Sachal Sarmast, Sindhi Secular Sufi Poet: The Philosopher, mystic & scholar

“Sachal, Thy friend, suffers in painful afflictions aplenty”

By Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom

In the beautiful land of Sindh, there is a beautiful goothu ( a village), Daraazaa. Here in this calm, sanguine, sanctuary of peace and tranquillity stand a monument, a Dargaah, an earthly monument, to that Heavenly Immortal soul, my murshid, my guide Saaeen Sachal Sarmast. The love for the Suufees, Faqeers and Darveishes of this remarkable land of Sindh that is enshrined in every son and daughter of this glorious land of Sindh is really heart-warming, inspiring and touching, indeed.

This paak, pavitar, pure dhartee of Sindh, the Cradle of Civilisations, had given birth to countless Suufees, Saints, Sages, Auliyaas, Avtaars. It is in this glorious land of Sindh that humanity learnt to breathe and take its first step towards emancipation, enlightenment and Eternal Peace, Prosperity and Progress.

Abdul Wahab was the real name of this great Philosopher, mystic, scholar par excellence. Sachal being his pen-name – the ‘speaker of Truth, lover of Truth’ – used by him in his brilliant Poetry. This nickname was also used, out of love by the people around him, his disciples, his followers, his admirers and those who sang his enchanting poetry.

Sachal Sarmast Saaeen (1739-1826), was one such icon of this glorious land of Sindh. When Saaeen Sachal he was born, my murshid, my guru, my teacher, my guide Saaeen Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, the foremost, the supreme, formidable, the colossal poet, Suufee, Saint, Sage of Sindh was requested by baby Sachal’s father to visit the family Wahab in Daraza to bless the baby Abdul Wahab. Bhittai Saaeen, travelled to Daraza, where he was ushered in to the ‘haaveli’ to see the new-born baby. He stood by the baby’s cot and held his tiny hand in his gifted and noble hands and remarked: “The pot of truth (wahdaaniyata), love (muhabbata), peace (Sindhyata) and humanity (insaanyata)that I have cooked, Sachal is the one who is going to lift its lid, the covering.”

Yes, Bhittai Saaeen – a Graet Visionmar- was proven right and Sachal Saaeen continued with that same glorious, illustrious and exhalted Path and on the Path that Saaeen Bhitai left when he said good-bye to this mortal world – the Path of Truth!

I have been blessed by God Almighty to have been born in this land of Truth, Peace, Harmony and Tranquility, Sindh, my beloved motherland, my sweet fatherland. Having lived abroad for over forty years, it was the company of Saaeen Bhittai, Saaeen Sachal and other Sufis, Sages of my land that kept me alive and full and replenished with that glorious Message given to us by these Divinely Empowered Saints.

I have, from time to time, translated some of the Verses of Sachal saaee, which I hereby share with you. Long Live Sindh of Saaeen Bhittai and Saaeen Sachal Sarmast! Oh, Lord! Let the Truth Prevail!

ننگڙا نماڻين دا؍ جيوين تيوين پالڻان؍

ميري آھيان مندي آھيان؍ بيشڪ بندي آھيان؍

رکين ميڏي ډولڻان؍ عيب نَ ڦولڻان؍

پيٸي آھيان پناري؍ لڳي آھيان لاري؍

جوڳي نال جالڻان؍ ول نھين آوڻان؍

يار سڿل تَٸون؍ لکين آن ڪشالي؍

گھونگھٽ کولڻان؍ ٻھ ٻھ ٻولڻان؍

ننگڙا نماڻين دا؍ جيوين تيوين پالڻان؍ (سڿل

““Nangrra nimannee daa jeewein teewein paalnnaa,

Meree aahyaan mandee aahyan, beishaki bandee aahyaan

Rakhee meiddee dholnnaa, ayba na pholnnaa,

Payee aahyaan panaarei, laggee aahyaan laarei,

Joggee naali jaalnnaa, vali naheen aavnnaa,

Yaar Sachal tauun, lakhei aa kashaalei,

Ghunghati kholnnaa, mbaha mbaha mbolnnaa

Nangrra nimannee daa jeewein teewein paalnnaa.” (Sachal)

“Honour of this wretched one, nurture somehow anyhow tenderly,

Unkempt untidy dishevelled am I, Thy loyal maid am I, surely;

Protect chastity, Oh Beloved, disclose not my faults so ugly;

Hoping for Thy Grace and Mercy, aspiring for Thy Bounty,

Spending life with illustrious Joggis, never returning to county;

Sachal, Thy friend, suffers in painful afflictions aplenty,

Open Thy veil of mystery, speak Thy wise words earnestly;

Honour of this wretched one, nurture somehow anyhow tenderly.”

…………….Translated by Ahmed Makhdoom

ھَر ڪا صُوزَتَ آپ اَللاھُ؍

ٻِو ڪُجھُ ڄاڻَڻُ مَحذِ گُناھُ؍

(سَچل ساٸين)

“Har kaa suurata aap Allah,

Mbiyo kujh cjaannannu mahaz gunaah!” (Sachal Saaeen)

“Thy Presence feeleth everywhere, Seest Thee here and there,

Thou only Truth be, ‘tis sin to think of anyone else but Thee!”

…….translated by Ahmed Makhdoom

پني ۾ پيغامَ؍ ڪي لکي موڪليا سڄڻين؍

سي نَ سمجھن عام؍ جي آھن منجھ عشارتان؍


“Panei mein paighamu, kei likhee moklia sacjnnei,

Sei na samjhan aamu, jei aahin manjhi ishartaan.”

“Pages of endearing messages, sent to Beloved’s abode,

Commoners understand naught, scrawls of lover’s secret code.” (Sachal)

……..Translated by Ahmed Makhdoom

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, May 7, 2010

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