Living Dead

“First”, the Gurbani urges us to accept that death of our physical body is inevitable. Therefore, we are time and again reminded: whatever is born will die. For example, this body is born, so it must die. So, the Gurbani asks us to give up the hope of living forever or thinking that this body will never die

  • ਪਹਿਲਾ ਮਰਣੁ ਕਬੂਲਿ ਜੀਵਣ ਕੀ ਛਡਿ ਆਸ ॥ ਹੋਹੁ ਸਭਨਾ ਕੀ ਰੇਣੁਕਾ ਤਉ ਆਉ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਪਾਸਿ ॥੧॥: First accept death and give up the desire for life (i.e., give up attachment to body…). Become the dust of the feet of all (i.e., become truly humble…), then, come to me. ||1|| (sggs 1102).
  • ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਸੋ ਆਖੀਐ ਮਰਿ ਜੀਵੈ ਮਰੀਆ ॥: Jeevan mukti so aakheeai mari jeevai mareeaa (sggs 449).

Once accepted this reality through the Shabad-Vichaar (Reflection on the Gur-Shabad...), we become living dead. Because, by accepting this through the Gurmat (Aatam-Giaan), we remove the death out of the way (ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਤਾਂਘ, ਸਰੀਰ ਦਾ ਮੋਹ, ਮਾਇਆ ਦਾ ਮੋਹ, body-consciousness…). A big hurdle indeed!

  • ਆਪੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰ ॥: Aapu shodi jeevat marai gur kai sabadi veechaar (sggs 34).
  • ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ਮਰੈ ਫੁਨਿ ਜੀਵੈ ਐਸੇ ਸੁੰਨਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥: Jeevat marai marai funi jeevai aise sunni samaaiaa (sggs 332).

Thus, once we have taken the death out of the way, Aapaa Bhaav (false ego-sense, love of one’s own existence, love of the body, body-consciousness…) gets annihilated, and the Mool (ਮੂਲ, Source, Origin, Jot...) is Realized.

  • ਰਾਮ ਰਤਨੁ ਤਬ ਪਾਈਐ ਜਉ ਪਹਿਲੇ ਤਜਹਿ ਸਰੀਰੁ ॥੩੧॥: Raam ratanu tab paaeeai jaou pahile tajahi sareeru ||31|| (sggs 1366).

The Gurbani tells us that when we so die while yet alive, then we stand to Attain – ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤੀ. The noble attainment (ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤੀ) is the transformation of the deluded mind (ਮਾਇਕੀ ਮਨ ਦਾ ਬਦਲਨਾ – “ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ”).

  • ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਣੁ ॥: Man maarae jeevath mar jaan: Whoever kills his mind, knows the state of being dead while yet alive (sggs 1343).

This is the state of turning away from the worldly ways or Mayaic efforts (Manmukh / Saakat Lifestyle, “ਸਾਕਤ ਸਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਉਲਟੀ ਰੇ” …) through the Gurmat (Aatam-Giaan).

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਉਲਟੀ ਭਈ ਭਾਈ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ਤਾ ਬੂਝ ਪਾਇ ॥: Satigur Miliai Oulatee Bhaee Bhaaee Jeevat Marai Taa Boojh Paai (sggs 602).

Accordingly, this is the Awakened State (ਆਤਮਕ ਜਾਗ). This is the state of True Bhagti, Pooran-Giaan, the Gurmukh Lifestyle.

  • ਉਲਟ ਭਈ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਗਿਆ ॥: Ulatt bhaee jeevat mari jaagiaa (sggs 221).
  • ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਮਰਜੀਵੜੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਸਦਾ ਹੋਇ ॥: Bhagti karahi marjeevarre gurmukhi bhagti sadaa hoi (sggs 364).
  • 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॥: Akhee baajhahu vekhanaa… (sggs 139).

The Gurbani tells us we can become living dead through “ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ – Gur Parasaadee” (the Grace of the Gur-Giaan, Aatam-Giaan, Gurmat, ਆਤਮਿਕ ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ…):

  • ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜੀਵਤੁ ਮਰੈ ॥: Gur Parasaadee Jeevatu Marai (sggs 662).
Filed Under: Gurbani, liberation, Mukti, bondage, Life, Death, Mortality
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3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Gurpreet Singh

    Satkar jog gurmukh T.Singh jio,
    Sat bachan ji

    >>This is the state of turning away from the worldly ways or Mayaic efforts (Manmukh / Saakat Lifestyle, “ਸਾਕਤ ਸਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਉਲਟੀ ਰੇ” …) through the Gurmat (Aatam-Giaan).<>ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜੀਵਤੁ ਮਰੈ ॥: Gur Parasaadee Jeevatu Marai (sggs 662).<<

    Das Gurpreet Singh

  2. Barjinder Randhawa

    This state of ” Living Dead” is the very beginning of an enlightened self though it may seem contradictory at first look. Saul Bellow in his novel Herzog seems to suggest a similar idea when he propounds the theory ” live as you are dead”.

    • T. Singh Post author

      Thank you Barjinder Ji for sharing Bellow’s suggestion.
      In fact, the Gurbani indicates that the Bhagti (Devotion…) is to live as one is dead.
      • ਏਹਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਜਨੁ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ॥: Ehaa bhagati jan jeevat marai (sggs 365).

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