Chuka Nihora Sakhi Saheri – Rag Asa



Awsw mhlw 5 ]

Rag Asa, by Guru Arjan

dUKu Gno jb hoqy dUir ]
Ab msliq moih imlI hdUir ]1]

I suffered in pain, when I thought He was far away; but now, He is Ever-present, and I receive His instructions. ||1||

cukw inhorw sKI shyrI ]
Brmu gieAw guir ipr sMig myrI ]1] rhwau ]

My pride is gone, O friends and companions; my doubt is dispelled, and the Guru has united me with my Beloved. ||1||Pause||

inkit Awin ipRA syj DrI ]
kwix kFn qy CUit prI ]2]

My Beloved has drawn me near to Him, and seated me on His Bed; I have escaped the clutches of others. ||2||

mMdir myrY sbid aujwrw ]
And ibnodI Ksmu hmwrw ]3]

In my own home, the Shabad resounds. My Husband Lord is blissful and playful. ||3||

msqik Bwgu mY ipru Gir AwieAw ]
iQru sohwgu nwnk jn pwieAw ]4]2]53]

According to the destiny written upon my forehead, my Husband Lord has entered my home. Servant Nanak has obtained the unwavering marriage. ||4||2||53||


We first encountered this traditional composition from a wonderful rendition by Principal Dyal Singh (1934-2012), a great kirtani who studied under Gyani Harditt Singh at the Rakab Ganj Vidyala, New Delhi. He had served as an archivist, helping Gyan Singh Abbottabad notate many traditional compositions in his two-volume work Gurbani Sangit, and thus he was quite the treasure chest of old compositions.

The rit in rag Asa is set to the rare Mat tal timecycle of 9 beats and features never-heard-before accompaniment repertoire of the rich Punjāb Gharanā Jorī tradition, including compositions of stalwarts such as Ustad Mian Qadar Bakhsh and Baba Nihal Singh.

The rit, notated below, beautifully conveys the joy of being united with the beloved using imagery of worldly love, known as ishq-i-mijazi in Sufi terminology, as employed by Guru Arjan.

Notation of the shabad from Gurbani Sangit Vol.1, p.44-45
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