KĀNṚE KĪ VĀR by Gurū Rām Dās, is one of the twenty-two compositions entered in the Gurū Granth Sāhib under the rubric of vār. Like other vārs it is assigned to a specific musical measure ---Kānṛā, in this instance. At the head of the Vār is recorded by Gurū Arjan, who prepared the first recension of the Holy Book, the direction as to the tune to which it should appropriately be sung, i.e. the tune of the folk ballad celebrating a popular hero, Mūsā, who attacked the chief to whom his fiancee had been married, capturing both the bridegroom and the bride, and then gallantly setting them free. The Vār, in simple Punjabi with an occasional touch of Sādh Bhākhā, consists of fifteen pauṛīs, or stanzas, and thirty ślokas, all of them of Gurū Rām Dās's composition. Each pauṛi comprises five lines, preceded by two ślokas of unequal length.

         The central theme is the praise of God, the Supreme Being, the Infinite. He is the Creator of all that exists. His light is the light in all souls. He Himself is the seeker and the sought, the lover and the beloved. He is the repository of the highest moral virtues, the treasure of all merits. He is the bestower of grace and bounties, and ferries man across the worldly ocean. What He wills comes to pass. He can be realized through constant remembrance of Him. Man is adjured to practise simran (smarṇa). Thus will his ignorance (avidyā) be dispelled and his haumai (egoity) erased. Following the instruction of the Gurū and meeting with the holy in saṅgat one is put on the spiritual path. One thereby cultivates śabda and becomes receptive to nām. The snare of mayā or temptation is then rent asunder. It is with God's grace that the seeker meets such a Gurū and learns to abide by his will.


  1. Śabadārth Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib. Amritsar, 1964
  2. Sāhib Siṅgh, Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib Darpan. Jalandhar, n.d.

Krishan Lāl Sharmā