S’ami–The Saint-Singer of Sind
(For over a century and half Sind has been fortunate to lisp the slokas of S’ami. The real name of this Sind poet was Chainrai (1743-1850 A.D) who immortalized his guru under the nom-de-plume of “S’ami”(literally meaning the “Master”). Ghainrai was born in Shikarpur and was of a detached temperament from his early boyhood. Under the able guidance of Swami Menghraj he studied Sanskrit and became an ardent student of Vedanta. He traversed the spiritual realms and is reputed to have unfolded his mystic sight and attained the Cosmic Vision. He first uttered these slokas at the age of 40. Most of these have been preserved intact for posterity. Each sloka consists of three or four-lined verses. His work is characterized as “a spring of wisdom and a treasury of love”. The following are only a few of the many verses freely rendered from the Sindhi original by the writer in Karachi District prison in September 1943.)
One breath fills Vedas, Puranas and the Qoran,
Says S’ami: Discern this with mind steadfast;
Like ether in clouds, His Spirit doth everywhere dawn;
Some rare illuminated one kens this at last!
O S’ami, all Beauty is of the Beloved born;
Himself seeth, Himself heareth, uttereth all by Himself;
He who was Formless and Forlorn,
By His Creation became Manifest!
O S’ami, to everyone is the Beloved nigh,
But the fools think Him yonder to be;
Night and day, in ignorance and agony, they shamelessly die;
The lovers, boarding the ferry of Faith, cross over to Eternity!
The Beloved dwells in thy palace within;
Yet hither and thither the unwise grope,
And beg alms, oblivious of their origin;
Few discern and sink in the Self’s repose!
The whole world whirls in the wheel of desire,
Like illusory dealings in a dream you find;
Understand, O S’ami! discrimination acquire,
To kill ignorance and pride out of your mind!
Why gather gold? Nothing shall abide,
Save His Name, all else is mire;
All vain desires cast aside,
To attain His Feet: awake, aspire!
In the law of reckoning all beings entangle,
But the aspirants overstepping it, much on;
O S’ami: lighting devotion’s candle,
They soar in the heaven of Nirvan!
Infirm thy fortress, a tower of earth;
With Spark Divine, thy body in glory wakes?
He who discovers It, moves not in the wheel of birth;
When the Breath departs, lo, the fragile body breaks!
They who kiss the dust of Holy Feet,
Absorbed in ecstasy ever remain,
And listening to the mystic melody sweet,
Their mind doth calmness attain!
The Master bestowed transparency on the heart
And in eyes made the endless Splendour leap,
All sense of duality from the mind did depart,
Lo, the drop hath merged in the Ocean deep!
Immeasurable is my longing for Love,
As mother-o’-pearl pines for a drop of rain,
And the fish for life-giving water doth rove,
So without the Supreme, not a moment can S’ami remain!
He who longs for the Love Ohe,
All other cravings cease in him;
Beholding the Beloved in everyone,
He fixes his gaze on Him!
The lovers ponder not over shallow or deep;
Plunging headlong, they cross the ocean,
The Isle of Enchantment they instantly reach,
joining both pairs of eyes the two become ONE!
My eyes are bewitched by the Realm of Light,
Where neither sun, nor moon doth rise,
Where dawns not day, nor sets in the night,
Where, O S’ami! it ever rains from cloudless skies!
Rare in this world is such a Holy One!
Who gives up all his delusion’s dream;
Beholding the Beloved in everyone,
O S’ami! he is one with the Supreme!
The Omniscient Master placed his hand over my head,
All my mind’s struggle ceased, O S’ami
His Mercy rained: pools of love overspread:
Lo! the Beloved himself is seated in front of me!