Vilayat Inayat Khan

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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.

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Life

  Part of a series of articles on
Universal Sufism

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.[1]

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.[2]

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