Reincarnation Per the Gurmat Wisdom

SIKHI is NOT a spirituality of AFTER DEATH. The obsession with the afterlife and 8.4 million life-forms that existed for thousands of years in pre-1469 belief systems is removed from Gurbani (the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS). This is because SIKHI is a spirituality of the HERE and NOW, NOT AFTER DEATH nonsense!

The stale concepts of pre-1469 such as reincarnation, transmigration, heaven and hell, Judgement Day, After Life, Heaven and Hell, 8.4 million life forms, Aavaa Gavan, Jamm Doot, Chitar Gupat, Dharam Raj, Dargah etc. are the product of fear of death (i.e. pre-1469 belief systems that existed for thousands of years).

For example, the Gurbani does not accept the 8.4 million limiting count of life forms. According to the Gurbani (SGGS), the Creator of the Creation is Fathomless and cannot be limited to a finite number such as 8.4 millions life forms. Since the Creator is LIMITLESS, the Gurbani asserts life forms to be COUNTLESS as well (‘ਅਨਿਕ ਜੋਨਿ-Anik Jon’, ‘ਕਈ ਕੋਟਿ-Kayee Kot‘ — multitudes, innumerable, which cannot be counted).

  • ਪਸੁ ਪੰਖੀ ਅਨਿਕ ਜੋਨਿ ਜਿੰਦੂ ॥: Life forms (in animal Kingdom) are COUNTLESS (‘Anik‘ — which cannot be counted, innumerable). (sggs 237).
  • ਕਈ ਕੋਟਿ ਜਨਮਹਿ ਜੀਵਹਿ ਮਰਹਿ ॥ : Countless (‘ਕਈ ਕੋਟਿ-Kayee Kot’: multitudes) life forms are in existence — they are born, live and die. (sggs 276).

Baabaa Nanak says that this notion of  AFTERLIFE ‘Aavaa Gavan‘ (reincarnation) has been concocted by those who have turned Spirituality into a business transaction (ਧੰਧਾ). The SGGS debunks, discards, these illogical and  concocted concepts to exploit people:

  • ਆਵਾ ਗਉਣੁ ਬਜਾਰੀਆ ਬਾਜਾਰੁ ਜਿਨੀ ਰਚਾਇਆ ॥ : This notion of ‘Aavaa Gavan‘ (reincarnation) is of those who have made Spirituality into a trade or into a means of earning their living. (sggs 1290).

The Gurbani (SGGS) makes it crystal clear that this life we have Here AND Now is the ONLY life we will ever have – the human birth DOES NOT happen a second time!

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਨਮੁ ਦੁਲੰਭੁ ਹੈ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਬਾਰੈ ਬਾਰ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਬਨ ਫਲ ਪਾਕੇ ਭੁਇ ਗਿਰਹਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਲਾਗਹਿ ਡਾਰ ॥੩੦॥ : Kabeer human life is priceless (‘Dulambhu‘ – rare, unique, precious etc., because) it does not occur a second time. Just like a fruit that drops to the ground when it ripens, it does NOT ever go back to the branch again. ||30|| (sggs 1366).
  • ਇਹੀ ਤੇਰਾ ਅਉਸਰੁ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਾਰ ॥ ਘਟ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਤੂ ਦੇਖੁ ਬਿਚਾਰਿ ॥ : This is your ONLY time. This (Human Life) is the ONLY opportunity. Contemplate Within with your Gurbani-Guided Conscience and you will Realize – that there will be NO second opportunity or second chance or coming back. (sggs 1159).

Although all 35 contributors in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) have mentioned these terms that were already within the use and within the psyche of people of the day. However these terms have been mentioned in the SGGS as examples (ਹਵਾਲਾ), but REDEFINED in a REVOLUTIONARY way to fit the parameters of Sikhi (or Gurmat Giaan-Wisdom of the SGGS) which are delineated by Life in the Here and Now.

In a nutshell, the redefined concept refer to the cyclic nature of human mind that oscillates like a pendulum between two mental states – (1) elevated mental states (spiritual or divine life) and (2) the depraved or animalistic mental states (spiritual death). The Goal of Sikhi is to terminate this cyclic nature (i.e. cycle of reincarnation) that takes place every split-second Here and Now on a daily basis and to attain lasting spiritual life (Enlightened or the permanent Gurmukh-Hood State of the Mind).

Therefore what is the mindset (Soch-ਸੋਚ) of man at the end and, based on that, what next ‘Joon‘ (ਜੂਨ) or life will happen to him in the future or after death is purely Snaatan-Brahmanical-Yogic paradigms and have nothing to do with the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS.

He held the clergy of the three then existing religions fully responsible and accountable for the barren mind (Soch) that mankind had come to possess. In short, as the Gurbani (SGGS) asserts, whatever Pujaaree groups (Pandit, Brahmin, Mullaan, Yogi, and so on) have written, the Gurbani REJECTED all of that:

  • ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਜੋ ਲਿਖਿ ਦੀਆ ॥ ਛਾਡਿ ਚਲੇ ਹਮ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਲੀਆ ॥੩॥: ALL that the Pandit and Mullah Clergy have prescribed or presented to us, I have DISCARDED (while walking on the Path of Spirituality). I DISCARD IT ALL and have ACCEPTED NOTHING at all. ||3|| (sggs 1159).
  • ਕਾਦੀ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਮਲੁ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਜੀਆ ਘਾਇ ॥ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਅੰਧੁ ॥ ਤੀਨੇ ਓਜਾੜੇ ਕਾ ਬੰਧੁ ॥੨॥: The clergy of the Muslim faith was corrupt, the Brahmin was murderous and the Yogi Un-Enlightened. These three (clergy) had become the root cause for the spiritual wreckage and desolation that mankind had
    come to endure. (sggs 662).

The Gurbani (SGGS) can only be understood from Gurbani for the Gurbani explains the Gurbani! Therefore, we do not need Vedas, Puranas, Sanatan-Brahmanical-Yogic slants, fake Sakhis (stories) or any other Granth/texts to understand, explain, translate and interpret the Gurbani.

Furthermore, the Gurbani addresses the mind — it’s for the mind to reflect upon it, understand it (Soojh Boojh), and then live its Wisdom in daily life, here and now, NOT after death!

Now let’s consider the following frequently quoted verse by the self-serving Pujaaree:

  • ਹਉ ਆਇਆ ਦੂਰਹੁ ਚਲਿ ਕੈ ਮੈ ਤਕੀ ਤਉ ਸਰਣਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥ : I have come traveling a long distance, (now I am) seeking your refuge (i.e. Gur-Upadesh, Giaan or Wisdom…). (sggs 763).

Does ‘Traveling a long distance’ mean the cycle of coming and going, repeated birth and death or reincarnation as falsely propagated by the self-serving Pujaaree (paid clergy)?

NO, that’s not what it mean!

Nonetheless, the illiterate, self-appointed and self-serving Sikh Pujaaree (clergy: Granthis, Parcharaks, Ragis, Dhadees etc.) and the freeloading Deraa-Vaad Baabaas (ਵੇਹਲੜ) etc. always relate it with the Brahmin/Pandit concocted cycle of 84-Lakh (ਚਉਰਾਸੀ ਦਾ ਗੇੜ) as talked in their fake stories (ਗੱਪ ਕਹਾਣੀਆਂ).

That’s just a misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS) by the Pujaaree-Vaad in Sikhi. In reality, however, nothing could be further from the truth!

They follow Brahmanical footsteps, and mislead Sikhs by misinterpreting terms like ‘Poorab Janam’, ‘Aavaa Gavan’, ‘Janam Maran’ etc. For example:

  • ਪੂਰਬ ਜਨਮ ਕੋ ਲੇਖੁ ਨ ਮਿਟਈ ਜਨਮਿ ਮਰੈ ਕਾ ਕਉ ਦੋਸੁ ਧਰੇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਬਾਦਿ ਜੀਵਣੁ ਹੋਰੁ ਮਰਣਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੈ ਜਨਮੁ ਜਰੇ ॥੯॥: (The results or consequences of) actions performed in life to date cannot be erased; don’t blame ‘birth and death’ (i.e., don’t blame anybody else). Without the Gur-Wisdom (Upadesh), life and death are vain; without the Gur-Shabad (Wisdom, Upadesh), life just burns (in Bikaar…). ||9|| (sggs 1014).

However, the self-serving Pujaaree do seem to skillful in making people fearful, greedy, confused, brainwashed, ignorant etc. and keep them as such for return business (ਧੰਧਾ)!

In fact, the status of the self-serving Pujaaree remains because there is fear and greed in the minds of the people — fear of Paap and Punn, birth and death cycle or reincarnation etc. As a result, fearful and greedy people seek their refuge and do not speak against this fraud.

Fear and greed of any kind is considered the most effective method to control and exploit a people. Interesting thing is that the Pujaaree groups creating fear and greed is the very same groups who stand to benefit from providing people solutions to their fears and greed!

In fact, by ‘Traveling a long distance’ (‘ਬਾਟ’, ‘ਜਾਤ੍ਰਾ’, ‘ਲਖ ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ’…) etc. the wisdom of the SGGS does NOT support the Pujaaree’s concocted story of birth-death cycle of ’84-Lakh’ ‘Joonaa-ਜੂਨਾ or Joni-ਜੋਨਿ’ etc. — Chauraasee-ਚਉਰਾਸੀ ਦਾ ਗੇੜ.

After staying with the Gurus and learning the Gurmat from the Gurus, Bhatt Mathuraa redefined the meaning of the term ‘Joni-ਜੋਨਿ’ as per the Gurmat. He calls ‘ਸੰਕਟ ਜੋਨਿ’ (‘Sankat-ਸੰਕਟ’ meaning a mindset full of obstacles). He concludes in his Baanee:

  • ਤਤੁ ਬਿਚਾਰੁ ਯਹੈ ਮਥੁਰਾ ਜਗ ਤਾਰਨ ਕਉ ਅਵਤਾਰੁ ਬਨਾਯਉ ॥ ਜਪ੍ਯ੍ਯਉ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਅਰਜੁਨ ਦੇਵ ਗੁਰੂ ਫਿਰਿ ਸੰਕਟ ਜੋਨਿ ਗਰਭ ਨ ਆਯਉ ॥੬॥: Says Mathuraa – (listen all Sikhs) this is the Essence or gist of all I have discovered coming to (Guru Arjan Dev) who is set down to give Spiritual Guidance to the world. Whosoever has Realized the Guru Arjan Dev’s (Spiritual Message, Advice etc.), that person will not even come to the point of conceptualizing obstacles within his Spiritual mind. ||6|| (sggs 1409).

In a nutshell, the Gurbani’s ‘Aaava Gavan‘ (coming and going etc.), cycle of ’84-Lakh’, cycle of Chauraaseeਚਉਰਾਸੀ ਦਾ ਗੇੜ etc. IS THE CYCLE OF SPIRITUAL LIFE AND DEATH — the cycle of becoming Realized (‘Aavaa’), and becoming Un-realized (‘Gaman’) at the level of the mind HERE AND NOW, NOT AFTER DEATH.

Baabaa Nanak Guides how :to end this cycle of spiritual Death:

  • ਝੂਠੇ ਆਵਹਿ ਠਵਰ ਨ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਦੂਜੈ ਆਵਾ ਗਉਣੁ ਭਇਆ ॥ ਆਵਾ ਗਉਣੁ ਮਿਟੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਆਪੇ ਪਰਖੈ ਬਖਸਿ ਲਇਆ ॥: The state of Realization of the God-disconnected being is transient; spirituality of any entity other than the Creator results in the cycle of spiritual Life and Death. The cycle of spiritual Life and Death ends through Enlightenment resulting from my discerned acceptance of the Shabad Guru. (sggs 940).

The ‘Shvetashvatara’ Upanishad and other ancient Sanskrit texts limits the life-forms in Creation to 8.4 millions.

However, the Gurbani (SGGS) rejects this nonsense because nobody can limit the LIMITLESS Creator and the Creation to a finite number such as ‘8.4-Lakh’!

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨਿ ਕਰਤੈ ਕਾਰਣੁ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਜਾਣੈ ਕਰਤਾਰੁ ॥੨॥ : Nanak, (only) the Creator who has created the Universe knows. ॥2॥ (sggs 466).
  • ਸਚੁ ਵਡਾਈ ਕੀਮ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕਰਮੁ ਨ ਕਹਣਾ ਜਾਈ ॥ : (sggs 265).
  • ਇਕ ਦਝਹਿ ਇਕ ਦਬੀਅਹਿ ਇਕਨਾ ਕੁਤੇ ਖਾਹਿ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਪਾਣੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਉਸਟੀਅਹਿ ਇਕਿ ਭੀ ਫਿਰਿ ਹਸਣਿ ਪਾਹਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਏਵ ਨ ਜਾਪਈ ਕਿਥੈ ਜਾਇ ਸਮਾਹਿ ॥੨॥ : (On death) some are cremated, some are buried, some are eaten by dogs, some are thrown in water and some are kept in dry wells. Nanak, (after leaving their body) it is not known where they go and into what they merge. ॥2॥ (sggs 648).

The Gurbani says first there was air (gases…), then came water, then the Creation.

  • ਸਾਚੇ ਤੇ ਪਵਨਾ ਭਇਆ ਪਵਨੈ ਤੇ ਜਲੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਜਲ ਤੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣੁ ਸਾਜਿਆ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮੋਇ ॥: From Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature…) came (the subtle element of) air, and from air came water. The whole world was created from water, and the Universal Energy or ‘Jot‘ is contained in all beings (of this world). (sggs 19).

Billions years ago, the very first biological species appeared.

Since then, human evolution is the lengthy process of change — a long journey indeed. It took billions of years for modern humans to evolve (Homo sapiens, means ‘wise man’ in Latin)!

  • ਚਿਰੰਕਾਲ ਇਹ ਦੇਹ ਸੰਜਰੀਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: After so very long (journey-evolution) you got this (human-) body. (sggs 176).

In addition, as mentioned in the SGGS, there are four sources of creation or life: (1) Andaj (ਅੰਡਜ: the egg-born), (2) Jeraj (ਜੇਰਜ: fetes-born or born from the womb), (3) Setaj (ਸੇਤਜ: the sweat-born), and (4) Outabhuj (ਉਤਭੁਜ: the earth-born).

  • ਪੁਰਖਾਂ ਬਿਰਖਾਂ ਤੀਰਥਾਂ ਤਟਾਂ ਮੇਘਾਂ ਖੇਤਾਂਹ ॥ ਦੀਪਾਂ ਲੋਆਂ ਮੰਡਲਾਂ ਖੰਡਾਂ ਵਰਭੰਡਾਂਹ ॥ ਅੰਡਜ ਜੇਰਜ ਉਤਭੁਜਾਂ ਖਾਣੀ ਸੇਤਜਾਂਹ ॥ ਸੋ ਮਿਤਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਰਾਂ ਮੇਰਾਂ ਜੰਤਾਹ ॥: Men, trees, shrines, shores (ie, rivers), clouds, fields; islands, continents, realms, regions and universe; the four sources of creation born of eggs, born of the womb, born of the earth and born of sweat; oceans, mountains, and all beings O Nanak! The estimate of the number of all these is known only to (who has created all these Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature…). (sggs 467).

Clearly, Baabaa Nanak in the above Shabad tells us that Kudrat can NOT be limited to any finite number such as ‘8.4-Lakh’!

In short, whatever we are told by the self-serving Pujaaree about reincarnation (or hell and heaven etc.) is nothing but nonsense, which is rejected by the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS.

Aptly, the Gurbani tells us that it’s the mind — not the body — that is born every moment and then dies every moment!

Scientists have also found that the average person has more than 6,000 thoughts every day. Since mind is nothing but thoughts-stuff, what it boils down to is that the mind of each one of us is born and then dies more than 6,000 times a day!

In other words — depending on the state of one’s mind at a given moment — the Gurbani is referring to the deluded mind’s continues coming and going due to doubt, fear, attachment, Haumai (false ego-sense), Bikaar, etc.

  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਕੇਤੜਿਆ ਜੁਗ ਭਰਮਿਆ ਥਿਰੁ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਇ ॥: (Man’s) this mind wanders through so many states; it does not remain stable and it continues coming and going. (sggs 513).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਡੋਲੈ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧੀ ਮਨੁ ਲਪਟਿਓ ਤਿਹ ਸੰਗ ॥: Maya wavers many ways, the mind clings to this (Maya, also wavers many ways). (sggs 258).

How so? For example, depending on the situation, when the lusty mind dies, it may be reborn the very next moment as a greedy mind, or an angry mind, or an attached mind, or an haughty or arrogant mind, or a jealous mind, or a stubborn mind, or a corrupt mind, or an ignorant mind, or a wise mind, or a merciful mind, or a contented mind, or an enemy, or a friend, or a slanderer, and so on.

This nonstop cycle of birth and death of the mind continues all day along, everyday, throughout one’s lifetime!

Hence, in nutshell, re-birth is of one’s nature (ਸੁਭਾ, ਵਿਰਤੀ) or mind, here and now, NOT after death of the body-frame!

  • ਭਰਮੇ ਭੂਲਾ ਸਾਕਤੁ ਫਿਰਤਾ ॥ ਨੀਰੁ ਬਿਰੋਲੈ ਖਪਿ ਖਪਿ ਮਰਤਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: A Saakat (one separated from his Mool, Wisdom, Virtues…) wanders astray in doubt. He churns water (only), and on account of this useless effort, he continuously wastes away his life and thus continuous experiences death (of his spiritual life). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 739).

In other words, it’s the restless and rambling ego-mind that is born and dies every moment while transacting with the outside world —sometimes with dominant dog mentality; sometimes with dominant pig mentality; sometimes with dominant donkey mentality; sometimes with dominant crow mentality; sometimes with dominant snake mentality; sometimes with dominant elephant mentality; sometimes with dominant deer mentality; sometimes with dominant camel mentality; sometimes with dominant monkey mentality; sometimes with dominant frog mentality; and so on. The Gurbani makes it very clear:

  • ਗੁਰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੀਣਸ੍ਯ੍ਯ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੰਤ ਜਨਮ ਭ੍ਰਸਟਣਹ ॥ ਕੂਕਰਹ ਸੂਕਰਹ ਗਰਧਭਹ ਕਾਕਹ ਸਰਪਨਹ ਤੁਲਿ ਖਲਹ ॥੩੩॥: That mortal who lacks the Gur-mantra (Guru’s counsel, advice, Wisdom, Upadesh, ਸਲਾਹ), cursed and fallen (depraved, polluted…) is his life. That wicked person is a dog, a pig, a jackass, a crow, a snake (in this very life, here and now, not after death). ||33|| (1356).
  • ਮੇਰੇ ਸਾਹਿਬਾ ਕਉਣੁ ਜਾਣੈ ਗੁਣ ਤੇਰੇ ॥ ਕਹੇ ਨ ਜਾਨੀ ਅਉਗਣ ਮੇਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕੇਤੇ ਰੁਖ ਬਿਰਖ ਹਮ ਚੀਨੇ ਕੇਤੇ ਪਸੂ ਉਪਾਏ ॥ ਕੇਤੇ ਨਾਗ ਕੁਲੀ ਮਹਿ ਆਏ ਕੇਤੇ ਪੰਖ ਉਡਾਏ ॥੨॥ : O my God! Your Virtues are Innumerable. (However) my vices are (equally) Innumerable. (Because of my innumerable vices) I live (HERE and NOW) in mindsets of many trees, vegetation, animals, snakes, birds. (sggs 156).

Therefore, the Gurbani (SGGS) tells us that ‘Aavaa Gavan’ (i.e. Lakh-Chaouraasee, 84-Lakh, ਚਉਰਾਸੀ ਦਾ ਗੇੜ)) OCUURS EVERY SECOND, HERE AND NOW, NOT AFTERLIFE OR AFTER DEATH!

  • ਪਰ ਧਨ ਪਰ ਤਨ ਪਰ ਤੀ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਪਰ ਅਪਬਾਦੁ ਨ ਛੂਟੈ ॥ ਆਵਾ ਗਵਨੁ ਹੋਤੁ ਹੈ ਫੁਨਿ ਫੁਨਿ ਇਹੁ ਪਰਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਤੂਟੈ ॥: Others’ wealth, others’ bodies (others’ wives), others’ slander, and others’ infamy or reproach – (these Bikaars) do not go away. This cycle of (adopting Bikaar or negative attributes: ਆਵਾ ਗਵਨੁ – Aavaa Gavan) of different life forms WITHIN ME keeps happening every split of a second. This cycle never ends. (sggs 971).

Simply put, those human beings who don’t BECOME the Gurbani but turn their back on Guru’s Shabad (Giaan-Wisdom, Message, Enlightenment…) acquire the demoniac or animalistic mindsets that of dog, a pig, a jackass, a crow, cats, a snake, other animals etc. It should be remembered that the Gurbani is not criticizing animals here for they are instinct based. It is criticizing human behavior because we humans knowingly chose to live at the animalistic mindset.

  • ਸੂਕਰ ਸੁਆਨ ਗਰਧਭ ਮੰਜਾਰਾ ॥ ਪਸੂ ਮਲੇਛ ਨੀਚ ਚੰਡਾਲਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਮੁਹੁ ਫੇਰੇ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਜੋਨਿ ਭਵਾਈਐ ॥ : Human beings who turn their face away from the Guru (Shabad, Giaan-Wisdom…) acquire the mindsets of pigs, dogs, donkeys, cats, animals, Malechh, Chandaal etc.(sggs 832).
  • ਜਿਨਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨ ਸੇਵਿਓ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕੀਤੋ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਓਇ ਮਾਣਸ ਜੂਨਿ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਨਿ ਪਸੂ ਢੋਰ ਗਾਵਾਰ ॥ ਓਨਾ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਸਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਨ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥: Those who have not Internalized the Message of the Guru‘s Shabad; do not call them human beings; they are as dead animals and stupid. They have neither spiritual GiaanWisdom of spiritual Life nor Contemplation (Giaan Dhiaan); they have no love and affection for the Creator Within. (sggs 1418).

In a nutshell, the Gurbani is the mind’s Mirror, which reveals our mind its true face (or its real condition or state) HERE AND NOW, NOT AFTER DEATH. It shows its flaws, faults, defects, demerits, Bikaar (lust-desires, anger, greed, attachment, pride and their countless variations) which repeatedly torture human beings on a moment to moment basis.

  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਲੋਭ ਮੋਹ ਮੂਠੇ ਸਦਾ ਆਵਾ ਗਵਣ ॥: For those people who let desires, anger, greed, attachment of temporal life (i.e. all Bikaar), the cyclic nature of their mind (mind’s wandering-ਭਟਕਣਾਂ) never stops. (sggs 502).

Hence, a mortal’s mind lacking Bhagti (Wisdom, Virtues, Naam, or the Gurmukh Lifestyle…) remains mentally deformed and perplexed to the end of life (‘ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ’ – time of human life to the end etc.). In this context, let’s consider the following Shabad. The translations of this Shabad as contained in widely available Teekas are done using the Vedic and Yogic paradigms. Also, generally Ragis, preachers, Baabaas etc. are heard to interpret this Shabad purely in terms of Brahmanical and Yogic ideology and theology. They insist that it is the Gurbani’s position that a person’s next ‘Joon‘ of life is based on that person’s thinking at the time of leaving the body. Not only that, then they go on telling fake Sakhis (stories) to justify their misinterpretation of the Gurbani.

  • ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ ਜੋ ਲਛਮੀ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਐਸੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੇ ਮਰੈ ॥ ਸਰਪ ਜੋਨਿ ਵਲਿ ਵਲਿ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥੧॥ ਅਰੀ ਬਾਈ ਗੋਬਿਦ ਨਾਮੁ ਮਤਿ ਬੀਸਰੈ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ ਜੋ ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਐਸੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੇ ਮਰੈ ॥ ਬੇਸਵਾ ਜੋਨਿ ਵਲਿ ਵਲਿ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥੨॥ ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ ਜੋ ਲੜਿਕੇ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਐਸੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੇ ਮਰੈ ॥ ਸੂਕਰ ਜੋਨਿ ਵਲਿ ਵਲਿ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥੩॥ ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ ਜੋ ਮੰਦਰ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਐਸੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੇ ਮਰੈ ॥ ਪ੍ਰੇਤ ਜੋਨਿ ਵਲਿ ਵਲਿ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥੪॥ ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ ਨਾਰਾਇਣੁ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਐਸੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੇ ਮਰੈ ॥ ਬਦਤਿ ਤਿਲੋਚਨੁ ਤੇ ਨਰ ਮੁਕਤਾ ਪੀਤੰਬਰੁ ਵਾ ਕੇ ਰਿਦੈ ਬਸੈ ॥੫॥੨॥: (Forgetting Naam while alive – the final opportunity to realize God) should one spend human life contemplating Maya or material wealth to the end, spiritual death occurs in such focus and contemplation. (Spiritual death occurs under the influence of Maya because) it’s a life lived in the cycle of negative traits of a serpent. ||1|| O mind of mine, never forsake the Naam (Spiritual Wisdom, Virtues) of the Creator Lord. ||Pause|| Should Human Life be spent in contemplation of carnal pleasures to the end, spiritual death occurs in such focus and contemplation. (Spiritual death under the influence of carnal pleasures occurs because) it’s a life lived in the cycle of negative traits of a prostitute. ||2|| Should Human Life be spent in contemplation of offspring to the end, spiritual death occurs in such focus and contemplation. (Spiritual death occurs under such influence because) it’s a life lived in the cycle of negative traits of a hog. ||3|| Should Human Life be spent in contemplation of one’s property (mansions etc.) to the end, spiritual death occurs in such focus and contemplation. (Spiritual death occurs under the influence of collecting possessions because) it’s a life lived in the cycle of demonic traits. ||4|| Should Human Life (the final opportunity to realize God) be spent in contemplation of the Creator to the end, and should one die from worldly desires, Tirlochan says doing so offers Freedom (from undue focus on material, carnal pleasures, offspring, property, possessions) and invites the Creator to reside within one’s thoughts. ||5||2|| (sggs 526).

Here are a few verses from the SGGS further explaining living the life of a ‘serpent’, ‘prostitute’, ‘hog’, ‘demonic’ traits (Pret) etc.:

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਜੋ ਜੀਵਨੁ ਬਲਨਾ ਸਰਪ ਜੈਸੇ ਅਰਜਾਰੀ ॥ ਨਵ ਖੰਡਨ ਕੋ ਰਾਜੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਅੰਤਿ ਚਲੈਗੋ ਹਾਰੀ ॥ ੧ ॥ : A life devoid of Godly contemplation is to live (ਜੀਵਨੁ Jeevan) the life of a serpent. One can win the entire planet, but one loses the ONE AND FINAL opportunity of LIFE. (sggs 712).
  • ਚਿਤਵਤ ਪਾਪ ਨ ਆਲਕੁ ਆਵੈ ॥ ਬੇਸੁਆ ਭਜਤ ਕਿਛੁ ਨਹ ਸਰਮਾਵੈ ॥ : One who makes no delay and rushes instead to conceive sin, commit sin; such is akin to a prostitute who is shameless in one’s deeds. (sggs 1143).
  • ਬਿਖੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਭਰਮਦੇ ਫਿਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਪਤਿ ਗਵਾਇ ॥ ਬੇਸੁਆ ਕੇਰੇ ਪੂਤ ਜਿਉ ਪਿਤਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਤਿਸੁ ਜਾਇ ॥ : One loses one’s dignity in the shameless and greedy pursuit of the pleasures of material everywhere. Such is akin to prostituting one’s self and the pleasures are akin to the prostitute’s child who has to bear the ignominy of indignity. (sggs 1415).
  • ਏਕ ਭਗਤਿ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਜਿਹ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਕੈ ਨਾਹਿ ਮਨਿ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਸੂਕਰ ਸੁਆਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਮਾਨੋ ਤਾਹਿ ਤਨੁ ॥੪੪॥ : That person in whose mind is NO Bhagti for the One Creator; Nanak, deem that person is living the life like a hog and a dog; even if in a human body. ॥ 44 ॥ (sggs 1428).
  • ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਕਬਹੂ ਨਹੀ ਕੀਨੀ ਰਚਿਓ ਧੰਧੈ ਝੂਠ ॥ ਸੁਆਨ ਸੂਕਰ ਬਾਇਸ ਜਿਵੈ ਭਟਕਤੁ ਚਾਲਿਓ ਊਠਿ ॥ ੧ ॥ : Having never done Sangat of the Guru, but having concocted tasks of fakery; one lives one’s life akin to that of a dog, hog and crow. ॥ 1 ॥ (sggs 1105).
  • ਕਲਿ ਮਹਿ ਪ੍ਰੇਤ ਜਿਨੀ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਪਛਾਤਾ ਸਤਜੁਗਿ ਪਰਮ ਹੰਸ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ : Not realizing that the Creator is within and never discoursing to elevate life to higher pedestals is to be demonic. (sggs 1131).
  • ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥ ਅਵਰਿ ਕਾਜ ਤੇਰੈ ਕਿਤੈ ਨ ਕਾਮ ॥ ਮਿਲੁ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਭਜੁ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮ ॥੧॥: (O Human being!) You have been blessed with a human body. This is your only opportunity to unite with the Creator. Other worldly deeds (e.g. Karamkaand, rituals, formalities, concocted concepts etc.) are of no use to you in realizing God. Therefore join the holy congregation (i.e. Satsangee Jan, seekers) and lovingly remember the divine Naam (Virtues / Wisdom). ||1|| (sggs 12).

Hence a mentally twisted and a perplexed person lives a JOON or life of a snake, prostitute, pig, goblin, dog, jackass, crow, camel, frog, monkey, elephant, deer, and other animals (ਪਸੂ ਜੂਨ) AGAIN AND AGAIN (‘ਵਲਿ ਵਲਿ ਅਉਤਰੈ’), HERE AND NOW, NOT AFTER DEATH!

  • ਅੰਨੁ ਖਾਣਾ ਕਪੜੁ ਪੈਨਣੁ ਦੀਆ ਰਸ ਅਨਿ ਭੋਗਾਣੀ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਦੀਏ ਸੁ ਚਿਤਿ ਨ ਆਵਈ ਪਸੂ ਹਉ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਣੀ ॥੩॥ : The Creator has blessed me with food to eat, clothes to wear, many other delicious things to enjoy. But the Creator who has blessed me with all these things never comes to my mind. I have reduced my human life to that of an animal in non-appreciation. (sggs 167).
  • ਮੈ ਪਤਿ ਕੀ ਪੰਦਿ ਨ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੀ ਕਾਰ ॥ ਹਉ ਬਿਗੜੈ ਰੂਪਿ ਰਹਾ ਬਿਕਰਾਲ ॥: I have not followed the Divine Way (Divine Wisdom), nor have I done good deeds. (As a result, my Original Jot Saroop) got deformed and remains perplexed. (sggs 24).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਵਿਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੂੜਿਆਰ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਬੇਤਾਲਿਆ ॥ ਪਸੂ ਮਾਣਸ ਚੰਮਿ ਪਲੇਟੇ ਅੰਦਰਹੁ ਕਾਲਿਆ ॥: Manmukh are devoid of the Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…); they deal with falsehood and wander about aimlessly. (In reality) they are animals, wrapped up in human skin — meaning outside skin is only human but inside there are animals (corrupt, Bikaaree etc.). (sggs 1284).

The aim of the SGGS is to freeze this wandering mind bring about cessation of its movement or the vicious cycle of its birth and death, and help the deluded mind trace its steps back to its True Nature (Jot Saroop), Here and Now and move it out of Bhav Saagar and usher it into Sukh Saagar.

  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲਾ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਫੇਰੇ ॥: (The Wisdom of the Bani) turns the deluded mind around (sggs 118).
  • ਗੁਰ ਹਿਵ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਅਗਨਿ ਬੁਝਾਵੈ ॥: (O Yogi) Gur-Giaan (Gur-Wisdom) is cold like ice (cooling, soothing, that) puts out the fire (of the mind — desires, Trishnaa, Maya…). (sggs 411).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਕਟੀਐ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਗੁ ॥: When the diseases of Haumai or false ego-sense and doubt are cast out (by applying the Wisdom of the SGGS); there is no coming and going (i.e., the movement of the Haumai mind freezes). (sggs 47).

In short, the total cessation of the mind’s migratory state is the same as the Mool-Abidance or becoming the Gurmukh.

  • ਕਿਨਿ ਬਿਧਿ ਆਵਣੁ ਜਾਵਣੁ ਤੂਟਾ ॥ … ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਵਣੁ ਜਾਵਣੁ ਤੂਟਾ ॥: How does the cycle of coming and going (i.e. repeated suffering in life) end? … By becoming the Gurmkh, the cycle of coming and going (i.e. repeated suffering in life) ends.(sggs 131).
  • ਸਚੀ ਕਾਰੈ ਸਚੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪਲੈ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਸੋ ਨਰੁ ਜੰਮੈ ਨਾ ਮਰੈ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਦਰਿ ਪਰਧਾਨੁ ਸੋ ਦਰਗਹਿ ਪੈਧਾ ਜਾਇ ॥੪॥੧੪॥ : Let man do honest and true work. Then understand that he has come to understand the TruthGurmat has settled in his mind. Such a person will not waver. He will not die a spiritual death (ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ) because of repeated good and bad thoughts. Wearing this Siropa (of the Gurmat), that person lives as a ‘Pardhaan‘ (supreme, distinguished, eminent etc.) in this universal ‘Dargah’. ||4||14|| (sggs 19).

But we mortals suffer repeatedly because of our ignorance of our True Nature (i.e. Jot Saroop).

Thus, it’s the mind that has to become human and stable by staying with the Gur-Wisdom, Virtues, Truth (ਸਚ), Naam, or Hukam (Universal Energy, Law of Nature). Otherwise, it will be living at the level of animal-consciousness — daily passing through countless animal-like lives, here and now, not after death!

  • ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਚਾਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਛਪਸਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਕਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥: Although; human in name or creed, but actions are that of animalistic nature. But day and night he exhibits or shows off to people (that he is a human – ਬੰਦਾ)! Outside (on his body) he wears religious dress but in his mind is the filth of Maya. However he cannot conceal the filth of his mind with (outwardly wearing religious robes, cunningness, pleasing people etc.). (sggs 267).
  • ਆਖਾ ਜੀਵਾ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਉ ॥: I come alive (Aatmak Jeevan-ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ) as I am in a Realized State. The Un-Realized State Brings Spiritual Death (Aatmak Mout-ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). (sggs 9 – 349).

Therefore, the Gurbani tells us:

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸਦਾ ਅਰਾਧਿ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਜਾਂਹਿ ਮਰਿ ॥੧੭॥: O Nanak! Always adore the Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…), you will not die ever (spiritual death-ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). ||17|| (sggs 1363).
  • ਮਿਰਤਕ ਕਉ ਪਾਇਓ ਤਨਿ ਸਾਸਾ ਬਿਛੁਰਤ ਆਨਿ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਪਸੂ ਪਰੇਤ ਮੁਗਧ ਭਏ ਸ੍ਰੋਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਾ ਮੁਖਿ ਗਾਇਆ ॥੧॥ : (the Guru’s spiritual Giaan-Wisdom) Instills life into the body of a spiritually dead person and Unites the separated man (with the Creator). Human beings of the animal (-nature, ਬਿਰਤੀ), the Pret (ghosts-nature) and the stupid become listeners by Internalizing the Divine Naam. ॥1॥ (sggs 614).

The mind of a Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree is deceitful, wicked, Bikaaree , denier of Truth, egoistic, deluded, illusioned, ignorant, conditioned, and so on. Hence, reincarnating every moment in this very life.

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

Accordingly, the Gurbani reminds us that the mind’s cycle of birth and death will continue until the mind continues to live foolishly instead of the Gur-Wisdom — target of a Sikh in life (Sikh = ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ, learner)!

So, the SGGS time and again reminds us that ‘NOW‘ (‘ਅਬ’) is the time!

  • ਅਬ ਮੈ ਕਉਨੁ ਉਪਾਉ ਕਰਉ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਮਨ ਕੋ ਸੰਸਾ ਚੂਕੈ ਭਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਪਾਰਿ ਪਰਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ … ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਬਿਰਦੁ ਪਛਾਨਉ ਤਬ ਹਉ ਪਤਿਤ ਤਰਉ ॥੨॥੪॥੯॥੯॥੧੩॥੫੮॥੪॥੯੩॥:: What effort should I make, now? By the help of which my mind’s ‘Sansaa’ (uncertainty, anxiety, fear, apprehension; doubt, suspicion, etc.) may be ended, and I may cross the world-ocean (Bhav Saagar)? … Says Nanak! Recognize glory of ‘Prabh’ (i.e., Mool, Jot Saroop, Pure Nature, Virtues, Wisdom…); for only then can I, the degraded (mind), cross (the world-ocean). ||2||4||9||9||13||58||4||93|| (sggs 685).

Once the mind regains its True Nature (Jot Saroop) through Bhagti, it stops behaving like animals. Instead, it starts behaving like a real human being (the Gurmukh). Then and only then a person becomes a real human, in real human body!

  • ਤਬ ਇਹ ਮਾਨਸ ਦੇਹੀ ਪਾਈ ॥: Then, understand to have obtained this human body. (sggs 1155).

Conquering of the Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree mindset is conquering of the long journey (‘ਬਾਟ’, ‘ਜਾਤ੍ਰਾ’, ‘ਲਖ ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ’, coming and going…). The Gurbani says we can conquer the worldly mindset by becoming the Gurmukh. A Gurmukh mind is fearless and free of doubt, attachment, Haumai, Bikaar, etc.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਕਾਲੁ ਨ ਖਾਏ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੨॥: Who becomes the Gurmukh does not die (i.e., he escapes from the death of his Spiritual Life); (he) is not consumed by (Spiritual) death. (Because) the Gurmukh remains absorbed in the Truth. ||2|| (sggs 125).

In nutshell, when the mind becomes established in the Gur-Wisdom through the sincere Shabad-Vichaar or churning the Gurbani, it becomes frozen and its wanderings (ਭਟਕਣਾਂ, coming and going stop birth and death cycle of the mind stops.

  • ਫਾਹੇ ਕਾਟੇ ਮਿਟੇ ਗਵਨ ਫਤਿਹ ਭਈ ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤ ॥: When one conquers his (own) mind, victory (Fatih-‘ਫਤਿਹ’) is obtained; (Maya’s) snares are cut (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਮੋਹ ਦੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਕੱਟੇ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ); and one’s (Mayaic-ਮਾਇਆ ਪਿਛੇ ਭਟਕਣਾ) wanderings cease. (sggs 258).

In ‘Sidh Gost’ Bani, Sidhas (Yogis) asked Baabaa Nanak to discourse on:

  • ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਵਟਾਇਆ ॥ : (Towards Realization of the Creator WITHIN) what is the method of traversing the human life? (sggs 939-940).

Baabaa Nanak discoursed the above questions of Sidhas (Yogis) as follows:

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਜਨਮੇ ਗਵਨੁ ਮਿਟਾਇਆ ॥ : Being born into the Spirituality on account of the Satgur ends the cycle of spiritual death (‘Gavan’). (sggs 939).
  • ਰੇ ਮਨ ਹਰਿ ਭਜੁ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਤਜਹੁ ਜਗਜੀਵਨ ਰਾਮ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਆਵਤ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਦੀਸਈ ਨਹ ਦੀਸੈ ਜਾਤ ॥ ਜਹ ਉਪਜੈ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਤਹੀ ਜੈਸੇ ਪੁਰਿਵਨ ਪਾਤ ॥੨॥: O (Mayaic) mind! Abandon doubt, join Hari within – the Universal Energy or life. That (Universal Energy or life) is never seen coming, and never seen going. Where it is born, there it perishes like the leaves of the water-lily! (sggs 857).

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