'ANANDU, noncanonically spelt Anand, by Gurū Amar Dās, is like Gurū Nānak's Japu, one of the more familiar texts in the Gurū Granth Sāhib. Set in the Rāmkalī musical measure and comprising forty stanzas, Anandu is recited liturgically, especially in its shortened form, at the conclusion of all congregational services and at prayers offered at weddings and other ceremonies to seek God's grace and solace and to rejoice on happy occasions in the favours granted by Him. The Sikh marriage ceremony itself has come to be called anand, which term has also been used in the legislative enactment governing the custom. Tradition recounts that Gurū Amar Dās had just finished the recording of this composition when the news of the birth of a grandson (son of Mohrī, the younger of his two sons), was communicated to him. The child was named Anand after the title of the composition he had just completed. In Sanskrit, and so in Punjabi, the word anand means bliss. In the Taittirīya Upaniṣad, it has been used for Brahman Itself. The term there also denotes a rasa or emotion. Gurū Amar Dās's composition centres upon the experience of anand (bliss, supreme beatitude) resulting from the individual soul's merging with the Supreme Soul which is attained through constant remembrance of God under the direction of the Gurū. Herein, anand is a positive spiritual state of inner poise and equanimity wherein one is freed from all dukkha (suffering), roga (malady), and santāpu (anxiety) and one realizes the ultimate goal of union with the Lord.

        A synoptic summary of the contents of the poem, stanza-wise, may go as under : (1) Anand is attained by the grace of the Gurū who has bestowed upon me enlightenment, equanimity, harmony and God-realization; (2) God has banished suffering, giving me the sense of fulfilment; (3) He bestows upon men all gifts including the gift of the Name; (4) the Name sustains life, banishes desires, gives peace, tranquillity and happiness; (5) it drives away the five lusts and cancels death; (6) the gift of the Name follows and it can come from Him alone; (7) the Gurū is the source of anand, for his teaching gives detachment and discrimination and banishes sin; (8) without the Gurū's guidance one gropes in the darkness of ignorance; (9) the Gurū leads the seeker to the company of the holy saints where the Immaculate One is meditated upon; (10) thus the mind gets detached from illusory māyā, the enchanter; (11) it surrenders itself to God, the Eternal Reality; (12) God, Creator, is beyond comprehension; (13) even the angels and ṛṣis are the seekers of the nectar of His Name which banishes ego and sin; (14) the bhaktas tread the path of non-ego and non-desire; (15) men do what God wills, some by His grace take to meditating on the Name; (16) they on whom is His grace listen to the Gurū's word; (17) they become pure by meditating on the Name, liberating their companions as well; (18) doubt and ignorance are dispelled by meditating on the Name alone and not by any ritual practices; one remains in impurity as long as doubt persists; (19) an impure mind can never win liberation; (20) they who practise what the Gurū teaches are pure inside and outside; (21) a disciple has to surrender completely to the Gurū by shaking off his ego and placing full faith in him; (22) none can achieve liberation without the Gurū's aid; (23) he has to concentrate on the True Gurū's word and this is possible by His grace only; (24) all other learning is of little avail; (25) the Gurū's śabda is a pure diamond which one receives through His grace alone; (26) the Gurū breaks the bondage of māyā and thus frees the spirit; (27) the Smṛtis and Śāstras cannot pierce māyā; (28) the Gurū teaches concentration on the Name which is one's protector and sustainer; (29) māyā charms one away from concentration; (30) māyā is worthless whereas the Name is priceless; (31) those who concentrate on the Name build up real capital; (32) the taste of the Name is sweetest and it eliminates all desire; (33) the Name is the divine spark within the bodily frame; (34) its realization gives bliss and annuls sorrow and suffering; (35) blessed is the man who is devoted to the Gurū and God; (36) blessed are the eyes which see God everywhere; (37) blessed are the ears which hear the nectar-sweet Name; (38) blessed is the realization of the state wherein one sees God in all His vastness; (39) of highest value is the Truth which abides in the pure hearts; and (40) with the realization comes anand or bliss which banishes suffering, maladies and anxieties.


  1. Tāran Siṅgh, Sahij te Anandu. Amritsar, n. d.
  2. Kohli, Surindar Singh, A Critical Study of Adi Granth. Delhi, 1961
  3. Talib, Gurbachan Singh, Bani of Guru Amar Das. Delhi. 1979
  4. Macauliffe, M. A. , The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909

Tāran Siṅgh