\’Anand\’, which the Sikhs reverently call Anand Saheb is among the most popular compositions of Guru Amardas, the third of the ten Sikh gurus. This important composition constitutes on significant part of the daily liturgical recitations prescribed for the Sikhs. The compositions of Guru Amardas in general, and Anand in particular, expresses deep spiritual experiences couched in simple, unembellished diction. The guru is a master at blending profound philosophical tenor with enchanting lyricism in metaphors which are homely, and images that are drawn from everyday life.
Literally, the word Anand has two connotations: spiritual and mundane. In the former, it stands for \’beatific delight\’ or \’divine ecstasy\’. In the latter, it stands for \’wedding\’. The guru seems to be knitting both these meanings together in this composition, because, thematically, it appears to be a sort of Beatific Epithalamion. The very first stanza sets this tenor by employing the metaphor of a marriage scene from amidst which the bride seems to exclaim: 0 mother mine, beatific delight have I attained For my true Master have I found. Yea, Him have I attained with tranquil mind, My heart is filled with felicity.
Fairy songsters of bejewelled music Have come down His praises to sing.0 sing ye that divine Word Which peoples my heart. Saith Nanak, \’I am in divine ecstasy For I\’ve attained my Lord.\’ This composition comprises 40 stanzas, each employing the folk form of chhant, a short rejoicing ditty meant for the bridegroom to recite to the bridesmaids. Thus the form conforms with the theme.
The stanzas, further, have a characteristic architectonic. Each comprises five or occasionally six lines. Opening with the main thematic line, it often goes in the second to rehash the phrases of the first, thus lending it at once an emphatic tenor and a serene musicality. Subsequent lines unfold the theme further, while in the final line, it tends to revert to its origin as enunciated in the opening line.
Thus, a peculiar thematic rotundity seems to characterise each stanza. Here are a few representative stanzas: 0 my mind! abide ever with thy Lord With thy Lord abide ye ever; and be rid of all thy woes. He will always your succourer be and crown your efforts with success. Powerful in every way is your Lord; why be forgetful of Him? Saith Nanak: \’Abide ever with the Lord, 0 my mind!\’ To those approved by the Master was the tenth door shown Through it is the Lord beheld in His myriad forms A fathomless treasure without limit or end. Saith Nanak: \’0 my dear! in the cave of the self, The Lord played the organ of breath.\’ Of Guru Amardas\’ longer compositions the most famous is Anand Saheb which occupies a unique place in Sikh ritual and is recited at the end of every sacrament. J.S. Neki
1. Grierson, G.A., Linguistic Survey of India. Vol IX, Part I, Delhi, 1968.
2. Kohli, S.S., Punjabi Sahit da Itihas, Ludhiana, 1955.
3. Singh, G.B., Gurmukhi Lippi da Janam te Vikas. Chandigarh, 1972.