There’s something about the shabds in rāga suhi. The sweet melodies have a touch of longing, circling, sometimes lost, knowing the state of separation. These songs describe the bumbling, deluded ego self, distracted in a murky, swampy whirlpool, harrassed by the body’s five rulers and their relentless tax collectors. Peace, love and attainment come by remembering the One, meeting the sādh sangat, the blessing of darsan. The melodies are not melancholy, though, instead like the one who sees the whole circle, good and bad, accepting the ever-present sorry human state, even while also appreciating the possibilities of peace and contentment.

Although rāga suhi is in the bilāwal ang, everything changes when you turn the page and begin singing rāga bilāwal itself. For me it seems to ascend light as a breath of fresh air, uncomplicated, a refreshing breeze, a splash of clear water. Perhaps because these are all shabds I have heard and sung before, and some have gone through a deeper learning process, old friends.  There is a joy of meeting, a dance of celebration in the melodies and the bāni. In these shabds there is a mention of the previous pain, but the dwelling of the shabd is in the state of union and attainment. These are happy songs!

At the end of the bilāwal chapter, there are three shabds which are blended rāgas, each a state of humble bowing, recognizing that any relief from human error comes not from our effort, but from kirpā, from grace. It is not me, it is You! This is gratitude, remembering that the joy found in rāga bilāwal is simply a gift to receive and to share.