GHARU, pronounced ghar, is a term used in the titles of many of the hymns in the Gurū Granth Sāhib. The final "u" is only of grammatical significance indicating masculine gender and singular number. Gharu appears after the name of the rāga (musical measure) and the indication with regard to the author, and is followed by a numeral. For instance, the first hymn in the Sirī Rāga is entitled "Rāgu Sirī Rāgu Mahalā Pahilā 1 Gharu 1". As in the case of Mahalā the numeral following Gharu is pronounced as first, second, third, and so on, and not as one, two, three, etc. Gharu, ordinarily an equivalent of "house" or "home", here indicates a variant or style of a rāga corresponding to variation in metre, pitch, rhythm and lai. Lai (Sanskrit laya) is a term in Indian musicology signifying timing or speed, Lai figures in three varieties, viz. druta (quick), madhya (mean or moderate) and vilambita (slow) . Interestingly, the Sanskrit laya also means "rest, repose" as well as "a place of rest, residence, house, dwelling, " the latter being synonymous with ghar in Hindi and Punjabi. This explains the use of ghar for musical variations in the Sikh Scripture. In Iranian music, the Persian word gāh (time, place) is used for various musical notes such as dūgāh and sih-gah in the same sense.

Balbīr Siṅgh Nandā