Ginan: Shahnaa khat aayaa viraa Jampudeep maa(n)he – The Imam’s letter has arrived in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent

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

Ginan: Shahnaa khat aayaa viraa Jampudeep maa(n)he - The Imam's letter has arrived in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinentThis Ginan is called a Talika Ginan. It is recited on the occasion of the reading of Mowlana Hazar Imam’s messages to the Jamat (the Talikas ). It evokes a feeling and a desire in a murid to meet the Imam physically on this joyous moment and in the process describes the trials and tribulations that those who travelled on foot in service of the Imam (who resided in Iran) from the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent underwent and overcame. These challenges can be taken as metaphors for the challenges that have to be overcome in order to attain spiritual proximity of the Imam ( Batuni Deedar)

Shahnaa khat aayaa viraa Jampudeep maa(n)he


Without music: Aly Sunderji With music: Anar Kanji


Transliteration, Translation and Commentary


Eji Shahnaa khat aayaa viraa Jampudeep maa(n)he
Kaa(n)y laavyaa laavyaa chandan veer.. ..1

O momins! The Imam’s letter has arrived in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent. It has been brought by Chandan Vir.

Eji Shahna khat vaanchiyaa Pir Indr Imamdin
Aaj maare haide harakh na maay.. ..2

O momins! Pir Indr Imamdin has read the letter of the Imam. Today my heart overflows with joy (of closeness to the Imam)

Eji Paa(n)khadiyaa jo hove to Shahne jai milu(n)
Shu(n) karu(n) maaro peendhado na haath.. ..3

O momins! If I had wings I would fly to meet my Imam but what can I do? My body is not under my control.

Eji Kandhodhar hove to kandh udve
Eva joi joi karu(n) chhu(n) vichaar.. ..4

O momins! If there should be a shoulder-bearer he should fly me on his shoulder. Such are the thoughts as I look around.

Eji Foolda viñaavo viraa satiyu(n) tañaa
Jene nathi vaaya kaljoogna vaay.. ..5

O Lord! Select true believers who are like flowers; those who are untouched by the winds of the present era.

Comment: Real momins are like flowers for the Imam whom he protects and preserves. The Pir in this verse is asking the Imam to enjoy the fragrance of his true momins on this glorious moment. True momins are not affected by the vagaries of time.


Eji Raahi ne dargaahi mili darge sondhiyaa
Te to chaalyaa aapñe Shahne farman.. ..6

O momins! The travellers and courtiers are together seeking out His court, proceeding in accordance with the command of the Imam.

Eji Ratnaagar gaaje ati daraamña
Tiyaa(n) kaayariya kaa(n)i chhaande re praañ.. ..7

O momins! (On the way) The ocean roars most terrifyingly, there many cowards give up their lives.

Eji Vaagh ne si(n)hda raahiyuna volaamaña
Te chhe aapña Shahne pichhaañ.. ..8

O momins! (On the way) Tigers and lions welcome these travelers and guide them. They also recognize our Imam.

Comment: In service of the Imam, the most terrifying moments are transformed into friendly moments.


Eji Unchaa unchaa doongar disere daraamña
Tiyaa(n) vaay taadha hemaajalna vaay ..9

O momins! (On the way) Lofty mountains seem fearful where cold and icy winds blow.

Eji Raahi ne dargaahi mili darge pohota
Jaai pota Kahek nagri maa(n)he.. ..10

O momins! The travelers and courtiers jointly reached the court. They arrived at the city of Kahak.

Eji Kahek nagri dishe ati raliyaamñi
Tiyaa(n) betha aapña tribhovar Shaam. ..11

O momins! The city of Kahak seems very beautiful. There resides the Lord of the three worlds.

Comment: Having overcome the challenges of traveling to the Imam and getting thus the physical Deedar of the Imam, the senses get sharpened and everything around seems beautiful.


Eji Thaal bharaavo vira sag motiye
Vadhaavo aapña tribhovar Shaam.. ..12

O momins! Fill the dishes with pearls, shower them on our Lord of the three worlds.

Eji Pir Indr Imamdin aasha mukhe boliya vinati
Sami gatna goonaah baksh karo.. ..13

O momins! Pir Indra Imamdin entreatingly says: O Imam! forgive the sins of the Jamat.

Comment: In the glorious moment of attaining closeness to the Imam, Sayyed Imam Shah is seizing the opportunity to pray for the forgiveness of the sins of the Jamat. It is considered as the most generous and unselfish act.


A Brief Note on the Raag (Tune) Aspect by Aly Sunderji


A Brief Note on the Raag (Tune) Aspect by Aly SunderjiThe above ginan is classified as “Venti-na Ginano” meaning a ginan of supplication. The raag of this ginan can vary quite drastically from singer to singer. As a child, I studied ginans under Anaar Kanji, who sung this ginan based in raag Nat Bhairav, the notes of which are – Aaroh: SRGMPdNS, Avroh: SNdPMGRS (all notes are shudhh other than komal dhayvat). Although the tunes may sound very similar from singer to singer, the raag changes dramatically even by a slight variation that the singer may make to decorate the tune. The way I personally sing this ginan incorporates both shudhh and komal dhayvat, komal nishaad, both shudhh and komal gandhaar, making this more of a folktune rather than based in a classical raag. I’d like to thank my Guruben Shruti Sharma, and my colleague Pratyush Goberdhan for academic research.


Ginan Translation Series

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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