Aassa Ki Vaar -
The core theme of Asa-ki-var is:
"How to become a spiritual person” and clean the filth of Mind. In Aassa Ki
Vaar, Guru Nanak warns us against blind follow-ship of the rituals and
tricks of pundits and monks. The most important thing is how to construct
one's character and eliminate the obstacles such as our ego, selfishness or
conceit. Even orthodox people, who are outwardly superior and kind, often
suffer from religious pride.
Ego in its pure essence is self-awareness, an identity, when regulated, is
vital for the foundation of one's character, one’s moral nature. Our Guru
sets a course of life for his disciples, one of simple living and high
thinking. Following this, the seeker's life-style transforms for better.
This Vaar explains the concept of Guru, Grace, Ego, Pollution (Sutak) and
Falsehood and once the Guru’s message is understood the life of the disciple
This Vaar is comprised of twenty four pauris (stanzas), by Guru Nanak.
Slokas, composition of Guru Nanak and Guru Angad were added in this Vaar by
Guru Arjun in Sri Guru Granth. In its present form, it carries twenty four
stanzas (pauries) with a total of fifty nine slokas, 45 by Guru Nanak and 14
by Guru Angad.
In this Vaar, Guru offers a vision of God whose entire existence manifest in
nature. The world is not a dream, but an impermanent reality. If people
observe God's creation, they will be filled with wonder. Guru instructs his
disciples to distinguish good and bad, true and false. However, the
assertion of individual ego is the great obstacle to the process of moral
law. So that our self-assertiveness should be replaced by self-surrender. By
submission to His Divine Will, one may win the favor of the Lord.
Remember we will not be judged by our learning or status, but by our
conduct. Performance of rituals and traditional offerings or the wearing of
symbols or other marks of holiness, are of no avail, what counts are
self-control, purity and compassion.
God knows our inner selves and cannot be cheated by any so-called holy
practice. He reads our hearts and is not affected by only recitations of
holy texts, markings on the fore-head with sandal-wood paste, cooking food
within plastered squares, offering of choice dishes and libations of water,
or by the barley-rolls and leafy platters, served to priests for the benefit
of the dead. These things are done to win popular acclaim or to appease
Guru Nanak exposed the maladies of his time, all those who strayed from the
path of their religious preceptors and practiced greed, falsehood, extortion
and tyranny. The Guru rejected the 'Transfer-theory' of Pundits that
offerings given to them, were of benefit to the ancestors of the donors.
God’s law of nature will ultimately settle their accounts for deceiving and
exploiting ordinary people.
Guru Nanak also exposed any idea of pollution, being connected with the
events of birth and death. These two are natural events being ordained by
God. Real pollution is self incurred; it comes from greed, lust, lying and
slander, all of which corrupt the mind. There is nothing wrong with food and
drink. Impurity does not exist in matter, but in one's ego, indifference to
God and other people. The Guru Nanak praised the role of woman in family
life. In his era, women were neglected and held in contempt by men. Both
Hindus and Muslims ill-treated their women. Guru said women, are the centre
of life here on earth and in heaven. Man is born of woman; he is wedded to
women. How can woman be outside the spiritual court, she who gives birth to
the geniuses of this world? Talking slander, as is done of woman, is to
slander one's soul."
Women are equally responsible to God for their actions there are no reason
why we should conduct ourselves so foolishly towards each other. If we are
learned, we should not call any one low or inferior. Let there be no
rudeness or discourtesy between one person and another. People who are
over-bearing and haughty only harden their own hearts. All people are equal
and human. It is not right for any one to pass judgment on or vilify others.
The devotee of One God welcomes all that comes from God- good and ill-as a
blessing, he does not criticize Him. A love of God cannot live in the heart
that loves only itself. Servants of God must content themselves by obeying
only God's will and asking for no rewards. If they abide by His will, they
will be content and filled with compassion for others. They will not feel
disturbed, if others appear to be more fortunate. They constantly endeavor
to put their wills in harmony with Divine Will. Gurus suggest overcoming ego
by humility, truth, virtue, holy living and keeping the company of saints.
Guru has also rejected austerities like fasting, bathing, ritual worship
etc. that has no spiritual merit. Guru teaches us that current trend of the
age; caste pride and prejudice, bribery, greed, hypocrisy, the tyranny of
kings and rulers and priestly class are pointless.
Melodious kirtan of Aasaa Ki Vaar is inspirational, motivational and will
create exceptional positive energies in your house and soul. Prof. Darshan
Singh ji Khalsa’s discourse (vyakhya) of this vaar is of par excellence. It
is highly lucid and intellect, a must listen. It will help in cleaning the
filth of mind.
Mohan Singh (Homeopath)
Gurmat Learning (North),
Toronto, Ontario, Canada