Merging Oceans: The Art, Music & Spirit of Mughal India

Saturday May 2nd, 6-9:30 pm at the Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre, Toronto

photos of Justin Gray and Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

Please join us for a celebration of Mughal India. Explore two special exhibitions at the Aga Khan Museum, “Visions of Mughal India” and “Inspired by India,” and enjoy a concert by Justin Gray of Indian Classical Music performed on an exciting new hybrid instrument, the Bass Veena.

This will be followed at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto, by a talk and conversation with Sufi teacher Pir Zia Inayat-Khan titled “The Sufi & Hindu Encounter in Mughal India” which will explore the inter-cultural and inter-spiritual gifts, and legacy of remarkable tolerance, from this important historic era. The presentation will be deepened with a conversation moderated by Professor Narendra K. Wagle, former director of the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Toronto.

Please visit the Aga Khan Museum’s event page for tickets (discounted for Awakening Your Mystic Heart workshop registrants). (map to the venues)

This event is a joint program of the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre, Toronto in partnership with the Toronto Area Interfaith Council and the Sufi Order International, Toronto.

Aga Khan Museum banner  Toronto Area Interfaith Council logo  Sufi Order International Toronto



  • 6pm – Extended hours for visiting the Aga Khan Museum special exhibits: Visions of Mughal India and Inspired by India.
  • 7pm – A concert by Justin Gray of Indian Classical Music performed on an exciting new hybrid instrument, the Bass Veena. At the Museum auditorium.
  • 8pm – Pir Zia Inayat-Khan presents a talk on The Sufi & Hindu Encounter in Mughal India, followed with a conversation moderated by Professor Narendra K. Wagle. At the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.
  • 9pm – Informal reception.

The Aga Khan Museum (77 Wynford Dr.) and Ismaili Centre, Toronto (49 Wynford Dr.) buildings are situated together within a beautiful landscaped park. The event will begin at the Museum with the special exhibits, then the concert will be held in the Museum auditorium. After the concert, we’ll walk through the park’s garden from the Museum to the Centre for Pir Zia’s talk and the reception. (map)

Merging Oceans is one of three events from Pir Zia on the same weekend. The others are:

  • Spirited Climate Action, May 1 @ 7:30pm – A panel discussion and audience Q&A centered on the relationship between spiritual practice and climate action.
  • Awakening Your Mystic Heart, May 2-3 – An intensive, two-day workshop retreat led by Pir Zia. One-day registration is also available.



Pir Zia Inayat-Khan: The Sufi & Hindu Encounter in Mughal India
with a conversation moderated by Professor Narendra K. Wagle
8pm at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto

The meeting of Muslim and Hindu civilizations in Mughal India led to a cultural flowering nourished by shared spiritual, ethical, and aesthetic values. Mughal India’s intriguing legacy of remarkable tolerance speaks to our own need for a new era of inter-cultural and inter-spiritual efflorescence. In a talk and conversation, Sufi teacher Pir Zia Inayat-Khan will explore the role of Sufism, with its history of interaction with numerous cultures and religions, in this fascinating and inspiring time.

The conversation portion will be moderated by Professor Narendra K. Wagle, emeritus faculty member of the University of Toronto’s Department of History and former director of the Centre for South Asian Studies.



Pir Zia Inayat-Khan is a scholar and teacher of Sufism in the lineage of his grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan. He is the president and spiritual leader of the Sufi Order International and founder of Seven Pillars House of Wisdom. He established the Suluk Academy, a school of contemplative study with branches in the United States and Europe. Pir Zia holds a doctoral degree in Religion from Duke University, is a recipient of the U Thant Peace award, and is a Lindisfarne Fellow. His publications include the books Caravan of Souls: An Introduction to the Sufi Path of Hazrat Inayat Khan (2013), and Saracen Chivalry: Counsels on Valor, Generosity and the Mystical Quest (2012). (

Justin Gray is emerging as one of the first artists to perform traditional Hindusthani Raga music on the bass guitar.  In 2010, Justin designed and co-created the Bass Veena, a fretless bass instrument made specifically for the performance of Raga music. The Bass Veena has been welcomed by artists across India and North America as a strong addition to the world of Indian Classical instruments, and is captivating audiences around the world with its rich and unique sound. (

Narendra K. Wagle is professor emeritus of South Asian History at the University of Toronto. A prolific writer and editor, he is best-known for his sociologically oriented historical studies of Maharashtra with a strong focus on religion. Among N. K. Wagle’s works that have left a major impact on the study of South Asian religious historiography are his Vallabha’s Paraśarāma Caritra: An Eighteenth Century Marāṭhā History of the Peśwās (1976), and his Society at the Time of the Buddha (1966 & rev. 1995). Certainly as important are the books he edited or co-edited such as Religion and Society in Maharashtra (1980), co-edited with Milton Israel, Studies on Buddhism in Honour of Professor A.K. Warder (1993), co-edited with Fumimaro Watanabe, and Approaches to Jaina Studies: Philosophy, Logic, Rituals and Symbols, co-edited with Olle Quarnstrøm. (