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The Extent of Our Ginanic Literature

By Alwaez rai Abualy A. Aziz

The Nizari Ismaili Pirs and Sayyeds who preached in the Indian subcontinent until the turn of the Century composed a vast corpus of Ginanic literature. It is a sad fact that no one today, knows for sure what was the extent of this corpus. A well known Ismaili preacher and missionary Bhagat Kara Ruda (d.1934) wrote several commentaries on Ginans, two of which, Girbhavali and Bhuj Nirinjan, I have in my possession in manuscript form. He stated that the Pirs converted half a million people to Satpanth and they composed over ten million stanzas of literature. While he does not mention his source of information, one can in my opinion relay on the integrity of such a spiritually advanced person. Today we only have a small fraction of this literature left in the printed form.

There are several reasons which have been put forward for this loss. Some of them have already been discussed today by other speakers. However, there is one reason which has not been mentioned so far and this is the migration of people out of our faith. In their mission, our Pirs converted people from varied backgrounds and over considerable geographical expanse. Over the period of time some of these groups, either due to persuasion or isolation, drifted out of our faith. Thus it is not hard to see how large chunks of literature must have been in their possession. An excellent example of this process was brought to light this morning by Al-waez Salim Musa regarding the Ginans of Sayyed Badardin.

In this presentation, I will attempt to add up all the published Ginans and Granths, in order to arrive at a numerical figure of the published material of Ginanic literature. These are as follows;

VERSE FORM

1. Anant Akhado [P.Hk.] 500 vrs.

2. Anant na nav chuga [P.Hk.] 90 vrs.

3. Bai budhai no savad [Sy.IS & Sy. BB] 544 vrs. (*1 )

4. Bavan bodh [P. Sd.] 54 vrs. (*2 )

5. Brahma Prakask [P.Sh.] 150 vrs.

6. Budh Avataar [P.Sd.] 525 vrs. (*3 )

7. Buj Nirinjan [P.Sd.] 33 Chugas 646 vrs.

8. Chandraban [P.Sh.] 50 vrs. (*4 )

9. Chandraban ni Vel [P.Sh.] 12 vrs.

10. Chatur Kalap no mandann [P.Sd.] 235 vrs.

11. Das Avataar Moto [Sy.IS] 1613 vrs.

12. Garbi [P.Sh.] 516 vrs.

13. Gugri na Ginano [Sy.IS] 63 vrs.

14. Hasnapuri [P.Hk.] 165 vrs.

15. Hasnapuri ni Vel [P.Hk.] 84 vrs.

16. Janatpuri [Sy.IS] 158 vrs.

17. Jankar [Sy.IS] 487 vrs.

18. Khat darshan [P.Sd.] 45 vrs.

19. Khat darshan ni Vel [P.Sd.] 81 vrs.

20. Khat Nirinjan [P.Sd.] 266 vrs.

21. Mansamjamanni Vadi [P.Sh.] 401 Chugas 8020 stz. (*5 )

22. Mansamjamanni Nindhi [Sy.IS] 331 vrs.

23. Moman Chetamanni [Sy.IS] 630 vrs.

24. Moman Chitvarnni [Sy.IS] 323 vrs.

25. Momin Chitvenni [P.Sd] 552 vrs.

26. Mulbandh no Achodo [P.Sh.] 550 vrs. (*6 )

27. Pandav no Parab [Sy.IS] 578 vrs.

28. Putla [P.Sn] 222 vrs.

29. Raja Govarchand ni Katha [P.Sh.] 295 vrs. (*7 )

30. Raja G'chand tatha teni ben no Akhiano [P.Sh.] 100 vrs.

31. Sahi Samranni [P.Sd.] 32 vrs.

32. Satgur Nur na viva [P.Hk.] 223 vrs.

33. Satvarnni Vadi [Sy.MS] 316 Chugas 4424 stz.

34. Satvenni vadi [Sy.NMS] 222 Chugas 3108 stz.

35. Satvenni Nendhi [Sy.IS] 22 Chugas 644 stz.

36. Satvenni ji Vel [Sy.NMS] 150 Chugas 4500 stz.

37. Si Harfi [Sy.AS] 8 Chugas 192 stz. (*8)

38. Sloko Moto [P.Sh] 240 vrs.

39. Sloko Nano [P.Sd] 120 vrs.

40. So Kriya [P.Sd] 100 vrs.

41. Surbann [P.Sh.] 50 vrs.

42. Surbann ni Vel [P.Sh.] 12 vrs.

43. Vayek Moto [P.Sh.] 64 vrs.

44. Vayek ni Vel [P.Sh.] 31 vrs.

45. Vishav Kunvari na viva [P.Hk.] 233 vrs. (*9)

# Ginan Bk. 1 1333 vrs.

# Ginan Bk. 2 1440 vrs.

# Ginan Bk. 3 1365 vrs.

# Ginan Bk. 4 1517 vrs.

# Ginan Bk. 5 1387 vrs.

# ginan Bk. 6 1003 vrs.

-------------

39898 vrs.

=====

PROSE FORM

46. 46 Sunat [Sy.IS] 1 pg. (*10)

47. Aradh [P.Sd.] 41 pgs.

48. Athar Ved [P.Sd.] 4 pgs.

49. Atharvedi Gavantri [Sy.IS] 4 pgs.

50. Bavan Ghati [P.Sd.] 26 pgs.

51. Brahma Gavantri [P.Hk.] 3 pgs.

52. Das Avataar nano 11 pgs.

53. Gavantri [P.Sd.] 4 pgs.

54. Girbhavali Moti [P.Sd.] 40 pgs.

55. Girbhavali Nani [Sy.IS] 4 pgs.

56. Mulbandh, Sol thal & Char chowk [Sy.IS] 247 pgs. (*11)

57. Mur Gavantri [Sy. IS] 51 pgs.

58. Naklanki Gita [Sy.IS] 119 pgs.

59. Patal Gita [Sy.IS] 9 pgs. (*12)

60. Pir Hk. ane Kanipa jogi no savad [P.Hk.] 4 pgs.

61. Surat samachar [P.Sd.] 6 pgs.

62. Vinod [P.Sd.] 4 pgs.

63. Vis Tol [Sy.IS] 11 pgs.

---------

578 pgs.

=========

The above list illustrates that as it stands the total extent of our published Ginanic literature is not more than some forty thousand verses and another six hundred or so pages of prose. As mentioned earlier this represents only a small part of what was originally composed. I hope that in such conferences hereto unknown works will be brought to light.

NOTES:

1. A total of 71 Ginans with alternate Ginans composed by Sayyed Imam Shah and Sayyeda Bai Budhai. There is one Ginan which appears to have been composed by Hajar Beg.

2. The collection of this Granth together with So Kriya and Sahi Samrani is sometimes known as Shikshapatri. Please refer to the article on the comparison of So kiriya and Shikshapatri by Al-waeza Aziza Hayat in this proceedings.

3. Buddh Awatar: The published version contains 523 verses. However, I have in my possession, in manuscript form a version with 525 verses.

4. Chandrabhan and Surbhan were two disciples of Pir Shams.

5. Mansamjani: Mukhi Lalji Devraj writes that this Granth originally contained 500 chhugas or 10,000 stanzas. However, 99 pages of the manuscript were in an advanced state of deterioration. Thus he could only copy 401 pages or chhugas.

6. This includes Hans Hansli ni Varta. It is a seperate book but bonded together.

7. This Granth and the following one are supplementary and exhorting the same theme.

8. Si-Harfi: Sayyed Ahmed Shah was the son of Sayyed NurMohammed Shah.

9. Also known as "Anant na Viva"

10. Chhetalis Sunnat: This is a short composition containing 46 instructions in preparation for prayers or going to the mosque.

11. This work has never been published in Gujrati.

12. A Khojki copy of this Granth has been published at the beginning of this century by Mukhi Laljibhay Devraj. Mr Mumtaz Ali Tajjdin has made a Gujrati transliteration of it in 1981.


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