What is Dying In The Shabad-ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ?

By dying in the Shabad, the mind becomes Immaculate. O Sants!
Such worship is meaningful ||5||. (sggs 910).
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The Gurbani time and again tells us that without annihilation of the Mayaic or instinctive (Bikaaree...) mind, we cannot Realize our Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). In other words, there is no Mukti (Liberation, Emancipation, Freedom, Freedom, etc.) without complete annihilation of the lower mind (i.e., doubt ridden, Mayaic, or deluded mind).

And, the complete annihilation of the Mayaic or instinctive (Bikaaree...) mind comes about when one dies in the Shabad.

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਾ ਤਤੁ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੰਨਿ ਵਸਾਏ ॥ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰੈ ਅਪੁਨਾ ਮੁਕਤੀ ਕਾ ਦਰੁ ਪਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੩॥: Satigur milai taa tatu paae. Hari kaa naam manni vasaae. Sabadi marai manu maarai apunaa, mukti kaa daru paavaniaa ||3||: If one meets the Satigur (ਸੱਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ ਦੇਂਣ ਵਾਲਾ - one who gives the Divine Knowledge of Truth ...), then he understands the Essence (ਤੱਤ ਗਿਆਨ ...); the Naam (Shabad, Hukam ...) comes to dwell in (his) mind. (Who) dies in the Shabad, annihilates his own mind, and obtains the Door of Liberation. ||3|| (sggs 117).

What is "dying in the Shabad", one may ask?

The Gurbani answers this question by addressing to the so called Sants.

  • ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਏਹ ਪੂਜਾ ਥਾਇ ਪਾਈ ॥੫॥: Sabadi marai manu nirmal santahu eh poojaa thaai paaee ||5||: O Sants! By dying in the Shabad, the mind becomes Immaculate. Such worship (of dying in the Shabad) is acceptable (meaningful, etc.) ||5||. (sggs 910).

First, why is the Gurbani's answer specifically addressed to the Sants (ਸੰਤ, saints), not to the ordinary people?

Perhaps because the so called saints misguide people. They do this on account of greed, and to maintain their lifestyle of being "Freeloaders" in the society (ਮੁਫਤ ਦੀਆਂ ਰੋਟੀਆਂ, etc.), taking advantage of public without due compensation. Furhter, such so called saints also lack Complete Brahm-Giaan, that is, they generally know little bit to impress upon the simpletons, unsuspecting, or ignorant people to maintain easy or "Freeloader" lifestyle for themselves.

In fact many of them are just criminals disguised in peculiar religious garbs ("Bhekhee", "ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥੧॥"), and so on.

In nutshell, dying in the Shabad is to be free from the menacing and the chronic disease of Haumai or egotism; it is to be free from the spell of Maya, duality, doubts (ਭਰਮ-ਜਾਲ), ignorance, Bikaars (lust, anger, greed, etc.), , self-will, Manmukhataa, ਅਪਣੀ ਮੱਤ, ਮਨ ਮੱਤ, ਵਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰੇਰਨਾ ਵਲੋਂ ਮਰਣਾਂ, ਵਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵ ਆਪਣੇ ਉੱਤੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਪੈਣ ਦੇਂਣਾ, ਸਬਦ ਨੂੰ - ਸਬਦ-ਗਿਆਨ ਨੂੰ - ਸਦਾ ਇਕ-ਰਸ ਆਪਣੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਟਿਕਾਈ ਰੱਖਣਾ; it is to Awaken to our Mool (Source, Joti-Svaroopa...) within; it is to become Living Liberated (Jeevanmukta) or dead while alive; it is to remain constantly (ਸਾਸ ਸਾਸ: each and every breadth) linked to the Mool (Source: Joti-Svaroopa, ਸਚ, Truth...) within - to be continually linked to the Aatm-Giaan, Gur-Giaan, Brahm-Giaan, Gur-Updesh or Teaching, Shabad-Surti, Naam Consciousness (ਅਪਣੇ ਮਨ ਵਿਚ ਟਿਕਾ ਕੇ ਰਖਣਾਂ), the Treasure or Ocean of Virtues (ਗੁਣਤਾਸ, ਗੁਣੀ ਗਹੀਰ), etc., and live accordingly (i.e., Divine Life, the Gurmukh Lifestyle, ਸਚ ਦੇ ਗੁਣ-Virtues of Truth...), and so on.

  • ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਮਨੈ ਮਹਿ ਲੇਹੁ ॥: Gur oupdesu manai mahi lehu: Keep the Updesh (Teaching of the Gur-Shabad) in your mind (sggs 178).

Upon dying in the Shabad, we become the embodiment of the Aatam Giaan (the Divine Knowledge) that is contained in the Gur-Shabad, as the fragrance is boxed in the flower.

  • ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਹੈ ਮੀਠਾ ॥: Giaan dhiaan gur sabad hai meethaa: (That person to whom) the Gur-Shabad tastes Sweat, (for him) Gur-Shabad is the Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom) and the Dhiaan (Inner Reflection, meditation, etc.). (sggs 162).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਪਛਾਨਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Giaan anjan gur sabad pachhaania ||1||Rahaaou||: Recognizing the Gur-Shabad, the Ointment of the Spiritual Wisdom is obtained. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 221).
  • ਹੁਕਮੁ ਬੂਝਿ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਈ ॥: Hukam boojh param pada paaee (sggs 229) .

In other words, when we have died in the Shabad, our "Antar" Awakenes to the Hukam, Divine Message, Aatm-Giaan, Wisdom, etc.

To put it otherwise, our mind and Chit that were in the divided or cracked (duality) state have become one again (ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵਸਿਆ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸੇ ਜਨ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਹਾਏ ॥: Gur kaa sabadu vasiaa ghat antar se jan sabadi suhaae, sggs 770).

This State is beyond the physical instruments of tongue, ears, hands, feet, etc.

  • ਸਲੋਕੁ ਮਃ ੨ ॥ ਅਖੀ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਵੇਖਣਾ ਵਿਣੁ ਕੰਨਾ ਸੁਨਣਾ ॥ ਪੈਰਾ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਚਲਣਾ ਵਿਣੁ ਹਥਾ ਕਰਣਾ ॥ ਜੀਭੈ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਬੋਲਣਾ ਇਉ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰਣਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਣਿ ਕੈ ਤਉ ਖਸਮੈ ਮਿਲਣਾ ॥੧॥: Saloku M: 2 || Akhee baajhahu vekhanaa vinu kanaa sunanaa... (sggs 139).

The Gurbani declares that the Mayaic and instinctive mind can only be annihilated (conquered, restrained, subdued, etc.) with the Shabad-Giaan.

  • ਕੁੰਭੇ ਬਧਾ ਜਲੁ ਰਹੈ ਜਲ ਬਿਨੁ ਕੁੰਭੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੫॥: Kumbhe badhaa jalu rahai jal bin kumbh n hoi. Giaan ka badhaa manu rahai gur bin giaanu n hoi ||5||: As the water remains confined in a pitcher, (just so) the mind is restrained by the Spiritual Wisdom. But (as) the pitcher cannot be shaped without the water, (just so) there can be no Spiritual Wisdom without the Guru. ||5|| (sggs 469).

Upon attaining Shabad-Surti (Shabad-Giaan, Aatm-Giaan, Brahm-Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom, etc.), the old false or Manmukh "dies", and gets "reborn" as a new Spiritual Being called the Gurmukh in the Gurbani. In other words, upon transcending the worldly-identity or body-consciousness, the mortal becomes living liberated or Jeevanmukta.

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜੀਵਤੁ ਮਰੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਭਵਜਲੁ ਤਰਣਾ ॥੨॥: Gur kai sabadi jeevatu marai gurmukhi bhavajal taranaa ||2||: Through the Gur-Shabad, the Gurmukh remains dead while yet alive, and swims across the world-ocean (of Maya...). ||2|| (sggs 69).

The Gurbani challenges us to die in the Shabad here and now, if we wish to:

  • eradicate Haumai - ego (ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ ਹੋਇ ਹਉਮੈ ਤਜੇ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥ - sggs 162).
  • become Living Liberated or Jeevanmukta, and Realize the Naam - Gur-Giaan, etc. (ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜੀਵਤੁ ਮਰੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥੧॥ - sggs 33).
  • experience the Anand (ਅਨੰਦ - Bliss) before death (ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਦਾ ਅਨੰਦ ॥ - sggs 364).
  • obtain true devotion (ਭਗਤਿ) (ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਭਗਤਿ ਪਾਏ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥੩॥ - sggs 159).
  • embrace the True Love for the One (ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਤਾਂ ਏਕ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਏ - sggs 412).
  • transcend Maya or duality (ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਇਆ ॥ - sggs 120).
  • eradicate the mind's coruuption or Bikkars and know oneself (ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਮਨਹੁ ਤਜਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥ - sggs 430).
  • conquer the mind (ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਇ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥੫॥ - sggs 1068).
  • annihilate the mind (ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੁੰਦਰਿ ਜੋਗਾਧਾਰੀ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥ - sggs 993).
  • abide in Nijj Ghar within (ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ॥ - sggs 224).
  • understand the Way of Yoga (ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਅਉਧੂ ਜੋਗ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥੨੧॥ - sggs 908).
  • transcend the worldly-identity or body-consciousness and link with the Divine Consciouness (ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਤਾ ਜਾਤਿ ਜਾਇ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਭਗਵਾਨੁ ॥੨॥ - sggs 429).
  • attain emancipation (ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਸੋਈ ਜਨੁ ਸਿਝੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ - sggs 1416).
  • conquer death (ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਤਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਮਰੁ ਭਾਗੋ ਕਿਸੁ ਪਹਿ ਜਾਉ ॥ - sggs 1010).
  • remove doubts (ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਦਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਾਤਾ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਸਰੀਰਹੁ ਦੂਰਿ ॥ - sggs 34).
  • attain Understanding (ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥੧॥ - sggs 159).
  • attain Perfection (ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਸੋਈ ਜਨੁ ਪੂਰਾ ॥ - sggs 1046).
  • know everything (ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਤਾ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਸੂਝੈ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ॥੭॥ - sggs 1234).
  • attain the state of Deathlessness (ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਸੋ ਮਰਿ ਰਹੈ ਫਿਰਿ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਦੂਜੀ ਵਾਰ ॥ - sggs 58).
  • drink the real Amrit (ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀ ਅਮਰਾ ਪਦੁ ਹੋਏ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਰਸੁ ਤਾਹਾ ਹੇ ॥ - sggs 1056).
  • ....

By inquiring into the Truth and falsehood through the Shabad-Vichaar, we can resolve the confusion between the unreal or ephemeral and the Real or Eternal (the Mool: Joti-Svaroopa, ਸਚ...). Just as the diamond fallen into the mud is never spoiled, just as the sky is not affected by the dust particles floating in it, similarly, the Pure Joti-Svaroopa (Mool, ਸਚ...) remains untainted by the body. Upon dawning of the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan), or upon dying in the Shabad (Realizing God, Naam, Shabad, Satguru, Unconditioned Consciousness, etc.), our mind settles down in Complete Peace, Ease (Sahaj, "ਸਹਿਲਾ", "ਸੁਹੇਲਾ", "ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ"...), just as grains of dirt floating in water settle down when the water is absolutely steady. This is the state of the mind Liberated from the repeated suffering (the Gurmukh).

  • ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਸਹਿਲਾ ਜੀਵੈ ਸੋਇ ॥: Sabadi maria sahilaa jeevai soi: When one dies through the Shabad, he lives in Peace. (sggs 1344).

In nutshell, to die in the Shabad is to realize the "ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ" ("Shabadu Guroo") or the "ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ" ("Banee Guroo"). As revealed by the Gurbani itself, this happens when by becoming fully established in the Heart (ਇਕ ਮੱਨ ਇਕ ਚਿੱਤ ਹੋ ਕੇ - being Saabat, whole, undivided; ਨਿਸਚਿੰਤ ਹੋ ਕੇ-worry free; by becoming the Gurmukh...), we heedfully Reflect (Vichaar-ਵਿਚਾਰ) on the Teachings of the Gurbani (Gur-Updesh, Gurmati, Gur-Giaan...).

  • ਜਿਨ ਸਬਦਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਣਿ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਮਨਿ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਸੋਇ ॥: Jin sabadi Guroo suni manniaa tin mani dhiaaiaa hari soi: Those who believe hearing through the Guroo's Shabad, meditate on Hari in their mind (sggs 27).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਕਹੈ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਜਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ਪਰਤਖਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਿਸਤਾਰੇ ॥੫॥:Guru baanee kahai sevaku janu maanai partakhi guroo nisataare ||5||: If (the Guroo's) Sevak believes, and acts according to the Baanee of the Guru, then the Guroo verily (apparently, obviously, certainly...) emancipates him. ||5|| (sggs 982).
  • ਬੀਉ ਬੀਜਿ ਪਤਿ ਲੈ ਗਏ ਅਬ ਕਿਉ ਉਗਵੈ ਦਾਲਿ ॥ ਜੇ ਇਕੁ ਹੋਇ ਤ ਉਗਵੈ ਰੁਤੀ ਹੂ ਰੁਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: Beeou beeji pati lai gaye ab kiou ougavai daali. Je iku hoi t ougavai ruti hoo ruti hoi: Those who planted the seed (of Hari Naam-ਹਰੀ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ ਬੀਜ) have departed with honor; (but) for now the seed cannot sprout (because of duality, fragmentation-ਦਾਲ ਵਾਂਗ ਦੋ-ਫਾੜ ਹੋ ਰਹੇ, ਭਾਵ ਦੁਚਿੱਤਾ-ਪਨ, ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਦੇ ਕਾਰਨ ਜੀਵਾਂ ਦਾ ਮਨ ਨਾਮ ਵਿਚ ਨਹੀਂ ਜੁੜਦਾ...). The seed srouts only if the seed is whole (undivided, Saabat-ਸਾਬਤ...), and if the season is proper (similarly, the Naam-seed sprouts within only if the mind and Consciousness - ਮੱਨ ਅਤੇ ਚਿੱਤ - are one: whole, complete, unfragmented, total, Saabat-ਸਾਬਤ...). (sggs 468).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org