Death Is Not To Be Feared

The mind is logical, and it finds it hard to accept the idea that existence contains life and also death.

However, life is not logical as the mind! The reality is: If there is birth, there is death. Use whatever euphemism you want to use for death, it cannot be avoided. In all the directions, wherever we go, we will find it waiting.

Another point which should be borne in mind is that the Gurbani does not believe/support unnatural and illogical nonsense such as virgin-born, air-born, fire-born, etc., as the followers of many organized religions stake claim for their prophets. Many think that denying humanity of their prophets somehow establishes the divinity of their prophets and heightens their status! The Gurbani clearly Teaches us that there can be NO CHILD without the union (ਮੇਲ) of a mother and father or a male and female (“ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਲੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ”).

  • ਜੈਸੇ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਲੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: As there is no child without (the union of) a mother and father (sggs 872).
Whatever is born of flesh must die

The Gurbani teaches us not to fear death. Because, as the Gurbani puts it, it is also a Blissful moment for the mind — at last, a chance for enduring and untrammeled Anand (Bliss, Peace…)!

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਜਿਸੁ ਮਰਨੇ ਤੇ ਜਗੁ ਡਰੈ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨਿ ਆਨੰਦੁ ॥ ਮਰਨੇ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਪਾਈਐ ਪੂਰਨੁ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦੁ ॥੨੨॥: O Kabeer! Death the world is afraid of (death of worldly attachments, Haumai, etc.) – that death fills my mind with Bliss. It is only by that death the Perfect Supreme Bliss is obtained! ||22|| (sggs 1365).

The Gurbani tells us that our soul is Blissful and Eternal — Deathless, Immortal, Timeless…

  • ਮਰਣਹਾਰੁ ਇਹੁ ਜੀਅਰਾ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੩॥: This soul is not perishable (sggs 188).

This is the reason why everybody wants to avoid death for Eternity is our True Nature (“ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ”)! Similarly, the reason why everybody wants to avoid sorrows (pain, suffering…) in life is because Eternal Bliss is our soul’s Real Nature as well! Thus, death does not and cannot hurt a true Giaanee or a Gurmukh.

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਦ ਜੀਵੈ ਨਹੀ ਮਰਤਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee ever lives and never dies (sggs 273)..
Death is the name of the feeling that we will be no more in this world

In other words, death only tortures the one who is engrossed in Maya: Ridden with doubt, lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, etc. To put it otherwise, death only hurts an active mind (worldly mind ridden with Maya, doubt, false ego-sense…).

  • ਏਹ ਤ੍ਰਿਗੁਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਿਨਿ ਜਗਤੁ ਭੁਲਾਇਆ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਕਾ ਸਹਸਾ: This three-quality Maya has deluded the whole world, (and it builds within Jeev) the fear (doubt, anxiety…) of birth and death (sggs 1257).

Although all die, but there is no grief for the Gurmukh (Bhagat, Jan, Daas, Awakened person, Mool Realized person, Brahm Giaanee). Because the Gurmukh knows that his Mool (Source, Jot…) lives…

  • ਓਹੁ ਨ ਮੂਆ ਜੋ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: (The Brahm) that pervades (within) does not die (sggs 152).

In other words, a Gurmukh knows that death only hurts those who, instead of Jot Saroop,  have become something other (i.e., time-bound, Manmukh, Saakat, Mayadhaaree…).

For example, the essence of wave, ocean, bubble, raindrop, etc., is still water. When a raindrop falls in the ocean, it becomes the ocean: Nothing gets lost.

  • ਸਾਗਰ ਮਹਿ ਬੂੰਦ ਬੂੰਦ ਮਹਿ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਕਵਣੁ ਬੁਝੈ ਬਿਧਿ ਜਾਣੈ …: The drop is in the ocean, and the ocean is in the drop. Who understands, and knows this? (sggs 878).

So, the Gurbani Teaches us not to fear death. Because our Mool (Source, Jot...) — the Seer, the Subject — can never be lost. The Divine Wisdom of our Mool (Source, Jot, Raam, Hari, Gobind….) wipes out death, worldliness, duality, suffering.

Thus, there is only one way to avoid the pain of death — the Gurbani says recognize your Timeless Mool.

The world reminds us of death. Our Mool makes us oblious of death

The Gurbani teaches us that death is only the five elements returning to themselves. The physical body being made up of the five elements (i.e., space, air, fire, water and earth), it is bound in the framework of time and space. Upon its destruction, each elements goes back to its respective source. That is, the earth merges with earth, the air with air, the fire with fire, the water with water, and the space with space.

  • ਪਾਂਚ ਤਤ ਕੋ ਤਨੁ ਰਚਿਓ ਜਾਨਹੁ ਚਤੁਰ ਸੁਜਾਨ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਤੇ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਲੀਨ ਤਾਹਿ ਮੈ ਮਾਨੁ ॥੧੧॥: O wise and clever (man)! Know that (your physical body) is made up of the five elements. O Nanak! Believe it that (this physical body) will merge back into (these five elements). ||11||(sggs 1427).
  • ਪਵਨੈ ਮਹਿ ਪਵਨੁ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਜੋਤੀ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਰਲਿ ਜਾਇਆ ॥ ਮਾਟੀ ਮਾਟੀ ਹੋਈ ਏਕ ॥…: Pavanai mahi pavanu samaaiaa… (sggs 885).

Accordingly, a true Sikh (a true student or a learner of the SGGS) looks upon both happy as well as sad events equally in his life! Thus, known as a Gurmukh in the Gurbani, the whole life of such an Awakened Being becomes a celebration itself!

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜੀਵੈ ਮਰੈ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥ ਆਰਜਾ ਨ ਛੀਜੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥: (Who ) becomes the Gurmukh, (his) life and death is of avail (ਸਫਲ, ਕਬੂਲ). (His) life does not waste away; (because he) realizes the Shabad (sggs 125).
Death Is Not To Be Feared was last modified: May 30th, 2015 by T. Singh
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T. Singh

T. Singh

T. Singh is not a "Giani", "Ragi", "Sant", "Baabaa", "Pujaaree", "Priest", "Granthee", "Parchaarak", "Bhai", "Swami", "Paathee", "Mahaatamaan", "Teacher", “scholar” (ਵਿੱਦਵਾਨ), "writer", etc. He was neither born in such a family, nor lived with any one of them, nor wants to be one of them. More about T. Singh

There are 10 comments

  1. Prakash s Bagga

    From gurbaanee one learns about what is Perishable and what is Imperishable. Whatever is visible is all perishable.and Imperishable is ever going to be there that is SAT(i) Since there is no question of DEATH so no fear of DEATH .

    • Well said Bhia Sahib Jio.
      The Divine Wisdom or “Bibek Budhi” of the Gurbani helps us discriminate between perishable and Imperishable, impermanent and Permanent, untruth and Truth…
      • ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਪਾਈ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੇਰਾ ॥: Bibek budhi satigur te paaee gur giaanu guroo prabh keraa (sggs 711).

  2. CS

    Thanks jio for exploring fearlessly – the fear; Just thinking what could be the reason of two spelling of ਜੀਅਰਾ and ਜੀਅੜਾ – My take is when it is ਜੀਅੜਾ it is like stuck up ( ਅੜਾ) and when it is released ਜੀ(ਅਰਾ) this released One still seeks union. However, ਜੀ( ਅੜਾ) can not directly unite. It has to get released first where is in stuck up in Maeaa. Until ਜੀਅਰਾ the death-birth cycle likely remains as in one Gur Sabd Mhla9 clarifies. Would appreciate help in further learning. Secondly, great point on Perishable-Imperishable. Though it seems the perishable is important to learn about the imperishable and as Tsingh ji says – until Budh Bibeka blessed through Gurbani. Perishable seems taking us to Gurbani.

  3. prakash s bagga

    CS ji,
    Would you pl post Quotes wherein we can see the words ਜੀਅਰਾ and ਜੀਅੜਾ for their true reference meainings. In fact there are several same words with exchange of an alphabet depending upon the style of language of the message. The change of alphabet does not seem to be changing the meaning of the word. This needs further perusal in this context.

  4. cs

    Thanks Jio for further inputs
    Here are some expamples

    1) ਇਉ ਸਰਪਨਿ ਕੈ ਵਸਿ ਜੀਅੜਾ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਦੋਇ ॥
    2) ਜੀਅੜਾ ਅਗਨਿ ਬਰਾਬਰਿ ਤਪੈ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਵਗੈ ਕਾਤੀ ॥

    3) ਪਾਪੀ ਜੀਅਰਾ ਲੋਭੁ ਕਰਤੁ ਹੈ ਆਜੁ ਕਾਲਿ ਉਠਿ ਜਾਹਿਗਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    4) ਜਾ ਦਿਨ ਭੇਟੇ ਸਾਧ ਮੋਹਿ ਉਆ ਦਿਨ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ॥
    ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਅਪਨੋ ਜੀਅਰਾ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਹਉ ਵਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

    It seems although the meanings may closely be the same/ look similar the surface, difference in spellings of Akhri NaMo have likely some significance. In the example – ਜੀਅੜਾ is associated with ਸਰਪਨਿ Sarpin / Maaaa where as ਜੀਅਰਾ / Jiaara is associated with ਭੇਟੇ ਸਾਧ /Sadh. None of the two -ਜੀਅੜਾ / ਜੀਅਰਾ ( examples 1 to 3 above) are likely free from transcending Time/Space – death ; however, the one that has likely advanced into the company of Sadhoo is likely to cross over. This company/Sangat – seems that never perishes, this company is more likely accomplished with ਜੀਅਰਾ ( advanced from ਜੀਅੜਾ)
    It will be interesting finding some reference of ਜੀਅੜਾ as not perishable
    Humbly

  5. cs

    ਮਰਣ ਜੀਵਣ ਕੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਗਈ ਇਹੁ ਜੀਅੜਾ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਵਸਿ ॥
    ਜਿਉ ਭਾਵੈ ਤਿਉ ਰਖੁ ਤੂ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਬਖਸਿ ॥੧॥
    Sorry, I should have submitted this along. From this instance, it seems the meanings are same for ਜੀਅੜਾ/ ਜੀਅਰਾ

  6. cs

    It seems weird though why would there be more than one spelling for a similar Akhari Namo if there were no additional reflections meant for understanding / meaning something

  7. Prakash S Bagga

    CS jeo,
    In my understanding the different spellings for the same word are related to the style of different language.e g In Eastern India side the word may be ਜੀਅਰਾ and in Punjab the same may be as ਜੀਅੜਾ
    There are many similar words with different spellings like one as
    KIPAAR and KIRPAAL here L is exchanged with R at the last alphabet.
    One may notice that for the same word the change in spelling is only for the last alphabet of the words .

  8. cs

    You are right jio – the change occurs on the last letter – I think Gurbani has several dots scattered at various places and needs some serious searching for meanings from these clues.
    What are your thoughts on ਣਾਣੈ ਰਵਤੁ ਰਹੈ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵੈ ਸੋਈ ॥
    and ੜਾੜੈ ਰਾੜਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਕਿਆ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਧਿਆਵਹੁ ਜਿ ਅਮਰੁ ਹੋਆ Ank 432
    There seems three suggested sounds for “R” in Patti Mhal 1 Thanks

    • Prakash S Bagga

      CS jeo,
      I think it would not be possible to correlate Sounds of Gurmukhi alphabets with the sound of English alphabets.
      Here in ਣਾਣੈ the sound is that of N and in ੜਾੜੈ that of D.
      However it is very imperative to have clear understanding of gurmukhi script alphabets.

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