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Asa Ki Vaar - Transcending Duality

Discussion in 'Gurmat Vichaar' started by spnadmin, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. spnadmin

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    ਮਨਿ ਅੰਧੈ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥੩॥
    man andhhai janam gavaaeiaa ||3||
    The blind man has wasted his life away. ||3||


    Scholars and students at the Sikh Research Institute as part of the Saneha series have begun to make Asa Ki Vaar a focal point of gurmat education using best practices of pedagogy to do it. Located in San Antonio Texas, SikhRI has sponsored several seminars on Asa Ki Vaar. Read and proffer your understanding of Asa ki Vaar...When you find similar resources please share them...Stay close to the shabad when you wish to share your understanding.


    Asa ki Var:
    A SikhRI Seminar
    by MANJYOT KAUR


    SANEHA - "Asa ki Var: Transcending Duality" - A Sikh Research Institute Seminar

    Recently, I participated in a SANEHA ("message") seminar presented by the Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI) on the Bani of Asa ki Var (literally, The Ode of Hope).

    Established in 2003 and located in San Antonio (Texas, U.S.A.), SikhRI is a nonprofit, faith-based initiative whose mission is to "facilitate training and development while inspiring Sikh values, create global awareness of Sikhi, and deliver solutions to the key challenges faced by the Sikh community."

    This program, led by Harinder Singh, Simranjit Singh and Gunisha Kaur, was held at the Bridgewater Gurdwara in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Coordinated by Mandhir Singh, Principal of the Bridgewater Khalsa School, it attracted over 75 participants.

    It was divided into five sessions.

    The first session centered around the structure and significance of Asa ki Var.

    While Nitnem is usually an individual pursuit, Asa ki Var - which forms part of the morning liturgy of the Sikhs - was termed "a collective engagement to develop collective clarity."

    Found on pages 462-475 of Guru Granth Sahib, Asa ki Var is one of the scripture's 22 Varaan (odes). Sung in the early morning period before sunrise, it is in Raag Asa, a musical measure that is intended to evoke an intense mood of hope or desire.

    It consists of 24 Pauris (which can be envisaged as "rungs of a ladder," on which an idea is unfolded, step-by-step) composed by Guru Nanak. Every pauri has one or more Saloks, which are "couplets" (but not necessarily limited to two lines) meant to express praise or describe various phenomena.

    There are 59 saloks in all, 44 of which were composed by Guru Nanak, and 15 by Guru Angad (the Second Guru).

    According to the musical instructions recorded by Guru Arjan at the beginning of the Var, the saloks are meant to be recited in the tune of a ballad which had as its hero a prince by the name of Asraja, called "Tunda Asraj" - named thus because of a maimed hand ("tunda").

    Asa ki Var also includes six Chhants, comprising four stanzas each (colloquially known as 24 Chhakas or quatrains), authored by Guru Ram Das (the Fourth Guru), each of which is sung before a set of saloks.

    This bani's central emphasis can be considered to be the theme of freedom from duality and slavery of the mind, which is attained by "imbibing the glory of Truth."

    Portraying human life as a Divine gift, it discusses the transformational role of the Guru, by which an average person can attain "angel-like" behavior. Through it, we are led to explore our Divine potential, which can allow us to operate on "a higher paradigm that goes beyond duality."

    Duality, in this context, is seen as a divergence between ideal and practice, with two elements at tension with one another - for example, true and false, sacred and profane.

    The second, third and fourth sessions of the seminar dealt with some of the ways in which Asa ki Var leads us to transcend various manifestations of duality.

    At the start of each of these three sessions, a handout was distributed with the text (in the original Gurmukhi script, with Roman transliteration and selected vocabulary in English) of a particular pauri and its accompanying saloks (all of the ones chosen were by Guru Nanak).

    After reading the text aloud, it was intensively dissected and discussed line-by-line, with further translation being provided by the facilitator, as needed. In one of these sessions, the participants were split up into separate groups, depending on the language - Punjabi or English - in which they felt most comfortable.

    The second session focused on "Transcending Duality in Thought." Its text was taken from page 468 of Guru Granth Sahib, beginning with the salok that starts: "Koorrh raja koorrh parja koorrh sabh sansaar." ("False is the king; false are the subjects; false is the whole world.")

    The realization was brought forth that we often have "a relationship with things, but not with the Giver of these things." If we do not connect with the Divine, anything and everything can be reduced to utter falsehood. Recognizing Truth is a process that will gradually take place as we invite Divine Love and its ensuing freedom into our lives.

    As we ourselves are a part of Divine Light ("Man toon jyot saroop hai"), directions for living a Truth-centered life are to be sought within from Waheguru, not from external sources. But, for this to become possible, an active personal relationship with the Guru is essential. If our thought processes remain mired in duality, like a "split seed," we cannot grow and develop the necessary sense of harmony with the Divine.

    However, once we take a "pilgrimage within ourselves," discovering our intrinsic connection with Divine Truth, our thought processes can become clarified and we can attain an understanding of what constitutes virtuous living.

    The text of the third session, revolving around "Transcending Duality in Conduct," was taken from page 465 of Guru Granth Sahib. It began with the salok that starts: "Musalmana siphati sariati pari pari karahi bichar." ("The Muslims praise the Islamic law; they read and reflect upon it.")

    We discussed that, in this portion, which speaks of the dichotomy between belief and practice, the Guru is giving examples of the duality inherent in what people say and what they actually do. We may hypocritically praise the philosophy (which is in the form of the Divine), but continue to slavishly follow overly-stringent laws and blind rituals. Like Yogis, we may attempt to totally empty ourselves, but we cannot get rid of what is truly impure within us.

    Without the Guru, nothing can be achieved and union with the Divine is impossible. But, when we meet the Guru and focus our consciousness on the Truth, we will be "liberated by the One who removes attachments," and thus "obtain the life of the Universe."

    Session Four, which dealt with "Duality in Society," used a text from page 471 of Guru Granth Sahib, beginning with the salok that starts: "Gau birahman kau karu lavahu gobari taranu na jai." ("They tax the cows and the brahmins, but the cow-dung they apply to their kitchen will not save them.")

    While dissecting this section, we pondered many of the ills that beset society throughout the ages (and continue to do so today), such as official corruption, hypocrisy, exploitation and unfair double standards.

    Unethical religious leaders conspire with ruthless "power brokers" to control the lives of the common people. Cruelty and tyranny prevail everywhere; falsehood is practiced on an immense scale. But Waheguru can never be deceived - the Divine Will always prevails.

    Like the brahmins demarcating their cooking squares with cow dung, we futilely seek to find purity within a artificially prescribed "space." But, when we abandon duality, purity will be found within ourselves, according to the new ways in which we think and behave.

    The fifth and final session was a "Question & Answer" Forum. Although it began with subjects relating to Asa ki Var, it soon became quite free-ranging. Whatever the topics raised by the participants, the facilitators consistently presented Gurmat perspectives in thought-provoking and non-judgmental ways that were relevantly connected to contemporary life in the diaspora, while fully respecting the attendees' differing levels of personal observance and depth of Sikhi-related knowledge.

    At the conclusion of the seminar, Mandhir Singh spoke briefly about the Bridgewater Gurdwara and Khalsa School, and its many exciting programs and activities.

    Having previously attended a SikhRI "Mark of Excellence" workshop ("The Guru: Connecting With the Divine Light") in October, 2008 and taken part in two of the organization's webinars held this spring, I came to this seminar with extremely high expectations.

    To a very great degree, they were not only met, but also exceeded.

    This seminar, like these previous SikhRI events, was characterized by the wonderfully warm and inclusive feeling of sangat. (This lovely sensation was certainly reinforced by the bountiful langar and tea-time snacks, as well as the much-appreciated child-care services provided by gurdwara volunteers.)

    Represented among the attendees were Keshadhari and non-Keshadhari Sikhs of a wide array of ages, high-schooler to retiree.

    It could not have been more evident that the three facilitators were deeply steeped in knowledge of Sikhi and Gurmat principles. They consistently encouraged all to actively participate and freely express their views. The spirit of open inquiry and life-long learning - such integral parts of our faith - definitely seemed quite alive and well, and the immense love we all share for our Guru was certainly in ample evidence.

    Overall, each of the sessions unfolded in a very cogent and well-organized manner. However, apart from the segment that was deliberately split into separate English- and Punjabi-speaking groups, there were occasions when the desire of some of the participants to communicate exclusively in Punjabi, and the decision of the facilitator to reply in similar fashion, seemed to cause the comprehension level of some of the attendees not fluent in that language (myself firmly among them) to be momentarily lessened.

    This occurred repeatedly during the Q&A period. It might have been preferable if the leaders had gone a bit further in these situations (such as quickly translating the questions and responses into English) to ensure that all participants, even the minority who did not possess Punjabi language skills, understood the proceedings as fully as possible.

    This seminar might have been of even more benefit if a greater degree of "wrapping-up" after the third "Transcending Duality" session had taken place.

    Devoting a little extra time to clearly summarizing and drawing comprehensive conclusions from the numerous lines of thought that arose during the discussion of Asa ki Var's structure and significance as well as the three Gurbani text explication segments would have been extremely worthwhile.

    Perhaps this could have taken place either at the beginning or end of the Q&A period, even if it would have resulted in cutting down the opportunity for general, non-Asa ki Var-related discussion slightly.

    With the minor exception of the above (which, admittedly, might not have been perceived as shortcomings by many of the participants), this seminar was definitely a very stimulating and valuable experience, as well as a tremendously motivational springboard to further reading, study and discussion of this Bani.

    Highly recommended!

    Source at this link sikhchic.com | The Art and Culture of the Diaspora | Article Detail


    March 17, 2009

    Pics to follow
    Sat Nam :)
     
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  3. spnadmin

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    Asa Ki Vaar downloads at SPN can be found at this link http://www.sikhism.us/local_links.php?catid=20


    Asa Ki Vaar downloads (downloads as mp3 files) from Gurmat Sangeet Project


    Uth Farida Ujoo Saaj

    Asa Ki Var 1 & Bhinni Rainariye Chamkan Taare

    Asa Asa Ki Var 2

    Asa Ki Var 3

    Asa Ki Var 4

    Asa Ki Var 5

    Asa Ki Var 6

    Source at this link: Gurmat Sangeet Project
    Rai Singh is the Kirtani (a real treat)



    Link to Asa ki Vaar beginning on Ang 462 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Maharaj
    Sri Granth: Sri Guru Granth Sahib

    Asa ki Vaar begins on Ang 462 and ends on Ang 475.
    ਸਤਿਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ
    ੴ सतिनामु करता पुरखु निरभउ निरवैरु अकाल मूरति अजूनी सैभं गुर प्रसादि ॥
    Ik▫oaʼnkār saṯnām karṯā purakẖ nirbẖa▫o nirvair akāl mūraṯ ajūnī saibẖaʼn gur parsāḏ.
    One Universal Creator God. Truth Is The Name. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image Of The Undying. Beyond Birth. Self-Existent. By Guru's Grace:

    ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ
    आसा महला १ ॥
    Āsā mėhlā 1.
    Aasaa, First Mehl:

    ਵਾਰ ਸਲੋਕਾ ਨਾਲਿ ਸਲੋਕ ਭੀ ਮਹਲੇ ਪਹਿਲੇ ਕੇ ਲਿਖੇ ਟੁੰਡੇ ਅਸ ਰਾਜੈ ਕੀ ਧੁਨੀ
    वार सलोका नालि सलोक भी महले पहिले के लिखे टुंडे अस राजै की धुनी ॥
    vār salokā nāl salok bẖī mahle pahile ke likẖe tunde as rājai kī ḏẖunī.
    Vaar With Shaloks, And Shaloks Written By The First Mehl. To Be Sung To The Tune Of 'Tunda-Asraajaa':
     
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  4. spnadmin

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    Background reading

    Charles Shackle, author of The Sacred Language of the Sikhs (hard to find text on Gurmukhi and the grammar of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib) has also written Teachings of the Sikh Gurus. Chapter 3, Asa ki Var, is part of this online Google Book and can be accessed at this link:

    Teachings of the Sikh gurus ... - Google Book Search

    The chapter contains Shackles own English translation. However, it focuses mainly on the poetic form and structure of Asa di Var.

    Chapter 3 is followed by Chapter 4, Mind Self and Ego.
     
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  5. spnadmin

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  6. lalihayer

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    ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਗੁਰ ਆਪਣੇ ਦਿਉਹਾੜੀ ਸਦ ਵਾਰ ॥
    A hundred times a day, I am a sacrifice to my Guru;

    ਜਿਨਿ ਮਾਣਸ ਤੇ ਦੇਵਤੇ ਕੀਏ ਕਰਤ ਨ ਲਾਗੀ ਵਾਰ ॥੧॥
    He made angels out of men, without delay. ||1||
     
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  7. spnadmin

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    lallihayer ji

    Is this why Asa ki Vaar is the Song of Hope?
     
  8. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    AAD JIO..
    GURFATEH.

    The Word..ASA is name of the Raag.....not "HOPE" !! SGGS has 31 Raags in total.
    easy enough mistake to make..especially by a non-Punjabi. Many Punjabis also make this mistake...

    But by now you would have recognised that ALL GURBANI is all about HOPE...and not Nirasha..despair !!
    Gurbani never lets you down..never throws you into the pit of despair....

    Cheers...:happy:
     
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  9. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    finally someone comes up with a project i have preached about all my life... Vaar Asa Ki...( Asa dee vaar )

    One of the most "read"..but actually NEGLECTED Banis of the SGGS. The Asa Vaar is the Second Masterpiece of Guru nanak ji....His Life time NICHORR - experiences...and philosophy.
    No doubt this Vaar is read as compulsory in all gurdwars at day break...but no effort was ever made at its Katha..explaining it to the sangat....All the Major EXPOSURES of "religious thuggery" are there..all the pakhand..the trickery...the fraudulent practises of religious contractors....exposed..all rituals condemned..IF we all started to learn from this Vaar...our daily lives woudl improve so fast..as is said..
    Jinn Manas te devteh Keeyeh.lagat na lagee vaar...it can transform humans into gods/angels in an instant....alas we sikhs RUSH through it in the Gurdwaras ....and never waited to ponder its deep meanings...NOW this PROJECT..I LOVE IT.:happy:I am sure I will ENJOY IT.:D
     
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  10. spnadmin

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    Gyani ji

    Well we are sorely missing the kathas. I spent two hours searching the net. And there are great downloads by Gyani Thakur Singh ji and Gyani Muskeen Singh ji -- dozens -- none in English-- all in Punjabi. Without exaggeration -- nothing in English. So SPN is now waiting for you and your mentors to fill in the gaps.

    ;) Antonia

     
  11. spnadmin

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    I know that Asa is the raag -- not sure what the mistake was that I made. It has been called the "Ode" of hope as well.
     
  12. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    aad ji,
    the "mistake" is translating the ASA (Proper NOUN _name of Raag ASA ) into "HOPE....." There is a Punjabi word called AAS..hope..also called Aaasan ( plural) hopes... but that has got nothing to do with the Name of the Raag Asa.
    The Ode of Hope is thus totally wrong....where does the "HOPE" come from ??..From the wrong translation.
    The SGGS has 22 Vaars..in the various RAAGS..each is named after the specific Raag and has no other "meaning"...Vaar Maajh..is Vaar in the Raag majh...Basant Ki Vaar is Vaar in Raag Basant...and NOT "Ode to SPRING" !!..although basant is also spring in Punjabi...Gujri Ki Vaar..two Ramkali ki Vaars Raag ramkaliBihagrreh ki vaar ..raag bihagrra..sorath ki Vaar..raag sorath..

    Cheers..:thumbup:
     
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  13. spnadmin

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    Gyani ji

    When you said Asa Besant is not Ode to Spring I was ROFL :rofl!!: and nothing could have been a better explanation. Thank you.
     
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  15. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    Re: Chandi Di Var with translation (YouTube video)

    The VAARS...and there are 22 of them...are at the END of various Raags....Vaar ASA KI is the most famous....its sung every morning at almost ALL Gurdwaras....its DHUNNI..is TUNDEH ASRAJEH KI DHUNNI.
    Its beleived that Guru Hargobind Ji POPULARISED the Vaars to be Sung according to the POPULAR DHUNNIS of the time....there is a Tundeh Asrajjeh Ki Vaar in FOLKLORE....so Guru Ji ADAPTED that Dhunni for Asa Ki Vaar...

    ***** GURU HARGOBIND JI, GURU HAR RAI jI, GURU Harkishan Ji DID NOT WRITE ANY GURBANI.

    There is Vaar Majh ki..at end of Raag majh..Basant Ki Vaar...etc..read the full details below...

    Vaar & Dhuni: There are 22 Vaaras included in the SGGS, 9 of them come with distinctive assigned traditional folk musical tunes (Dhuni) of their own as noted below. Thus, they have a simple rhythm or a pattern of a folk Taal(beat) with a wider simple and emotional appeal. Vaars are not assigned with any particular "Ghar" notation. They are accompanied by "Slokas" and "Paurees", and the essence of the Vaar lies in the "Pauree". They are generally intended to produce martial feelings.

    • Maanjh Kee Vaar Mahala 1 — Malak Mureed Tathaa Chandharaa Soheeaa kee Dhuni (sggs 137).
    • Gauree Kee Vaar Mahala 4 — Raai Kamaaldee Mojdee Kee Dhuni (sggs 318).
    • Aasaa Dee Vaar Mahala 1 — Tunde Asraaje Kee Dhuni (sggs 462).
    • Gujree Kee Vaar Mahala 3 — Sikandar Biraahim Kee Kee Dhuni (sggs 508).
    • Wadhans Kee Vaar Mahala 5 — Lalaan Bahreemaa Kee Dhuni (sggs 585).
    • Raamkalee Kee Vaar Mahala 3 — Jodhe Veere Poorvaanee Kee Dhuni (sggs 947).
    • Saarang Kee Vaar Mahala 5 — Raai Mahame Hasane Kee Dhuni (sggs 1237).
    • Malaar Kee Vaar Mahala 1 — Raanai Kailaas Tathaa Maalde Kee Dhuni (sggs 1278).
    • Kaanare Kee Vaar Mahala 5 — Moose Kee Dhuni (sggs 1312).
    Vaars are to be sung in appropriate Raaga and Dhuni indicated in the SGGS. For example, Maanjh Kee Vaar is to be sung in Raaga Maanjh accompanied by the Taala of "Malak Mureed Tathaa Chandharaa Soheeaa kee Dhuni".



    Unfortunately the art of traditional Dhunis mentioned in the SGGS appears to be dying out, and needs to be preserved by training youngsters


    A Vaar is a narrative poem, usually set to music; thus, it often is a story told in a song. Any story form may be told as a ballad, such as historical accounts or fairy tales in verse form. It usually has foreshortened, alternating four stress lines ("ballad meter") and simple repeating rhymes, often with a refrain.
    If it is based on a political or religious theme, a ballad may be a hymn. It should not be confused with the ballade, a 14th and 15th century French verse form. The ballade is a verse form typically consisting of three eight-line stanzas, each with a consistent metre and a particular rhyme scheme. The last line in the stanza is a refrain, and the stanzas are followed by a four-line concluding stanza (an envoi) usually addressed to a prince.


    AND a FURTHER informative article form T.Sher Singh Ji..of Gurbani Org


    SOME TECHNICAL TERMS USED IN THE GURBANI

    Through the letters, comes the Naam; through the letters, You are Praised.
    Through the letters, comes spiritual wisdom, singing the Songs of Your Glory.
    Through the letters, come the written and spoken words and hymns ...(sggs 4).
    <><><><>
    The Sikh Gurus wrote Shabads in poetical-metric forms. They were then associated with various Raagas and Ghars and many other terms such as Partaal, Sudhang, Rahaaou, Pauree, Vaar, Ikpadaa, Dupadaa, Tipadaa, Chaarpade, Ashatpadee, Chhand, Ghorian and Alahunian of folk music, types of Kirtan music, Gaathaa, Funhe, Chaubole, Savayyas, Karhale, Solahe, Mahalaa, Pattee, and so on. This Gurbani Reflection will attempt to have a brief discussion of these.
    RAAGAS:
    Raaga — combination of a set pattern of notes — is a condition of melody, which literally means to color or to please. Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is arranged in chapters that bear names of musical Raagas, according to the nature of the composition, the musical clef (Ghar), etc. Each of the Raagas is unique. From a music standpoint, specifically the Bani of the SGGS is arranged and indexed according to the prescribed Raagas, singing forms, music signs/ headings and the other guidelines noted in the Bani. Popularly known as Gurmat Sangeet, such system of Gur-Shabd Kirtan instituted by the Sikh Gurus (initially established by Baabaa Nanak) is a unique musical tradition indeed, which creates original and specific musicology. The Gurus made the Kirtan an inseparable part of the Sikh way of life. The mixture of both the Shabad and the Raagas compliment each other in that the Raaga conveys a feeling and the Shabad a message. Thus combined together both produce very potent effect and impact on the human mind and heart, invoking spiritual sentiment, concentration, discipline, longing and love for God, etc. Thus the aim of the Kirtan is to experience the inner joy (Bliss) and Sahaj (one's natural state of Being). Therefore, the Kirtan is mentioned in the SGGS to be "the support of life", "remedy against evil", "source of virtues", "invaluable gem", "ocean of bliss", "divine nectar", "bestower of salvation", and so on. Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee (who first compiled and installed the Aadi Granth at the Harmandir Sahib, was very fond of the Kirtan and the music) initiated the system of music sessions (Chowkies) at the Harmandir Sahib.
    The entire Bani of the SGGS has been classified under 31 main Raagas. They are as follows: Sri, Maanjh, Gauree, Aasaa, Gujree, Devghandhaaree, Bihaagraa, Wadhans, Sorath, Dhanaasree, Jaitsree, Todee, Bairaaree, Tilang, Suhee, Bilaawal, Gaund, Raamkalee, Nat Naaraayan, Maalee Gauraa, Maaroo, Tukhaaree, Kedaaraa, Bhairav, Basant, Saarang, Malhaar, Kaanraa, Kalyaan, Parbhaatee, and Jaijawantee.
    Besides these 31 main Raagas, there are also variants of Raagas such as Gauree Guaareree, Gauree Dakhanee, Gauree Chetee, Gauree Deepkee, Gauree Poobee, Gauree Maanjh, Gauree Poobee Deeplee, Gauree Sulakhanee, Gauree Maalvaas, Gauree Maalaa, Gauree Bairaagan, Gauree Sorath, Wadhans Dakhanee, Tilang Kaafee, Suhee Kaafee, Suhee Lalit, Bilaaval Dakhanee, Bilaaval Gaund, Bilaaval Mangal, Raamkalee Dakhanee, Maroo Kafee, Maaroo Dakhanee, Basant Hindol, Kalyaan Bhoopaalee, Praabhaatee Dakhanee, and Praabhaatee Bibhaas.
    Each Raaga offers a unique relationship to human moods and feelings. Another interesting aspect of Raagas is that there is a seasonal allocation as well as daily twenty-four hour time cycle allocation. For example, there are some morning Raagas, some evening Raagas, some afternoon Raagas, some night Raagas, and so on . Also, there are Raagas that are associated with seasons. For example, Malhaar and Megha Raagas, are sung in the rainy season, in the spring the Basant Raaga, etc. The reason is that human mind and heart undergo varying degrees of mood changes during a twenty-four hour time cycle as well as different seasons, therefore, certain Raagas are particularly suitable for certain time of the day and night as well as season. Dividing daily twenty-four hour timing cycle in eight Pahars and each Pahar in approximately three hour-period, the Raagas of each Pahar are as follows:

    • 6 AM - 9AM: Bilaaval, Devgandhaaree
    • 9 AM - 12 PM: Saarang, Suhee, Bilaaval, Gujree, Goaud, Todee
    • 12 PM - 3 PM: Wadhans, Maaroo, Dhanaasaree
    • 3 PM - 6 PM: Maanjh, Gauree, Tilang, Tukharee
    • 6 PM - 9 PM: Sri Raaga, Basant, Maalee Gauraa, Jaitsree, Kedaaraa, Kalyaan
    • 9 PM - 12 AM: Bihaagra, Nat Naraayan, Sorath, Malhaar, Kaanraa, Jaijawantee
    • 12 AM - 3 AM: No Raaga specified in the SGGS. The reason could be that this is the time to sleep!
    • 3AM - 6AM: Aasaa, Raamkalee, Bhairav, Parbhaatee
    Unfortunately, Kirtan today has been commercialized to such an extent that most Raagees (KirtanKirtan ourselves as envisioned by the fifth Guru, Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee. Instead we hire the so called professionals to sing it for us. The results are in front of us. singers) are only focused and concerned with making quick money. This is commercialization and exploit of the faith. We all are to be blamed for this condition. Because, we do not perform


    Before Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee started amateur class of Kirtan singers to perform Kirtan, professional singers (like nowadays) called "Rabbaabees" used to perform Kirtan for the Sangat (congregation) and the Guru. To cut the long story short, once these "Rabbaabees" went on strike, and thus denied to sing. It was that time Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee started training the amateur class of Raagees to perform Kirtan. The sixth Guru (Sri Guru Hargobind Jee) started a new class of Raagees called "Dhaadee", who sang heroic deeds of old warriors. They thus inspired the Guru's soldiers. The name "Dhaadee" came from "Dhad", which is a relatively small handheld percussion drum.
    GHAR:
    It is a musical sign, used at the top of the Shabad in the SGGS. It gives a hint to Raagees as to what musical clef (beat) to sing the Shabad in. In other words, "Ghar" binds music and poetry in their metrical-form. There are up to seventeen "Ghar" mentioned in the SGGS. Musicologists have different interpretations of this term. But the consensus seems to be that it denotes the parts of a Taal (beat). Following is a list of seventeen Taals used in Indian Music with their respective "Ghar". A close observation of the following list indicates that the majority of the modern Raagees generally seem to sing only in the first three or four.

    • GHAR 1 — Daadraa Taal (There is 1 Taalee* and the Beat has 6 Maatraas**
    • GHAR 2 — Roopak Taal (There are 2 Taalees and the Beat has 7 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 3 — Teen Taal (There 3 Taalees and the Beat has 16 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 4 — Chaar Taal (There are 4 Taalees and the Beat has 12 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 5 — Panj Taal Swaaree (There are 5 Taalees and the Beat has 15 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 6 — Khatt Taal (There are 6 Taalees and the Beat has 18 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 7 — Matt (Ashat) Taal (There are 7 Taalees and the Beat has 21 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 8 — Asht Mangal Taal (There are 8 Taalees and the Beat has 22 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 9 — Mohinee Taal (There are 9 Taalees and the Beat has 23 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 10 — Braham Taal (There are 10 Taalees and the Beat has 28 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 11 — Rudra Taal (There are 11 Taalees and the Beat has 32 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 12 — Vishnu Taal (There are 12 Taalees and the Beat has 36 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 13 — Muchkund Taal (There are 13 Taalees and the Beat has 34 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 14 — Mahashanee Taal (There are 14 Taalees and the Beat has 42 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 15 — Mishr Baran Taal (There are 15 Taalees and the Beat has 47 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 16 — Kul Taal (There are 16 Taalees and the Beat has 42 Maatraas)
    • GHAR 17 — Characharee Taal (There are 17 Taalees and the Beat has 40 Maatraas)
    * Taalee is the pattern of clapping. Taals are typified by a particular pattern and number of claps.
    ** Maatraa is the beat, which may be subdivided if required.

    There are many other Taals that may or may not have the same number of Taalees and/or Maatraas. For example Punajabi Taal, Chhotee Teen Taal, and Thumri all have the same number of Taalees and Maatraas as the Teen Taal. Both the Jhap Taal and Sool Phaak Taal have 3 Taalees as in Teen Taal but only 10 Maatraas. Both Dhamar Taal and Chnachal Taal have 3 Taalees as in Teen Taal but have only 14 Maatras. Ik Taal has 4 Taalees and 12 Maatraas as in Chaar Taal. Aadaa Chautaalaa, Bhaan Matee Taal (Chaar Taal Dee Savaaree), Jagg Paal Taal, and Jai Taal all have 4 Taalees as in Chaar Taal but not the same Maatraas (14, 11, 11 and 13, respectively). Sikhar Taal has 3 Taalees as in Teen Taal but 17 Maatraas. Talwaaraa Taal has 2 Taalees as in Roopak Taal, but 8 Maatraas. Indra Taal has 6 Taalees as in Khatt Taal, but 19 Maatraas. Deep Chandee or Chaachar Taal and Jhumraa Taal have 3 Taalees as in Teen Taal, but 14 Maatraas, and so on. Evidently the Indian music has developed and expanded in such a disciplined way that it has Taals of a just a few Maatraas to many Maatraas.
    Not only music, Taal also pervades every movement of the entire Creation. Days, nights, weeks, months, years, seasons, movement of the planets in orbits, constant spinning of electrons around the center of the atom (called the nucleus where the protons and neutrons are located) etc. are a few reminders.
    VAAR AND DHUNI :
    There are 22 Vaaras included in the SGGS, 9 of them come with distinctive assigned traditional folk musical tunes (Dhuni) of their own as noted below.Thus, they have a simple rhythm or a pattern of a folk Taal (beat) with a wider simple and emotional appeal. Vaars are not assigned with any particular "Ghar" notation. They are accompanied by "Slokas" and "Paurees", and the essence of the Vaar lies in the "Pauree". They are generally intended to produce martial feelings.

    • Maanjh Kee Vaar Mahalaa 1 — Malak Mureed Tathaa Chandharaa Soheeaa kee Dhuni (sggs 137).
    • Gauree Kee Vaar Mahalaa 4 — Raai Kamaaldee Mojdee Kee Dhuni (sggs 318).
    • Aasaa Dee Vaar Mahalaa 1 — Tunde Asraaje Kee Dhuni (sggs 462).
    • Gujree Kee Vaar Mahalaa 3 — Sikandar Biraahim Kee Kee Dhuni (sggs 508).
    • Wadhans Kee Vaar Mahalaa 5 — Lalaan Bahreemaa Kee Dhuni (sggs 585).
    • Raamkalee Kee Vaar Mahalaa 3 — Jodhe Veere Poorvaanee Kee Dhuni (sggs 947).
    • Saarang Kee Vaar Mahalaa 5 — Raai Mahame Hasane Kee Dhuni (sggs 1237).
    • Malaar Kee Vaar Mahalaa 1 — Raanai Kailaas Tathaa Maalde Kee Dhuni (sggs 1278).
    • Kaanare Kee Vaar Mahalaa 5 — Moose Kee Dhuni (sggs 1312).
    Vaars are to be sung in appropriate Raaga and Dhuni indicated in the SGGS. For example, Maanjh Kee Vaar is to be sung in Raaga Maanjh accompanied by the Taala of "Malak Mureed Tathaa Chandharaa Soheeaa kee Dhuni". Unfortunately the art of traditional Dhunis mentioned in the SGGS appears to be dying out, and needs to be preserved by training youngsters.


    GHORIAN, ALAHUNIAN AND KARHALE:
    In addition to the classical music, the folk music (because of its wide appeal) is also given importance in the SGGS. In this regard, in addition to the Vaars listed above, there are some Shabads about the "Ghorian" and "Alahunian" etc. "Ghorian" Shabads are on marriage and other festive occasions. "Alahunian" Shabads are on death.
    Karhale is a type of the "Chhand". It also denotes a type of folk music the camel riders sing while traveling. The Gurbani has repeatedly compares our wandering minds with the camel as well. For example, see SGGS pages 234-235.
    PARTAAL:
    This is also a musical sign for the Ragees. Partaal means there are different Taals (beat) for the parts of the Shabad. In other words, Partaal means the parts of the Shabad should be sung in different Taalas and tempo. In the SGGS, there are 49 Shabads in Partaal set to different "Ghar".
    SUDHANG:
    This is also a musical sign for the Ragees. This term appears once in the SGGS (page 369, Aasaa Raaga). Essentially it conveys direction to Raagees to sing the Shabad in its pure form. For example, when the Shabad is in Aasaa Raaga, then it must be sung in that Raaga (and Ghar).
    RAHAOU:
    The word "Rahaou" marks "pause", and denotes main theme line. In other words, the verse of "Rahaou" contains the basis, essence or central thought of the Shabad. Whilst, the remaining lines of the Shabad are considered an exposition of the verse of "Rahaou". That's why Raagees use it as "Asthaaee" (first or the main part of the music composition) and thereby sing it repeatedly. In some Shabads, there are more than one "Rahaou", such as Rahaaou 1, Rahaaou 2, Rahaaou 3, Rahaaou 4, etc.(for example, see Pages 26-26, 154, 96-97, 899 of the SGGS). This indicates introduction of a new thought. There is no "Rahaou" in the "Slokas". In regard to the Vaars of Bhai Gurdaas Jee, the last line of the "Pauree" is considered to contain the main thought.
    IKPADAA, DUPADAA, TIPADAA, CHAARPADE, CHHAND, CH HAKAA, ASHATPADEE, SAVAYYAS:
    As the name implies, "Ikpadaa" denotes the Shabads of one verse. When "Ikpadaa" shabads have two verses, they are sung as one verse. "Dupadaa" are the Shabads that contain, besides the Rahaou lines, two stanzas. "Tipadaa" are the Shabads of three stanzas. Similarly, the "Chaupade" are the Shabads of four verses, "Chhands" are the Shabads of six lines, and "Ashatpadee" are the Shabads of eight verses. "Chhhakaa" is of six Padaas. Someplaces both "Chaupade Dupade" appear together (for example, see SGGS page 185). It means that particular Shabad contains "Chaupade" following "Dupade". The "Savayyas" are the compositionsof praise.
    SALOKA:
    A form of verse or stanza, generally a two-liner form allowing a variety of metrical arrangement.
    PAUREE:
    "Paurees" are a form of stanzas. They also contain the essence of the Vaars. Literally meaning ladder or rung, it is a form of stanza adopted for Vaars. They generally consist of 6 to 8 lines each. Stanzas of Baabaa Nanak's Japuji are also traditionally called Paurees. Traditionally, Raagees are supposed to conclude Kirtan with singing of a "Pauree" from Raagas Bilaaval, Kaanraa etc.
    GAATHAA, FUNHE, AND CHAUBOLE:
    Funhe is a form of the Chhand (for example, see SGGS page 1361). Chaubole is also a form of the Chhand (for example, see SGGS page 1363 where it has 11 verses). Gaathaa denotes composition in an ancient language (mixture of Sanskrit, Paalee and other languages). Many Buddhist scriptures are written in this language (for example, see page 1360 of SGGS).
    SOLAHE:
    "Solahe" is the Shabad containing generally sixteen stanzas (for example, see SGGS page 1021). They are only found in Raaga Maaroo. There is no "Rahaaou" in them. Also, they follow "Ashatpadees".
    MAHALAA:
    Initially called Adi Granth, the contents of the SGGS (1,430 pages) contains Bani of the Gurus (Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Angad Dev, Guru Amar Das, Guru Raam Das, Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Tegh Bahadur, and one Sloka of Guru Gobind Singh Jee), and Hindu saints (Brahmans and Soodras) and Muslim Sufis. These 15 saints were Kabeer, Nam Dev, Ravidas, Sheikh Farid, Trilochan, Dhanna, Beni, Bhikan, Sur Daas, Parmanand, Pipa, Raamanand, Sadhana and Sain. It also contains the hymns of eleven Bhattas and Bards, they were Mathuraa, Jalap, Harbans, Talya, Salya, Bhal, Kulh Sahar, Nal, Kirat, Sadrang and Gayand. In addition, it also consists of the hymns of Mardaanaa (the minstrel of Baabaa Nanak), Raamkalee Sad by Sunder , and Vaar of Sattaa and Balwand.
    The word "Mahalaa" at the top of the Shabad identifies which Guru is the author. For example, "Mahalaa 1" identifies the first Guru, "Mahalaa 2" identifies the second Guru, "Mahalaa 3" identifies the third Guru, "Mahalaa 4 " identifies the fourth Guru, "Mahalaa 5" identifies the fifth Guru, "Mahalaa 9" identifies the ninth Guru. This notation appears with the Bani of the first five Gurus and the ninth Guru only.
    PATTEE:
    Literally "Pattee" means a writing board, slate or notebook (Fattee). When it appears at the top of the Shabad, it's also used to impart the Divine Teachings in the order of Varanmaalaa (alphabet), for example see page 432 of the SGGS.
    — T. Singh
    Sikhism - Reflections On Gurbani
     
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  16. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    Can someone please update me as to what is "Asraje ki dhunni".

    Is it a type of raag or type of singing style. A specimen of the style will be helpful.:wah:
     
  17. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    NamJap ji

    Please see Post 14 which I copied from a different thread. The details of the vaars, and the dhunni sstructure, is explained in depth by Gyyani ji.
     
  18. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    Is there an audio/video which sings on TUNDEH ASRAJEH KI DHUNNI
     
  19. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    NamJap ji

    Is there an audio/video which sings on TUNDEH ASRAJEH KI DHUNNI (asked NamJap ji)


    Spent about an hour searching Gurmat Sangeet, YouTube web sites. No Luck! I recommend that you write to Warren Senders at the New England Conservatory of Music. A musicologist would be able to tell you quickly. Also Bhai Surinder Singh at the Raj Academy of Asian Musci would be another knowledgeable person.
     
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  20. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
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    www.sabdvartara.org has a selection of asa dee vaar in dhadee tradition sung to asraja ki dhun.
    try there.
     
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