BASANT KIVAR, by Guru Arjan, is the shortest of the twenty-two vars, i.e. holy poems composed in the style or tone of odes (vars, in Punjabi) or heroic ballads included in the Guru Granth Sahib. Basant, Punjabi for spring, from which musical measure the Var derives its title is, like Malhar (the rag”a of the rainy season), an ancient seasonal ragathe raga of springtime. Basant ki Var comprises three pauris or stanzas only, each pauri consisting of five lines. Like the Var of Balvand and Satta and unlike any Other var in the Guru Granth Sahib, this Var does not have any slokas added to the pauris.The Var addresses itself to the theme of the Guru`s grace which alone will enable man to overcome his ego or self hood and, thus, attain, communion with the Creator.
Springtime is the period of newness when vegetation stirs to life and nature comes to bloom in all its beauty and splendour. As the Guru`s grace occurs, man sheds the winter born leaves of ego, lust, greed, attachment and anger and blossoms into nam, joy in the constant remembrance of God. If Basant, i.e. spring, is the season of union, this Var impresses upon man to submit himself to the true Guru to achieve union with the Divine. Men who meditate on the Name and surrender themselves to the Will of the Lord are gurmukhs. They are holy, turned towards the Guru (gur==guru, JnuJch=face, i.e. face turned towards the Guru).
They alone overcome the five vices, companions of manmukhs, the self willed. Such men succumb not to grief, nor are they beguiled by pleasures. They are freed from the cycle of birth and death. Transmigration thus annulled, the self merges in the Creator.
1. Bishan Singh, Giani, Bai Varan Satik. Amritsar, n.d.