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Kirtan Sohila is the fourth Bani entered in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (SGGS).
The caption given to the Bani is Sohila but in most gutkas it is reverently known as Kirtan Sohila.
There are 5 Shabads, the first three by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the fourth by Guru Ramdas Ji, whilst the final Shabad is by Guru Arjun Dev Ji.
It is part of the Nitnem Banis and Sikhs read this Bani just before sleep.
Sikh tradition also holds that Guru Har Rai Ji decreed that Kirtan Sohila should be read after saskaar.
There are about 5,984 Shabads in SGGS Ji. Guruji in His Divine wisdom choose these 5 Shabads as one of the nitnem Banis.
As one pores deep into this Bani, you notice a special larhi to the Bani.
There are numerous sub themes which run in the 5 Shabads of Kirtan Sohila.
The first theme is of “ghar” literally meaning home.
Guruji starts by saying ” jeh ghar kirat akhiye Karte ka hoye bicharo tit ghar gavho Sohila sivro Sirjanharo”.
ਜੈ ਘਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਆਖੀਐ ਕਰਤੇ ਕਾ ਹੋਇ ਬੀਚਾਰੋ ॥
(In that house where the Praises of the Creator are chanted and contemplated)
ਤਿਤੁ ਘਰਿ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਸੋਹਿਲਾ ਸਿਵਰਿਹੁ ਸਿਰਜਣਹਾਰੋ ॥੧॥
(in that house, sing Songs of Praise; meditate and remember the Creator Lord. ||1||)
Here ghar refers to the house of the Sikh and also the body ghar.
As it is bedtime prayer, the focus is on the body ghar i.e. in your body home sing the Sohila, praises of the Almighty.
In the second Shabad, Guruji says there are said to be six ghar ( six schools/houses of philosophical thought), but there is only One Enlightener. The Guru of all Gurus is indeed One although they may have different forms.
“Gur Gur Eko ves anek”.
ਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਏਕੋ ਵੇਸ ਅਨੇਕ ॥੧॥
(But the Teacher of teachers is the One, who appears in so many forms. ||1||)
Of all these various philosophies what really counts is that ghar where the praises of the True Karta are sung.