Hazrat Inayat : The Picture of the Beloved

Here is a jewel of wisdom from Hazrat Inayat Khan, describing the inherent unity of the Divine and music.

Music, the word that we use in our language, is nothing less than the picture of the Beloved. But the question is, what is our Beloved and where is our Beloved? It is because music is the picture of our Beloved that we love music. Our Beloved is that which is our Source and our Goal. And what we see of our Beloved before our natural eyes is the beauty which is before us. And that part of our Beloved which is not manifested to our eyes is that inner form of beauty, of which our Beloved speaks to us. If only we will listen to the voice of all the beauty that attracts us in any form, we shall find that in every aspect it tells us that behind all manifestation is the perfect Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom.

What do we see as the principal expression of life in the beauty visible before us? It is movement: in line, in color, in the changes of the seasons, in the rising and falling of the waves, in the wind, in the storm, in all the beauty of nature there is constant movement. It is this movement which has caused day and night and the changing seasons; and this movement has given us the comprehension of what we call time. Otherwise there would be no time, for it is eternity. And this teaches that all we love and admire, observe and comprehend, is the life hidden behind, and that life is our Being. It is owing to our limitations that we cannot see the whole Being of God, but all that we love in color, line, form, or personality, all that is beloved by us, belongs to the real Beauty, Who is the Beloved of all. 

Now, if we trace in this beauty that we see in all forms what it is that attracts us, we shall find that it is the movement of beauty, the music. All forms of nature – the flowers so perfectly formed and colored, the planets and stars, the earth – all give the idea of harmony, of music. And then the whole nature is breathing, not only living creatures, but all nature. And it is only our tendency of comparing that which seems most living with that which to us seems not so living which makes us forget that all things and all beings are living one perfect life. And the sign of life that this living beauty gives is music. What makes the soul of the poet dance? Music. What makes the painter paint beautiful pictures, the musician sing beautiful songs? It is the inspiration that beauty gives. The Sufi has called this beauty Saqi, the divine Giver, who gives the wine of life to all. What is the wine of the Sufi? All beauty in form, line, color, in imagination, in sentiment, in manners – in all this he sees the one Beauty. All these different forms are part of the spirit of Beauty, which is the life behind, always blessing. 

Now we come to what we call in everyday language “music.” To me, architecture is music, gardening is music, farming is music, painting is music, poetry is music. In all the occupations of life where beauty has inspired, where the divine wine has been outpoured, there is music. But among the different arts, the art of music has been especially considered divine, because it is the exact miniature of the law working with the whole universe. For instance, if we study ourselves we shall find that in the beats of the pulse and the heart, in the inhaling and exhaling of the breath, all is the work of rhythm. Life depends upon the rhythmic working of the whole mechanism of the body. 

Breath manifests as voice, as word, as sound. And the sound is continually audible, the sound without and the sound within oneself, and that is music. This shows that there is music outside, and music within ourselves. Music inspires not only the soul of the great musician, but every infant, the instant he comes into the world, begins to move his little arms and legs with the rhythm of music. Therefore it is no exaggeration to say that music is the language of beauty, of the One Whom every living soul has loved. And one can understand that if one realizes and recognizes the perfection of all this beauty as God, our Beloved, it is natural that this music that we see in art and in the whole universe should be called the divine art. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.