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Vaar Asa – Wisdom of Life

The world has waited 500 years for this unique musical recording

For the first time in history, musicians have come together to record a powerfully healing piece of music in the way specified by its originator 500 years ago.

Professor Surinder Singh has led this project to record ‘Vaar Asa,’ a series of poetic verses within the written representation of the wisdom of the Sikh Gurus, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. 

A childhood experience of hearing ‘Vaar Asa’ rendered authentically in his village in Punjab, India, by the man who would become his teacher, sowed the seed of this project for Professor Surinder Singh.  It has taken thirty years for it to blossom.  He recalls:

“As my eyes continued to search for the source of this enchanting music, through the gate I caught sight of a group of people sitting, singing and swaying to the music that they played.  My heart wanted to run towards these people but my body was frozen in shock at the impact that the music was having on me.”

So as to achieve its effect of inspiring courage and energy in the listener, the text instructs that the whole ballad should be performed in one musical ‘mood,’ or Raag – Raag Asa – and that a particular melody should be used.  Current performance practices have departed from this tradition, diluting the power of the piece, and until now there has been no attempt to record it in its authentic form.

Singing and playing the Saranda, an original instrument of the Gurus, Professor Surinder Singh is joined by leading musicians from across the world in the creation of a diverse and unique recording.

The tune specified for the piece, called ‘Tunday Asrajay Ki Dhunni,’ is inspired by the story of a king in 16th century India who endured cruel rejection and an assassination attempt by his stepmother.  It embodies Asraj’s power of recovery and the victory of his courage.  Asraj was righteous and fair –truly a king of the people – and his bravery has been an encouraging example of inner strength ever since.

‘Vaar Asa’ offers a key to the mind’s ability to overcome pain and laziness.  The music’s influence can unlock the healing of the deepest pain and shine the brightest light within us.  Professor Surinder Singh attests:

“I have put my heart and soul into this project and it’s taken me more than three years of hard work, research and recording to produce it.  I sincerely hope that it will bring you the same love and inspiration that it has brought to me.”

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