BILĀVAL KĪ VĀR, by Gurū Rām Dās, is one of his eight vārs in a corpus of twenty-two included in the Gurū Granth Sāhib. It occurs in Rāga Bilāval, and consists of thirteen pauṛīs or stanzas, each comprising five lines, with the exception of pauṛī 10 which is of six lines. To the pauṛīs which are of Gurū Rām Dās's composition, ślokas were added by Gurū Arjan at the time of the compilation of the Holy Book. In its present form, each pauṛī, except pauṛī 7 which has three ślokas prefixed to it, is preceded by two ślokas. Of these twenty-seven ślokas, two are of the composition of Gurū Nānak, one of Gurū Rām Dās and the remaining of Gurū Amar Dās. Rāga Bilāval is the melody of bliss which, as the poem stresses, consists in contemplation on the Divine Name. This constant remembrance of God becomes possible only through the grace and guidance of the Gurū. He who takes refuge in the Gurū acquires the wealth of nām or Divine Name thereby attaining the state of sahaj, the highest state of spiritual progress in which ignorance and dualism are expelled. Such a person called a gurmukh, i. e. one turned towards the Gurū, is honoured everywhere and by all. By pursuing the teachings of the Gurū, he becomes a jīvan-mukta, i. e. one who has attained liberation while still living. The Vār reiterates some of the basic principles of Sikh thought. God has created this universe and sustains it. He is eternal and formless, self-existent and all pervading, and yet transcendent. He cannot be conceived or explained in empirical terms. He is the Lord of the universe and His Will governs all. He through His grace releases men from the cycle of birth and death. The human soul partakes of the Divine, but man becomes ignorant of his true origin because of the influence of māyā and his haumai or egoity. Contemplation on His Name by following the Gurū's counsel is the only way to overcome haumai. He who has overcome his ego becomes permanently attuned to the Ultimate Reality. On the ethical plane, the poem denounces vices such as pride, slander, avarice and attachment. Truthfulness, humility and purity of thought are recognized as prized virtues.


    Bishan Siṅgh, Giānī, Bāī Vārāṅ Saṭīk. Amritsar, n. d.

Surain Siṅgh Wikhū