SORAṬHI KĪ VĀR, or Rāgu Soraṭhi Vār Mahale Chauthe Kī as is the full title recorded at the head of the text in the Gurū Granth Sāhib contrasting the short title in the index, is one of the eight vārs composed by Gurū Rām Dās. It comprises twenty-nine pauṛīs, i.e. stanzas of five verses each, interspersed with fifty-eight ślokas three of them being by Gurū Nānak, one by Gurū Aṅgad, forty-seven by Gurū Amar Dās and seven by Gurū Rām Dās, the author of the Vār.

        The Vār opens with Gurū Nānak’s line : "soraṭhi sadā suhāvaṇī je sachā mani hoi--- agreeable always (to sing) is Rāga Soraṭhi provided one's mind is to truth attuned" (GG, 642). The concluding stanza begins with the line "tu karaṇ kāraṇ samrathu hahi karate mai tujh binu avaru na koī -- Thou, Creator-Lord, art the Cause of causes; for me there is none other besides Thee" (GG, 653). This is the running theme of the Vār. The Supreme Being is the Creator of all that exists; all creation is His manifestation. From Him is the True Name which is all-pervading. He is the dispenser of grace. Union with Him is achieved through company of the holy-- satsaṅgat-- but by His grace alone will one be so disposed. Man should take to repeating the True Name which would make him worthy of God's favour. Subject of critical notice are the rulers of the day and those others given to luxurious ways caring little for the common man.

        "The Creator--among the terms used for him by Gurū Rām Dās are Hari and Brahm---is conceived as both formless and without attributes (nirguṇa) and with attributes (saguṇa). He is the ultimate and absolute truth. He is the Creator, the creation and the creature all in one. He is both the cause and the effect. The world moves at His will. He is the Giver, the Bestower, the Friend. He is the Ultimate Bliss. In merging back into the Divine Essence lies the liberation of the human soul. But man's haumai, the finite ego, keeps him in bondage thwarting his spiritual instinct. The contrasting tendencies mark the conflict upon which the theme of a vār is characteristically built. In the ślokas added to the Vār by Gurū Arjan, who prepared the first recension of the Scripture, the parallelism is maintained and manmukhs (the self-willed) are placed in juxtaposition to gurmukhs (those who follow the Gurū's teaching). The former afflicted by ego remain engrossed with the mundane while the latter quaff the nectar of the Lord's Word; the former find neither post nor protection, while the latter rejoice attached to the Gurū's feet; the former enticed by māyā are consumed away by worldly allurement while the latter in the true Name absorbed are saved. Such devotees are befriended by God himself, says a śloka. God is in their power and they are the same. Totally, the Vār is a fine specimen of poetry of spiritual devotion.


  1. Śabadārth Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib. Amritsar, 1975
  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.

Manmohan Siṅgh