Sumran | A Poem By Master Zinda Kaul (1884-1965)

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Listen, my friend! He gave me His rosary as a token of His love, but alas!

I failed to take care of it and lost it! I was unworthy.

I have no hope to recover those precious beads by groping in my blindness.

To be so lucky one must have donated valuable gifts to the poor in one’s past lives, which I have not.


I ought to have treasured it in my heart but I held it in my hand to make a show of it.

So no one else is to blame; I myself am responsible for such grievous loss.

To show one’s treasure is to lose it; impatience leads to imperfection;

People keep lids on their kettles so that the rice may be cooked perfectly.


Since I have lost this token, I go, like one out of wits, from shop to shop without meaning to buy or beg anything.

(Those who go from faith to faith grasp none.) How can I explain my lapses, slips and falls?

How can I face Him during the day?

And I cannot go to Him alone also in the dark, dangerous night.


Kashmiri Language

Sumran panin dechonam premuk nishani wasiye

Rachrun togum na rovum, osum na bhaan wasiye.

          Paatee kali chum na duthmuth sona mukhti dhaan wesiye

         Ani saare kya labakh wain tim mukhti dhaani wasiye

Valinji  munz thawun goch, hawun thowum atas peth

Rah kus koar mein panas nauksaani paani wasiye

        Hawun chu rawrawun chawuk summer chu khami

       Thawan zi chawaas bapath banun chi thani waseyi

Yani su nichani rowum tani mach gayes bhi phalwaal

Nun hoan ni khen thi feran chus wani wani wesiye

      Wasurun panun wanas kya wannais ti waar ma chum

     Buth ma samum dohasti gachi koth shaban wasiye

Yechi pach ma hari bayakha haith yur waati kahcha

Tas cha kami nishanun bair bair khazani wasaiye

     Dolaan kohan wanan manz sholaan chi gulshanan manaz

     Zootan chi tarkan manz kaitah nishaan wasiye

Wasrith dalith pathar peth buth kya dimav tamis nish

Pothfarunuk paakaan cha yuth  hu bahani waasiye

    Manavzi aasi hamay poth chuyi taas hund mohabat

    Paiband yi aadnuk cha shur karkhaani waseyi

Dil futhmitan chu toshaan, yechi garmithan chu roshan

Gachaw martain sudaman , prach gaye bhanan waseyi

      Andhi pakhi taati chu aasan bodh broor surdasun

      Bozaan chu mai lagith loolik taran waseyi

Dear friend, pray do not lose hope and faith;

No wonder if someone comes to you with another love token.

He has no dearth of tokens; His treasures are full.

His tokens are lying ungathered in hills and woods,

or brightly blooming in flowerbeds, or scintillating among the stars.


You say:”How can we face him after all our slips and falls? ”

Such lame excuses to turn back from devotion will not do.

For supposing we withdraw, can His love let us go?

The eternal bond (between the human soul and God) is not fragile and flimsy like a child’s friendship.


He loves the humble repentant; though He pretends to be angry with those who are sophisticated.

If you do not believe me, go and ask aside His popular devotees like Sudama who had won His love.

He, the all-knowing innocent child, is never far from saints like Surdas and listens quietly to their devotional songs.

About the poet:

Zinda Koul was the first Kashmiri poet to be awarded ‘Sahitya Academy Award’ (1956) for his book ‘Sumran’. The book was published in Devanagari and was later printed in the Persia-Arabic script. Initially, he wrote in Persian, Hindi and Urdu. He started writing in Kashmir in 1942. His writing was primarily on devotion, philosophy and peace. His writing was influenced by Lal Ded and Parmanand. During his lifetime, he also translated the poems of the famous Kashmiri poet Parmanad into English.