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Vaar(ਵਾਰ): This term used for

  • literature related to wars like heroic ballads such as the Vaar Shri Bhagauti.
  • It had also been used in exchange for Pauri Chand (ਪਊੜੀ-ਛੰਦ) as many Punjabi scholars have praised warriors in this form of Chand(ਛੰਦ).
  • Group of Pauris and Saloks which are written in praise of God in SGGS.

Altogether, there are in all 22 Varan in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, of which 21 have been written by the Gurus, and one by Bhatts Satta and Balwand. The details of the Vars are given below -

# Writtten by: Appears in Raags Varan
1. Guru Nanak Dev Majh, Asa and Malar 3
2. Guru Amar Das Gujri, Suhi, Ramkali and Maru 4
3. Guru Ram Das Sri, Gaurhi, Bihagrha, Vadhans, Sorath, Bilawal, Sarang and Kanrha 8
4. Guru Arjan Dev Rag Gaurhi, Gujri, Jaitsri, Ramkali, Maru. and. Basant 6
5. Satta and Balwand Rag Ramkali 1
Total 22

Details of Vars in order of Raags

The following is the breakdown of the number of Varan in the Raags:

  • Ramkali has 3 varaa
  • Gaurhi, Gujri, Matu each have 2 varaa each.
  • The remaining 13 raags each have 1 var: Sri, Majh, Asa, Baihagara, Vadhans, Sorath, Jaitsri, Suhi, Bilawal, Basant, Sarang, Malar, and Karma.

Except for Satta and Baiwand’s Var in Rag Ramkali and the Var in Basant Rag of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, in all the remaining Varaa, Sloks of the first five Gurus have been attached to the Pauris of the Vars. The details of Pauris and Sloks of these Vars are given below:-

Details of Pauris of 21:

  • Guru Nanak Dev 78 Pauris (stanzas)
  • Guru Amar Das 85 Pauris
  • Guru Ram Das 183 Pauris
  • Guru Ram Das 183 Pauris
  • Guru Arjan Dev 117 Pauris
  • Total number of Pauris of 2l 463 Pauris
  • Vars Satta-Baiwand’s Var 8 Pauris
  • Grand Total of Pauris 471 Pauris

Details of Sloks of 21 Vars

  • Guru Nanak Dev 227 Sloks
  • Guru Angad Dev 63 Sloks
  • Guru Amar Das 343 Sloks
  • Guru Ram Das 105 Sloks
  • Guru Arjan Dev 252 Sloks
  • Kabir Ji 4 Sloks
  • Total of 994 Sloks

Dhuni(ਧੂਨੀ): There are 22 Vaars 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, which were added by Guru Arjan Dev Ji prior to starting of Vaars. 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).

Murid khan of the Malik caste and Chandhraa of the Soheea caste were two warriors of king Akbar’s army. Once, Akbar sent Malik on mission to conquer the enemies. Malik succeeded and stayed there for some time. Chandharaa cleverly told Akbar that Malik had turned against him so Akbar sent Chandharaa to teach him a lesson. Both warriors got killed in the battlefield. Balladeer(ਡਾਡੀ) praised both in this form of vaar.

"ਕਾਬੁਲ ਵਿੱਚ ਮੁਰੀਦਖਾਂ ਫੜਿਆ ਬਡ ਜੋਰ, ਚੰਦ੍ਰਹੜਾ ਲੈ ਫੌਜ ਕੋ ਚੜਿਆ ਬਡ ਤੌਰ, ਦੁਹਾਂ ਕੰਧਾਰਾਂ ਮੁਹ ਜੁੜੇ ਦਾਮਾਮੇ ਦੋਰ, ਸਸਤ੍ਰ ਪਜੂਤੇ ਸੂਰਿਆਂ ਸਿਰ ਬੱਧੇ ਟੋਰ..."

  • 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 Raagas and Dhunis 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 the youngsters