Some people argue that the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev ji wrote the first 9 together on one occasion and later wrote 15 more stanzas on a different occasion but Professor Sahib Singh and some of the foremost Sikh scholars believe that the whole Var was written at the same place as the Var itself proceeds in a definite uniformity. These Sloks are tied together in a way that they relate to the same theme as highlighted in the pauri. The Asa Di Var kirtan is recited in the early morning hours in a very melodious way and style as mentioned by Guru Arjan Dev Ji called "Tunde Asraje Ki Dhuni" after the name of the contemporary brave and pious king Asraj. One of the hands of the king was amputated, so he was called Tunda meaning one hand amputated. The deeds and the ode of this king was sung by the bards in that typical fashion which then was extremely popular and melodious and was therefore adopted to performing Asa Di Var. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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In present times this tradition is no longer practised in the authentic manner; neither is it sung according to the prescribed instructions clearly stated by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the title. This means that mostly people do not sing the vaar of Raag Asa in the specified raag nor use the melody, or dhunni, by the Guru. Following and adhering to these instructions allows us to understand and absorb the teachings shared by the Gurus on a much deeper level. And now a journey into my past as I recall a memory so clear, it is as if it happened just yesterday When I was 12 years old, one evening after school had finished for the day I had been to visit my Gurmukhi teacher, Kanwar Imtiaz.
As usual he had given me more texts to read and sent me on my way. As I was walking slowly through the narrow streets to my home, I was constantly thinking about how I could learn Gurmukhi as quickly as possible. Before I knew it I had reached the southern gate of the village. As I gazed in a daydream at the sun glaring through the arch of thin, crumbling Nanakshahee bricks, I was drawn into the beauty of the light.
All of a sudden my head turned, my ears were on edge and my eyes were frantically searching to understand from where this heavenly sound was emerging. I was almost hypnotised by the sound; my body froze, I could not take a step further and my entire being was captivated by what my ears were hearing. As my eyes continued to search for the source of this enchanting music, through the gate I caught sight of a group of people sitting, singing and swaying to the music that they played.
My heart wanted to run towards these people but my body was frozen in shock at the impact that the music was having on me. As I stared at the group, one of the elderly musicians glanced over at me with a very welcoming smile and waved at me, gesturing that I should come and join them. I smiled back with a smile that stretched from ear to ear! The joy within me was so strong that before I realised what was happening, I was standing next to the man who had waved at me.
He directed me to sit while they continued to play and sing. As I looked around, most of the village was gathered there, grandparents were sitting with their grandchildren and everybody was singing, completely engrossed in the beautiful music. Giani Ji was playing the dholki and Mahant Ji was playing the chimta with one hand. I was mesmerised by what I was witnessing, feeling so blessed to be there, I could feel the joy dancing in my heart. I continued to stare uncontrollably at Mahant Ji; he was singing with closed eyes, his body was swaying and he was completely submerged in the music, oozing the divinity of the beautiful poetry he was reciting.
It took me a while to come to my senses and then I realised that what they were singing was the vaar of Raag Asa. I was listening hard and realised that the whole vaar was being sung in Raag Asa, with the saloks sung in alaap format, using no rhythm. All the pauris had the same structure, with the same tune used with the rhythm. The experience was so powerful for me that even in this moment, I can back be in that same place, sitting there and witnessing it all over again. This memory is no doubt one of my dearest and most valuable.
The biggest lesson for me that day was simplicity. When it comes to taking a step towards connecting with something deeper in your soul, as you seek a teacher or guide along that journey, simply follow the purity of the teachings. Mahant Ji showed me the text of the vaar in the Guru Granth Sahib and explained how clearly the instructions were written in the title. I sincerely hope that it will bring you the same love and inspiration that it has brought to me.
This is one of the 22 vaars ballads written in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib , on pages During the 16th century in ancient India there lived a king called Sarang, who had three sons. The eldest of his children was named Asraj. He then married again and had two more sons. Her wish was for one of her sons to become the next king and she secretly conspired to get rid of Asraj, the current heir to the throne. Upon the sudden death of Sarang, the queen secretly arranged for the assassination of Asraj, instructing the executioner to ensure that he would suffer a slow and painful death.
After many hours Asraj gained consciousness and heard distant voices. He started to shout for help and luckily passers-by heard his cries and rescued him, putting him on a trolley and treating his wounds. The people took Asraj along with them, pushing the trolley at the front of the group. They walked for hours and it was only on the morning of the following day that the gate to the next city was seen in the distance.
As the sun was beginning to rise over the horizon they entered the main gate and to their surprise, they were greeted by members of the royal court of the city who decorated Asraj in garlands of flowers and jewels, while musicians played celebratory music for him and everyone danced for joy.
They were approached by a member of the royal court who explained that the previous night the king of the city had died and as per the law of the place, whenever a king had no next of kin, then upon his death whoever was the first to enter the city would be crowned as the new king.
As Asraj had been pushed on the trolley at the front of the group, he was the first to enter the city and was now crowned king. Asraj then quickly recovered and regained his inner strength. He set out to seek justice in his home kingdom and was victorious there.
Asraj was righteous, fair and noble, loved by his city and truly a king of the people. His courage brought him victory and ever since people have sung tales of his bravery for their own strength and inspiration. It has the power to heal the deepest pain and shine the brightest light within us. It was given as a blessing to humanity to unfold and share the true Wisdom of Life. This is just one project of many. There is so much work yet to do and now I need your support.
Please join me in this journey dedicated in service to Guru. Special Thanks to Mahant Ajit Singh And now a journey into my past as I recall a memory so clear, it is as if it happened just yesterday This was the tale of Tunda Asraja. Yogi Prof. Asa Di Vaar with Eng Translation. Can I Join?
Asa di Var