There are many stories and concepts about ghosts.

The Gurbani defines ghost – ਪ੍ਰੇਤੁ or Pret – as one who is attached to Maya (material or worldly consciousness…) , and consequently remains devoid of true Bhagati (Naam-Simran…) whilst he may work hard in the love of Maya.

  • ਸਲੋਕ ॥ ਕੁਟੰਬ ਜਤਨ ਕਰਣੰ ਮਾਇਆ ਅਨੇਕ ਉਦਮਹ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਭਾਵ ਹੀਣੰ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਬਿਸਰਤ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰੇਤਤਹ ॥੧॥ ਤੁਟੜੀਆ ਸਾ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਜੋ ਲਾਈ ਬਿਅੰਨ ਸਿਉ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੀ ਰੀਤਿ ਸਾਂਈ ਸੇਤੀ ਰਤਿਆ ॥੨॥ ਪਉੜੀ ॥ ਜਿਸੁ ਬਿਸਰਤ ਤਨੁ ਭਸਮ ਹੋਇ ਕਹਤੇ ਸਭਿ ਪ੍ਰੇਤੁ ॥ ਖਿਨੁ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਮਹਿ ਬਸਨ ਨ ਦੇਵਹੀ ਜਿਨ ਸਿਉ ਸੋਈ ਹੇਤੁ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਅਨਰਥ ਦਰਬੁ ਸੰਚਿਆ ਸੋ ਕਾਰਜਿ ਕੇਤੁ ॥ ਜੈਸਾ ਬੀਜੈ ਸੋ ਲੁਣੈ ਕਰਮ ਇਹੁ ਖੇਤੁ ॥ ਅਕਿਰਤਘਣਾ ਹਰਿ ਵਿਸਰਿਆ ਜੋਨੀ ਭਰਮੇਤੁ ॥੪॥: Slok || Kutamb jatan karanam maya anek udamah…: Shalok: For his family, (man) works very hard; for the sake of Maya, he makes countless efforts. But remains devoid of loving devotional worship (Bhagti) of the Lord, and O Nanak! (one who) forgets God, he is a ghost. ||1|| That love will break, which is established with any other than the Lord. O Nanak! that way of life (ਜੀਵਨ-ਜੁਗਤਿ) is true, which inspires love of the Lord. ||2|| Paouree: With the departure (of the spirit soul, ਚੇਤਨ ਸੱਤਾ, ਜਿੰਦ), one’s body turns to dust, and everyone calls (him or that body) a ghost. And those, with whom he was so much in love – they do not let him stay in their home, even for an instant. Practicing exploitation, he gathers wealth, but what use will it be in the end? The body is the field of actions; (in this body-field) as one plants, so does he harvest. The ungrateful wretches forget the Lord (ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਦੇ ਉਪਕਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਨਣੇਹਾਰੇ), and wander in reincarnation. ||4|| (sggs 706).

 In the following Shabad, Baabaa Nanak stresses again how – forgetting the Naam – the ghost within our body ruins us.

  • ਰਾਮਕਲੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਆਇਆ ਤਿਉ ਜਾਵਹਿ ਬਉਰੇ ਜਿਉ ਜਨਮੇ ਤਿਉ ਮਰਣੁ ਭਇਆ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਰਸ ਭੋਗ ਕੀਏ ਤੇਤਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਲਾਗੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿ ਭਵਜਲਿ ਪਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਤਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਦੇਖਤ ਗਰਬਿ ਗਇਆ ॥ ਕਨਿਕ ਕਾਮਨੀ ਸਿਉ ਹੇਤੁ ਵਧਾਇਹਿ ਕੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਹਿ ਭਰਮਿ ਗਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜਤੁ ਸਤੁ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਸੀਲੁ ਨ ਰਾਖਿਆ ਪ੍ਰੇਤ ਪਿੰਜਰ ਮਹਿ ਕਾਸਟੁ ਭਇਆ ॥ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਨ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਦਿ ਜਇਆ ॥੨॥: Jiou aaiaa tiou jaavahi baoure…: Ramkali Mahalaa 1. O silly man, As you come, so will you leave, you fool; as you were born, so will you die. As you enjoy pleasures, so will you suffer pain. Forgetting the Naam, the Name of the Lord, you will fall into the terrifying world-ocean. ||1||. (O Jeeva -individual being) gazing upon your body and wealth, you are so proud. Your love for gold and woman is increasing; why have you forgotten the Naam, and wander in doubt? ||1||Pause|| You do not practice truth, abstinence, self-discipline or humility; the ghost within your skeleton has become (like a) dry wood (ਲੱਕੜ ਵਰਗਾ ਕੁਰਖ਼ਤ-ਦਿਲ). You have not practiced charity, donations, cleansing baths (inner cleansing – ਆਚਰਨਿਕ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰਤਾ) and austerities. Without the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, your life has going in vain. ||2|| (sggs 906).

In nutshell, man’s duality (Doojaa-Bhaav) is his worst ghost. Like darkness and light, in nature both duality and non-duality coexists. But our Mayaic mind (Haumai) sees or transacts with duality only.

The Gurbani tells us that All goblins and demons are attached to duality (wanderings in the love of Maya, ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਮੋਹ ਦੀ ਭਟਕਣਾ).

  • ਪ੍ਰੇਤ ਭੂਤ ਸਭਿ ਦੂਜੈ ਲਾਏ ॥: Pret bhoot sabh doojai laae: All goblins and demons are attached to duality (wanderings in the love of Maya, ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਮੋਹ ਦੀ ਭਟਕਣਾ). (sggs 841).

 Those attached to duality are also called Manmukhs in the Gurbani.

  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਫਿਰੈ ਬਿਲਲਾਦੀ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਖੁਆਈ ਹੇ ॥੩॥: Manmukh bahut phirai bilalaadee doojai bhaai khuaaee hey||3|| The Manmukh (self-willed, one in material consciousness…) wanders everywhere, weeping and wailing; he is ruined by the love of duality (wanderings in the love of Maya, ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਮੋਹ ਦੀ ਭਟਕਣਾ). ||3||: (sggs 1044).

 Therefore, a Manmukh = a ghost or goblin.

But the Gurmukh (who is opposite of the Manmukh), lives in non-duality, for he has transcened the Mayaic consciousness. In other words, he has become Jeevanmukta (living liberated). He has realized his non-dual Joti-Svaroopa.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਜਲਾਏ ਦੋਈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਈ ॥੩॥: Gurmukh ahankaar jalaaey dooee. Gurmukh naam ratte sukh hoee ||3||: By becoming the Gurmukh, (one) burns away egotism and duality (from within). By becoming the Gurmukh, (one) is attuned to the Naam, and is at Peace. ||3|| (sggs 230).
  • ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਚਉਥਾ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਇ ॥: Trai gun maya moh hai Gurmukh chauthaa pad paai: The three qualitied Maya’s Moh (worldly attachment) is (prevalent). Who becomes the Gurmukh attains the Fourth State (the state that transcends Maya) (sggs 30).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੋ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਕਹੀਐ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਬੰਧ ਵਿਚਾਰੇ ॥: Gurmukh hovai so mukat kaheeai manmukh bandh vichaare: One who becomes Spiritual being (Gurmukh) is said to be liberated, while the poor materialists (Manmukhs) are in bondage (sggs 796).
Filed Under: Duality, Doojaa-Bhaav, Ghost, Pret, Gurbani
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4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. shaanu

    very intelectualy\spiritualy said Gur..

  2. Gurvinder singh

    According to Gurbani whole life (jivan) is amrit vela . Naam japna means always keeping in mind the qualities of God everytime even in the morning ,during the duty time /business hours eg. if a teacher is sincerely teaching the students than he/she is “naam jap reha hai” same is case if a bussinessman is not cheating the client than ” naam jap reha hai” but a pujari/Granthi is not guiding the sangat about gurbani and simply using “Guru ki golak” than” naam nahi jaap reha hai”
    waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh”

  3. Jagminder Singh

    A person once asked Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj that he was seeing ghosts and being possessed by them. Maharaj asked that person whether he woke up at amrit vela to do his simran and nitnem. He replied he never did nam japna or nitnem and maharaj then gave the bachan that he was in actual fact a ghost because, just like a ghost, devoid of spirituality and no connection with the divine, that person was living according to his mind and was living in material consciousness, not God-consciousness.

  4. Amar

    Waheguru ji ka khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh.

    Good baani, hopefully I learn something from it.

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