ASA MEHLA 1, VAR The hymn authored by Guru Nanak is popularly called Asa di (Kee) Var.

A var is a narration of deeds of a brave hero, usually related to a war/battle, which he had won (or in which he had become a martyr). It comprises of pauris (stanzas) which are sung in a special musical measure to touch the emotions of the listeners. Generally slokas are recited before the pauri to explain the contents of the pauri. Var Asa contains 24 pauris, each pauri is headed by two salokas (some with more salokas, even upto five), 44 salokas were revealed to Guru Nanak Dev and 15 to Guru Angad Dev. There is a note, which directs that the Var is to be sung in the same musical measures as that of the var of the King Us-raj. He was the legal heir to the kingdom of his father. However, the queen, his step -mother ordered his killing to let her sons become the rulers. The minister cut the arm of Us -raj and left him in a jungle. From there Us-raj ended up in another kingdom. People supported him and Us-raj fought a war with his step-brothers. He won the war and got his kingdom back of which he was the legal heir. The moral is that in the end the Truth defeats the Vice. The Var Asa has the same lesson. It tells that birth right of a man (human being) is to love God. He has to face many vices, which ruin his life. Those who listen to the advice of Satguru overcome vices, love God and follow truth. They succeed in realizing the mission of human life and are honored in his court. The Message of the Var God revealed His virtues (Naam) through this creation (visible and invisible). He alone, not the gods as assumed by the ancient sages, is responsible for our birth, nursing and death; He conducts this play as it please s Him. We will be judged according to the deeds done by us. Those who practice virtue enjoy peace and pleasure while those who love worldly pleasure and commit sins are punished in His court. (1, 2, 3) We continue to undergo life cycles. Those who are graced meet satguru and listen to him. He removes their ego and leads them to Truth. Such devotees remain humble, do good deeds and therefore, do not suffer in hell (4-5). Without Satguru nobody can realize the Lord who reveals Himself through Satguru. Guidance provided by him helps people to get rid of the attachment and thus end the cycle of birth and death. (6) The seekers love God and do not seek pleasure from material wealth. Graced by Him, the seekers meditate on His virtues and realize the Lord. The unfortunate egotists ignore Him and waste their lives (7-8). Graced by Him, the humble devotees give up their desire for worldly wealth and meditate on Him. They are rewarded, others waste their lives. (10) We are helpless creatures. People blessed by the Lord , love Him, others get lost. (11) We are judged not by our worldly knowledge, but by the deeds we do. Egotists suffer in His court. (12) We should be obliged to the satguru who teaches us Truth and guides us to love the Lord. Those who ignore Him (and love worldly wealth) are destined to be doomed. The Guru (the safe boat) helps us to overcome the vices (cross the sea). (13) In the end, worldly wealth shall have to be left and the sinful people will appear bare (without good deeds) in His court and repent. (14) People graced by Him, observe His will and realize the Lord. (15) God takes care of every person and directs their lives as He wills. He may make a person a king and may make him a beggar again. (16) Every life will come to an end, we should not waste it in pursuit of transient worldly pleasures. (17) We should respect satguru, who possesses great virtues. People blessed by the Lord meet Satguru and their vices vanish. (18) Many people suffer from their desire for worldly possession. Why take pleasure in owning them, when we know we are to leave them here. Learned people do not talk ill of other people, they keep away from bad guys. (19)

Some people are put in prison (suffer) while others ride horses (enjoy their lives). Those who love worldly possessions suffer from vices and waste their life. Anyway. He alone creates and destroys. His functions cannot be described. Then he made this creat ion. teaches them virtues. but by the deeds we do. God is the sole Master of this play. (21) Those who obey their Master and respect His will are honored by Him. Egotists. Those who disregard Him suffer. God is displeased with such actions. M:1 The egotists. Being immanent (in dweller). However. like diseased plants. those who suffer repeated cycles of birth and death are false (unreal). we should love the Lord to enjoy peace. are real (they exist. Millions and Millions who sing Your praises are also true. (22). He created whatever He willed. Salok M:I (Mehla first) My Guru is great who converted ordinary human being into enlightened holy people in no time. . virtues). Accepting His will is the path of a devotee. We should be obliged to Him for His blessings. God is the sole director of this world. (24) The above lesson of the Var may be summarized as below: The world has been created by God and He alone (not any assumed god) cares for us all. we should. Your deeds and thoughts are true. we cannot demand favors from Him. who ignore their Guru are like diseased plants of sesamum which grow and bear fruit but are filled with smut. Hence. Your court and Your orders are true. Virtues of God are un-limited. God is graceful. One should not hurt the feelings of anyone. There is no one else to depend upon. He is great because He gives on His own without consulting anyone else. We have to leave this world. Your blessing are everlasting. Pauri: First God revealed Himself and His Naam (glory. (P. Your attributes and qualities are true. we can only pray to him for His blessings. therefore. He is great because He functions forever. He nurses the whole universe and cares for everyone. and because He understands the prayers and inner feeling of everyone. Salok M:I God! Your creation. meditate on Him as long as we breath.1) II. He watches this whole play. M:2 (Mehla second) Even if there are hundreds of moons and thousands of suns. are not owned by the owner (God). M:1 God is great because His virtues are great and He always delivers justice . We cannot demand anything from the Lord. we can pray to Him for His blessings. th ey are not a dream as assumed by ancient sages). Hence they are taken over by others (the vices).God Himself is conducting and watching this drama (creation). Salok and Pauri wise meanings are give below: I. leads them to love God and realize the mission of human life.All happens according to His will (23). (20) We reap what we sow. He removes their ego. (the people acting on the world stage) whatever He wills happens. all the possessions are going to be left here. Those who meditate on You are also true. regions and worlds. their combined light will not be able to remove the darkness (spiritual ignorance) in the minds of the people. The seekers blessed by Him meet satguru (spiritual guide). We do whatever He wills. He judges us not by our worldly knowledge. He bestows life and also takes it away. true is also their capacity and strength to si ng your virtues. I am fascinated and grateful to him for his grace.

. air. including Heaven and nether region. Ignorant fellow wasted the valuable chance of human life. wind and fire. (P2) III Salok M:1 Marvelous are many kinds of sounds of Gian (branches of divine knowledge). Marvelous is the earth with many kinds of lives. God! You are the cause of all this Nature. Earth¶s dust. God also set a court to judge their deeds. some get mislead by maya (illusions) while others get saved from it. Pauri: When the life ends. The person who wasted his life in worldly pleasures (without good deeds) is µarrested¶ and produced in His court where his deeds are judged. Dharam Raj (assumed judge for the soul) observes His discipline. clouds) moves about upside-down. Those who love the Lord become the winners. The fire serves as ordained by Him. in immanent form. The whole universe obeys God¶s will and He prevails everywhere. His will can be und erstood through a God-attuned person to whom God reveals Himself. Nature is the cause of all life activities. Marvelous are the living beings with many variations. Marvelous are the functions performed by water. some find Him far away while some behold Him just with them. As willed by Him. sun and moon travel forever over a vast distance with no end to their journey. As planned by Him.. forms are the expression of Nature. It is marvelous that some find Him near. (P. marvelous are the people with many kinds of tastes. Full justice is delivered there and the sinners get identified. dressing and the feelings of love. To obey His discipline. dwells in the world. are the work of Nature. The prevailing good and evil including ego are because of Nature. According to His will. One is wonderstruck to observe so many marvels. their forms and hues and some moving about with naked bodies. No one can know who will be saved by Him. Nature rules the whole universe. Nature is the source of all the divine knowledge including that in the Vedas-Puranas and the Semitic books. fire. drinking. Under His discipline Inder (assumed god of rain. Marvelous are their cravings and their gratification.M:2 God. the fact that some get lost and some adopting His path is also marvelous. eating. Marvelous is getting together and then getting separated of the people. etc. the body becomes a heap of ash (dust) and the soul moves ahead. he repents but to no avail. race. The deceivers get no refuge there. Various kinds of distinctions. they are lead to the Hell with blackened faces (dishonored). color. the earth bears the un-limited load (of living and non-living). M:1 Whatever is happening and observed is according to His will (Nature). Pauri: After creating the human beings. When chastized. some are saved while others get ignored. The prevailing fears and joys are caused by Nature. Only the blessed people understand this mystery. your virtues are most sacred.3) IV Salok M:1 The winds blow and the rivers flow under His discipline (All respect laws of Nature). the cheats lose in the court of the Judge (God). Marvelous are His Virtues and His praises. water.

The fearless Lord. the Avtar kings. Every person is acting the way as willed by God. They dress and act as milk-maids. (P4) V Salok M:1 Referring to the fake actors who play the drama of the lives of Avtars (Rama and Krishna) for their livelihood. however. The earth with all things on it provides the stage and the materials to perform the play. illusions). One can be divine when blessed by Him and not by acting smart which all is futile. obey Him. (Their actions are fake and have no spiritual value. One cannot overcome vices by acting. Buddhas. Nathas. that is Ram and Krishan and Vedic lore are of no significance. dancing is merely a fun for relaxing mind. Many things are rotated about a pivot. Krishan. birds and butterflies continue to move round and round. Great heroes and bravemen follow Your discipline. Indifferent to this drama played by nature. M:1 The disciples play on the instruments while their teachers dance and sing to play the drama. gods. In this play. Satguru leads people to Truth. Innumerable things rotate and swing. dancing and swinging around. Birds fly in the sky as ordained by Him. In fact. To understand the Lord. Those blessed by Him follow His advice and cross the µsea¶ ups and downs of the world (overcome their ego and other vices). potters wheel. the hymn tells that God is the Lord of the universe and everything in it is controlled or directed by Him.) One cannot obtain enlightenment just by talking. By meeting him. however. Only the Lord. . meet Satguru (genuine spiritual teacher). Air. Sita and Ram. Some perform drama acts in the streets (to impress people) and tell stories of kings and queens in meaningless words. Those who sincerely respect and regard Him enjoy the love of God. They wear valuable necklaces and earrings. it makes their lives pleasant and peaceful. Everyone is destined to carry out His orders. They mistakenly believe it to be the worship of the Lord. Satguru explains to the people the holy word (message of the Lord) and saves them. They swing and act for merely earning their living (not for praising God). spinning wheel. ignorant people. Millions come (are born) and millions go (die) as willed by Him. fear). Guru Nanak draws our attention to the real drama played by nature to enjoy the wonders of the Lord. though actors claim the drama to be a religious act). get involved in the material pleasures of the world and waste their human life. grinding stones.Sidhas. grain threshers. whirl -wind etc. They swing their heads and move their feet raising a lot of dust which falls on them. Tops. No person is as gracious as Satguru. Nirankar(without physical form) is everlasting and with no one to listen to. people get rid of their ego and realize Truth. the pahars (a three hour unit of time) are the Krishan and herdsmen. Those blessed by the Lord. In short. fire. churns. and water are like ornaments to decorate the actors. all others including the holy ones. but even their bodies become ash in the end. is without specific form (He cannot be copied and acted) He created the whole universe. Pauri: People undergo cycles of birth and death. it is an extremely hard job. Oil extractors. Only the blessed people worship Him. all rotate. who loved Krishan and enjoyed romantic plays with him) and the sun and moon are the gods. Spectators watching this drama smile and go home (without learning any spiritual lesson. M:1 The formless Lord is without a boss (to obey. many dance like circus stars (actors). gharis (one eighth of a pahar) are the gopis (milkmaids. Those who dance and act for making their living leave the world repentant (they did not obtain any spiritual gains)j. Some persons get rotated being attached to maya (worldly attractions.

The munificent feel pleased when they contemplate giving charity. The body becomes dust after lapse of certain time. incomprehensible). They believe that those who follow the code of Shariat to realize God are the true believers. birth and death) because he removes your ego. Hindus praise Him by reciting Shastras and worship His idols. . Of what use were their lives? There are innumerable lives in water on the earth. it does take over all of us. They alwa ys meditate on Him and they beg for the dust of the feet of (respect) the virtuous people.Pauri: Those who love the Lord. Yogis meditate for controlling their mind (by fixing it on void. they recite and contemplate over it. The Guru explains. The world appreciates it but they ask for many times more money from God. Ego is the cause of coming into and departing from this world. Meeting him helps devotees to obtain liberation (freedom from vices. If you seek your good act rightly and remain humble. Only God knows the truth of life after death. When such a soil (clay) is made into earthenware and bricks. one gains or loses. They believe God is transcendent (subtle. M:1 The Guru tells that no method of disposal of the dead body has any spiritual advantage to the soul. God reveals Himself through satguru. (P6) VII Salok M:1 That ego is a curtain which separates the creations (human beings) and the Creator. The body and soul belong to Him. The purpose of saving the body from the fire could not be achieved by burying the body. Universal Cause of life. Bound in ego. (P5) VI Salok M:1Guru Nanak mentions the beliefs of other faiths before giving his own opinion. the Formless (His virtues) they are saved from the Hell (suffering from birth and death). Pauri: No one can understand Him without Satguru (spiritual guide). God takes care of everyone and He knows whatever they ask from Him. on other lands. The best path (the wise act) is to live in devotion to God and that is the way to realize Him. liars. Bound in ego. one gives away or receives. Muslims love their Shariat. beyond physical senses) and the universe is His body. one takes birth and dies. They perform pilgrimage. The Muslims bury their dead. evil people and bad persons lose whatever (wealth of merits) they had with them. Bound in ego. thoughtlessness) and love God as Alakh (beyond description. Thieves. Every person has to leave this world when his time here is over. on abodes of assumed gods (Puris) etc. they are burnt in fire. make offerings and light incenses. it is futile to count His blessings because we cannot mention all what He gives to us. No one is competent (has in his power) to avoid old age (death). The devotees of the Lord are desirous of singing His virtues and they love Him.

he becomes of the same view. wombs and soil. you are the great benefactor and you give more and more everyday. one goes to Heaven or to Hell. Otherwise. Bound in ego. There are many sources of lives. one does not understand liberation.Bound in ego. Bound in ego. Without sincere love for such a Lord religi ous rituals have no meaning. Whatever way one views the world. There are earths. eggs. Bound in ego. Through laud is the Lord realized. one is pleased or repents. (P7) VIII Salok M:1 In this hymn. he gets on the path of the Lord. God. they live a temperate life. coasts. Bound in ego. the Creator is concerned for all the creation made by Him. Ego is a serious malady but there is also a treatment for it. Bound in ego. Let us hail Him. However. He manages and cares for this whole universe. Blessed by God. Bound in ego. Bound in ego. whose court is eternal. one is an idiot or a wise person. one suffers undergoing the life cycles. one thinks of his caste and suffers. He continues to care for them. bow to Him. M:2 An egotist is identified because he performs all his actions influenced by ego. the Guru explains that the Creator has created unlimited number of worlds and many different kinds of lives. Bound in ego. They break away from the worldly bonds. When one realizes that he is suffering from ego. . M:1 In this hymn. they practice virtuous deeds. They refrain from evil acts. regions. Pauri: Those people serve God. sacred places. Only He knows their extent Who created them. one is truthful or a liar. clouds and fields. Bound by ego. one suffers from (maya) illusions and their effects. without this knowledge. one thinks of vices and virtues. one gets dirty or cleanses himself of the sins. it is the divine writ that directs everybody. vegetations. the Guru tells that hollow rituals and actions performed by the people with the hope of spiritual benefits are all in vain. After creating the creatures. oceans. continents. one obeys the Will of the Lord. and galaxies. who are contented and devoted to Truth. The Founder is mindful of the world founded by Him. How does ego arise and how can one get rid of it? Ego is there because of His will and we act under the influence of ego. There are innumerable human beings. one burns himself by merely talking about it (but not understanding it). by this way one can eliminate the pa in of ego.

One many live in grave-yards or wilderness. M:1 More a person studies. Further. One may abstain from food and clothes. One may study cart-loads of books. What for did they take birt h? (P8) IX Salok M:1 The hymn stresses that one may study as much as one can. to pretend to be holy. they sing His virtues and they try to be virtuous. One may study books for the whole of his life. More pilgrimage one performs. one may exhibit millions of brave deeds and die in the battlefield fighting. Those who contact satguru realize Truth. Pauri. God. anxiety. Freedom from ego. one may adopt different garbs and undergo penances. such ignorant persons gain nothing but only regrets. one may practice millions of approved religious rituals. it is merely hurting one¶s body (and mind) because of dual faith (divided love both for God and for worldly wealth). rest all study is of little use rather it may increase one¶s ego. One may study boat-loads of books. One may study books with every breath. Pauri: God is pleased with His devotees. one can realize the virtues of God. more he boasts about it. One may study heaps of books. How can one be enlightened without listening to Guru¶s advice? To claim to be a holy person by walking barefoot is merely undergoing suffering. greater the ego he develops and more he is bothered by it. One may study books which can fill the cellars. Without love for the Lord. The only thing which counts towards peace is the love of the Lord. Adopting silence is misguiding oneself. they all are useless. such rituals have no value. Some egotists do not think of their reality. One may study books month after month. The only way to be accepted in His court is the Grace of God according to Whose will people come and go (take birth and die). Eating filthy foods and smearing body with ash is fooling oneself and losing respect. By obtaining guidance from the satguru. the cause of their existence (God). they are self-inflicted pains (without any spiritual benefits).One may do millions of good/holy deeds. The idiots cannot understand Truth. . Whosoever is graced realizes Truth and they practice Truth. hence they wander about. all study is of little use. one may meditate in million ways and have millions of dialogues regarding Gian (spiritual knowledge) and may study religious books. and hopes (desires) is possible only through the grace of God. The unfortunate find no refuge in His court. One may study books year after year. Such egotists waste their chance (do not make any spiritual gains) of human life. without the love of God. you are the only true Lord who dispenses Truth. one may perform charities at sacred places and practice yoga in the forest (undisturbed).

people get attracted towards them. he feels sympathy for the helpless. The mind of such a person rests in peace (instead of running about for illusory pleasures). our efforts go waste and we fail to realize the mission of our life. cleanse his body (mind) of the vices. Look! A starched cloth cannot be dyed unless it is cleansed with mordant. who love God. because Truth acts as a panacea for such maladies. I urge the company of those who love the Lord. It removes the dirt of ignorance and cleanses the mind. when one understands the technique (correct way) to love the Lord. One can understand Truth. and we behave like goblins. Truth being absent. We reap what we sow. when he gets the correct guidance. which if split does not grow. One should give up the greed for false worldly possessions and devote his mind to the incomprehensible Lord. The fear of God. if the Lord has so ordained. when one performs pilgrimage to his soul (reflects in his own mind) after getting guidance from satguru.The Guru says I am a mere singer of His virtues and considered a low-caste whereas others are proud of their high caste (because of which they ignore God). because of our ignorance. if I can get it. the subjects. when one is pleased to listen to His Naam (virtues). and µplant¶ Naam (love of the Lord) in it. serves them and does good deeds. Nanak humbly submits that those who understand Truth. The king. the whole world. the Truth. One can understand Truth. (P9) X Salok M:1 The hymn tells that everything in the world is continuously changing. illusory hence their love is futile. People attracted to these illusions ignore the Creator. darkness of false-hood is prevailing all over in our lives. One can understand Truth. We can get the company of the holy persons. they loved God sincerely. How could the split seed grow (How could those with divided love realize their goal)? Not only the seed should be whole. get their mind s cleansed of all the sins. One should prepare the µfield¶. (their love was not divided between God and worldly pleasures) won honors. palaces. they ruin their lives. if one loves the Lord. they are transient. sincere regards for God (the . The dust of the feet of the holy persons is the most valuable gift for me. Whom can one befriend. houses and those living in them are mere illusions. One can understand Truth. their clothes and their matchless beauties will all change. the whole world is changing? Illusions being pleasant. that is. One can understand Truth only when one¶s mind is committed to the Lord. Pauri: In this pauri. can be realized and the mind cleansed of all the sins. Those who planted the whole seed of Naam. but environment should also be favourable for it to grow. M:1 The second hymn explains how the everlasting God. one gets liberated. Gold and silver along with those who wear them. (P10) XI Salok M:1 The hymn stresses the need of an un-divided (loyal) love for the Lord by quoting a common example of a pulse seed. Creator is the only Truth whom we should befriend and love. The relationship of husband and wife and their indulgence are in vain. I will apply it to my forehead (I respect and beg for the association of holy persons). Nanak tells humbly that without Him everything in the world is a mere illusion. all physical attractions are. the Guru values the association of holy persons. otherwise.

(When in trouble. According to the Guru the sacred duty of every person is to love God. those who receive his bliss. In His court. (who claim being un-married to be a great holy deed) do not know the path of the Lord. Society is being ruled by the µgreed¶. They mistakenly believe that giving up family life is becoming a holy person. Pauri: Those who are blessed by the Lord remember Him. Those who are dyed in Truth. but whatever He does only that takes place. Sufferings may work as a cure to make us healthy while our comforts may become the cause of our sufferings. we are helpless creatures. whatever is manifested is destined by Him.) God dwells in the whole universe and is reflected in every soul. one is judged truly when his deeds are valued in His court. God. They decorate themselves for acting and tell aloud the episodes of the lives of the heroes and brave fighters. whosoever praises Him. How wonderful it is that God is permeating in Nature. Every person is doing his best to reach his target. M:2 The hymn rejects the Brahmanical belief of dividing people into castes by birth and assigning separate duties to each caste. (Pause. He is the True Master.) However. M:1 In this hymn. M:1 God is supervising us all. they do not value high caste or any physical powers. the Brahmans are busy in amassing wealth through hook or crook. The religious teachers wish for liberation. we forget Him and land in problems and pains. Good persons are only those who receive honors there (not those who make their fake claims based on their caste. but they waste their efforts by performing mere rituals. who are graced by You and they do so without their special effort. authority or power in this world). without the knowledge of truth. However. Brahmans are to study Vedas. The duty of a Yogi is to meditate and realize Gian (knowledge). Involved in pleasures. ignorance (darkness) keeps away from them. The Jati. we have to deal with different kinds of persons. Having become fools. Everyone claims himself to be a perfect person without any short coming.relationship a child has for his parents) and active desire to meet Him (as environment) are needed to achieve the goal. . duty of Sudras is to do menial jobs to serve the high caste. the celibates. Khatris have to become heroes (to fight). µlies¶ are the administrators. God performs whatever He wishes (Nobody can counsel Him). His limitless creation. the love of the Lord. the guru reminds people of their degraded life. and µsinful actions¶ as his ministers. the vices. Actually all persons are equal and the duty of every person is the same and it is to love God. he crosses the sea of problems (achieves the goal of human life). are the councillors to plead the cases in the µfalse¶ court. The religious teachers sing tunes and perform dance (Merely perform hollow rituals in the name of religion). urges them to give it up and follow the rig ht path. helplessly suffer from vices. Some may and others may not be approved by You in Your court. the king. (P11) XII Salok M:1 The hymn guides the seekers to respect the will of God without judging it to be good or bad. You have created this multicoloured (different kinds) world. µLust¶ . Only they realize You. we think of God for peace and hence we follow the right path of life to get out of trouble. Ignorant public. are saved from the pain.

The Guru states that anyone who understands his real duty (practices it) is a holy person and the Guru submits to (respects) that person. One should not commit such acts which make one liable to be punished in His court.. As water is needed to make a pitcher. (P12) . devotion to God holds the mind in peace. Pauri: If a learned person is found to be sinful. without any learning. Men are known (rated) by the deeds they do (not by their learning). M:2 The One Supreme Lord is reflected through the soul of all gods and human beings. Guru is needed for the realisation of God. there it makes no difference whether one is a learned person or not. Those who follow their own will (Do not respect the will of God) and commit sins are punished in His court. another person. M:1 The way a pitcher holds water. is not punished instead. Anyone who understands this fact is a holy person and the Guru respects that person.

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