BIHĀGṚE KĪ VĀR, by Gurū Rām Dās, is one of the twenty-two vārs included in the Gurū Granth Sāhib. The Vār, originally comprised pauṛīs which were prefaced with ślokas, or couplets, by Gurū Arjan at the time of the compilation of the Gurū Granth Sāhib. All the twenty-one pauṛīs are of the composition of Gurū Rām Dās. Of the forty-three ślokas, thirty-three are by Gurū Amar Dās, four by Gurū Nānak, two each by Gurū Rām Dās and Gurū Arjan, one by Kabīr and one by Mardānā. Each pauṛī is preceded by two ślokas except pauṛī 12 which has three ślokas prefixed to it. The musical measure Bihāgṛā to which the Vār has been set and from which it derives its title is a midnight melody of northern India. The Vār lauds the Supreme Being in His transcendental as well as immanent, attributive as well as un-attributive aspects. God Himself pervades unmanifest and Himself becomes manifest; for thirty-six aeons He created pitch darkness and Himself abided in the void; no Vedas, Purāṇas and Śāstras then existed; the Transcendent Lord God was all by Himself; withdrawn from all He Himself sat assuming absolute trance (18). He Himself created this universe (7), and in this process of creation He was the efficient as well as the material cause. God Himself is the Lord, an attendant and a devotee (5). He Himself created this universe and then filled it with His bounties; the Formless Lord Himself manifests Himself in form (7). He Himself is the philosopher's stone, Himself the metal and Himself He transforms it into gold (10). Man is advised to meditate on the Name of the Lord who is all powerful and unique in Himself. He should in the company of the holy remember Him (4). But only those on whom He bestows His grace meet the true Gurū and sing His praises (17) in the company of the holy. Thus, all their worldly appetites cease and they enjoy everlasting beatitude (4). One learns how to swim across the ocean of life only following the path shown by the Gurū, but one can obtain both the Gurū and the śabda of the Gurū through His grace alone. Those who live under His grace are never distracted by material considerations. The Gurū's guidance frees them from worldly entanglements and they remain attached ever to His feet.
Kuldīp Siṅgh Dhīr