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Varan Bhai Gurdas

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Varan Bhai Gurdas

Bhai Gurdas Varan

Varan Bhai Gurdas is the name given to the 40 Varan (chapters) of writing by Bhai Gurdas. They have been referred to as the "Key to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib" by Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru. Bhai Gurdas was a first cousin of Mata Bhani, mother of Guru Arjan Dev. He was the first scribe of Guru Granth Sahib and a scholar of great repute. From his work its clear that he had mastery of various Indian languages and had studied many ancient Indian religious scriptures.

In Macauliffe's "The Sikh Religion," he makes the following remark to express the importance place by the Guru on Bhai Sahib's work: "The Guru, probably to make trial of his learned and able scribe Bhai Gur Das, whose compositions he admired, offered to insert them in the Granth; but Bhai Gur Das said that they were not worthy of such honour. The Guru complimented him on his modesty and ability, and said that whoever read the Bhai's writings should acquire spiritual profit and instruction and faith in the teachings of the holy Gurus."[1]

Each of the 40 chapters of "Varan Bhai Gurdas" consists of a differing number of Pauris (sections, paragraphs). The composition is a collection of detailed commentary and explanation of theology and the ethics of Sikh beliefs as outlined by the Gurus. It explains the Sikh terms like sangat, haumai, "Gun", Gurmukh and Manmukh, Sat, Naam, etc. Many of the principles of Sikhism are explained in simple terms by Bhai Sahib and at times in many different ways.

The following is a quote from this collection of pauris:


This book is controversial among some sects of Sikhism which believed that Vaar was not written by Bhai Gurdas but by some unknown poet:#There is no name of Gurdas in any Ballad

  1. There is mention of Christian religion in a Ballad which is not possible as Adi Granth and Dasam Granth does not states that.
  2. The Vaar promotes Idol worship, in which Bhagat Dhanna is shown as Idolator.
  3. The Vaar is out of tone of Gurmat philosophy and is nearer to Sanatan Dharma philosophy.
  4. There are historical inaccuracies like Creation of Nirmal Panth by Guru Nanak.
  5. The Vaar is not included in Guru Granth Sahib is objectionable, as Gurdas was Sikh of Gurughar and Gurus put Banis of various Sikhs in Guru Granth Sahib, so how could he exclude Bhai Gurdas?

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