Originally published at Wisdom's Child, now Omega Publications.
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, the world-renowned Sufi master and mystic, passed peacefully from this world on Thursday, June 17, 2004, while at home in Suresnes, France with his close family and friends. He was 87, soon to turn age 88 on June 19th.
As head of the Sufi Order International, Pir Vilayat was the inspiration for the founding of our business, Omega Publications, Inc., and heartily encouraged the compilation, printing and distribution of the teachings of his father, Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, which is the core focus of our work here. Pir Vilayat was his father's successor, and most joyful and enthusiastic student, always referring back to his Murshid, his teacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Many of us on this particular spiritual path met Hazrat Inayat Khan through Pir Vilayat, who so beautifully embodied the essence of Inayat Khan in his daily life, throughout his travels, and by bringing this living presence into the various retreats and seminars he gave around the world.
Over time Pir Vilayat's multitude of inspirations became their own teachings, and manifested in various projects, including a number of books. Pir Vilayat's last book project, In Search of the Hidden Treasure: A Conference of Sufis, was begun thirty-years ago, and after engaging a number of inner creative forces over the years, Pir Vilayat felt it was finally ready to publish just last year, in 2003.
In 1999, Awakening: A Sufi Experience, was published by Penguin Putnam, and prior to that two compilations of Pir Vilayat's retreat talks were published as That Which Transpires Behind that which Appears, and The Call of the Dervish, with the latter soon to be available once again. Pir Vilayat's book, Introducing Spirituality into Counseling and Therapy will also be reprinted and available by year's end.
Other rare books that have been long out of print, and at the request of Pir Vilayat will most likely not be reprinted, are Toward the One and The Message in our Time.
Our love and gratitude for Pir Vilayat transcend time and space as his being always has, and we are thankful for his continued influence as we progress to become fuller human beings, together in Love, Harmony, and Beauty.
"The sadness that accompanies the passage of our Pir bespeaks the depth and breadth of his meaning in our lives. Tears and sighs are natural expressions of a feeling heart. But even as we mourn the loss of his physical presence, may we find the inner clarity and strength to remember the essence of his teaching: the soul is immortal and its very being is joy. It is death that dies; life lives forever. The signature of our beloved Pir's inimitable spirit is inscribed in the starry sky."
Inayat Khan, an internationally known lecturer and author,
and head of the Sufi Order International, died yesterday,
June 17, 2004, at his home in Suresnes, just outside Paris,
France, two days before his 88th birthday.
perspective of the Esoteric school, the concept is fana. In
order for there to be a change one has to accept a breakdown
and trust that there will be a breakthrough. That is the
principle of alchemy. As long as one holds on to one's
self-image, one cannot undergo this breakdown. This is
where faith is called upon: faith in the ability of nature to
reorganize itself.Of course death is the ultimate breakdown,
the ultimate fana, and just like in our lifetime, we trust
that it is followed by a breakthrough. If it is not, we remain
the same, and that is not a nice condition. You see, we go
through crises unless we catalyze the breakdown. There are
moments we go through a crisis in our life but at the
psychological level it could be the dark night of the mind –
that is, everything we thought breaks down. We don't know what
is true, only what is not true. But the deeper night is a
breakdown of our self-image, and that is part of the esoteric
work. When one has experienced baqa – that is, the
reinstatement of our being then – we are not afraid of a
breakdown. In fact it is a wonderful joy to be free from our
own self-image, because it is limiting... You see, one does
not want to continue to be what one was. Then you are not
afraid of death."