Opinion Op Ed 12 Feb 2016 Mystic Mantra: The s ...
Kulbir Kaur teaches sociology at Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, Delhi University

Mystic Mantra: The season of happiness

Published Feb 12, 2016, 1:38 am IST
Updated Feb 12, 2016, 1:38 am IST
The love of the Lord is the true manifestation of Basant.
Guru Nanak.
 Guru Nanak.

Guru Nanak considered nature as the manifestation of the Akal Purakh and sees God in every element of nature. He writes:
“In nature we see the Lord,
In nature we hear his speech,
Nature inspires the divine awe,
In nature is the essence of joy and peace.”

The moods of nature are depicted through various seasons, which also have positive and negative effects on the journey of the soul. Nature and its seasons occupy a special place in the Sikh religion. The spring season or Basant is associated with joy. “Spring has come, and all the plants are flowering.


These beings and creatures blossom forth when they fo-cus their consciousness on the Lord,” says Guru Amar Das. Basant symbolises happiness and optimism. Guru Nanak, while welcoming the season writes, “The season of spring, so delightful, has come. Those who are imbued with love for you, O Lord, chant your name with joy.” In Sikhism, Basant refers to the flowering of the soul. “Blossom forth, O my consciousness, contemplating the Lord of the universe, forever and ever.”

The love of the Lord is the true manifestation of Basant. “The Lord himself is the season of spring; the whole world is his garden O Nanak,” says the Guru. During the spring season, every ragi in the gurdwara is enjoined to sing gurbani in Raag Basant from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Raag Basant is a very old raag, dating from the 8th century.


Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur composed sabdas to Raag Basant. According to a tradition, this raag is sung in the gurdwaras from the festival of Maghi to the festival of Hola Mohalla.

After saying their prayers and purifying the prasad, the ragis sing five shabads of Raag Basant and then sing the var of Basant. Performed in slow tempo, it depicts joy and happiness. As per the tradition Raag Sarang, which symbolises sadness, cannot be sung during the season of spring.

Fairs are held where people participate with full enthusiasm. Devotees celebrate Basant Panchami at Chheharta Sahib gurdwara with much fanfare and the main attraction is the kite-flying event when the sky is covered with multi-coloured kites. The day is also celebrated as Saraswati Puja.