January 31, 2006
Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur have written shabads in Basant Raag. Basant is a raag traditionally associated with the spring and many of the shabads that the Gurus composed in this raag use the metaphor of spring (the blossoming of flowers, the forests awakening in energy and so on), to express the beauty of the spiritual union with Waheguru. It was once a tradition that, during the spring, Raagis would sing the first shabad in Raag Basant.In the Guru Granth Sahib Ji there are 2 main seasonal Raags: Basant and Malahar. Basant raag can be sung at any time in Basant season. Shabads with the theme of happiness are clustered under this raag in Guru Granth Sahib. The same applies to Malhar Raag. Malhar is the monsoon season. As you know the Guru Granth Sahib has been arranged according to Raags. The bani written in raag basant starts on page 1168 of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib.
There are some variations of the Basant Raag such as Basant Bahar, Budhha Basant, Basant Hindol etc..
Sarbpreet Singh Ji of the Gurmat Sangeet Project Wesbsite has written about the tradition of Basant Ki Var and some of the traditions associated with Basant Raag.
Some Shabads being sung in puratan reetan in basant raag
Dek Phool Phool Phoole
The shabad was sung by Amrit and Mehr Kaur in Basant Bahar. They sang in Partal ( Chartaal- 12 beats, Iktaa- 12 beatsl, Tintaal- 16 beats, Soolfak- 10 beats). Before they start singing they talk about the tradition of singing this particular composition.
To read the explaination of the Shabad by Prof Sahib Singh Click here
The shabad is sung by Sarabpreet Singh Ji in budha Basant in 16 beats( Teentaal). Before he sings Sarabpreet Singh talks a little bit about puratan reets and Gurmat Sangeet.
These two shabads are sung by Nampreet and Jaswinder Singh. The instruments they are using are Dilruba and the Taoos. They start with a Mangla Charan. Then they sing the pauri of Basant Ki Var followed by the 1st shabad. After which they sing the 2nd pauri of basant ki Vaar. Then they sing the 2nd shabad. They then complete the Basant Ki Var and then end off by reading a salok. This was the way kirtan was dones in the Courts of our Gurus..
To download more shabads sung in Basant Raag
The documenting of an oral tradition
To read about the documentation of Gurmat Sangeet and list of books on Gurmat Sangeet.
In a day or so I will post Shabads sung in Raag Basant by Bhai Avtar Singh Ji. In the mean while please download and listen to the shabads in Basant Raag and try to read the meanings as well. If reading in punjabi is difficult for you. I would suggest you still read from Darpan and not the english translations as there are numerous cases of literal translation of the shabad and that results in an incorrect message. Gurbani is poetry and cant be directly translated.
Guru Ang Sang Hove
Ps. I have not been able to find the last 3 shabads on darpan I will do so and will put up the links.