A Long Journey!

The Gurbani says:

  • ਹਉ ਆਇਆ ਦੂਰਹੁ ਚਲਿ ਕੈ ਮੈ ਤਕੀ ਤਉ ਸਰਣਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥: I have come traveling a long distance, (now I am) seeking Your Sanctuary (ਆਸਰਾ). (sggs 763).

As generally implied by Bhais, Ragis etc., apparently, here the Gurbani does not mean:

  • distance from one’s home to a Gurdwara
  • or, distance from one’s home to a Deraa (ਡੇਰਾ) or an Aashram
  • or, distance from one’s home to a place of pilgrimage, and so on.

Then what is the “long distance” or a long journey (“ਬਾਟ”, “ਜਾਤ੍ਰਾ”…)?

It’s the mind (not the body) that goes through a long distance  (“ਬਾਟ”, “ਜਾਤ੍ਰਾ”…)  — wandering mind (Mamukh mindset) in ten directions !

  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਇ ॥: The “Manmukh” (mind-orientations) die and the same is reborn (sggs 19).

The Manmukh mind is deceitful, wicked, Bikaaree (stuck in lust, anger, greed, etc.), denier of Truth, egoistic, deluded, illusioned, ignorant, conditioned, and so on. Hence,  reincarnating every moment in life.

  • ਅੰਧੁਲੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿਆ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਧ ਗੁਬਾਰੁ ॥: The spiritually blind, Manmukh (mind-oriented)  have forgotten the Divine Naam (Divine Wisdom), and (thus the Manmukh). dwells in utter darkness (sggs 19).

Any person may experience this “long distance” or a long journey within a human lifespan. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) even spells out some example of human beings who are devoid of Gur-Giaan (Wisdom), their life is often that of a dog, a pig, a jackass, a crow, and a snake…

  • ਗੁਰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੀਣਸ੍ਯ੍ਯ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੰਤ ਜਨਮ ਭ੍ਰਸਟਣਹ ॥ ਕੂਕਰਹ ਸੂਕਰਹ ਗਰਧਭਹ ਕਾਕਹ ਸਰਪਨਹ ਤੁਲਿ ਖਲਹ ॥੩੩॥: Cursed and corrupt is the life of that mortal who lacks the Gur-Mantra (Divine Wisdom or Upadesh of the Gur-Shabad…). Know such wicked (or fool) to be just like a dog, a pig, a donkey, a crow, a snake. ||33|| (sggs 1356).

So, the Gurbani says that this human birth is the golden chance to Liberate oneself from illusion, doubt, delusion, etc., by abiding in the Source (Mool, Jot…), here and now.

  • ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥: (You) have obtained (this) human body. This is your chance (time, opportunity…) of uniting Gobind (Mool…). (sggs 12).
  • ਸੋ ਜੀਵਿਆ ਜਿਸੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜੀਵੈ ਕੋਇ ॥: (In reality) Only that person is truly alive within whose mind That (i.e., Mool, Prabh…) abides. O Nanak! No one else is truly alive (sggs 142).

In other words, Bhagti (Shabad-Vichaar to obtain Wisdom or Aatm-Giaan of the Gurbani…) and abiding in our Mool is possible in this human form.

Thus, the Gurbani wants us to remember the purpose of human life — to realize the Mool (Source, Jot…), here and now.

  • ਯਾ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਏਕਹਿ ਕਉ ਆਇਆ ॥: (Man) has come into this world to become One (ਇਕ ਹੋਣ ਵਾਸਤੇ ). (sggs 251).
  • ਮੂਲਹੁ ਭੁਲਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਏ ॥੨॥: (One who) has forgotten (his) Mool (Source, Jot…), (he) wastes away his life. ||2|| (sggs 664).

Accordingly, the Gurbani reminds us that our mind’s wanderings will continue if we miss this rare and precious chance of Mool-realization in this human birth!

  • ਇਸੁ ਪਉੜੀ ਤੇ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਚੂਕੈ ਸੋ ਆਇ ਜਾਇ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਦਾ ॥੨॥: That human who misses this chance, will suffer through coming and going. ||2|| (sggs 1075).
  • ਮਾਨਸ ਦੇਹ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨਹ ਪਾਵੈ ਕਛੂ ਉਪਾਉ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਾ ਕਰੁ ਰੇ ॥: (You) will not obtain this human body again; make plan (take measure) for liberation (sggs 220).

So, the Gurbani time and again reminds us that “NOW” (“ਅਬ”) is the time!

  • ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਜਰਾ ਰੋਗੁ ਨਹੀ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਕਾਲਿ ਗ੍ਰਸੀ ਨਹੀ ਕਾਇਆ ॥ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਬਿਕਲ ਭਈ ਨਹੀ ਬਾਨੀ ॥ ਭਜਿ ਲੇਹਿ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਸਾਰਿਗਪਾਨੀ ॥੨॥ ਅਬ ਨ ਭਜਸਿ ਭਜਸਿ ਕਬ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਆਵੈ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਭਜਿਆ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਅਬ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਫਿਰਿ ਪਛੁਤਾਹੁ ਨ ਪਾਵਹੁ ਪਾਰੁ ॥੩॥: As long as the disease of old age has not come, and as long as Kaal has not seized Aatmaa, as long as your voice has not become weak (perplexed, etc.), O mind, unite (ਜੁੜ, link with your Mool) just as Saarig and water (as Babeehaa or rainbird chirps constantly for water). ||2|| O brother! If you don’t unite now, when will you? When the end comes, you will not be able to unite. Whatever you have to do – now is the best (time) to do it. Otherwise, (you) will regret afterwards, and (you) will not see the other side ||3|| (sggs 1159).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਗਰਬੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੀਐ ਊਚਾ ਦੇਖਿ ਅਵਾਸੁ ॥ ਆਜੁ ਕਾਲ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਭੁਇ ਲੇਟਣਾ ਊਪਰਿ ਜਾਮੈ ਘਾਸੁ ॥੩੮॥: O Kabeer! Do not be proud of your tall mansions. Today or tomorrow (upon death, you will leave them behind and your body) will lie beneath the ground (mingle with dust…) and the grass will grow on top (of you). ||38|| (sggs 1366).

How we can conquer the Manmukh mind, for conquering of the Manmukh mind is the conquering of the long journey?

  • ਸਫਲ ਸਫਲ ਭਈ ਸਫਲ ਜਾਤ੍ਰਾ ॥ ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣ ਰਹੇ ਮਿਲੇ ਸਾਧਾ ॥: The journey of this life is successful only when coming and going of human mind end, for which one may seek the company of the Gur (sggs 687).
  • ਸੁ ਕਹੁ ਟਲ ਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਅਹਿਨਿਸਿ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥ ਦਰਸਨਿ ਪਰਸਿਐ ਗੁਰੂ ਕੈ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਦੁਖੁ ਜਾਇ ॥: So, speaks TAL (the poet): Serve the Guru, day and night, with intuitive love and affection. Contemplating (the Gur-Shabad, Naam), the pains of death and rebirth are taken away (sggs 1382).

Now, the question is: How one can go about performing this Sevaa (service)?

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: The Gur-Sevaa is Shabad-Vichaar (Reflection on the Shabad). (sggs 223).
  • ਕਿਸੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਤੈ ਕਿਸੁ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ॥: Whom should I serve, and whom should I (take as my) Counselor? I serve the “Satiguru” by the Shabad-Counselor (Shabad-Advisor). (sggs 1048).
  • ਨਾਮੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ॥੧॥: Naam-Sevaa for me is the Gur-Sevaa (sggs 1145).
Filed Under: 84-Lakh, Joni, ਜੂਨ, Gurbani, Life, Death, Mortality
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16 Comments Leave a comment

  1. prakash S Bagga

    In my opinion we need to understand the meaning of the word incarnation in more depth so that there is no contradiction with the messages in gurbani.
    There is obvious reference of incarnation of Guru in gurbani. We should look at the mechanism of this incarnation who neither takes birth or dies.

  2. Gurpreet K.

    Basically the reincarnation of the soul in our life on earth, the life we are actually living. We have to bring in light which is Gurbani to fully get out of the reincarnations of our minds.

  3. Gurpreet K.

    Okay, I think I do understand what Gurbani is saying. There is no such thing as an afterlife, but there is something we do during our life here on earth. We act of do things a certain way in which we become stuck in these lakh chourasee junes. By this Gurbani tells us when we become laalchi or greedy, them we become lobi or like a dog, in a sense that means we are in the state of a dog or a june of a dog.
    I know that in the Hindu religion they believe in an after life of reincarnation. But Gurbani focuses on what we are doing now because no one has seen the afterlife. According to Gurbani about the afterlife, it says Joti jot rali sampooran thia raam, Sooraj Kiran mile jal ka jal huwa raam. Just like how water is merged with water, the soul is also merged with the greater soul.
    My main point is that we have to be concerned with the life we are living now and making sure we are not falling the junes, and making sure we can get out of the vicious cycle of turning into those type of personalities.

    • Thank you for sharing your Vichaar.

      • Paramjit Singh Rana

        Gurpreet Ji, I am intrigued by your line of thinking stating “because no one has seen the afterlife”. Did anyone have seen God? All religions of the world are premised on some divine existence which is beyond human comprehension. If we follow your ( and of many others) line of thinking “because no one has seen GOD”, there would not be any religious school of thought in the world. Gurubani brings in the “intermediatory” in the form of Guru ( spiritual wisdom) through which we can transcend to a higher plan of existence and get connected and perhaps be able to visulize GOD who is “Alakh”.

  4. Gurpreet K.

    Yes, but do you mean to say that the soul move through one life to another every time we die?

  5. Gurpreet K.

    WJKKWJKF, I have a question I would like to ask. What did you mean when you say that the humans have been through 8.4 million junes to get the human life or form?

  6. sukhwant

    1.ਫਿਰਤ ਫਿਰਤ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਆਇਆ ਪਰਿਆ ਤਉ ਸਰਨਾਇ I have come travelling a long distance, (now I am) seeking Your Sanctuary (ਆਸਰਾ).
    2.ਬਹੁਤ ਜਨਮ ਬਿਛੁਰੇ ਥੇ ਮਾਧਉ ਇਹੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਰੇ ਲੇਖੇ ॥
    For so many incarnations, I have been separated from You, Lord; I dedicate this life to You.
    3.ਬਹੁਤੇ ਫੇਰ ਪਏ ਕਿਰਪਨ ਕਉ ਅਬ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕੀਜੈ ॥
    I was wretched; I wandered through so many cycles of reincarnation. Now, Lord, please bless me with Your Grace.
    The journey not ends with death of body only, it ends with the death of all desires i.e. :-
    ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਧਾਤੁ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥
    When the mind is conquered, its turbulent wanderings are stopped/Journey ENDS.

    • Thank you Bhai Sahib Jee for taking the time to share Shabad-Vichaar. Welcme to the Gurbani Blog!
      As about quotations, the Gurbani is full of many more and very apt ones in this context, but all cannot be given from a space point of view.

  7. Prakash s Bagga

    I think it is important to understand from where the journey of the SOUL starts and at what stages it ends. There are numerous forms of lives in the universe and HUMAN FORM is an EXCLUSIVE of all for the reason that in HUMAN FORM only the CRATOR (PRABHu) can be
    known thru GuRu this knowledge gives a great potential of getting out of numerous cycles of
    Births. As such the journey of SOUL can get terminated from any stage if it gets the meeting of
    GuROO…..Thus GuROO can meet in any form of life such is a great message from GurBaanee.

  8. Kirpal Singh

    Guru Arjav Ji advises (Sri Raag M. 5, GGS. 43-3):-

    ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਤੂੰ ਆਇਆ ਲਾਹਾ ਲੈਣਿ ॥ ਲਗਾ ਕਿਤੁ ਕੁਫਕੜੇ ਸਭ ਮੁਕਦੀ ਚਲੀ ਰੈਣਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕੁਦਮ ਕਰੇ ਪਸੁ ਪੰਖੀਆ ਦਿਸੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਾਲੁ ॥ ਓਤੈ ਸਾਥਿ ਮਨੁਖੁ ਹੈ ਫਾਥਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਾਲਿ ॥ਮੁਕਤੇ ਸੇਈ ਭਾਲੀਅਹਿ ਜਿ ਸਚਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਮਾਲਿ ॥੨॥ਜੋ ਘਰੁ ਛਡਿ ਗਵਾਵਣਾ ਸੋ ਲਗਾ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ਜਿਥੈ ਜਾਇ ਤੁਧੁ ਵਰਤਣਾ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ਫਾਥੇ ਸੇਈ ਨਿਕਲੇ ਜਿ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਪੈਰੀ ਪਾਹਿ ॥੩॥ਕੋਈ ਰਖਿ ਨ ਸਕਈ ਦੂਜਾ ਕੋ ਨ ਦਿਖਾਇ ॥ਚਾਰੇ ਕੁੰਡਾ ਭਾਲਿ ਕੈ ਆਇ ਪਇਆ ਸਰਣਾਇ ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੈ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹਿ ਡੁਬਦਾ ਲਇਆ ਕਢਾਇ ॥੪॥੩॥੭੩॥: O mortal, you came here to earn a profit.What useless activities are you attached to? Your life-night is coming to its end. ||1||Pause|| The animals and the birds frolic and play-they do not see death.Mankind is also with them, trapped in the net of Maya.Those who always remember the Naam, the Name of the Lord, are considered to be liberated. ||2|| That dwelling which you will have to abandon and vacate-you are attached to it in your mind. And that place where you must go to dwell-you have no regard for it at all. Those who fall at the Feet of the Guru are released from this bondage. ||3|| No one else can save you-don’t look for anyone else. I have searched in all four directions; I have come to find His Sanctuary.O Nanak, the True King has pulled me out and saved me from drowning! ||4||3||73||

    Guru Nanak Sahib points to give up houmai (ego) in life in order to reach the destination:-
    ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਈਐ ਤਾ ਸਹੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਅਉਰੁ ਕੈਸੀ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ॥ਸਹੁ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਦੇਖੈ ਸੋ ਦਿਨੁ ਲੇਖੈ ਕਾਮਣਿ ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥ (Raag Tilang M. 1, GGS. 722-13): Give up your selfhood, and so obtain your Husband Lord; what other clever tricks are of any use? When the Husband Lord looks upon the soul-bride with His Gracious Glance, that day.

    “Gurbani eis jag mein channan” (let us immerse in the divine light of Gurbani with a humble Ardas asking for the right direction (sojhee). The need is to have trust and faith in ONE Waheguru “ਕੋਈ ਰਖਿ ਨ ਸਕਈ ਦੂਜਾ ਕੋ ਨ ਦਿਖਾਇ”.

  9. Prakash S Bagga

    From Gurbaanee one also learns when and how this long journey is successful.
    This journey is successful only when one meets with the SAADHAA(GuROO)..GuR JOTi
    A quote in this context as
    Rag Dhanasaree

    • Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio for sharing Shabad-Vichaar.
      The Gurbani’s hint and edict here seems to be to realize our Mool (Source, Jot…), within.
      • ਮੂਲਹੁ ਭੁਲਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਏ ॥੨॥: (One who) has forgotten (his) Mool (Source, Jot…), (he) wastes away his life. ||2|| (sggs 664).
      • ਸਫਲੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਤਾ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਰਿਦੈ ਵਸਾਏ ॥: Fruitful is the life of those who, by becming the Gurmukh, recognize and enshrine “Hari” (Mool, Source, Jot…) in their Heart (sggs 513).
      Which, according to the Gurbani, is possible through the Guru (Wisdom or Divine Knowledge of the Gur-Shabad, Gur-Giaan, Gur-Updesh…).
      • ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਖੁਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੇ ਕਪਾਟ ॥ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਜੋਨੀ ਬਾਟ ॥੪॥: Meeting with the Guru, his doors (of the mind) open wide, and (then he) does not have to journey through the “Joni” again. ||4|| (sggs 1159).
      • ਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟਿਆ ਹੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਦਾਤਾ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਈ ਹਮਾਰੀ ਸਫਲ ਜਾਤਾ ॥: I have met the Guru, the Bestower of salvation. “Hari” has made my journey fruitful (sggs 801).

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