SIR! RAGA KI VAR, by Guru Ram Das, is one of the twenty-two vars entered in (lie Guru Granth Sahib. It occurs in Sin raga from which it derives its title. This raga, known for its musical grace and delicacy, is sung both in winter (January/February) and in summer (May/June) just before the rains set in, the time for recitation being a little before sunset. The Var comprises twenty-one pauns or stanzas, each preceded by two slokas except the fourteenth which is preceded by three slokas. Each paun comprises five lines whereas slokas vary in length as well as in authorship. All the pauns of the Var are by Guru Ram Das whereas of the total forty-three slokas, seven are by Guru Nanak, two by Guru Angad, thirty-three by Guru Amar Das and one by Guru Arjan. The Var pays homage to the One Supreme God, the sole creator and preserver of all that exists in this Universe. It is by His grace that men take to the remembrance of His name and thus swim across the worldly ocean.

God created this earth, the sun and the moon and.the fourteen worlds. Some are blessed to earn profit and they become giirmukhs, i.e. those with their faces turned towards the Guru.Such persons become liberated and suffer no more in the cycle of transmigration. Belief in the existence of God, love for Him, recitation of His Name and realization of God as the ultimate end of human life are some of the points on which the Var lays emphasis. Love other than that of God is transient and it leads one to disappointment.

Apart from the spiritual and theological problems that this Var takes up, it refers to some social problems as well. Equality of men is the basic value. What determines man`s social status is not his birth in a particular caste but his good or bad deeds.Pride in caste is sheer vanity. God protects all irrespective of their caste or creed. Guru Nanak denounces untouchability as well as hypocrisy of the socalled `twiceborn` who draw a line around their kitchen to exclude pollution but have not cleansed their hearts of the vices.

A man who pretends piety and carried evil in his heart is severely condemned. Man is adjured to choose the moral path. Thus will one overcome ego, the main stumbling block in the way of the realization of Truth. The last stanza of the Var affords a revelatory glimpse. The Guru, who calls himself a dhadi or bard engaged in penegyrizing God, has visited the Divine Portal and there received from Him the gift of True Name.

References :

1. Sahadarth Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Amritsar, 1959
2. Ainole, S.S., Bai Varan Satik. Amritsar, 1944
3. Narain Singh, Giani, Bai Varan Satik. Amritsar, 1975
4. Bishan Singh, Giani, Tika Bai Varan. Amritsar, n.d.