This composition is set in the rag
or musical mode of Vadahans, which is common in wedding and death ceremonies. Vadahans is associated with folk traditions. In this composition, Ghoria are the songs of the groom’s side, sung by women from the groom’s family. Vadahans
literally means the great swan. The swan is often associated with the self or the being or the spirit within. The Guru Granth Sahib often refers to the difference between being swan-like (calm on the waters) versus being crane-like (full of pretension). This is about our potential to be swan-like and better understand folk culture. These compositions are about more than the wedding ceremony, more than the folk culture around the congratulations that flow after the ceremony has been performed. Guru Arjan uses this common experience they tell us about the wedding of the being with the larger Being, about the feminine-beings, the seekers, meeting the Divine-Husband, and the state of bliss those connected seekers are in. It is important to know that throughout this composition, Ram
is invoked. Ram points to the Divine attributes of pervasiveness and beauty. This is about the experience of connection with the One. Pervasiveness is felt. Beauty is felt.
In the first stanza, Guru Arjan says, by connecting with the Wisdom, I have experienced the beloved Beautiful One, IkOankar (One Creative and Pervasive Force, 1Force, the One)
. The Guru
identifies with the human-bride, or the seeker. This seeker is experiencing the One because they have given their body and mind to the One. They are devoted to the Beautiful One. In many worldly marriages, we speak of the dowries and gifts we have given; we reflect on the material aspect of the union. In this
union, we are giving the entirety of our being. We are giving all that we have — the mind and the body. We are surrendering in devotion and humility to the Beloved. It is in this surrendering of the body and mind, in this willful submission, that we are able to conquer the world-ocean. This is how we bring the desires of the mind under control. This is how we are able to be in the world and not subject to its movements, its comings and goings.
In this state, the mind becomes steady. We are not driven by our desires and emotions and by the vices that ail us. We are able to imbibe the ambrosial Nam
or Identification with IkOankar. We are able to experience that Identification — to savor it. We lose the fear of death and loss and the anxiety that comes with it. Our difficulties end. In worldly weddings, the period before a match has been found can be quite stressful. In patriarchal societies, where the expectation is that the young bride will integrate into the groom’s family, the concern is often about finding her a good home where she will be comfortable and happy and not made to feel like an outsider. The Guru, through the voice of the human-bride or seeker, expands this to the transcendent union between seeker and Divine and says: I have found that home. My mind has been absorbed in sahaj. The Nam, or Identification with the 1-Light, has become my eternal support.
The word ‘sahaj’ refers to a state of Divine love and awareness beyond worldly attachment’s influence. When a seeker continuously and consistently implements the teachings of the Wisdom in life, when they exist in relationship with the One, and devotedly engage in Remembrance, Praise, and Identification, this state of sahaj
is reached, and it becomes permanently etched in the consciousness. This is a perpetual state of Divine love and awareness. In this
union, in this
home, Identification with the One has become the seeker’s eternal support. The seeker has settled into a state of self-awareness. The mind enjoys bliss in comfort and bows to the perfect Wisdom in reverence because it is only through the Wisdom that this state can be experienced. Will we give our minds and bodies to the One? Will we submit in devotion? Will we experience the steadiness that comes when our eternal support becomes Nam? Will we find that