Asa Di Var is a collection of 24 pauris or stanzas written by Guru Nanak Devji (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, page 462-475).Some people argue that the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev ji wrote the first 9 together on one occasion and later wrote 15 more stanzas on a different occasion but Professor Sahib Singh and some of the foremost Sikh scholars believe that the whole Var was written at the same place as the Var itself proceeds in a definite uniformity. The whole Var was compiled by the 5th Guru, Guru Arjan Dev ji in 1604 AD.
When Guru Arjan Dev ji was compiling the Holy Granth, he added a few Sloks of Guru Nanak dev ji and in some cases Guru Angad Dev ji, the second Guru of the Sikhs. These Sloks are tied together in a way that they relate to the same theme as highlighted in the pauri. In its present form, the Asa Di Var contains a few more shabads recited by Guru Ram Das ji, the fourth Sikh Guru.
The Asa Di Var kirtan is recited in the early morning hours in a very melodious way and style as mentioned by Guru Arjan Dev Ji called “Tunde Asraje Ki Dhuni” after the name of the contemporary brave and pious king Asraj. One of the hands of the king was amputated, so he was called Tunda meaning (one hand amputated). The deeds and the ode of this king was sung by the bards in that typical fashion which then was extremely popular and melodious and was therefore adopted to performing Asa Di Var.