Asa Ki Var begins with a paradigm-shifting invocation: One creative and pervasive Force (IkOankar) is unique and unparalleled. IkOankar’s Identification (Nam) is eternal. IkOankar is the Creator of the entire visible and invisible creation; it pervades beyond gender.
1 creative and all-pervasive Supreme Being. Eternal Nam.
In Guru Granth Sahib, the term Nam is vast. Thus the native term is retained for its literal representation. For its interpretive representation, the term “identification” is used as one active noun or verb form to represent our relationship with, connection to, and response to Nam at a human level.
A description of the term Nam is as follows:
Nam (noumenon, generally used in contrast to phenomenon) is a key term and the central principle in Guru Granth Sahib. According to Professor Puran Singh, “Nam” is the supernaturally natural function of a poetical genius who though in body, is at all times of day and night under the influence of the higher Soul-worlds of Freedom...It is the pure subjectivity of love bursting up under the sole and invisible spiritual guidance from below the crusts of earthiness, from under the hard conditions of earthly life.” –Puran Singh, Spirit of The Sikh, Part II, Volume Two, page 36
Often, Nam is considered merely a word which is to be recited or repeated. Though literally a name or an identifier, Nam alludes to something much more vast, deep, and subtle than a mere name of the Supreme Being. Although numerous names or words for the Supreme Being (such as Ram, Hari, Gobind, etc.) are used in Guru Granth Sahib, Nam also frequently appears instead of those names. Consequently, Nam also appears as a synonym for the Supreme Being among the many contexts in which it is invoked in Guru Granth Sahib.
Primarily, Nam is the central principle of Sikhi, around which the entire Sikh worldview revolves and evolves. When seen in the totality of Guru Granth Sahib, in addition to being a synonym for the Supreme Being, Nam represents the active and creative facet of the Supreme Being, that is constantly creating, pervading, governing, and sustaining everything in the entire creation: nām ke dhāre sagle jant. nām ke dhāre khanḍ brahmanḍ. –Guru Granth Sahib 284
In Indic traditions (Buddhism and Hinduism) the term ‘nāma’ (name) is used to describe the spiritual or essential properties of an object or being, as opposed to ‘rūpa’ (form) that describes the physical presence that it manifests.
In this way, Nam is also the Law or the Principle that governs the entire phenomenal world, and is the sum total of all the qualities and attributes of the Supreme Being.
Creator-Being. Fear-less. Enmity-less. Timeless-Form. Un-Born. Self-Illuminated. (Realized) by Guru’s grace.
Asa, First Embodiment.
Var, with saloks
The saloks written are also of the First Embodiment.
The tune of maimed Asraj.
Bhai Gurdas has explained the invocatory verse or the Mul Mantra thus:
ekā ikaṅkāru likhi dekhāliā. ūṛā oaṅkāru pāsi bahāliā. satināmu kartār nirbhaü bhāliā. nirvairahu jaikāru ajūni akāliā. sacu nīsāṇu apāru joti ujāliā. pañj akhar upkār nāmu samāiā. parmesur sukhu sāru nadari nihāliā. naü aṅgi sunn sumār saṅgi nirāliā. nīl anīl vīcāri piram piāliā. 15.
– Bhai Gurdas, Var
ekaṅkāru ikāṁg likhi ūṛā oaṅkāru likhāiā. satinām kartā purakhu nirbhaü hui nirvairu sadāiā. akāl mūrati partakhi soi nāu ajūnī sabhaṅ bhāiā. gurparsādi su ādi sacu jugah jugantaru hoṁdā āiā. haibhī hosī sacu nāu sacu darsaṇu satigurū dikhāiā. sabadu surati livlīṇu hui guru celā parcā parcāiā. guru celā rahrāsi kari vīh ikīh caṛhāu caṛhāiā. gurmukhi sukh phalu alakh lakhāiā. 1
. – Bhai Gurdas, Var
(for reference only; translation will be done in the next version)