The Riverine Environment in Sachal’s Siraiki Poetry

Abstract

River symbolizes life, love and emotions in classical Indus Valley poetry of Siraiki, Sindhi and Punjabi languages. Sachal Sarmast (1739-1827) is considered as a one of the great poet of Sindhi language alonwith the status of greatest Siraiki poet in Sindh. This article explores the use of riverine vocabulary and symbols in Sachal’s Siraiki poetry. His observations of the life inside and around the rivers are very rich and profound. He describes his Sufi philosophy of wahdat al-wujud (unity of being) through the symbols related with river. He used the folk tale of ‘Heer Ranjha,’ which itself has a riverine background, to explain his Sufi philosophy. His personal experience of riverine life was related with Indus but he mentioned ‘Ravi’ and ‘Chenab’ rivers in his poetry which have a connection with the folk tale of ‘Heer Ranjha.This is the first account of Sachal’s Siraiki poetry in this particular direction .

Dr. Jawed Chandio