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Barah Maha, Barah Maha Manjh, Barah Masa

Barah Maha

Barah Maha Manjh

Barah Masa

Barah Maha Manjh is Guru Arjan's calendar poem in the measure Majh included in the Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS, 133-36). The opening view of the composition presents the binary theme of the poem: the factual situation of the human soul's separation from the Divine Soul (kirati karam ke vichhure - bound by our deeds are we parted from Thee), and its quest for union with Him (kari kirpa melahu ram - by Thy grace grant union, O' Lord). Torn asunder from her Immutable Origin, she suffers; for instance: asaru tapanda tisu lagai hari nahu na jinna pasi - the month of Asar burns for her who does not have her Divine Husband close to her. These individuals are tortured by duality; they see themselves apart from the Eternal One. Thus they remain victims to Yama, the god of death, and keep migrating from one birth to another. This existing tragedy is attributed to karma, past deeds, which are referred to as malu or fifth which accumulates through successive births. But time passages . One month passes into the next. The Bikarami year begins with Chet and ends with Phagan (Phalguna) only to begin again with Chet (Chaitra). As one sows so shall one reap. With good deeds then, the chasm can be bridged. Time - these very twelve months - offers opportunities to unite with the Timeless One. But two conditions apply - first, initiative on the part of the individual in the form of an intense longing (8), keeping company of the holy (2,6,12), reciting the Divine Name (4,6,8,10), singing the praises of the Infinite (13) and realizing that He is indeed with the self (2); and second, the favour, the grace of the Lord Divine. Throughout the composition we here Guru Arjan beseech Him for His mercy, His benevolent glance (nadar).Once united, ultimate liberation is achieved and one is freed from the cycle of birth and death. Through the months, months are transcended. Time takes one into the state of Timeless everlasting bliss.

Excluding the opening stanza which serves as a prologue and the concluding one which serves as epilogue, each of the intervening stanzas commences with the name of the month, beginning with Chet. By cherishing the Lord in the month of Chet one attains bliss abundant. Baisakh, the month following Chet, becomes gladsome only if one meets the Lord's devotees who help him end his duality (3), Asar is scorching for those separated form the Spouse (5) and Savan is blesses for such of the united wives as cherish in their hearts the Name Divine (9). However, man's own forgetfulness of God is the cause of all his suffering, All duality and pangs end as one by excelling good fortune attains union with the Lord (9). In the month of Magh, man must 'bathe' in the dust of the feet of the holy and remember His name, for thus alone can be wash off the dirt of past deeds (12). The poem concludes with the statement that for him upon whom rests the Lord's grace, all months and days and all timings are auspicious (14). It is this Divine nadar or benevolent glance coupled with the individual's own initiative which helps him break the cycle of transmigration and win acceptance at the Lord's portal.

🎵 Barah Maha Manjh

🎵 Chet, Barah Maha Manjh
🎵 Vaisakh, Barah Maha Manjh
🎵 Jeth, Barah Maha Manjh
🎵 Asadh, Barah Maha Manjh
🎵 Sawan, Barah Maha Manjh
🎵 Bhadon, Barah Maha Manjh
🎵 Assu, Barah Maha Manjh
Kattak, Barah Maha Manjh
🎵 Maghar, Barah Maha Manjh
🎵 Poh, Barah Maha Manjh
🎵 Magh, Barah Maha Manjh
🎵 Phagun, Barah Maha Manjh

S.Surinder Singh Matharoo (Kuwait Wale)
Delhi, India.
S.Surinder Singh Matharoo (Kuwait Wale)

The Barah Maha has its philosophical structure. It artistically celebrates true existence of the Singular Reality and reiterates that there is none other besides Him: Prabh binu avaru na koi (3); prabh tudhu binu duja ko nahi (5); prabh vinu duja ko nahi (8). This adumbrates the basic tenet of the Sikh faith. The poem,also poses the Sikh paradox that while He is an everything and is everwhere: Jali thali mahiali puria ravia vichi vana- He pervades waters, the earth and the spaces and He is in the woods and glades (2), He is utterly unfathomable and unknowable - agam agahu (11). Thus fully Immanent as well as Transcendent is He. The Sikh understanding of the world is here affirmed as a "separation" in which there is no essential gap between the Creator and His creation, but because of the illusionary vision, the human ego, the self is seen as apart from its ontological core . The soteriological goal thus is the "unity" which rather than being a physical merging is fundamentally a realization of That One within. Furthermore, in keeping with the Sikh metaphysical postulate, God is compassionate and merciful, and He will by His grace (nadar) end some day all duality and suffering. In fact, so caring is the Lord Master that "He will draw you unto Himself by the arm for union everlasting - Karu gahi lini parbrahmi bahuri na vichhuriahu (11). The phenomenal world. One must participate in life, discarding hesitation. All beginnings will be made auspicious for him were he to have trust in the Divine favour. Optimism is the keynote of this poem of viraha or the pang of separation. The philosophical ideals of the Sikh faith have thus been mirrored most poetically in the Bara Maha. The reader is struck immediately by the enthralling rhythm of the composition. Both assonance and consonance have been employed to telling effect. The lines in the different stanzas run in rhyme. For instance, in the opening passage, "am" is repeated throughout; in the second, "na"; in the last "re". Guru Arjan's Barah Maha is recited ceremonially at Sikh congregations or by individuals at their homes on the first day of each of the Indian solar months. This is a way of announcing the beginning of the new months and invoking Divine blessing.

Landscape & Travel Photographer in New Delhi India
Landscape & Travel Photographer in New Delhi, India
Barah Maha, Barah Maha Manjh, Barah Masa
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