Book Review: Music by Inayat Khan

spiritedStarred Page By spirited, 28th Oct 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Religion & Spirituality

This article is a review of a small but powerful work by the Indian spiritual master, Hazrat Inayat Khan. Behind every note of music flows the energy of love. All music has been heaven sent. It is written with the help of the hands of the Gods.

We are one of these Gods when we listen to the music in our own soul, and sing God's tune which he has written for us to sing in this life of ours here being us for him.

The man and his book

The book being reviewed was published by Hunter House Publishing in 1988. It is a reprint of an earlier edition of this great little book, by this great Sufi master, Inayat Khan. It is a small book of only 92 pages.

Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan lived only a relatively short life. Born in 1882, he died in 1927. He was merely 44 years of age at the time of his death. He was a poet, and a musician too. He played the vina. This musical instrument is a stringed one. Music is produced from it by plucking the strings.

Music was always close to this great mystic's heart. “It is all music,” he said, “Our body, our mind, nature, our Universe. All is music.

"Life is a symphony, and the action of every person in this life is the playing of his particular part in the music."

This (above) is another great quote of Inayat's.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

This last quote though is from the German writer, Berthold Auerbach, (1812 to 1882).

I am sure Inayat Khan would have agreed with his observation.

Our sound is our own sound, and only it makes us sound like the real us!

We each and every one of us have our own unique sound. This is our soul sound.

Inayat Khan claims that this soul sound can be lived from if we can discover the natural pitch to our own voice. If we sing at that particular pitch, it is healing for us. This key-note of our voice is a key-note to our life too.

The human physical voice does relate to the sound of God in our soul.

He is right here I think that when this key-note or natural pitch of our physical voice matches our soul sound from our singing at the pitch of our soul as it is represented in our physical body, our soul resonates through us more divinely then, intimately connected as we are both then, by us now singing the same tune, so to speak, as our soul.

Sound is not just heard from our ears. It can be heard by every part of our body, our mind, and our soul.

He thinks we can both hear the outer sound and the inner sound, continuously they are audible to those with the ears to hear them.

These sounds, this music, can raise the soul of a man to new heights.

A Hindu musician tunes his instrument to his own unique sound not to any given sound. Their music is individually arrived at. Each note is unique for that musician.

They do not tune themselves to any outer form of this music, or to any given note, but to what they are receiving inwardly.

Our song must be sung in God's land in his band

"The song and the land are one."

This opening quote is from the English writer, Bruce Chatwin (1940 to 1989). He also died young, unfortunately from aids.

What has sound got to do with us, or God? Is it really important? Where does music come from? Does God make music?

This interesting book addresses all of these types of questions.

Here is a synopsis of what the author says in answer to these questions.

Love is a type of music and God plays with love to make music in each soul, and that soul then sings God's compositional music in itself. God gives a soul a unique song to sing in each new existence, or life that it goes through.

There is no other voice like yours. It is uniquely yours.

Every voice is an instrument in God's orchestra. No word that you ever speak can be ever lost. It remains alive vibrating with the spirit you placed within it forever. This is why we must not put on any airs and graces, but must talk in our own natural voice, at all times. You should never sacrifice the natural quality and uniqueness of your own voice.

Your voice is your instrument. The way you speak indicates where you are on your spiritual path. It is a barometer of your progress.

Music has a psychological influence on people and so does your voice.

Music and love, and our own voice

How do we find our own unique voice or note of resonance that vibrates in unison to our soul?

Love lives according to its playing of its own music within each person.

This means that when you play your own note in God's choir, of course his choir then sounds and operates to a greater efficiency, but more than that, love is fully functioning then in all parts of God's creation, that is this happens whenever a part plays and sings its own note for God in his choir.

Recent scientific research has proven all of this now.

Singing together apparently has been proven to enhance and improve our relationships with other people. The bonding connection is strengthened and becomes more loving as a result of our doing this.

On the other hand, as Inayat Khan points out on the very last page of his book, (as paraphrased by me)

“Music helps man to meditate or concentrate independently, or turns matter into spirit in each person who sings their own tune. Music brings us into a new life, into the perfection that God himself has planned with us, working together for us to live our lives from his love, as a part of his orchestra and choir.”

The author has a web site dedicated to his writings. You can download most of his books freely from here as PDF files.

“Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful.”

This was one made who beautified every place where he went. God's love flowed out from him freely, and unrestricted. He did what he said in his quote!

His love for his music was only less than his love for God!!

Hazrat Inayat Khan loved his music, his singing and his playing of the vina, but he gave it all up in order for him to have more time to spread the higher message of his Sufi faith to all who would listen to him. He gave it up for God!!

Here is a long quote from one of his books that explains his decision to do this, and with which I will end this article reviewing his book with.

"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."

Photo Credits:

The first three photos used here were taken by me the author of this review. The other two photos were obtained from the free media site, Wikimedia Commons, from their free public use pages.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
29th Oct 2015 (#)

Spirited, thank you for sharing such a delightful motivational piece. Can you just imagine being a poet and a musician with insight like this. Amazing.

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author avatar spirited
29th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Nancy,

Yes, music helps to open you up to such insights too, I believe.

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author avatar Retired
29th Oct 2015 (#)

Excellent work, Spirited. Getting associated with music and/or showering unconditional love on others is one is one big step towards realization of the self.
Nicely presented.

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author avatar spirited
29th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Joyesh,

If you can read any more of this man's work, you will see the power which he writes with.

He wrote, or more others compiled his lectures, into a lot of other very interesting books. He covers just about every question you could ever ask.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
29th Oct 2015 (#)

Awesome post Spirited and notice work my friend I always learn soothing!

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author avatar spirited
29th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Fern,

I am glad you are learning how to be soothed. This guy certainly taught us how to do that!!

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author avatar Carol Roach
30th Oct 2015 (#)

wonderful, lately I have been fascinated with the sounds of the creation. I am reading more and more about it. Miss you friend, where have you been?

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author avatar spirited
30th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Carol,

Sound waves can be healing too I believe.

I've been having a love/hate period with my writing, still working my way through it.

I lost the confidence to write for a while too.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
31st Oct 2015 (#)

Very insightful review and the link is a treasure, thanks Spirited. Inayat Khan has spent his limited time to enrich the lives of others.

Sufism is more of a way of life like Hinduism and many souls have led enlightened lives.

Our creation is a puzzle beyond description, even comprehension. Every life is unique with different musical tones and forms part of the whole orchestra - siva

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author avatar spirited
31st Oct 2015 (#)

thanks siva,

yes, you can read and download a lot of his books there.

His writing feels to me that he knows what he is writing about.

He speaks with a certain knowing.

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author avatar Kingwell
31st Oct 2015 (#)

Great review. We are forever learning.

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author avatar Kingwell
31st Oct 2015 (#)


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author avatar spirited
31st Oct 2015 (#)

thanks Kingwell

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author avatar Carol
4th Nov 2015 (#)

A lovely review, many thanks

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author avatar spirited
4th Nov 2015 (#)

thanks Carol

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