The Ginan Gist – By Karim Maherali. Brief note about the raag (tune) by Aly Sunderji.
The Holy Qur’an mentions the need to seek the means of approach (wasila) to God:
“O ye who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him, and strive in his cause: that ye may prosper.”(5:35)
This Ginan highlights that the wasila alluded to above are the Pirs who are either the Imams themselves or those appointed by them to perform the role of Piratan. The Path leading to salvation is indeed narrow and one must constantly be vigilant lest the soul is led astray into the wilderness. All ritual actions performed outside the obedience of the Pir are futile.
ek tīrath vedhaṇā pīr shams gazī sadhaṇā
Transliteration, Translation and Commentary
|ek teerath vedhddaa peer shams gaazee sadhnnaa
tusaa naavo naavo naavannaa veeraa naavannaa……………….1
Admonishing a caravan going for the teerath, Pir Shams, the Ghazi says: bathe if you would, bathe, bathe if you would.
Comment: Teerath is the pilgrimage event of the Hindus wherein they perform bathing in the rivers Ganges and Yamuna. In this verse Pir Shams is making mockery remarks at the pilgrims hinting that they are engaged in a futile pilgrimage and that they ought to perform the real pilgrimage alluded in the next verse. Ghazi is the epithet of Pir Shams meaning ‘conqueror’.
|naate dhote sejeeyaa jeene gurdhaa farmaayaa keeyaa
or nahee naavnnaa nahee naavnnaa……………………….2
The ones who have been cleansed through following the commands of the Guide have indeed washed and bathed themselves. There is no other bathing besides this.
|raaho rah chalo tusaa peer puchhee raah chalo
ujadd pag nahee paavnnaa na paavnnaa……………………3
Proceed along the Path. Seek and ask the Pir the way and proceed along the Path. Do not set your feet in a deserted place or wilderness.
|peer shams arvaah parbodhnnaa
manhatthee ruhaane samjaavannaa – e samjaavnnaa…………..4
Pir Shamsh preaches (or guides) the (good) souls and persuades the arrogant or stubborn souls.
|esaa dar medde saaheb raajedhaa sadhddaa
suidhe dhafe veech hastee maavnnaa veeraa maavnnaa………..5
The doorstep(or courtyard) of my Lord is very narrow. It is like passing an elephant through the eye of the needle.
|peer shams gaazee boleeyaa
fal sache yaare moman paavnnaa veeraa paavnnaa……………6
Pir Shams, the Ghazi says: the genuine momins will attain the fruits, o brothers, the courageous ones will indeed attain.
“Allah hath promised to believers, men and women, gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss is the good pleasure of Allah: that is the supreme felicity.” (9:72)
Brief note about the raag (tune) aspect of this Ginan by Aly Sunderji
The above ginan is composed predominantly in Raag Bilaawal, although depending on the singer, the notes change slightly and include or exclude certain notes, predominantly singers tend to include the Tivr Madhyam (Sharp Ma) thus changing the mood of the composition more towards that of a Kalyaañ feel. The traditional samay (time) for bilaawal is between 6-9 AM, on the flip side, the samay for Raag Yaman is evening time. Another note very worthy of mentioning is the concept of rhyme and rhythm in this ginan, this is one such ginan where Pir Shams had deliberately changed the pronunciation of his name to fit in with the rhyme. In the Khojki as well as the most commonly used book “Mahaan Ismaili Sant Pir Shamshudin Rachit Ginano no Sangrah” (Bombay 1952) printed by Mukhi Lalji Devraj, the Pir’s name appears as શમસ rather than શમ્સ as usually spelled. In the first verse Pir MaaBaap refers to himself as “Shamas Gaazi” this was one of his pennames, other popular pennames being: Shams Chot and Shams Kalandar. I thank my colleague Sridevi Maharaj for her assistance in academic research related to the notations of this ginan.
Ginan Series – By Karim Maherali
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