SODARU or SO DARU
SODARU or SO DARU, lit. That Door, implying the entrance to the Lord`s presence, is a hymn by Guru Nanak figuring with slight orthographical variations, at three different places in the Guru Granth Sahib ; it forms part of the Japu (paun27), the morning prayer, and of the Rahrasi, recited at sunset and appears independently in the Asa musical measure. Read in the three contexts, the hymn unfolds three different dimensions of spiritual experience. In Japu which is repeated by the Sikhs as part of their morning devotion, So Daru becomes a means of introvert meditation; in the Rahrasi the introvert God Consciousness gets transformed into a shared experience ; and sung in Raga Asa it evokes feelings of elation and ecstasy. The poem sings in a variety of images the splendour of the Divine Threshold.
Countless musicians and heavenly deities such as Brahma, Visnu and Indra, sit at His door and recite His praises. Likewise, myriads of sicldhas, yogis,, celibates constantly contemplate upon His Name. Sages and seraphs proclaim His glory as do the heroes and mighty warriors. The entire creation all the continents, the worlds and the solar systems chant the excellences of the Supreme Being who is Timeless and whose Name is everlasting. He is the creator as well as preserver of all and His will prevails everywhere.
The recurring use of the word gavahi, i.e. `are singing.` in the hymn indicates the emphasis laid on the reciting of God`s praise. This is what one is adjured to take to. The Timeless Being is proclaimed to be self existent He is transcendant as well as immanent. He is nirankar, i.e. without form, yet He manifests himself in His creation.
The creation thus acquires a divine aspect and does not remain mere maya. To comprehend Him, one must be free from ego which is possible only when one realizes one`s insignificance in relation to His creation. So Daru, which shows all existence in obeisance at His Threshold, harmonizes man with the mystical rhythm of all cosmos, awakening in him consciousness of the Divine. The metre and rhyme of the So Daru resemble those of chhant and var and the language is mainly Punjabi, with some admixture of words, both in their tatsam and tadbhav forms, from Sanskrit, Persian and Braj.
1. Sabadarth Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Amritsar, 1959
2. Solian Singh, The Seeker`s Path. Calcutta, 1959
3. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion : Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors. Oxford, 1909