VAR MALAR Kl MAHALLA I, composition of the first Guru (i.e. Guru Nanak), is one of the twenty-two vars appearing in the Guru Grandi Sahib under different ragas. A var is a folk poem of war and chivalry, celebrating a hero and his gallantry. In the Guru Granth Sahib this form is adapted to spiritual ends and to bring to man`s attention the eternal truths of life. Var Malar Ki is cast in the malar raga or musical measure (hence the title). 

MaJar or Malhar is associated with the rains and is best sung in the rainy season. At the head of the composition is recorded the direction regarding the the tune in which it is to be sungin the tune of Rana Kailas and Maldeo.It ends with the word sudhu which attests the fact that the text has been checked and found to be correct. As the title declares, this is a poem of the rainy season.

Images of the rainy season abound. Flashes of lightning stab the darkness of the clouds. Babiha (the bird that revels best in the rains) breaks out into song at the sight of the clouds. The rain signifies God`s plenty.

It will fill the granaries of the people. It will clothe the earth in lush greenery. The language of the poem is Sant Bhasha or eastern Punjabi. As is common with the vocabulary of the Guru Granth Sahib, words into it come from all sources.

Besides words of Sanskrit origin, the Guru Granth Sahib freely accepts words from Arabic and Persian. In this poem we have Arabic words such as hikmat and muqaddam and Persian words such as bisiar and kamtrin. The poem comprises twenty-eight pauns or stanzas and fifty-eight slokas. All the pauns except the twenty-seventh are of the composition of Guru Nanak; five of the slokas are by Guru Angad, twenty-seven by Guru Amar Das and two by Guru Arjan.

Each paun has two slokas preceding it except die twenty-first which is preceded by four slokas. Paun 27 is from the pen of Guru Arjan.The var is believed to be the first one written by Guru Nanak and the date of composition is reckoned to be the year of the sack of Eminabad by Babar,i.e.AD 1521. The var can be broadly divided into four parts.

The first part (paun”s 17) proclaims that God alone is the creator of this universe. Everything happens by His Will. In this arena of the world, the gurmukh (i.e. he whose face is turned towards the Guru, the Guruconscious) and the manmukh (guided by his own self, the self willed) are wrestling with each other (4) ; the former will come out victorious, for He is on the side of those who are truthful, who have conquered their ego and who live a : two centuries and was published by Piara Singh Padam, in 1967, in his collection Varan Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Dian.

References :

1. Padam, Piara Singh, Varan Sn Gurii Gobind Singh Ji Dian. Patiala, 1967
2. Ganda Singh, ed., Pahjab dian Varan. Amritsar, 1946