SALOK VĀRĀṄ TE VADHĪK is the title given to a miscellany comprising 152 ślokas or couplets appearing in the concluding portion of the Gurū Granth Sāhib. Gurū Arjan, when compiling the Holy Volume introduced ślokas by the Gurūs he had collected into the texts of vārs, another favoured form of composition. The couplets left over in the process were assembled under the caption Salok Vārāṅ Te Vadhīk, i.e. ślokas in excess of the vārs. The first chapter in this section consists of 33 ślokas--- 32 by Gurū Nānak and one (No 28) by Gurū Amar Dās forming a sequel to Gurū Nānak’s śloka 27. The second chapter contains 67 ślokas by Gurū Amar Dās, the third 30 by Gurū Rām Dās, and the fourth 22 by Gurū Arjan.
Gurū Nānak’s ślokas touch upon themes of moral conduct, social behaviour and spiritual transformation. More pointedly they stress that egoity must be overcome. The only way to attain this goal is to take a mentor, the Gurū, who will release one from dubiety and teach him to love God. Man in misguided company does not realize the need of a mentor. Body need not be tormented. Those afflicted with ego remain devoid of wisdom, discernment and true learning. Absorption in God keeps life green forever. Only He and His actions are complete, and the gurmukh, i.e. one who towards Him leans, alone merges in the Complete whole.
Gurū Amar Dās' ślokas reaffirm the value of the mentor. They who are so destined meet with the Gurū. A believer in the Gurū achieves nām, i.e, absorption in the remembrance of God, and thereby completes himself. Of the wayward, discarded brides lost in the cycle of transmigration, the true Gurū alone can be the redeemer. The Gurū dispenses nām and he promotes virtue. Māyā is a poisonous snake ; the antidote is the Lord's Name. Thus are they saved who are blinded by māyā. Gurū leads one to God. Association with gurmukhs helps, but all depends on the grace of God, ultimately. Loving faith in the Gurū is central to the ślokas of Gurū Rām Dās. The Gurū's guidance removes all the impediments. The ego-ridden burn in the fire of craving and the cycle of coming and going is not sundered for them. Only by seeking refuge in the Gurū is one emancipated. According to Gurū Arjan, those imbued with the Lord's love never turn their faces away from Him. The Gurū's word rescues man from the five enemies--lust, anger, avarice, attachment and ego. Myriads are asleep in ignorance and they alone awake who constantly remember Lord's Name.
D. S. Vidyārthī