenance, but because happiness is his own being; therefore, in seeking for happiness, man is seeking for himself.

Religion is not in performing a ceremony or a ritual; true religion is the feeling, or the sense, of duty. Woman, whom destiny has made to be man's superior, by trying to become his equal, falls beneath his estimation.

What virtue is that, O righteous man, which gives no happiness?

If you have lost something, it means that you have either risen above it or fallen below it.

Man expects another to place him in a higher position, but the place to which he is equal, he takes himself.

The dead can give nothing living, nor can the living give anything dead.

It is better that your enemy stands before your house rather than that he should live under your roof.

White forces or dark forces, all will surrender to you with the waxing of the moon of your life; but in the waning moon they will show their influence.

It matters little whether you are on the top of the mountain or at the foot of it, if you are happy where you are.

If you feel your thoughts, your thoughts will become your being.

The one who is not moved to dance by the movements of an innocent babe, has not yet risen from his grave.

One cannot praise God unless one makes of Him an ideal.

Watching with interest the winning ways of a little child, is a wonderful love-making.

Every thing and every being is placed in its own place in life, and each is busy carrying out that work which has to be done in the whole scheme of nature.

A religious ritual, for a spiritual person, is but a recreation.

To find appropriate words to express an idea is more complicated than painting a picture. Destiny can take your best friend as an instrument to cause you harm, and your worst enemy to do you good.

Power is utilized to its best advantage when it is used for a good purpose.

If one lacks understanding, one is poor with all the goods of the world one possesses; it is understanding which is the true riches.

The man who complains about everything certainly has a complaint somewhere in his head.

Sensation and exaltation are two things: pleasure comes from sensation, happiness from exaltation.

No sooner do you begin to see the bad side of man's character than you automatically throw a cover over the good side of his nature.

Man, however great, must not claim perfection; for the blind world can only see the limitation of his external being.

There are some souls who, if you do not make them your friends, will become your enemies.

The one who wants to become a master must first pass through an examination as a servant.

God cannot be good and perfect at the same time; it takes good and bad both to make perfection.

Fools are not entitled to know the mystery which the wise are supposed to possess.

The knowledge of truth does not suffice for imparting it to others; one must know the psychology of human nature.

The purpose of life is fulfilled in rising to the greatest heights and in diving to the deepest depths of life.

Peace will not come to a lover's heart so long as he will not become love itself.

All things pertaining to spiritual progress in life depend upon peace.

The most beautiful form of the love of God is His compassion, His divine forgiveness.