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Sikh Research and Education Center: Articles on Sri Dasam Granth Sahib:

Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki

A Very Important Composition of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee, “Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki”, depicting our eternal struggle against varied types of temptations, of the nature of Pride, Lust, Anger Greed and Attachment, and our not being equal to the mighty opposing inimical instinctual forces; how our self supplicates to the Lord abiding in us to come to our help, Who wages a war against our instinctual monsters, vanquishes them, the Lord making us sovereign in our own house, beautifully described in the Ode in Punjabi, is forwarded for the information of all. The ode is full of wonderful similes and metaphors. Once we understand the meanings and purport of the Ode, we derive added knowledge and pleasure in singing the Ode when we get united by His Grace at the Lotus Feet of the Lord of All the Creation, and Dissolution.


One God, Victory be the Wonderful Lord

Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki

Patshaei Xth

To begin with I recognize and remember the All Pervading Authority of Almighty Lord (Symbolized as Sword or Sri Bhagauti), and then I think of Guru Nanak. I then seek the help of Gurus Angad, Amar Das and Ram Das. The think of of (Gurus) Arjan, Hargobind and Sri Har Rai. Sri Harkrishan be remembered, whose mere glimpse removes all sorrows. (Guru) Tegh Bahadur be remembered, whose memories bring all Treasures of wealth. May they all help me at all times and places. (1)

The Lord first created the recognition of His All Pervading Wisdom and Authority, when He created the Universe of five elements. He then created the Three Basic Instinctual Powers in all, (1) Creative, (2) Sustenance, (3) Justice and Dissolution. Thus the Lord created a Play of Nature (that we witness). He created the oceans, mountains, earth and the sky above, which exists without any props. He created both Good and Evil creatures, creating in them the seeds of strife. It is Formless God, Who manifests His Potential in the Form of DURGA to cause destruction of Evil. It was the Lord’s Potential manifest in the Form of Rama, who killed the great demon RAVNA with his arrows. It was the Lord’s Potential manifest in the Form of Krishna, who struck down KAMSA, by holding him with his hair (and killed him). Numerous gods and ascetics had been absorbed in practicing hard austerities, but none could fathom His Extant. (2)

The Era of Saintilness (Sat Yuga) passed off, this was followed by the Era when piety was reduced to half – this was called Treta Yuga. Now the instinctual forces of the body came into increased activity, thus Selfishness was on the increase. The Instincts of Lust and Selfishness (Lust is personified as demon Mehkhasar; Selfishness is personified by demon Sumb) had their sway in people to remove the pride of piety in gods and their supremacy. The instinctual forces (demons) prevailed upon the gods, and everywhere demons were seen in power. The demons threw out the chief of gods, Indra (self in Man) from his domain. Indra (self of man) thus humbled, began to look for the Divine help. Indra (self of Man) having been greatly terrified of his instinctual forces, in a state of great fear approached the Divine in him (Durga – also called Sat Guru) for help. (3)

One day Durga (God in Man) came for bath (manifested in Man), when Indra (self in Man) told his plight to Her; stating, that the demons (instinctual forces) had usurped his Kingdom and instead have established their own domain name every where. Conquering Amravati (self of Man) they have pushed out gods from every where. Since none could defeat Mehkhasur (Sexual Lust), we seek your shelter. (4)

After listening to Indra’s (self in Man) wails, Durga (God in Man) laughed loudly, she sent for the same lion, which devoured demons. She assured the gods not to worry. The Great Mother (Durga) was full of rage determined to destroy the demons. (5)

The mighty demons came to the battlefield inspired to have a fight. Swords and spears shone so brightly that sun was not visible. (6)

Both the armies stood facing each other, and drum were being beaten and conch shells blown. The mighty demons, armed with the swords and wearing armor, stepped forward. The warriors who now plunged into battle were so brave that they knew not of running away. Such warriors roared in the battlefield. (7)

Clarion call was given and cymbals were beaten. Spears were being swung and beautiful banners were flattering. Drums were beaten, sound of which was sweet to the ears of the warriors, who swayed like the sleepy persons. Durga and demons fought against each other, while the music was on play. The warriors were getting pierced through spears and appeared like myrobalans on a branch of the tree. Some were killed by swords, and those injured squirmed like the intoxicated persons. The cowards were driven out of the bushes and killed as gold was being sifted from sand. Maces, tridents, spears, arrows were swinging with full intensity. These were biting like black cobras, as a result of which many brave warriors lost their lives. (8)

The trumpets of demons sounded more loudly, while Durga fought. The brave demons completely encircled her. They were holding swords in hand, and were fighting valiantly. They were such bold soldiers, who never ran away from the battle field. They were full of wrath and were crying to kill Durga. Many of these warriors were killed by Durga and their bodies laid in the battlefield like huge minarets raised by lightening. (9)

Trumpets were being beaten and there was fierce clash between the two armies. The goddess swung around her Sword and thrust it at Mehkhasur (Lust), who was seen rubbing his belly. He Sword pierced through him, threw out his intestines and liver. Then the Sword was again pierced right through his other side of the body like the rising meteor. The Guru has been using similes, as they occurred to him. (10)

Drums were being continuously beaten and armies were confronting each other. Both the gods and the demons took the swords out and took their positions. Blood came out from their bodies, just as colored water was oozed out of the colored wet clothes. The female demons looked at this clash, while sitting in lofty attics. Durga’s carriage created confusion among the demons. (11)

Many demons were beaten, yet they did not give up fighting. All the warriors roared like lions. The demons stretched their bows to full extent, when they shot at Durga. (12)

The drums tied on the back of the camels and horses, were beaten in the field. Chief demons, whose bodies were besmeared with dust, and were dark skinned with matted hair, nostrils as wide as alcoves, heavy moustaches, moved upfront before the goddess. Gods like Indra had already fought against them but had not subdued these brave demons. Enticing Durga, they roared like the dark clouds. (13)

Demons were beaten. There was fierce contest between the two armies. The brave demons were able to put a siege around Durga. The demons were bold, knew not to run away from the field. They sacrificed their lives at the hands of gods in the battlefield, and went to heaven. (14)

Innumerable drums began to be sounded as the opposing armies clashed against each other. The gods and demons fought like two crazy oxen. The demons full of anger, inflicted heavy injuries. The swords taken out of sheaths looked like saws. The huge size of bodies of warriors looked like minarets. The goddess herself held on ground a number of mountain sized demons. They never accepted defeat and rushed forward. Durga slayed all the demons with her sword. (15)

As the clarion call came, warrior entered the field with renewed vigor. Mehkhasar (Sexual Lust) roared in the battlefield like clouds, “The warriors like Indra suffered defeat at my hands. What is to me poor Durga, who has raised this war.” (16)

Drums were repeatedly beaten, and the clash continued between the opposing hordes. The arrows shot like meteors in between the two forces. Innumerable warriors lost their lives as those arrows struck them. They felt as columns were felled down by lightening. The bodies with loose hair of demons laid unattended in the field as if ascetics with matted hair lay under the intoxication of hemp. (17)

Both the armies clashed and the drums were beaten. A very proud leader of demons, Mehkhasar (Sexual Lust) attacked Durga. He was accompanied and supported by several brave chiefs. Mehkhasar took hold of a Double Edged Sword out of the sheath. Warriors rushed forward with enthusiasm and thee was fierce fighting. Blood flowed as water, just like from the matted hair of Shiva. (18)

Drums mounted on camels were sounded and fighting went on. Durga also pulled out her sword out of the sheath. Durga made a very heavy blow of sword, the slayer of demons, and as a result the sword which struck the skull of Mehkhasar broke into small pieces, reached the mouth and finally saved the body. Thus it ran through the rug on horse back and after through horse’s body, it hit the earth; having pierced through the body reached the ground, then it hit the horn of the mythical Bull supporting the Earth. Having killed the enemy touched the body of the tortoise beneath it. Dead bodies lay there like trunks of trees felled by carpenters. The battlefield seemed to have become a dough of blood and flesh. The story of use of sword will be remembered throughout the four ages, This was the most difficult and painful moment of the life of Mehkhasar. (19)

After killing Mehkhasar, the master of all the 14 realms, Durga made her lion dance about. She killed many brave leading demons. Many proud demons could not even ask for water. They laid on the ground as if some Pathans acquired a state of bliss after listening to music. On the battlefield blood flowed like flood water. The injured warriors moved as if some teetotalers had taken huge quantities of fine quality of liquor. (20)

Pauri
After restoring their kingdom to gods, Durga disappeared from the scene. The Warriors like Sumbh (Egoism) and Nisumbh (Anger), who seemed to have been born out of the pride, sat together to discuss the blessing given by Shiva for their victory. Ever since Shiva gave them a blessing, they had an eye on usurping Indra’s capital city. (21)

HERE ENDS THE FIGHT WITH THE DEMON OF LUST.
 

These great warriors now resolved to invade Inderpuri.(Domain of self in Man). They put on arrows, wore iron net masks, put armor on horses and camels and thus collected the war material. A huge army of 21,870 elephants, equal numbers of chariots, 65610 horses and 109350 soldiers on foot, now set out. As they marched, dust raised by them covered the entire sky. Beholding all this, Sumbh (Pride) and Nisumbh (Anger) were further seething with rage. (22)

Sumbh (Pride) and Nisumbh (Anger) desired that war drums be beaten. The warriors were making their steeds to run about. Drums were beaten on both sides. The sound seemed to be like that of male buffalo, the carriage of Death god. Both the gods and demons had come prepared for a fight. (23)

Clash between the gods and the demons continued uninterrupted. The blood stained uniforms of soldiers looked like flowers bloomed in a garden. The evil spirits, the kites and crows fed themselves on dead bodies. The scene was completely chaotic and noisy; the brave soldiers were raising loud cries. (24)

Both the gods and the demons got the war drums beaten. The demons ultimately routed gods, who fled from the field. The demons sway was extended in the three worlds. The frightened gods again sought protection of DURGA. They succeeded in persuading her to attack the demons. (25)

Pauri - Durga again came to rescue the gods. In the camp of demons, they also came together. The Demon King Sumbh (Pride) sent for a chieftain, DHUMERLOCHAN (Clouded Vision) by name with a smoke like complexion. He considered himself very great. The war drum was sounded, and a slogan was raised to seize and bring Durga as a captive. (26)

When Durga saw the enemy forces, she threatened them. She pulled out the Double Edged Sword and moved upfront before the army. All the brave soldiers of Dhumerlochan got killed. Their dead bodies laid scattered on the field as the labor might have felled down many trees. (27)

The drum beaters again sounded the drums, and a fierce clash ensued between the two sides. Durga in rage, appeared before the demons. In her left hand was Double Edged Sword. She struck this weapon on many a soldier, killing them; made the ground red with their blood. The demon soldiers were so confused that they killed their own men mistaking them for Durga. Now goddess Durga, seething with rage, made a blow on the chiefs and, with this single blow on DHUMERLOCHAN (Cloudy Vision), he was dispatched to the other world. It seemed as if Dhumerlochan’s death was an advanced money paid for the death of SUMBH.(Pride) (28)

The crushed demons now cried before the king, Sumbh: “Dhumerlochan has been killed along with his soldiers. She targeted select warriors on the battlefield, and killed them. The falling soldiers looked like falling stars in the sky. Their dead bodies lay like mountains struck by lightening.” The demons got frightened and were routed. Many were killed, and those who were able to save their lives now stood around their King Sumbh. (29)

Pauri
Boiling with rage the demon King summoned the demons. They set together and resolved that they must bring Durga as a captive. Chund (Greed) and Mund (Attachment) came to the battlefield with large armies. The hordes wearing armor appeared like rising of dark clouds. With swords dangling down their waists, they marched toward the field. It seemed as if they were being led by Death god for being slaughtered. (30)

Large kettle drum and other drums were beaten, and a clash ensued between the two armies. The warriors were seething with rage, and they invaded the demons. They made their steeds run about, and held spears in their hands. The trident and swords swung around in the air. Many enemies were killed in the battlefield. (31)

The tambourine was beaten and conch shells were blown. A fierce clash took place. Durga took up a bow and stretched it full strength to shoot arrows on enemy. Many soldiers were sent by Chund (Greed) and Mund (Attachment) to Sumbh (Pride) to give news of the battle front. Those who dared raise their weapons could not save their lives. Both Durga and the gods killed Chund and Mund in this battle. (32).

Pauri
Sumbh (Pride) and Nisumbh (Anger) got enraged on listening the death of the demon commanders. They convened a meeting and invited all warriors to it. The demon warriors who had earlier defeated gods like Indra had been killed easily by the gods. They rubbed their hands in sorrow remembering the dead friends. He on receiving order of the demon king Sumbh, Sarvanbij (Rumours and hearing ill of others) put betel leaves in his mouth. His soldiers put on armor, tied belt on their waists and wore iron helmets. They swung their swords, which seemed to be like a roof over their heads. The brave demons roared and got ready for a fight. These were the soldiers, who never retreated once they entered the field. They were all great warriors. Now it was to be seen, how ferocious the battle would become. (33)

Soldiers of the demon army reached near Durga and made a loud roar. Listening to this noise, Durga mounted her lion. She held a sword in her left hand and a mace in another. Thus, she killed a major part of Sarvanbij’s (Rumours, and hearing ill of others) army. The warriors wandered in the field like intoxicated jugglers. Some warriors laid on ground with feet wide apart like those young men, who had played Holi (Festival of Colors), felt tired and wanted to go to sleep. (34)

Now Sarvanbij summoned the remaining soldiers. These soldiers were so tall and healthy that they looked like minarets in the field. All of them raised up their arms and making cries of “Kill! Kill”, they marched upfront before the enemy. As the swords struck the armor , they produced lot of noise. This noise was like the one created by the brass maker, by making and shaping brass utensils. (35)

The drums were beaten, clash between the two forces ensued. The soldiers whirled around like dead leaves whirlwind. They fell down from their horses along with their saddles. The injured warriors would get up and ask for water. The demons were so badly mauled, as if the lightning from the side of gods had struck them. (36)

The fierce clash ensued, which further escalated the sound of drums. In a matter of moments, the entire army of demons was wiped out. Durga then raised her sword like a lioness in her left hand. She was seething with rage, struck her sword at the head of Sarvanbij, and killed him. (37)

Numerous huge bodied demons were blood stained. They looked like tall minarets in the field. They challenged Durga and came in front of her. All the demons who dared to come before her were killed. Blood flowed from their bodies as rain water gushes through pipes from roof top. As blood fell on the ground, many warrior demons sprouted from it laughingly. (38)

Drum beaters gave a clarion call for war. The spear with tassel put many a warrior to death. There was a fierce fighting contest between Durga and demons. On the battlefield, there was a lot of crying and killing. It seemed as if the contests had begun to dance to the tune of the drum. Daggers were pierced into the bodies lying down in the field, looked like fish caught in a net. The swords shone as does lightening in dark clouds. The swinging swords had so covered the stay, as if it was the winter day fog. (39)

The drum sticks sounded the drums and clash ensued between the armies. The young bold warriors took their swords out of sheaths. Sarvanbij caused the birth of many births like him. All these came to Durga, who was seething with rage. All of them struck swords at Durga, who saved herself by taking these attacks on the shield. The goddess also struck swords at demons as she saw them and her unsheathed sword, seemed to have bathed in blood, as the goddesses go and have a bath in the Sarasvati river. All these forms, which grew out of the Sarvanbij’s blood that fell on ground were killed in action. However, soon many more sprouted from his blood. (40)

The warriors started the battle with the beating of drums. Goddess Durga meditated on the Timeless Lord, but had only wrath in her mind. Out of Durga’s head came out the power of the Timeless Lord, Kalka, as if it was symbolic of victory. Immediately after birth from the forehead , she (Kalka) set out for the battlefield. She created an uproar in the field just as a lion does, when it walks about and roar in the jungle. There was so much of bloodshed on the field, it seemed as if the wearer of trident, Shiva, was annoyed and he had taken up his special sword called ‘Naidag’. As Durga attacked the demons, the latter fell upon her swinging swords and also discharge of rain of arrows. She made a thrust into the camp of the demons and pushed them back. She got hold of many by hair and threw them on the ground. Thus she raised a tumult in the enemy ranks. The Goddess was seething with rage and she rotated many a well known warriors above her head and threw them away. (41)

Both the armies faced each other, and they ordered their ranks. They pulled out their swords and washed them with blood of the enemy. Many soldiers and swords surrounded Sarvanbij. It seemed as if many maids surrounded the bridegroom to have a glimpse of him. All the armies clashed with each other, the drums were continuously beaten. They took out the sharp swords in their hands. These swords, habitual of taking flesh, struck the warriors. There were the nights of suffering for both men and horses. Companion friends of Durga came in the field in the form of kites crying, ‘we have to drink blood.’. The Goddess killed the entire army of the demons. The fleeing soldiers told the story to king Sumbh as to how blood drops of Sarvanbij ‘s body were not allowed to fall on the ground. All those forms who had sprouted from the blood of Sarvanbij were killed in the battlefield. Thus the moment of death came to so many. The brave warriors fought valiantly and laid down their lives as if their mothers had not given birth to them. (43)

Pauri. NOW BEGINS THE FIGHT WITH NISUMBH

Sumbh (Pride) heard the wailing end of Sarvanbij. When Durga entered the battlefield, none could face her. Many matted hair warriors boasted that they would set out for the battlefield with the beating of them. When the armies moved upfront, the earth seemed to tremble as does a small boat in a big river. As the horses moved, the dust raised by their feet seemed as if the earth had moved upto Indra taking along for petition. (44)

They found a new opportunity for themselves and they formed an army of warriors. They went upfront before Durga Express as the hajjis go to Ka’aba at Mecca. They shot arrows, used swords and daggers on each side of the field to invite the warriors. The injured soldiers swirled around as engrossed in public weal does Qazi in a mosque. Some injured by spears sit like the one saying Nimaz, the Muslim prayer. Some felt irritated at the helplessness before Durga and rebuke horses. They ran like hungry leopards before the goddess. These were the warriors, who never felt satisfied with combats, but now had it to their fill. (45)

Drums tied on horse backs and other kinds were beaten. The demons, with heavy matted hair on their heads, from regular groups, who entered the battlefield, back to back. They had tasseled spears, and the looked like a group of Rishis going to the Ganga river to have a bath. (46)

Both the armies, led by Durga and by the demons moved forward to face each other, and they prick each other like the thorn. The warriors have covered the entire field of raining arrows. They have taken out their sharp swords with which the warriors had been out of pieces. As soon as the armies approached each other, there was a fierce clash. (47)

Both the armies were face to face, and the brave had started invasions. They had taken with creaking sounds there sharp edged swords out of the sheaths. They cried, and fighting ensued between the great proud ones. The heads, arms and headless trunks lay by the field like packed flowers in a garden. The bodies lay like the sandal tree felled in the forest by saw. (48)

When the drums were beaten, both the armies clashed fairly with each other. Now Durga pushed up selected target among the enemy camp whom she made the target of her arrows. She killed many seated on elephants, in chariots and on foot. The blood stained red tip of arrows stretch in the armor of the dead looked like blossoms on the pomegranate plant. Durga was on rage and she took sword in her right hand and moved ahead . She killed several thousands of brave demons like Hiranyakshipu. She alone was over powering the entire enemy force. May AkalPurkh ever bless her blows. (49)

Again, the drums were sounded and both the armies clashed against each other. Then Nisumbh put armor on his steed and made it dance around in the full. He sent for a huge bow on a special request from the king of Multan. Durga in her rage moved forward before Nisumbh. Durga stood a step forward and make a blow of sword at Nisumbh. The blow was so strong that the sword sawed Nisumbh’s body, cut through the armour of horse, slayed the horse into two and touched the earth. The brave Nisumbh fell down from the horse bowing to Sumbh. (The Guru appreciates his bravery) – “Worth appreciation is he and worth appreciation is his prowess; the fearless way he chews betel leaf, also deserves appreciation. Equally worth appreciation is the way he faced the arrows and the way he made his steed move swiftly.” (50)

Durga and demons fought a fierce battle. The great warriors came ahead to face each other. The swords and arrows churned the forces. Angels from heaven came down to have a look of this fierce battle. (51)

As the drums were beaten, both sides took the field with added vigor. The brave warriors entered the field. They held swords and spears, which they now were raising up. They wore helmets, armor and such other protective gear. Durga took spear in hand and killed many demons. Many elephant riders, horsemen and footmen among demons were felled down to earth. She was hitting just as the cook picks up fried lumps of mashed pulses with a skewer. (52)

Both the armies faced each other and heavy drums were beaten. No Durga took out her fire emitting sword and made a blow at Sumbh so that he could drink his own blood. The sword, like a beloved, touched his heart, and Sumbh felled down from the steed. When the sword was pulled out of his body, it was soaked with blood, as a princess dressed in scarlet robes, came out of the palace. (53)

A fierce clash took place between Durga and the demons. Durga held different weapons in all her hands. She succeeded in killing the brave like Sumbh and Nisumbh. The armies of demons wailed and wept loudly on seeing this. The demons accepted defeat and, in acknowledgement of this, they held a twig of green under their teeth and fled away leaving behind their horses. They were being killed as they fled, but they dared not look behind. (54)

Sumbh and Nisumbh were thus dispatched to the land of Death god. Indra was sent for so as to again install him king. Thus once again, royal umbrella was held above Indra’s head and the praise of the WORLD MOTHER (DURGA) spread in all the fourteen realms. This narrative of Durga’s exploits has been composed only in stanzas. He who recites* it, will be free for ever from the cycle of transmigration of births and deaths. (55)



* It is well know that mere repetition of Bani means nothing, The last verse of the Var, does not mean that it should be recited daily.  It means that it should be understood and grasped by the devotee, and in complete devotion and love, see HIM within himself - surely he will get the answer to his prayers from Him.

The Guru is saying, O devotee of God, your aim of study of the Var will be fructfied, if you in all devotion live with the Lord, Who annihilates
all your enemies with you. The Guru here is stressing on the purport of the text, and use of this knowledge.

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