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The Power of the Word, Hazrat Inayat Khan

The Power of the Word, Hazrat Inayat Khan

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Volume II - The Mysticism of Music, Sound and WordPart III: The Power of the Word
Hazrat Inayat Khan
Chapter IThe Power of The Word
We find in the Bible the words: 'In the beginning was the word, and the Word was God,' and we also find that the Word is Light,and that when that light dawned the whole creation manifested. These are not only religious verses; to the mystic or seer thedeepest revelation is contained in them.The first phrase conveys to us that if anything exists that we can express, we can express it only by what we term 'Word'. Thesecond phrase explains another aspect of this mystery, which is that to enable the soul, surrounded by the darkness of this worldof illusion, to come to the light, first the word was necessary. This means that the original Spirit was concealed in the mystery of the word, and that in in the mystery of the word, the mystery of the spirit was to be found.Here is a thought, which may be pondered over for years, each time with fresh inspiration. It teaches that the first sign of life thatmanifested was the audible expression or sound: that is the Word. When we compare this interpretation with the Vedanta philosophy, we find that the two are identical. All down the ages the Yogis and seers of India have worshipped the Word-God, or Sound-God, and around that idea is centered all the mysticism of sound or utterance. Not alone among Hindus, but among theseers of the Semitic, the Hebraic, races the great importance of the word was recognized. The sacred Name, the sacred Word,were always esteemed in the Jewish religion. Also in Islam, that great religion whose mysticism the West is only beginning todiscover, one finds the doctrine of 
 Ism ur-rasm
which translated is the 'doctrine of the mystical word'. The Zoroastrians, who hadtheir religion given to them long before the time of Buddha or Christ, and who have lost many of their teachings through thechanges of time and conditions, have yet always preserved their sacred words. Sanskrit is now considered a dead language, but inthe Indian meditations called Yoga, Sanskrit words are still used because of the power of sound and vibration that is contained inthemThe deeper we dive into the mystery of life the more we find that its whole secret is hidden in what we call words. All occultscience, all mystical practices are based upon the science of word or sound. Man is a mystery in all aspects of his being, not onlyin mind and soul, but also in that organism which he calls his body. It is his body, of which the Sufis say that it is the temple of God. This is not a mere saying or belief, for if man studies his body from the mystical point of view, he will find it to be muchmore subtle and far-reaching, and much more capable of doing, understanding and feeling, than he believes it to be.There are faculties of the soul which express themselves through certain centers in the body of man. As there are parts of lands towhich water never reaches and therefore they never become fertile soil, so it is with these centers when the breath never reachesthem. They are intuitive, they are full of peace and balance, they are the centers of illumination, yet never have they beenawakened, for man has breathed only in those parts of his body by which he can eat, and live, and perform action. He is only half alive, if his existence is compared with the fullness of life that can be obtained by spiritual development.It may be compared to living in a great town and not knowing that there are many beautiful things that one has never seen. Asthere are many people who travel to distant lands and do not know their own country, so it is with man. He is interested in all that brings beauty and joy, and yet does not know the source of all such things in himself.Man breathes, but he does not breathe rightly. As the rain falls on the ground and matures little plants and makes the soil fertile,so the breath, the essence of all energy, falls as a rain on all parts of the body. This also happens in the case of the mind, but mancannot even perceive that part of the breath that quickens the mind; only that felt in the body is perceptible, and to the averageman it is not even perceptible in the body. He knows nothing of it, except what appears in the form of inhalation and exhalationthrough the nostrils. It is this, alone which is generally meant when man speaks of breath.When we study the science of breath, the first thing we notice is that breath is audible; it is a word in itself, for what we call aword is only a more pronounced utterance of breath fashioned by the mouth and tongue. In the capacity of the mouth breath
 becomes voice, and therefore the original condition of a word is breath. Therefore if we said: 'First was the breath', it would be thesame as saying; 'In the beginning was the word'The first life that existed was the life of God, and from that all manifestation branched out. It is a manifold expression of one life:one flower blooming as so many petals, one breath expressing itself as so many words. The sacred idea attached to the lotusflower, is expressive of this same philosophy. It is symbolizing the many lives in the one God, and expressed in the Bible in thewords: 'In God we live and move and have our being'. When man is separated from God in thought, his belief is of no use to him,his worship is but of little use to him; for all forms of worship or belief should draw man closer to God, and that which makesman separate from God has no value.What is it that makes a word sacred or important? Is not every word as sacred and important as another? That is true – but for whom is it sacred? For the pure and exalted souls to whom every word breathes the name of God, but not for the average man.There are souls who are at that stage of evolution in which every word is the sacred name. But when a teacher gives a method, itis not given to the exalted souls but to beginners, and therefore words are selected and given to pupils by the
or teacher, as a physician would give a prescription, knowing for which complaint and for what purpose it is given. Hafiz says: 'Accept everyinstruction thy teacher giveth, for he knoweth which is thy path and where is thy good'.Great importance is given by the mystics to the number of repetitions, for numbers are a science and every number of repetitionshas a certain value. One repetition means one thing and a few more mean something quite different, as in medicine one grain of adrug may heal and ten may destroy life. When Christ commanded to abstain from vain repetitions he was not, as is often thought,referring to the sacred name as used in worship or religious practices. There was a custom among the Semitic peoples, and it stillexists in the East, of the constant use of the name of God by people in the street or market place. They would bring it continuallyinto commerce or business, into quarrels and disputes, and it was against this abuse of the most holy name that Christ wasspeaking.In repetition lies the secret of power, therefore it is a great mistake when people take the ways of spiritual culture lightly as aneveryday interest, as a little hobby, and learn from a book or from some slight instruction given to them. If they attempt to practice from such knowledge only, they are risking their lives. Imagine a center, which should be awakened at a certain time of evolution being awakened before that time is reached. It would be a disaster!There are certain words which attract a certain blessing in life. Some attract power, some bring release from difficulties, somegive courage and strength. There are words which can heal, others which give comfort and ease, and again others which havegreater effects still. Now when a person in need of peace and rest uses words that bring courage and strength, he will become evenmore restless. It is just like taking medicine which is a tonic to cure a high fever.Then there is another question, namely: what makes a word powerful? Is it the meaning, the vibration, the way it is used, or theknowledge of the teacher who teaches the pupil to repeat it? The answer to such a question is that some words have power  because of their meaning, others because of the vibration they produce, others for their influence upon the various centers. Andthere are some words given by saints, sages and prophets which have come inspirationally from God. In them is all blessing andthe mystery of how to acquire all that the soul desires in life. If there exists any phenomenon or miracle it is in the power of words. But those who know of this power and who possess it never show it to others. Spiritual attainment is not a thing to be brought before people to prove that it is real, or as a show.What is real is proof in itself, what is beyond all price or value does not need to be made much of before people. What is real isreal, and the precious is precious in itself: it needs no explanation nor pleading.The greatest lesson of mysticism is to know all, gain all, attain all things and be silent. The more the disciple gains, the morehumble he becomes, and when any person makes this gain a means of proving himself in any way superior to others, it is a proof that he does not really possess it. He may have a spark within himself, but the torch is not yet lighted. There is a saying among theHindus that the tree that bears much fruit bows low.Words have power to vibrate through different parts of man's body. There are words that echo in the heart, and there are othersthat do so in the head, and again others that have power over the body. By certain words definite emotions can be quickened or calmed. There is also a science of syllables, which has its own particular effect.Wagner did but repeat the teaching of the mystics of the East when he said that he who knows the law of vibrations knows thewhole secret of life.
Volume II - The Mysticism of Music, Sound and WordPreface
In this volume, the second of 
The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan
, an attempt has been made to group together most of theSufi mystic's teaching concerning sound and music – sound as the basis of creation and music as an essential means towardsspiritual development.Having been a musician of renown before he gave up his art in order to dedicate himself entirely to the Sufi Message with whichhe was entrusted, Inayat Khan readily followed the practice of the ancient Sufis in expressing esoteric truths in terms of sound andmusic. 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 toone; and so I sacrificed my music. I had composed songs; I sang and played the vina; and practicing this music I arrived at a stagewhere I touched the Music of the Spheres. Then every soul became for me a musical note, and all life became music. Inspired byit 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 doanything, it is to tune souls instead of instruments; to harmonize people instead of notes. If there is anything in my philosophy, itis the law of harmony: that one must put oneself in harmony with oneself and with others. I have found in every word a certainmusical value, a melody in every thought, harmony in every feeling; and I have tried to interpret the same thing, with clear andsimple words, to those who used to listen to my music. I played the vina until my heart turned into this very instrument; then Ioffered this instrument to the divine Musician, the only musician existing. Since then I have become His flute; and when Hechooses, 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.
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 beengrouped 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
of September 1923.
Chapter IIThe Power of The Word (continued)
The mystic who knows the value of the word finds that word first in himself; for the secret of all knowledge that one acquires inthe world, whether worldly or spiritual, is the knowledge of the self. For instance, music is played outside oneself. But where is itrealized? It is realized within. A good word or a bad word is spoken from outside, but where is it realized? It is realized within.Then where is the realization of the whole manifestation, of all this creation that stands before us in all its aspects? Its realizationis within.At the same time the error of man always continues: instead of finding realization within, he always wants to find it without. It is just like a man who wants to see the moon and yet looks for it on the ground. If a man seeks for the moon for thousands of years by looking on the earth, he will never see it. He will have to lift up his head and look at the sky. So it is with the man who is insearch of the mystery of life outside himself; he will never find it for the mystery of life is to be found within. Both the source andthe goal are within, and it is there that if he seeks he will find.What is sound? Is sound outside, or is it something within? The outside sound only becomes audible because the sound within iscontinued, and the day when the sound within is shut off, this body is not capable of hearing the outside sound.Man, living today the life of externality, has become so accustomed to the outside life that he hardly thinks of just sitting alone.When he is alone he busies himself with a newspaper or something else, always working with the life which is outside, alwaysoccupied with the life outside himself. In this way man loses his attachment to the life which is within. So his life becomessuperficial, and the result is nothing but disappointment. There is nothing in this world in the form of sound, visible or audible,which is so attractive as the sound within: for all that the senses touch and all that is intelligible to the mind of man has itslimitation. It has its limitation in time and effect; it makes no effect beyond its own limits.

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