Riddle: The Ponds of the Beautiful Garden
The desert is very dry and spread across thousands of square miles. People living in this desert suffer immensely from the heat and desert storms. There is only one silver lining. There is a very beautiful garden within this desert. This garden seems small from outside but is huge, once you enter it. It's got several zones and each zone has ponds and wells of different kinds. These ponds and wells are full of pure water and though the water looks same from outside, but it tastes different in all ponds and wells.
This one lucky fellow once entered the garden to swim and drink water of one particular kind of pond. Several of these ponds are spread in different zones of the garden.
He entered the first zone and found this beautiful pond in the depths of this zone. As soon as he saw it, he dashed forward to jump in it. The cool water of this pond made him forget all the heat he had endured all these years. The water was very tasty.
Then he found out that there were a few more ponds in other zones. In the second and fourth zone there were 1 pond each but the third and fifth zones had two ponds each. In case of third zone, one pond was big and the other one quite small as compared to the other. In the fifth zone both of the ponds were of equal size and equally beautiful and full of clean water. Only one other zone had two ponds and another beautiful zone has even three ponds (the third pond is a small one but equally life-giving). This lucky fellow could not contain his joy and just could not get enough of it.
He made it a point to swim in all these ponds and drink water from them all, every single day, for the next few days. He got a lot of Anand and is now determined to try out other kinds of ponds and wells. Lucky fellow! Share some with us too, you lucky fellow!
Spectators are many, who view these ponds from outside but only the very fortunate ones actually get to immerse themselves in these ponds and drink the pure life-giving water from these ponds. The problem is that everyone can't immerse in these ponds. One needs to know how to swim in these ponds. Only experienced swimmers can teach others.
The desert is this world and the garden is Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the only source of relief in this world. The zones are the different Raags in Guru Sahib and the particular ponds mentioned in this story are the 22 Vaars.
There were many hints in the story that alluded towards the 22 Vaars. It was mentioned that 3rd and 5th zones have 2 ponds each. The 3rd zone is Raag Gauri which has 2 Vaars - Mahalla 4 and Mahalla 5. The fifth zone is Raag Gujri and this Raag too has two Vaars - Mahalla 3 and Mahalla 5. Another zone or Raag that has 2 Vaars is Raag Maaroo. The lucky Raag that has 3 Vaars is Raag Ramkali.
The Mehima or greatness of the Vaars is beyond description. What should one write and where should one begin writing about them. The pre-requisite to having Anand of 22 Vaars is Santhiya. If one is not fluent in 22 Vaars, then it is hard to derive maximum Anand because then it's even hard to do Paath (due to very Mehingi (difficult) Baani) let alone understand it.
The hardest Vaars are of Raag Maajh, Raag Gujri Mahalla 5, Raag Jaitsree, Raag Maaru Dakhne, Raag Saarang and Raag Malaar. Rest of them are intermediate or easy to read.
Someone asked a question recently as to how to become an Akhand Paathi. Well, one can't be classified as an Akhand Paathi if one is not fluent in all 22 Vaars and Bhagat Baani. So, one should focus hard on these Baanis to become a successful Paathi.
When Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Ji first came into Sikhi, he became a Baavra (Divaana, crazy) by reading 22 Vaars and Bhagat Baani, day and night. He used to lose consciousness while doing these Paaths and even in his class he used to read 22 Vaars and Bhagat Baani, instead of focussing on his studies. From this we learn that if we want to have Darshan of Waheguru Ji, we too should get into some crazy Paath of Punj Granthi, 22 Vaars, and Bhagat Baani.
It is possible to do 22 Vaars everyday for few days. If that's hard, one can attempt to do 22 Vaars within a week or even in 22 days i.e. one Vaar a day. Then one can switch to Bhagat Baani in the same way. Punj Granthi should be done every single day, no matter what. This is for such people who are serious of Darshan of Waheguru Ji and ones who don't want to come back in this world again.
Below is a chart that can be of help to those lucky seekers of Waheguru, who want to do Paath of 22 Vaars. This chart shows the Ang information of 22 Vaars. It is beneficial to do 22 Vaars from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji or Senchis of Guru Sahib as opposed to the Pothis that have only 22 Vaars because this way the Vaar Naqsha (mapping) as it appears in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, becomes impressed on the mind.