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He wrote poetry in many languages, most prominently in Sindhi, during the Kalhoro/Talpur era of Sindh. He was born in Daraza, near Ranipur, Sindh. His real name was Abdul Wahab Farouqi; he was also nicknamed "Sachal" or "Sachoo". He used this pen-name in his poetry: Sachu means 'truthful' - while in SindhiSarmast means 'ecstatic' in Sindhi and Urdu alike. Sachal Sarmast literally means 'truthful mystic' or can be translated as "Ecstatic Saint of Truth".
Sachal's father died when he was a child. He was later raised by his uncle, Abdul Haqq, who also became his spiritual master. He married his uncle's daughter, but the young woman died two years later. He never remarried. It is said that he never left Daraza, the village of his birth.
The first compendium of Sachal's poetry was by Agha Sufi. First published in 1933 in Shikarpur, Sindh, it included Sachal's biography and a critical analysis of his philosophy and poetry. The introductory chapters provide a comparative analysis of the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Sachal Sarmast, an introduction to Sufism and Vedanta (Chapter I), a biography of Sachal (Chapter II), and an explanation of the melodic modes or Raga (called "Sura" in Sindhi) that are used in Sachal's poetry (Chapter III). This is followed by a collection of Sachal's poems (Chapter IV) and a glossary and interpretation (Chapter V).