The shabds in rāga gauri are big, monumental songs with dramatic intervals, a stately pace, and profound presence. Bhagats like Kabeer, Nām Dev and Ravidās sang in rāga gauri as did Guru Nānak, Guru Amar Dās, Guru Rām Dās, Guru Arjan Dev, and Guru Teg Bahādur. Variations of rāga gauri include gauri guāreree, gauri cheti, gauri bairāgan, gauri poorbi deepki, gauri purbi, gauri sorath, gauri mājh, and gauri mālā,
Singing through this collection is challenging and rewarding and it will be nice someday to return to these songs, spend more time there, learn them well, remember them. Working out the melody from the notation is like approaching a puzzle and solving it can be so satisfying. However, the joy of singing a song that has been taught is a totally different experience. The meditation goes deep when bāni is sung from memory, without struggling with melody, rhythm, or placement of words.
In the midst of the grand gauri shabds is a somewhat smaller song in gauri bairāgan purvi ang. It is the third composition given for this bani. The first two are in chartāl and jai tāl, this one is in choti teentāl. This is one of those previously learned shabds that goes deep, circling like a drill to penetrate the mind and the heart. “By what virtues will I meet the Lord of Life oh my mother? I have no beauty, wisdom or strength, I am a foreigner, without wealth, without youth, without a master. Have mercy! Searching and searching, becoming bairāgan, for your sight I travel and thirst. Merciful to the meek, kind Lord, Nanak’s water is the sādh sangat, my thirst is quenched.”
In gauri mālā this jewel was found: “Kirtan is my treasure. You are nectar, you are praise, you are beauty, you are love. You are so very near.”