Ginan: Mein Waari waari Rendition by Nazia Amin Muhammad
Transliteration and Translation:
Eji Mein waari waari Satgoor ton balihaari, mein saari waari Mursheed ton balihaari
O brother! I have offered my sacrifice to my True Guide; I have sacrificed all myself to my Murshid.
Eji Amlan-vaale lang lang jaanddhe; Mein rahegayi avagun haari
Oh brother! Those who have done good virtues, they have attained their salvation; But I have left in this world vainly suffering in the cycles of return.
Eji Oonche oonche tere koovain wagande Mein nivi nivi hogayi nimaanni
O brother! There are very high waters in your wells, But I am left poor leaning myself in humbleness.
Eji Ek ek daalipe teen fal lagde Jaaifal long sopaari
Oh brother! Each branch is giving three kinds of fruits, these are nutmeg, cloves, and betel nut.
Eji Long te sab Shahji ne chun laayi Jaaifal legaya bepaari
Oh brother! Master has chosen cloves, while nutmeg has been taken by the trader.
Eji Change change phal te Shahji legayi Baaki rahegayai sepaari
Oh brother! Master chose fruits that were better, What remained is betel nuts (supari).
Eji Aisa anokha kaljoog aaya Beta na maane maan di
Oh brother, Such an unusual period has arrived, that a son does not obey his mother.
Eji Aiso ginan Pir gofte Hasan Shah Swami Raja karo aswaari
Oh Brother! Such a knowledge Pir Hasan Shah speaks; Oh my Imam, please hasten for Ashwari.
In Ismaili tradition, to offer something to Imam is a sign seen as a kind of love and devotion of a murid to his Murshid. Offering or oblation, by tradition, can be in any form, it can be of wealth, of time, of life for the cause and protection of faith and devotion to Imam. It is very evident throughout Ismaili history how devoted dais have sacrificed their lives for their faith. Great aims to be achieved call for great sacrifices, and success in making a reality out of them comes at high cost. This is the most unusual aspect of a pir or a dai, that he puts all his life to service of Imam, and for the cause of his faith. This is the aspect which distinguishes his position among the masses, where people are left endorsed in worldly affairs, a pir sets himself apart from all the world, dedicates all his life to the cause of faith. Today the sacrifice has changed its shape although, but the essence is same. We are required to submit our sacrifice in the form of knowledge and time. We are required today to offer our voluntary services and and take part in charity works which must find constant expression in service to humanity. What purpose should be central to the pattern of an Ismaili’s life, both individual and collective, is reflected very well in this quotation of Mawlana Hazar Imam:
“We are trustees of God’s creation, and we are instructed to seek to leave the world a better place than it was when we came into it… And that ‘better place’, in physical terms, clearly means trying to bring values into environments, buildings and contexts, which make the quality of life better for future generations than it is today.” (Interview by Robert Ivy, Aiglemont, August 31, 2001)
Next, Pir elucidates how if a momin cleanse his soul, through remembering his Lord day and night, and through application of religious duties and his efforts to improve his conduct in his life, he can finally achieve salvation. The concept of rebirth can be taken here as a metaphor, those people, he says, who do good virtues, abstain from sins, they can finally attain the bliss of ma’rifa. In sufic symbolism, to reach the stages of ma’rifa is symbol of entering paradise. But this bliss once achieved is not forever, as the mystic can again fall downwards if he leaves the true path or starts committing sins. The spiritual progress and the associated ecstatic experiences depend upon an individual’s conduct in his material life, and his constant exercising of exoteric practices and obligations of religion, in the form of shariah and tariqah.
Next he uses symbol of a well, and says, oh brother you are very wealthy, meaning your virtues are much more than I have, I feel myself very poor when I compare my self to you.
He alludes to analogy of three spices, Jaefal, long and supari. These three spices or herbs are used here to symbolize three kind of momins within tariqa.
Jaefal is known due to its intense fragrance and is symbol of chosen ones, who have attained the stages of ma’rifa . They have got granted the spiritual union with their Murshid, that is, Imam of time.
Cloves are a herb of lesser fragrance than Jaefal, but in the presence of Jaefal, their fragrance is over masked. It symbolizes those people who have weak iman, and they can thus easily go astray by worldly attachment and illusion. Pir says, their lust and avarice hinders their spiritual progress by making them attached to the illusion of this world. They can get progress in worldly affairs just like a trader, but they are far away from spiritual progress. One thing that needs elucidation here is that Pir does not discourage to take part in worldly affairs, but in Ismaili teachings to work is another expression of worship but the condition is when performed in a spirit of service to humanity, and keeping a balance with the spiritual life. We are required to keep a balance between deen and dunia, but if a believer leaves his spiritual life on sake of worldly affairs then definitely he comes to the category of those whom Pir says ‘are taken by the trader.’
Betel nuts (supari) have a very weak fragrance, and are symbol of those who are not as lucky as the chosen ones, also they are not towards the side of greedy people. They are in the middle, and through practicing the religious duties and a constant contemplation, they can achieve the spiritual union with Imam, but they have to work hard for it.
The situation of these three kind of people, in Ismaili thought, is prevalent in dawr-e-satr. First category of murids are in a state of paradise, having direct spiritual access to the knowledge of Imam of time, and enjoying ecstasy and enlightenment associated with ma’rifa . Second is the category of those people who are in a state of hell, totally enshrined through the illusion and worldly attachment. This kind of murids, although, have recognition of the Imam of time, but they cannot have access to the spiritual status of Imam, and are thus far away from those spiritual pleasures that people in the stage of ma’rifa can enjoy. Third is the category of those people who have recognition of Imam but they need constant practice to the rituals and law of Shariah and Tariqa, so they can achieve access to the spiritual knowledge through mediation of Imam.
According to the ginanic texts, Kalyug is the present era and one of the four stages of human history. Filled with evil, oppression and tyranny, and humanity been full of sins, world is presently in the period of darkness. According to the eschatological prophecies in the ginans, this period of darkness will end with the Holy Imam taking ‘ashwari’ , heralding the beginning of a new era of light or ‘dawr-e-kashf’. ‘Ashwari’ is the symbol of holy Imam bringing world to the period of light, knowledge and liberation. The world will come to one community, and humankind will turn to a glorious, peaceful, united and a global worldwide civilization. There is a well known hadith of the Prophet Muhammad, which says:
“If only one day of this time (world) remained, Allah would raise up a man from my family who would fill this earth with justice as it has been filled with oppression.”
The Prophet Muhammad, (Sunan Abi Dawud 4283I, in-book reference: Book 38, Hadith 5)
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