The ginans are a vast corpus consisting of several hundred (indeed, by some estimates over a thousand) hymns or religious lyrics which have for long been a central part of the religious life of the Indian Nizari Ismaili Community, and of which they continue to form the living religious tradition. The literature is also shared by the Imamshahi community in Gujarat, who are believed to have split off from the Ismailis sometime in the 16th century.
The term ‘ginan’ is believed to derive from the Sanskrit jnan, an abstract noun, which may be variously rendered as ‘knowledge’, ‘wisdom’ or ‘cognition’ (reminiscent, to some extent, of the Greek gnosis).
The language of the ginans is fascinatingly mixed. Its vocabulary is derived alike from Sanskrit, and languages descended f rom Sanskrit (chiefly Gujarati) on one hand, and Arabic and Persian on the other. Few ginans, if any, can be distinguished by content. What rather gives each its unity, its identity, is the melody (raga) assigned to it. Furthermore, the last verse of every ginan mentions, without fail, the name of its accepted author. It is these features which make every single composition, whose content is normally quite heterogeneous, recognisably distinct.
|Eka shabada suno mere bhai (MP3)|
|Anand Anand (MP3)|
|Dura deshti ayo vanazaro (MP3)|
|Ugamiya Sohi Din (MP3)|
|Ada thaki ek suna nipaya (MP3)|
|Unch Thi Ayo (MP3)|
|Anant Akhado (Selected Verses) (MP3)|
|Aye Rahem Raheman (MP3)|