The Gurbani’s edict is what comes and goes is time-bound, thus unreal (“ਸੋ ਕਾਚੋ ਕਾਚਾ”). In other words, that which is Real never ends, and that which ends is not Real.
Anything that is time-bound cannot be Eternal, hence not Real. To be Real means to be free of beginning, middle and end. Whatever comes and goes is bound and limited by beginning, middle and end, therefore unreal — changeable, temporary, fleeting, impermanent, perishable, illusion, or simply “Mithiya“. For example, we witness the natural phenomenon of an infant’s body after birth going through the natural changes of childhood, youth, adulthood, old age and ultimately death. Accordingly, human life has been described metaphorically as a journey from the womb to the tomb. What begins has to end; what ends has to reappear somewhere. Hence change is the constant factor in material life (Mayaic or unenlightened existence). In this way, coming and going is intrinsic to worldly life (a life of Mayaic efforts, Haume or false ego-sense, Manmukhtaa, material consciousness…).
- ਜੋ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਸੋ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਹੈ ਪਰੋ ਆਜੁ ਕੈ ਕਾਲਿ ॥: Jo oupajiou so binas hai paro aaj kai kaal: Whatever is born will perish, today or tomorrow (sggs 1429).
- ਹਉਮੈ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਈ ॥: Houmai aavai jaaee: In egotism, people come and go (sggs 1003).
In other words, anything made of the five elements is temporary. Because the time-bound consciousness (ego, instinctive mind or Haume) to arise, it needs a form made of five elements. Once it has arisen, it cannot stand still — it must scurry around like a mouse. And this scurrying around takes place in the domain of Maya’s three qualities: Taamas (ignorance), Raagas (passion), and Saatav (goodness). Upon end of the body, these five elements disappear along with the world-appearance.
- ਅਪੁ ਤੇਜੁ ਵਾਇ ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮੀ ਆਕਾਸਾ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਪੰਚ ਤਤੁ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ॥: Apu tej vaai prithamee aakaasaa. Tin mahi panch tatu ghar vaasaa: Water, fire, air, earth and ether; the Spirit Soul dwells in the body-house made of the five elements (sggs 1031).
Clearly, that which has beginning cannot escape end. Only the Soul, Joti-Svaroopa (Mool-Source…) is free of coming and going (Eternal). Once all the movements or impulses of the false ego-sense are ceased to be, the Mool within is Realized. To a person (the Gurmukh) situated in that state of Spiritual Essence, nothing comes and goes. For him all happenings of the world are mere entertaining show.
- ਅਸਥਿਰੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਦੇਖੀਐ ਹੋਰੁ ਕੇਤੀ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਇ ॥: Asthir kartaa daykhee-ai hor kaytee aavai jaai: The Creator alone is seen to be Eternal; all others come and go (sggs54).
- ਪਿੰਡਿ ਮੂਐ ਜੀਉ ਕਿਹ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਤਾ ॥: Pindi mooai jeeou kih ghari jaataa (sggs 327).
- ਓਹੁ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥: ohu bairaagee marai n jaai (sggs 390).
When a child is born, everybody can see it. In other words, when a gross body comes, everybody can see it (Drisati-”ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ”, visible) for it has a form. When it ends, or when it goes, the dead body can be seen by all. Later, some burn it, some bury it, some toss it out in the open or water (for animals to eat it), and so on. Nonetheless, the five elements the body is made of go back their respective source.
However, unlike the gross body, the Soul is not made of the five elements. For that reason, it does not end as the gross body does. Then, where does it go? The Soul’s going is invisible (Anadrisati-”ਅਨਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ”). The Gurbani says that the entire Srisati (“ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ”- ਰਚਨਾ, all beings…) acts according to the Parameshar’s Hukam (Aagiakaaree-”ਆਗਿਆਕਾਰੀ”).
- ਆਵਨੁ ਜਾਵਨੁ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਅਨਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ॥ ਆਗਿਆਕਾਰੀ ਧਾਰੀ ਸਭ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ॥: Aavanu jaavanu drisati anadrsiati. Aagiakaaree dhaaree sabh srisati: Coming and going is visible and invisible. He has made all Srisati obedient (to His Hukam, Command, Bhaanaa, etc). (281).
- ਕਾਇਆ ਬਹੁ ਖੰਡ ਖੋਜਤੇ ਨਵ ਨਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਨਾ ਕਛੁ ਆਇਬੋ ਨਾ ਕਛੁ ਜਾਇਬੋ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਦੁਹਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Kaaiaa bahu khand khojate nava nidhi paaee…: After searching (my Inner) Kaaiaa (which is: Primal, Infinite, Account less, Boundless, Deathless, Garbless, Incomprehensible and Eternal), I have found this new Treasure of the Lord’s Name (Giaan…) within. As I have invoked Raam within (ਰਾਮ ਦਾ ਤੇਜ-ਪ੍ਰਤਾਪ, Aatam Giaan…), now nothing comes, and nothing goes. ||1||Pause||: (sggs 695).
In nutshell, coming and going, in the first place, is perceived only so long we have not Realized our Mool within (Origin, Source, Jot, Reality, Raam, ਅਸਲਾ…). But once the mind has linked back to its Mool within (the Gurmukh State), “coming” and “going” cease to be for that person (i.e., the Gurmukh).