Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

If indeed love is the magical trigger that sets off the explosion of life as the cosmos, it remains the mysterious imperative spurring our human endeavors, evidenced by the scruple of creative minds for perfectionism, and points to our ponderings concerning the meaningfulness of our lives, our strivings, our frustrations, our disappointments, our disenchantment, and perhaps our reenchantment.

Moreover, it is the power of unconditional love that gives us the resolve to uphold a person's pride while acquiescing to their flaws and follies. The great paradox is by loving one's ideal of God espied in a person, one helps that person to honor his/her real self.

Therefore it is love that makes God a reality.
Keeping in Touch 114

Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan was the eldest son and successor of Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, founder of the Sufi Order in the West. He traced his spiritual lineage through a long line of Sufi pirs (masters), but his teaching was free from any religious bias or attempt to proselytize. His teaching brought the timeless contributions of the ancient Sufi mystics and poets together with the discoveries of psychology and science. He rejected absolutely any attempt to treat him as a 'guru', taking pride in the strong, independent and creative qualities of those drawn to be his students.

Pir Vilayat was born in London in 1916, and spent most of his early years in England and France. He graduated from Paris University with a degree in psychology, studied philosophy at Oxford University and music at l´Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. Pir Vilayat later traveled to the East where he underwent rigorous training in meditation, including long periods of seclusion devoted to spiritual exercises. He also studied the esoterica of the major world religions and the meditation techniques associated with them.

He has traveled the world teaching meditation, lecturing and writing. Books by Pir Vilayat include Toward the One (1974), The Message in Our Time (1978), Introducing Spirituality into Therapy and Counseling (1990), That Which Transpires Behind That Which Appears (1995), Awakening (1999), and In Search of the Hidden Treasure (2003).

Pir Vilayat´s lectures opened fresh perspectives on the problem of bringing greater understanding and awareness into a life of activity and accomplishment. He approached this issue from the vantage point of the Hindu rishi, the Buddhist bikku, the Muslim dervish and the Christian monk. The practices of these contemplatives were used to help one confront one´s life directly by making one more sensitive to those aspects of self which are truly meaningful. Meditation can be used to develop these deepest and most fulfilling parts of one´s being and help one to use them in dealing with personal problems, values, goals and aspirations.

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, Pir Vilayat´s father, established the Sufi Order to provide a vehicle for the transmission of spiritual truth consistent with modern western culture, and to act as a bridge between East and West. In keeping with the aims of his father, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan had continued to sponsor and conduct events to promote understanding between East and West. He helped translate the vocabulary of the mystic into the language of the modern person.

Note: Within the Sufi Order Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan was often referred to as Pir Vilayat or simply Pir. The latter is the title for one who is the head of an Order. It also indicates an attainment of mastery and literally means elder.

Zia Inayat Khan, the eldest son of Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, had been initiated as a Pir of the Sufi Order International on February, 5th 2000 in New Delhi / India during the celebration of Hazrat Inayat Khan´s Urs, the day of his return to the eternal abode.

Since his 10th birthday Pir Zia Inayat Khan was trained by various spiritual teachers of the world including the Dalai Lama to be prepared for the succession of his father as head of the Sufi Order. After leading the Zira´at for many years and being head of the American branch of the Order since his initiation as a Pir, Zia Inayat Khan now takes care of the international affairs of the organization also.

India 2000 - Pir Vilayat about the Urs and Pir Zia's Investiture