MARU VAR, Guru Arjan`s composition in the Maru musical measure in the Guru Granth Sahib. Traditionally, Maru which gives the Vdr its title is elegiac verse and is commonly sung in the afternoon. This measure has a martial undertone as well. The singing of Maru rdga with devotion annuls the five evils, says Guru Arjan. The Maru Vdr comprises twenty-three pauns, or stanzas; each of eight lines, with a running rhyme. Each paun is preceded by three slokas or couplets, all of which arc also the composition of Guru Arjan. For slokas Guru Arjan has in fact used the word dakhne, a form especially popular in southwestern Punjab, the dialect of which region here predominates.
However, all the slokas, or dakhne, are not in this Multani dialect: those prefixed to pauns 10, 16, 17, 22, 23 are in central Punjabi whereas those added to paun 20 are a mixture of both. The themes of devotion, a spiritual vision of Reality and the operation of the moral law predominate the poem. In the slokas, in general, the theme is devotion rendered in the idiom of conjugal love. Other strains such as emphasis on the immanence of the Divine Being, exhortation to men to disengage themselves from the illusory show of mdyd, praise of the Guru, joy in God`s will also occur, though the main emphasis is on devotion to and love of the Divine Being.
God is the sole creator of this universe. He alone is omnipresent, all pervasive and infinite. Everything else in this world is finite and subject to decay and death. The grace of the Guru and constant meditation on the Name of the Lord help man realize the Absolute. The seeker after Truth must be pure in thought as well as in deed. He must uphold the moral principle and have abiding faith in God. God is imaged as Almighty and man is adjured to seek His help and grace. Fearlessness results from fearing God. There is exhortation for man to practise ndm, dan, isndn (devotion, charity, and chastity). More specifically, stanzas 15, 610, 1115, and 1622, comprise thematically four parts of the composition.
The first part describes this world, along with mdyd, as the creation of God who is all pervading. Man forgets his Creator and remains engrossed in haumai, i.e. egoity. The only way to attain the Ultimate is to discard haumaiand surrender oneself to the Guru. The second part compares this world with an arena where various evils resulting from man`s ego arc denuding him of his spirituality. He alone can escape who with the grace of God takes shelter in the Guru`s Word. In the third part, there is a rejection of religious garbs and rituals which are termed futile; in the fourth is presented a glimpse of worthy living which consists in constant remembrance of God`s Name.
1. Sahndarth Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Amritsar, 1964
2. Sahib Singh, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Darpan. Jalandhar, n.d.
3. Bishan Singh, Giani, Bai Varan Satik. Amritsar, n.d.