Guru Ramdas – Thirst for Hari

“My mind yearns so deeply for the vision of Hari, the way a thirsty man yearns for a drink of cool water.”

– Guru Ramdas (AGGS, 861)

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Dumalla turban fabric brushes close-upGuru Ram Das expression longing emotion shown in Eyes close-upGuru Ramdas ji Beard brushes highlights details

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Artist’s Notes

Guru Ramdas ji was our fourth guru, son of father Haridas and mother Dayavati, son-in-law of Guru Amardas ji and father of 3 sons including Guru Arjun Dev ji. Guru Ramdas ji built the city of Amritsar , also known as Ramdaspur, in which Guru Arjun Dev ji built Shri Harimandir Sahib, also known as Golden Temple.

I know Guru Ramdas ji mostly from his shabads. I tend to listen to a lot of shabads and often look up their meanings. This not only gives me a solid understanding of the shabad but also deepens my experience of the sentiments expressed in the shabad. I have listened to many shabads by Guru Sahib and they have inspired me immensely in my own spiritual journey.

In this shabad, Guru Ramdas ji expresses the feeling of pain from being separated from Waheguru and yearning for him with much thirst and much pain.

I wanted to capture this emotional, contemplative moment as described in the shabad below. I wanted to capture that longing in his eyes.

ਗੋਂਡ ਮਹਲਾ ੪ ॥
In Rag Gaund, by Guru Ramdas.

ਹਰਿ ਦਰਸਨ ਕਉ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਬਹੁ ਤਪਤੈ ਜਿਉ ਤ੍ਰਿਖਾਵੰਤੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਨੀਰ ॥੧॥
My mind yearns so deeply for the vision of Hari, the way a thirsty man yearns for a drink of cool water.

ਮੇਰੈ ਮਨਿ ਪ੍ਰੇਮੁ ਲਗੋ ਹਰਿ ਤੀਰ ॥
ਹਮਰੀ ਬੇਦਨ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਅੰਤਰ ਕੀ ਪੀਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
My mind has been pierced by the arrow of His love; only He understands my pain, the pain I feel from having been separated from Him.

ਮੇਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਕੀ ਕੋਈ ਬਾਤ ਸੁਨਾਵੈ ਸੋ ਭਾਈ ਸੋ ਮੇਰਾ ਬੀਰ ॥੨॥
Whoever tells me stories of Hari, whoever talks about my Beloved, he is my brother, my true brother.

ਮਿਲੁ ਮਿਲੁ ਸਖੀ ਗੁਣ ਕਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੇ ਲੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਧੀਰ ॥੩॥
Come together my friends and sing the praises of my Lord, and listen to message of the patient Satguru.

ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੀ ਹਰਿ ਆਸ ਪੁਜਾਵਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਦਰਸਨਿ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਸਰੀਰ ॥੪॥੬॥ ਛਕਾ ੧॥
Guru Ramdas ji says, O Hari please fulfill our desires to unite with You. When we see You, when we get a glimpse of Your form, we find peace.

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