Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan
Born : June 19, 1916
Died : June 17, 2004
ON FEBRUARY 9th, Baba went to Meherabad to give darshan to the Arangaon villagers.
Phillipe Dupuis of Paris, France, had written to Baba for permission to come and see him. Baba granted permission, and Dupuis arrived in Bombay on February 6th. On February 9th, he was brought by Adi ( K.Irani ) directly to Meherabad, arriving at 9:00 A.M. Without obtaining Baba's permission, Dupuis had brought Vilayat Khan, the eldest son of the Sufi teacher Inayat Khan.
Baba saw both in his interview cabin. Adi, Eruch ( Jessawala ) and Francis ( Brabazon ) were present during the interview. Vilayat Khan kissed Baba's hand. Replying to Baba's inquiry, he said that he had come to India a month before Phillipe Dupuis. He planned to sit in meditation for a certain length of time near the shrine of Qutub Mu'inuddin Chishti in Ajmer. Vilayat said, "I have come to Baba prompted by my Murshid to meditate on you in your physical presence."
Meher Baba found Vilayat Khan of good heart, but his understanding was not deep, and he was not of the same spiritual status as his father (mental-conscious). Baba dictated the following six points for him to live by:
"Do not run away from your own lower self.
"Do not renounce the world, renounce your own lower self.
"Do not seek solitude anywhere but within your own self, because you are eternally all alone to your own Self.
"Silently cry out within your own self: 'Beloved One, reveal yourself to me as my own, real, infinite Self.'
"It is you who are obstructing yourself from finding your Self. So try to lose your lower self by continual remembrance of God, Who is your real Self.
"Do not become Master of disciples until you have mastered your own self."
In conclusion, Baba emphasized: "The only proper thing for a genuine seeker to do is to surrender completely to a Perfect Master. A life of obedience and surrenderance is the only solution when one is fortunate to have caught hold of the feet of a Perfect Master.
"Really speaking, love and devotion for Beloved God are all that are necessary on this path. Meditation is neither devotion nor love, but a mental pursuit in pinning down the object of one's thoughts before one's mind's eye."
Baba asked Vilayat, "Did you listen attentively to what I have told you?" Vilayat replied in the affirmative.
Baba then stated, "Because you have come all this distance to see me, I want you to do one very simple thing. Spare five minutes every night at twelve o'clock and meditate on Baba. Concentrate on my face."
Vilayat said, "This would annoy my Murshid."
Baba replied, "If your Murshid were a Perfect Master, he would never get annoyed. And if your Master were to be annoyed over this, he could never be a Murshid!
When you say you were prompted by your Murshid to meditate on me in my physical presence, it is absurd to say that the Murshid would be annoyed if his mureed were to spare five minutes every night to meditate on me in my physical absence, particularly when I give such an instruction to one who has come all this distance to meditate on me."
Baba ended by instructing Vilayat Khan, "Please yourself, but you should at least do one thing for me. You must read God Speaks from the first to the last page."
Vilayat Khan promised to do so. Baba then sent him out of the cabin. He kissed Baba's hand once again as he left the room. Adi gave him a copy of Eternal Song, an Urdu book of poems on Baba by Saib Asmi of Pakistan, and a copy of Life At Its Best. He was also given a copy of God Speaks.
Baba then met privately with Phillipe Dupuis in his cabin. He warned Dupuis: "Don't get involved, financially or otherwise, in Vilayat Khan's affairs. You ought not to have brought him to see me, for he is not yet ripe to absorb my grace."
Dupuis said, "I brought him in all good faith, thinking that if Vilayat were to accept you, his whole group of Sufis in Europe and America (which was a large group) would then have the blessed fortune to be drawn to you, and thus come directly under your protecting arms."
Baba did not appear to be satisfied with this explanation and repeated his query, asking Dupuis again and again: "But why did you bring him?" With every repetition, Baba indicated much concern for Dupuis.
Baba asked him about his own plan to stay in India. Dupuis said, "I have no plans, but I do not want to return to Europe." Baba asked about his financial condition and was told Dupuis had no debts and could afford his passage to and fro.
Baba reminded Dupuis about his reply to the latest circular and assured him that his affirmation of love and obedience had made him happy. Dupuis reiterated his affirmation, and Baba embraced him with love.
Baba instructed, "You should return to Europe soon after leaving here and do not get involved in Vilayat Khan's affairs."
Dupuis told Baba that he was bound by the promise to accompany Vilayat Khan to Ajmer and stay with him there as an escort or a sort of protection for him.
In response, Baba stressed, "It is futile to go to Ajmer. I warn you to beware of further entanglements. You should realize that it is far more important for you to accept and hold fast to any instructions given to you by me than to give a second thought to what you had promised to any man."
Baba further explained, "It is childish, when mankind has my living presence, to go to shrines, to sit in meditation in shrines and to visit saints. It is of paramount importance for you to realize the value of my advice to you, rather than to assess the worth of your promise to someone."
Baba assured Dupuis, "Although I have come to Meherabad for three hours today exclusively for the villagers, I have spent a considerable time with you because I love you very much."
Baba called for Vilayat Khan and, as he entered, he heard Baba, through Eruch, instruct Phillipe Dupuis the following five points:
"Phillipe should return to Europe from Bombay as soon as possible.
"Phillipe should now go to Bombay and stay there for some days until Vilayat Khan decides to go to Ajmer.
"Phillipe should go with Vilayat Khan to Ajmer and stay there at the most five to ten days, until Vilayat Khan feels settled in Ajmer.
"Phillipe should then go to Bombay and from there return to Europe.
"Phillipe should note that Baba wants him to go back to Europe as soon as possible."
Baba asked Dupuis whether he had understood his directions clearly. Dupuis nodded his head. Baba embraced him and Vilayat Khan once again and left his cabin to go to the hall to be with the Arangaon villagers who were patiently awaiting his presence.
After the usual greetings from the villagers, Baba called Phillipe Dupuis and motioned to him to sit in the hall. The villagers entertained Baba with bhajan songs, as did Rustom ( K.Irani ) Kaka ( Baria ) and Kokila. Soonumyan sang qawaalis. Baba sent word to Vilayat Khan that if it pleased him to join the assembly, he was free to do so; if not, he was to sit outside until Dupuis was permitted by Baba to depart.
At the same moment, Vilayat Khan, who was outside, was asking one of the mandali whether it would be permissible for him to join the others in the hall to sit in Baba's presence. When Baba's message was given to him, he felt very happy at the opportunity and quickly entered the hall. He seemed charmed to hear the qawaali songs, although he did not understand either Urdu or Persian. From time to time, Baba would gesture a word or sentence in English to explain the depth of meaning of the Urdu and Persian ghazals' words and lines.
The substance of almost every ghazal sung to Baba that day was that it is absolutely necessary for a lover to surrender all and follow the Beloved, and that to become the dust underneath the feet of the Perfect Master is the only solution to all those seeking union with the Beloved.
After the villagers had embraced Baba, he instructed Phillipe Dupuis and Vilayat Khan to leave Meherabad with Nariman Dadachanji, who was driving back to Bombay that day. Both Dupuis and Vilayat had a farewell embrace from Baba, and Baba reminded Vilayat to read God Speaks and Dupuis to return to Europe as soon as possible after a short stay in Ajmer. Both left Ahmednagar happily; Dupuis went straight to Bombay, and Vilayat Khan was dropped off at the Poona train station to travel to Hyderabad for a short visit.
After he embraced all the villagers who came to Meherabad, Baba returned to Meherazad at about noon. While returning in the car, he expressed his concern for Phillipe Dupuis, remarking to Francis Brabazon: "It is so easy to fall and, with the fall, to get entangled. On the other hand, it is so difficult to get free from entanglements and to rise unfettered."
The next day, Baba sent a telegram to Nariman in Bombay to meet Dupuis at his hotel and remind him, on behalf of Baba, to stick to the instructions given by Baba in Meherabad. The day after, Baba made Francis write a long letter to Dupuis with additional reminders, and even advising Dupuis to leave India if he felt like doing so without going to Ajmer with Vilayat Khan.
Nariman was again sent a message to contact Dupuis and tell him to return to Europe before it was too late. However, Nariman was unable to meet Dupuis as he had already taken a train for Ajmer with Vilayat Khan. Thereupon, Nariman was told to contact Dupuis upon his return to Bombay and remind him of Baba's instructions. But this, too, he was not able to do, since Dupuis stayed in Bombay for only a day and left with no forwarding address. Baba had spent much time and energy concerning Dupuis, because he was trying to protect him and keep him in his fold. But Dupuis followed his own impulses instead, and the unfortunate result was that he was never heard from again.
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, (Urdu: ولايت عنایت خان ) was the eldest son of Sufi Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, head of the Sufi Order International. Pir Zia Inayat Khan is Pir Vilayat's son and successor as Pir of the Sufi Order International. Pir Vilayat’s mother, Ora Ray Baker, was said to be a relative of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science movement.
Vilayat Inayat Khan was born on June 19, 1916, and died on June 17, 2004. Vilayat Inayat Khan was born in London, England, Pir Vilayat was a teacher of meditation and of the traditions of the East Indian Chishti Order of Sufism. His teaching derived from the mystical tradition of the East brought to the West by his father combined with his knowledge of the esoteric heritage and scholarship of western culture. He taught in the tradition of Universal Sufism, which views all religions as rays of light from the same sun.
Vilayat Inayat Khan was educated at the Sorbonne, Oxford, and École Normale de Musique de Paris. During World War II he served in the British Royal Navy and was assigned the duties of mine sweeping during the invasion at Normandy. His sister, Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan served in the French section of SOE as a radio operator. She was shot at Dachau concentration camp.
After the war, Pir Vilayat pursued his spiritual training by studying with masters of many different religious traditions throughout India and the Middle East. While honoring the initiatic tradition of his predecessors, Pir Vilayat continually adapted traditional Eastern spiritual practices in keeping with the evolution of Western consciousness.
Pir Vilayat initiated and participated in many international and interfaith conferences promoting understanding and world peace. In 1975 he founded the Abode of the Message, which continues to serve as the central residential community of the Sufi Order International, a conference and retreat center, and a center of esoteric study.
He was a relative of Pierre Bernard, a pioneering American yogi, scholar, occultist, philosopher, mystic, and businessman. In this way he was also a distant relative to Pierre Bernard's nephew, Theos Bernard, an American scholar of religion, explorer, and famous practitioner of Yoga and Tibetan Buddhism.
Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan' son - Zia Inayat Khan
In addition to the interfaith mystical training he has received from his father, Pir Zia has studied Buddhism under the auspices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Sufism in the classical Indian tradition of the Chishtiyya. He combines these diverse influences in his being and in his teaching. In the true spirit of the message of Inayat Khan, Pir Zia brings together not only leaders of different Sufi traditions, but also representatives of the world's faiths.
He is the editor of A Pearl in Wine: Essays on the Life, Music, and Sufism of Hazrat Inayat Khan (Omega Publications, 2001). He has also authoured two booklets published by the Sufi Order Secretariat: Risala, and the Chishti Silsila of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. He currently resides and teaches at The Abode of The Message in New Lebanon, New York.
Pir Zia exemplifies a new generation of spiritual teachers. He is keenly aware of the needs of the present day, of a world in crisis, and an emerging spirituality of the future, built upon the centuries-old tradition of the Sufi Masters.
PARIS, June 21,2004 -
Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan, who headed an international order of Sufis, members of a mystical offshoot of Islam, and wrote books about it, died
on Thursday at his home in Suresnes, a suburb of Paris. He was 87.
His death was announced by Donald Graham, an official of the Sufi Order International.
A teacher and lecturer, Pir Vilayat was the son of Hazrat Inayat Khan, who helped bring Sufism to the West and created the Sufi order. He allowed followers to keep practicing their own religions as they explored Sufi mysticism, though traditional Sufism is a form of Islam.
Pir Vilayat's books included "Toward the One" and "The Call of the Dervish." His works were translated into several languages.
Born in 1916 in London to an Indian father and an American mother, Pir Vilayat studied cello and received a degree from the Sorbonne in Paris, Mr. Graham said.
In World War II, he served in the British Royal Navy on a minesweeper. The boat was torpedoed during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, and Pir Vilayat was one of the few rescued, Mr. Graham said. Pir Vilayat's sister, Noor, worked with the French Resistance before she was captured and executed at the Dachau concentration camp.
Pir Zia Inayat Khan, Pir Vilayat's eldest son, has been preparing to take over his father's position.
He is also survived by his wife, Mary Walls; a daughter, Maria; another son, Mirza; and two grandchildren.