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Ostad Elahi: a spiritual heritage

This is a short excerpt from the French TV program “Les Chemins de la Foi” (The Routes of Faith) broadcasted on March 27, 2011.

The significance of Ostad Elahi and Malek Jân Nemati’s spiritual heritage is discussed during an interview of two specialists of the mystical traditions of Iran: Leili Anvar, Associate Professor of Persian literature at the Institut National des Langues et des Civilisations Orientales (Paris), and Christian Jambet, islamologist and Professor of philosophy (Paris).

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  1. Alex May 09, 2011 10:06 am 1

    Thank you very much for posting this video. What really stood out was the “interior religion”, Ostad Elahi’s practice in society, an Malek Jan’s importance for establishing equal opportunity for women in education.
    Interior religion was something I could never bring into words since spirituality is very personal. However, the terminology used made it more tangible for me. Further, Ostad Elahi’s philosophy where one can practice spirituality at work and within society illustrated the importance of being active in society and learning from others.

  2. A May 10, 2011 12:28 am 2

    Thank you so much. Although I don’t understand French at all, but I loved this video. Thanks for the subtitle! I enjoyed watching it…

  3. star May 10, 2011 7:52 pm 3

    Leila Anvar does a great job of clearly summarizing the impact and importance of Ostad Elahi and Malek Jan’s life as examples of how we should conduct our own personal lives. In particular, Ms Anvar mentioned that Malek Jan was a woman of great courage. This really struck out at me, because it demonstrates that those with strongest faith have no fear because they have certitude that God will protect them and their only concern is with God. Thank you for a great video.

  4. EA May 11, 2011 6:18 am 4

    This was an amazing video because it not only portrayed the unique genius of Ostad Elahi’s philosophy but more importantly, it is filled with several principles and ideas key to his ideology (interior religion, charity, etc). If we are to fully benefit from this video we should gear our attention towards these principles. For instance, one of the most interesting aspects of Ostad Elahi’s philosophy discussed by Ms. Anvar is the idea of being a part of society yet rejecting the “color of society” and rather living in society while maintaining the “highest ethical and spiritual perspective.” Very difficult in practice, Ostad’s teachings show us that spirituality has evolved from the ancient forms of mysticism and asceticism to a form in which every day we can practice it whether it’s at school, work, etc.

  5. Shideh Anissipou Oct 26, 2011 7:21 pm 5

    Leila Anvar did an excellent job. I do not understand French but followed it by reading the english subtitle. Thank you so much for posting the video. I enjoyed it very much.

  6. HSH Apr 29, 2012 8:03 am 6

    Dear All,

    Thanks so much, of course Ms. Anvar has done a very great job, but is there anybody to transcribe the whole things say as a comment here.

    Sincere Regards / HSH

  7. Paul Jun 29, 2016 8:04 am 7

    Partial video transcript:

    TV presenter: So, we’re now reaching the 20th century, the past century, who are the leading figures in Iranian thought in these modern times?

    Ms. Anvar: There are a certain number of them, but someone I’ve been working on a lot lately and whose work I am presently translating is Ostad Elahi, who was born in 1895 and was an original and, to my knowledge, unique figure in the history of mystical thinkers, insofar as he first led a highly mystical life, devoted to retreats, contemplation and ascetic practices, under the guidance of his father who himself was a great mystic, and then, after his father’s death, when he was 23-24, he decided that in fact, spirituality was of value only if confronted with life in society. So, he actually moved in a direction contrary to the one that mystics usually choose, and he left his retreat to go and confront the world.

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