SIRĪ RĀGA KĪ VĀR by Gurū Rām Dās is one of the twenty-two vārs entered in the Gurū Granth Sāhib. It occurs in Sirī rāga from which it derives its title. This rāga, known for its musical grace and delicacy, is sung both in winter (January-February) and in summer (May-June) just before the rains set in, the time for recitation being a little before sunset. The Vār comprises twenty-one pauṛīs or stanzas, each preceded by two ślokas except the fourteenth which is preceded by three ślokas. Each pauṛī comprises five lines whereas ślokas vary in length as well as in authorship. All the pauṛīs of the Vār are by Gurū Rām Dās whereas of the total forty-three ślokas, seven are by Gurū Nānak, two by Gurū Aṅgad, thirty-three by Gurū Amar Dās and one by Gurū Arjan.

        The Vār pays homage to the One Supreme God, the sole creator and preserver of all that exists in this Universe. It is by His grace that men take to the remembrance of His name and thus swim across the worldly ocean. God created this earth, the sun and the moon and, the fourteen worlds. Some are blessed to earn profit and they become gurmukhs, i.e. those with their faces turned towards the Gurū. Such persons become liberated and suffer no more in the cycle of transmigration. Belief in the existence of God, love for Him, recitation of His Name and realization of God as the ultimate end of human life are some of the points on which the Vār lays emphasis. Love other than that of God is transient and it leads one to disappointment. Apart from the spiritual and theological problems that this Vār takes up, it refers to some social problems as well. Equality of men is the basic value. What determines man's social status is not his birth in a particular caste but his good or bad deeds. Pride in caste is sheer vanity. God protects all irrespective of their caste or creed.

        Gurū Nānak denounces untouchability as well as hypocrisy of the so-called 'twice-born' who draw a line around their kitchen to exclude pollution but have not cleansed their hearts of the vices. A man who pretends piety and carried evil in his heart is severely condemned. Man is adjured to choose the moral path. Thus will one overcome ego, the main stumbling block in the way of the realization of Truth. The last stanza of the Vār affords a revelatory glimpse. The Gurū, who calls himself a Ḍhāḍī or bard engaged in penegyrizing God, has visited the Divine Portal and there received from Him the gift of True Name.


  1. Śabadārth Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib. Amritsar, 1959
  2. Amole, S.S., Bāī Vārāṅ Saṭīk. Amritsar, 1944
  3. Naraiṇ Siṅgh, Giānī, Bāī Vārāṅ Saṭīk. Amritsar, 1975
  4. Bishan Siṅgh, Giānī, Ṭīkā Bāī Vārāṅ. Arnritsar, n.d.

Harnām Siṅgh