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Mystic Mantra: Hasrat’s syncretic spirituality

Hasrat dedicated beautiful tributes of love and devotion, through his mystic poetry.

Hasrat dedicated beautiful tributes of love and devotion, through his mystic poetry.

Maulana Hasrat Mohani was one of the Indian mystics who had celebrated divine love and syncretic devotion. He was in his own words, a Sufi mo’min (Sufi believer), ishtiraaki Muslim (secular Muslim), Aashiq-e-Rasool (Holy Prophet lover) and at the same time a Krishna bhakt (Krishna devotee). His conception of inqilab (revolution) and darweshi (asceticism) was the ultimate path he enlightened for the freedom of his country and the liberation of its soul.

In his mystic poetry of Urdu he says:

“Darweshi-o-inqilab a hai mera maslak
Sufimomin hoon, muslim ishtiraaki”

Hasrat dedicated beautiful tributes of love and devotion, through his mystic poetry. He had composed several munajat (spiritual supplications) and na’at (poetry in Prophet Muhammad ‘s praise), for example:

Khyaal e yaar ko dil se mita do Allah Yaa Rasool
Khird ho apna diwaana bana do Allah Yaa Rasool
O Apostle of Allah, purge my heart from all worldly thoughts
Shift my attention toward your devotee, O Apostle of Allah

But he did not forget the earlier prophets who had been sent down to various territories, especially India. An embodiment of compassion, tenderness and divine love, in Maulana Hasrat Mohani’s poetry Krishna is greatly revered as “Hazrat Krishna.”

There are a few of his mystic poems about Krishna in Urdu:

Irfan-e-ishq hai mere ka maqaam
Hamil hoonkis ke payaam ka naghma-e-nai ke
Labrez-e-noor hai dil-e-Hasrat, and zahe-naseeb
Ikhusn-i-mushkfaam ke ka shauq-i-tamaam

(I stand where the perfect knowledge of love is found. Who is the flute whose melody fills me? What a good fortune, Hasrat, that your heart brims with a glowing love for the beauty of musk!)

An adherent of the Qadri Sufi order, Hasrat has been inspired by Baghdad’s greatest Sufi saint, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani and Bansa’s Syed Abdur Razzaq. In Awadhi he begs:

“Dayalukhiwayya baghdadi / humhoon garib have jawayya pairs
Birah kimaari, dukhiyaari / taakan kab-lag door
Paar utaar piyase milao/ Razzak piya basayya Baanse nagar”

(Merciful Baghdad Boatman! We poor desire to get across. Separate-wounded, grieved, how long do we have to look at the boat from afar? Beloved Razzaq, who lives in Bansa, please take us across; let us meet the beloved.

Mystic Mantra: Hasrat’s syncretic spirituality

Spiritual luminaries like Maulana Hasrat Mohani need to be remembered during times of communal harmony eroding in the country. His pluralistic messages in India should be rejuvenated, creating an atmosphere in which love is one’s only religion:

“To-se lagaai Kanhaai preet
Kahu or kisurati ab aai kaahe
Hasrat Tan man dhan sab waar-ke
Mathura nagar ramaai chali dhooni”

(My heart has fallen in love with Kanhaiya. Why would anyone else think of it now? Hasrat, give up all that is yours for him. Then go to Mathura and become a jogi.)

Bearing in mind the religious fanatics who may scoff at his devotion to Krishna, the devotional Maulana issues an inclusive “fatwa” in justifying his love:

“Puna hoe na kipreet ka paap Shyam
Kou kaahe pashchatap karat hai
Neha ki aag maatan-pupa
Jalat rahi chup-chaap kab lag”

(Love Shyam is not a sin, nor a virtue. So why do people repent? How long do I have to burn silently in the fire of love, oppressing my heart and my body?)



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