VAR PATSHAHI DASVIN KI
Var Patshahl Dasvin Ki, ballad in Punjabi by an unknown poet who describes, Guru Gobind Singh\’s battle against the combinded forces of hill rajas and the Mughal faujdar Rustam Khan. The poet has not mentioned where and when the action took place the names of the Mughal commander Rustam Khan and his brother Himmat Khan mentioned in the Var indicate that it was the battle of Nirmohgarh, fought in 1700. The Var opens with a supplicatory verse where after the poet straightway begins the narrative. Rustam Khan has arrived at the head of a Mughal host with the proclaimed hiect of routing the Guru and his Sikhs.
Guru Gobind Singh invites his selected Sikhs for consultation. The Sikhs are eager to give the enemy a befitting reply on the battle oround. Then follows a vivid description of the march of the Sikh force. The remaining 44 stanzas (12 to 55) contain forceful, if somewhat rhetorical, narration of the battle scenes. The assaults of the armies, the charge of the warriors, the neighing of the steeds, the excitement and confusion of combat are reproduced with imaginative fancy.
In stanza after stanza the poet deals with the same theme, but every time employing fresh imagery. A number of Sikhs fell on the field of battle.The adversary had, perhaps, suffered heavier losses, their commander Rustam Khan being among those slain. Thereafter Himmat Khan assumed the command, and the battle took a more fierce turn. Towards the close of the day, the Sikhs had to retreat, only to take field with renewed vigour the next day.
The last stanza of the Var pronounces that those who sing this Var would be rescued from the cycle of death and rebirth. The Guru would protect those who listened to the narration of the valiant deeds of the heroes. In addition to the paurls, the poet has used dohrd, sorathd and savaiyyd measures.The pauris are in old Punjabi while for other measures Braj Bhasa, mixed with Punjabi, has been used. The Var contains a vast range of archaic words.
The influence of Chandi di Var is evident. In addition to the vocabulary, the poet has borrowed imagery and, at places, complete lines from Chandi di Var. However, the poet does not lack originality. His composition contains images and expressions which are new and fresh.
The now famous line, “Charhda hoia bolia paij rakhin aone navn di”â€” going to make battle, he supplicated, now protect the hounour of They name, 0 Lord. The Var remained in obscurity for over two centuries and was published by Piara Singh Padam, in 1967, in his collection Varan Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Dian.
1. Ganda Singh (ed.), Panjab Dian Varan, Amritsar, 1946.
2. Padam, Piara Singh, Varan Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Dian, Patiala, 1967.