SORATHI KI VAR, or Ragu Sorathi Var Mahale Chauthe KI as is the full title recorded at the head of the text in the Guru Granth Sahib contrasting the short title in the index, is one of the eight vars composed by Guru Ram Das. It comprises twenty-nine pauns, i.e. stanzas of five verses each, interspersed with fifty-eight slokas three of them being by Guru Nanak, one by Guru Angad, forty-seven by Guru Amar Das and seven by Guru Ram Das, the author of the Var. The Var opens with Guru Nanak`s line: “sorathi sada suhavani je sacha mani hoi agreeable always (to sing) is Raga Sorathi provided one`s mind is to truth attuned” (GG, 642).

The concluding stanza begins with the line : “tu karan karan samrathu hahi karate mai tujh binu avaru na kol Thou, CreatorLord, art the Cause of causes ; for me there is none other besides Thee” (GG, 653). This is the running theme of the Var. The Supreme Being is the Creator of all that exists ; all creation is His manifestation. From Him is the True Name which is all pervading. He is the dispenser of grace. Union with Him is achieved through company of the holy satsangat but by His grace alone will one be so disposed.

Man should take to repeating the True Name which would make him worthy of God`s favour.Subject of critical notice are the rulers of the day and those others given to luxurious ways caring little for the common man. “The Creatoramong the terms used for him by Guru Ram Das are Hari and Brahm is conceived as both formless and without attributes (nirguna) and with attributes (saguna). He is die ultimate and absolute truth. He is the Creator, the creation and the creature all in one.

He is both the cause and the effect. The world moves at His will. He is the Giver, the Best ower, the Friend. He is the Ultimate Bliss. In merging back into the Divine Essence lies the liberation of the human soul.

But man`s haumai, the finite ego, keeps him in bondage thwarting his spiritual instinct.The contrasting tendencies mark the conflict upon which the theme of a var is characteristically built. In the slokas added to the Var by Guru Arjan, who prepared the first recension of the Scripture, the parallelism is maintained and manmukhs (the self willed) are placed in juxtaposition to gurmukhs (those who follow the Guru`s teaching). The former afflicted by ego remain engrossed with the mundane while the latter quaff the nectar of the Lord`s Word ; the former find neither post nor protection, while the latter rejoice attached to the Guru`s feet; the former enticed by maya are consumed away by worldly allurement while the latter in the true Name absorbed are saved.

Such devotees are befriended by God himself, says a sloka. God is in their power and they are the same. Totally, the Var is a fine specimen of poetry of spiritual devotion.

References :

1. SabadartA Sri” Guru Granth Sahib. Amritsar, 1975
2. Ainole, S.S., Bail Varan Satik. Amritsar, 1944
3. Narain Singh, Giani, Ba7 Varan Satik. Amritsar, 1975
4. Bishan Singh, Giani, TIka Bai Varan.