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Carl Ernst (Author)
Patrick D’Silva (Author)
Pir Zia Inayat Khan (Author)

Breathtaking Revelations

Breathtaking Revelations

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Omega Publications
6 X 9 in
181 pg

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An exploration of the confluence of Sufi and yogic breath-based meditation. 

For centuries, mystics and seekers in the region of South Asia have pursued techniques of watching the breath, bodily disciplines of yoga, and visionary experiences. The two texts presented here illustrate how adepts of Sufism internalized and explained these practices, starting with an anonymous Persian translation of the Fifty Kamarupa Verses in the fourteenth century, and concluding with Science of Breath composed in English by Hazrat Inayat Khan in the twentieth century. The long tradition of Sufi engagement with yoga, illustrated by these writings, reveals surprising intersections between Hindu and Muslim spiritual practices, and it poses a fascinating challenge to conventional assumptions about interreligious boundaries.

Pir Zia Inayat Khan Carl Ernst Patrick D’Silva
Author Bio

Carl Ernst is a specialist in Islamic studies, with a focus on West and South Asia. His research, based on the study of Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, has included premodern and contemporary Sufism, and Indo-Muslim culture. His most recent book, which won the inaugural Global Humanities Translation Prize from the Buffet Institute, is a translation from the Arabic, Hallaj: Poems of a Sufi Martyr. His scholarly work is summarized by two collections of essays: It’s Not Just Academic: Essays on Sufism and Islam (2017), and Refractions of Islam in India: Situating Sufism and Yoga (2016). His other publications include How to Read the Qur’an: A New Guide, with Select Translations (UNC Press, 2011); Sufi Martyrs of Love: Chishti Sufism in South Asia and Beyond (co-authored with Bruce Lawrence, 2002); Teachings of Sufism (1999); a translation of The Unveiling of Secrets: Diary of a Sufi Master by Ruzbihan Baqli (1997); Guide to Sufism (1997); Ruzbihan Baqli: Mystical Experience and the Rhetoric of Sainthood in Persian Sufism (1996); and Words of Ecstasy in Sufism (1985). On the faculty of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1992 to 2022, he is William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He was also the founding Director of the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies (2003-2022), and President of the American Society for the Study of Religion (2017-2020).

Patrick J. D' Silva specializes in the study of Muslim engagement with yoga with an emphasis on the Persianate world. He completed his B.A. in religious studies and classics at Macalester College, his M.A. in Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School, and his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. He is currently researching the rise of yoga in the West, as well as the interplay of race, religion, and cultural appropriation in science fiction. He is a Visiting Teaching Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Denver. He lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his family.

Pir Zia Inayat Khan, PhD, is a scholar of religion and teacher of Sufism in the universalist Sufi lineage of his grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan. Pir Zia is president of the Inayatiyya and founder of Sulūk Academy, a school of Sufi contemplative study and practice with offerings in North America and Europe, as well as online. He is editor of A Pearl in Wine: Essays in the Life, Music and Sufism of Hazrat Inayat Khan and Caravan of Souls: An Introduction to the Sufi Path of Hazrat Inayat Khan, and author of Saracen Chivalry: Counsels on Valor, Generosity and the Mystical QuestMingled Waters: Sufism and the Mystical Unity of Religions; and Dream Flowers: The Collected Works of Noor Inayat Khan with a Critical Commentary by Pir Zia Inayat Khan. Pir Zia divides his time between Richmond, Virginia and Suresnes, France.