Ginan: Unchaa re kot bahu vechana – Your abode is at an elevated fort far away

The Ginan Gist – By Karim Maherali. Brief note about the raag (tune) by Aly Sunderji.

This Ginan is classified as a Venti Ginan (Ginan of Supplication). It highlights the need to constantly be aware and engage in the quest for the ultimate purpose and meaning which is crowned by the gift of Darshan (Vision) without which life feels painful and a burden.

Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah says in his Memoirs regarding the importance of the grace of spiritual vision:

“Thus from the most worldly point of view and with no comprehension of the higher life of the spirit, the lower, more terrestrial spirit makes us aware that all the treasures of this life, all that fame, wealth and health can bring are nothing beside the happiness which is created and sustained by the love of one human being for another. This great grace we can see in ordinary life as we look about us, among our acquaintances and friends.

But as the joys of human love surpass all that riches and power may bring a man, so does that greater spiritual love and enlightenment, the fruit of that sublime experience of the direct vision of reality which is God’s gift and grace, surpass all that the finest, truest human love can offer. For that gift we must ever pray.”

Unchaa re kot bahu vechana

Without music: Saira Fazal With music: Shamshu Jamal


Transliteration, Translation & Commentary


Eji Unchaa re kot bahu vechanaa

Niche vahe dariyaav
Hu(n) re dariyaa-vandi maachhali
Saa(n)hiya taarañ aav

Hu(n) re darshan bina baavari
Baalam ghare aav, saajan ghare aav
Bando bhuliyo taari bandagi
Saa(n)hiya soorat bataav. . ..Hu(n) re..1

O Lord! Your abode is at an elevated fort far away, beneath which is an ocean. I am a fish in the ocean. O Lord! Come to save me, for I am restless without your Vision (Darshan).

O my Lover! Come to my home, O my Master! Come to my home. I am your created being who has forgotten the means of your worship. O Lord! Bless me with your Vision.

Comment: The imagery of a high fort far away with the ocean beneath is an expression of the distance between an individual soul symbolized by a fish in the ocean and God residing in the fort. It conveys a sense of virtual impossibility of the soul through its own efforts to attain God. Hence the supplication for the Beloved to come to the heart and the soul symbolized by the home. The key message is that the Darshan ( Vision ) is something that is given and not acquired.

For a person on the quest for the truth, life in this world seems hopeless and meaningless without the experience of Darshan (the Vision), and hence the feeling of restlessness. The mention of the forgetting of the way of worship is indicative of the humility that is required in this quest. No matter what methods we may employ, they may be inadequate for the purpose and hence the awareness of the need for constant guidance and personal adjustment in this respect to strike a balance between knowledge, action and devotion.


Eji Agar chandan ni kotdi

Sufal rachiya kamaad re
Taala didha chhe premna
Saa(n)hiya kholañ aav.. ..Hu(n) re..2

O Lord! My dwelling is made of aloes wood and sandlewood. It’s door is made of rewarding deeds. The lock of love has been placed on it. O my Lord! Come to open it, for I am restless without your Vision.

Comment: The dwelling symbolizes the humble heart and aloes wood and sandlewood symbolize the heavenly beauty of the heart which is attained through rewarding deeds symbolized by the door.

The lock of love conveys the message that through our own actions we cannot attain the Vision. It is only through the unlocking of the door by the Imam , that one may attain ultimate Deedar (Vision).


Eji Pinjar padiyo parivaarno

Koik boojat jaan
Mere tanki vednaa
Saa(n)hiya tapat bujaav.. ..Hu(n) re..3

O Lord! I have fallen into the prison of worldly relationships. Hardly anyone understands this. My body is suffering from its pain. O my Lord! Come to extinguish the painful fire (of separation).

Comment: The worldly relationships which together with their excessive commitments and obligations can inflict enormous psychological strains and stresses which may find expression in physical pain and indeed diseases.

The coming of the Lord with the accompanying peace and joy can provide the fire- extinguishing and soothing effect to the soul in this respect.


Eji Itna kop na kijiye

Saa(n)hiya dije didaar
Pir Hasan Shahni vinati
Saa(n)hiya taarañ aav.. ..Hu(n) re..4

O Lord! Do not have that kind of anger for me. O my Lord! Grant me your Vision (Deedar). Pir Hasan Shah entreats: O my Lord! Come to save me.

Comment: Although the Imam is kind and merciful, the pain of the apparent separation can make one feel that He is neglectful and angry.

The Imam is always approaching us but sometimes we fail to perceive that either due to ignorance or spiritual immaturity and hence the feeling of His anger and neglect for us.


Brief note on the raag (tune) aspect by Aly Sunderji

Brief note on the raag (tune) aspect by Aly SunderjiThe venti ginan Uncha Re Kot Bahuvech is set in Raag Sindhoora, traditionally sung during monsoon, this raag has an overall romantic feel.

Based in Kaafi Thaat, the notes and overall ang is quite similar, yes very distinct at the same time. The notes used are – Aaroh: SRMPDS / Avroh: RNSnDPMgRS. The intended samay (time of day) for Raag Sindhoora is the fourth prahar of the day (3 PM – 6PM). This ginan is classified as “Venti-na Ginano” (ginan of supplication). This is also a Jodilo ginan, other ginans that share the same tune are: Partak Patr ne Parkhine & Khedo Khedo Jem Ni Naavdi.


Ginan Translation Series

One thought

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.