VAR SUHI KI, in the measure Suhi, is one of Guru Amar Das` four vars in die Guru Grandi Sahib. Suha in Punjabi means red or scarlet, and this being the colour of a bride`s dress in India, die word signifies the consecrated lives of the true devotees of die Lord. Ironically, the hypocrites also wear the same colour to appear as one with Him, though internally diey live in duality. All the beings considered as womenfolk have been classified in this Var into two broad categories the suhagans, those united widi the Lord, and duhagans, those estranged from die Lord.

The duhagans owing to their arrogant and contradictory character waste away their valuable human birth whereas the suhagans inculcate, as a result of the Guru`s grace, humility, self restraint and love for the Lord and arrive at a total realization from the partial experience of human life. The Var comprises twenty pauns of five lines each and forty-seven slokas of uneven length. Stanzas seven and fifteen are preceded by four slokas each, six, nine and nineteen by diree slokas each and others by two sloks each. Of the total forty-seven slokas, fifteen are by Guru Amar Das, eleven by Guru Angad and the rest twentyone by Guru Nanak.

Regarding me metrical features of this Var, it may be noted that its pauns and slokas are composed in slightly varied forms ofnisani and doha forms of metrical constructions. In the slokas, by and large, we have twentyfour syllables in a couplet consisting of 13 syllables in the first foot and 11 in the second. Similarly, in most cases in the pauns, the pause comes after 23 syllables followed by 23 syllables in the second line. To revert to theme of the Var, the Almighty has created both `pleasure` and `pain` in dlis world. He grants love of his Name to those favoured by Him.

This is enshrined in their minds by the grace of the Guru. One who is blessed widi His Name is not called upon to render a reckoning of his deeds and is emancipated from die illusory `love* of the kith and kin. The Almighty Himself is revealed through the true Guru. Such a man widi the single vision of his true Guru is enabled to silence the mayadisturbance ,within himself and, by treading die path of spiritual pursuit as shown by die Guru, sings the praises of Him and remains rejoiced in die Divine Will. Those forsaking die Lord and wasting diemselves by falling in love with what is `other` (than God) remain enveloped in their ego.

One praying with the help of his true Guru for the Almighty`s bounty is blessed with the Name, die continuous reflection of which enables him to overcome the limits of his worldly being. By singing laudation of tfie Lord, he attains purification of the mind. He sings the glory of the Infinite, the Unfathomable Being, seeing in Him the only True Friend, who is selfdependent and is above desire. In the slokas too, the two categories of beings in this world are rendered in the image of the scarletrobed woman enticed by the love of the `other`, and Bride of the Lord, dyed in fast red of God`s love.

In the slokas, there are also the themes of the evanescence of life and the vanity of hoarding wealth ; true worship and the false pretence of it (GG, 787) ; man`s absorption in the things of the world and indifference to the creator (GG, 788) ; fear of God as the basis of faith, leading to joy in God (GG, 788); and beauty of form ultimately giving way to the depredations of old age (GG, 788). Then, there is regret over life wasted without devotion and hope of Divine forgiveness through grace by the guidance of the Preceptor (GG, 789). The external notion of purity is rejected.In a grand symbol, those resorting to holy bathingplace with minds impure, are likened to jars washed from outside, but full of poison within (GG,789).

In another metaphor, the individual self deals in wares of good and evil; Dharma is the broker who marks the genuine articles. The holy Name is the approved profit in this market (GG, 789). In a sloka of Guru Nanak`s composition preceding Pauri XIV is a depiction of evildoers. The evilminded, fornicators, women of illreputeall are of the same ilk and are disciples of Satan (shaitan). False is their spinning, false their warp and woof.

In Pauri XV is a prayer to the Lord to annul the seeker`s egoism, lust, wrath and pride, to burn away avarice and attachment, and to grant support of the holy Name, that is ever pure, beyond the possibility of impurity.In Guru Nanak`s words again (GG, 790) is the delineation of those with out joy in devotion as a guest in a deserted house, leaving disappointed ; the lives of such are subject to blame and denunciation. Those studying holy texts (vedas) mechanically, without realization, are reprimanded. Such practices bring only ignominy (GG, 791).

In Pauri XX are slokas of the composition of Guru Angad conveying in deeply touching tones the selfs dependence solely on Divine Grace, and the exhortation to devotion, to find union with the Spouse.The Var is couched in simple Punjabi, touched by Sant Bhakha. Figures of speech, metaphors and similes aptly bring out the theme of the poem. Some of them from the text : “badha chati jo bhare na gunu na upakaru he who pays homage under compulsion earns no merit” (GG, 787), “bahari dhotf turn an andari visu nikor much as a gourd be washed from outside, its inner poison will not go (GG, 789), and “phitu ivehajiviajitu khai vadhaia petu cursed is the life given to eating alone” (GG, 790) have passed permanently into popular Punjabi speech.

References :

1. Sahib Singh, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Darpan. Jalandhar, 1963
2. Bishan Singh, Giani, BaJ Varan Satik. Amritsar, n.d
3. Sabadarth Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Amritsar, 1964 At.S.