Hazrat Inayat : O Mohan

The following lyric by Hazrat Inayat Khan was published in Songs of India, a collaboration with the Scottish poet and translator Jessie Duncan Westbrook (1873-1952). Westbrook made translations from Persian, Urdu and Hindi; her co-translation of The Diwan of Zeb-un-nisa appeared in 1913. She must have met the Master when he first arrived in London, but unfortunately little seems to be remembered about her. These verses were composed in Hindi, doubtless intended to be sung, and readers may trace some elements of the prayers Saum and Salat in them. Hazrat Inayat’s use of the name ‘Mohan’ for the Divine is very typically Indian : in the context of the Hindu religion it is usually applied to Krishna or to Shiva, but it means ‘handsome, ravishing,’ and so it is quite appropriate for the One whose beauty is the source of all names and forms.

Mighty thy power, O Mohan, Heart-compeller,
   In changing aspects known and manifest,
Thou as a man or as a woman comest,
   In earthly form of child or mother dressed.

Praise be to Thee, O Maker and Unmaker,
   Creator and Destroyer; let my mind
Be lost in Thee, that everywhere and ever,
   Thy holy vision shall Inayat find.

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