BIHAGRE KI VAR
BIHAGRE KI VAR, by Guru Ram Das, is one of the twenty-two vars included in the Guru Granth Sahib. The Var, originally comprised pauris which were prefaced with slokas, or couplets, by Guru Arjan at the time of the compilation of the Guru Granth Sahib. All the twenty-one pauris are of the composition of Guru Ram Das. Of the forty-three slokas, thirty-three are by Guru Amar Das, four by Guru Nanak, two each by Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan, one by Kabir and one by Mardana. Each pauri is preceded by two sJokas except pauri 12 which has three sJokas prefixed to it.
The musical measure Bihagra to which the Var has been set and from which it derives its title is a midnight melody of northern India. The Var lauds the Supreme Being in His transcendental as well as immanent, attributive as well as unattributive aspects. God Himself pervades unmanifest and Himself becomes manifest; for thirty-six aeons He created pitch darkness and Himself abided in the void; no Vedas, Puranas and Sastras then existed; the Transcendent Lord God was all by Himself; withdrawn from all He Himself sat assuming absolute trance (18). He Himself created this universe (7), and in this process of creation He was the efficient as well as the material cause. God Himself is the Lord, an attendant and a devotee (5).
He Himself created this universe and then filled it with His bounties; the Formless Lord Himself manifests Himself in form (7). He Himself is the philosopher`s stone, Himself the metal and Himself He transforms it into gold (10). Man is advised to meditate on the Name of the Lord who is all powerful and unique in Himself. He should in the company of the holy remember Him (4). But only those on whom He bestows His grace meet the true Guru and sing His praises (17) in the company of the holy.
Thus, all their worldly appetites cease and they enjoy everlasting beatitude (4). One learns how to swim across the ocean of life only following the path shown by the Guru, but one can obtain both the Guru and the sabda of the Guru through His grace alone. Those who live under His grace are never distracted by material considerations. The Guru`s guidance frees them from worldly entanglements and they remain attached ever to His feet.
1. Bishan Singh, Giani, Bai Varan Satik. Amritsar, n.d.
2. Sahib Singh, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Darpan, vol. IV. Jalandhar, 1963