Thursday, November 23, 2017
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Guru Ram Das"Pride is a disease of the mind."
Based on the belief in One God, the Sikh religion recognizes the equality of all human beings, and is marked by rejection of idolatry, ritualism, caste and asceticism. This website serves to heighten the awareness of Sikhism and hopefully can be of some use to seekers of knowledge.

Q106. Give the substance of the Asa-di-var.

Guru Nanak's Asa-di-var or the morning prayer, consists of Slokas and 24 Pauris. Guru Ramdas added 24 Chhands (Quatrains). A var or ode is a heroic measure, popular in the Punjab. This particular var is sung in the early morning in all Sikh Temples. Here Guru Nanak sings of the glory of God and "The Name". He details the process by which an ordinary man can become a perfect servant to God. Even so God's grace is essential, and one has to deserve it:

"God Himself shapes men as vessels, and brings them to perfection.
In some is put the milk of loving and kindness, others ever are set on the fire of passion.
Some lie down to sleep on cushions, others stand to watch over them.
God regenerates those on whom He looks with grace. (24) "

The hurdles on the path to divinity like the Ego, hypocrisy, evil thoughts and actions, are discussed and various remedies are suggested.

According to Prof. Teja Singh, The "Asa-di-var" resembles an ancient choral in Greek. There is a great similarity in the way both var and ode are sung. It may be noted that there are 22 vars in the Granth, out of which three, including Asa-di-var, are by Guru Nanak. Often Shabads (Hymns) are interspersed between Pauris and this provides for both a variation of musical score and changes of thought.

Krishna Chaitanya, an Indian musicologist writes about the effect of the chant of Asa-di-var as under:
"In musical impact it is like the plain chant of European Christianity. It is recitative which has taken wings, rather than an abstract arabesque of sound. In its musical texture, it is wholly different from plain chant. This is because plain chant comes early in the evolution of European music whereas the melodic pattern of the Asa-di-var is derived by the simplification of a mature classical tradition."

We understand the message and feel the melody at the same time. When the Asa-di-var is sung before dawn - Amrit Vela - it produces a feeling of inner repose and peace.

Gramophone records of the Asa-di-var are available in the market. The most popular is that of the late Surjan Singh.

iWitness Living a Carnage 1984

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras. brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas . You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.
Encyclopedias encapsulate accurate information in a given area of knowledge and have indispensable in an age which the volume and rapidity of social change are making inaccessible much that outside one's immediate domain of concentration.At the time when Sikhism is attracting world wide notice, an online reference work embracing all essential facets of this vibrant faithis a singular contribution to the world of knowledge.