Anything that Appears will Soon Disappear

That which is Real never ends, and that which ends is not Real!

The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) teaches us that anything seen is ephemeral — it will soon disappear.

What rises must set. What comes and goes is time-bound, thus unreal or temporary. So, we are urged by the Gurbani not to get attached to anything fleeting!

  • ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿਮਾਨ ਹੈ ਸਗਲ ਮਿਥੇਨਾ ॥: All that is seen is an illusion (sggs 1083).
  • ਤਿਸੁ ਸਿਉ ਨੇਹੁ ਨ ਕੀਜਈ ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਚਲਣਹਾਰੁ ॥: Don’t carry affection for which is just fleeting (perishable). (sggs 21).

Simply put, anything born must finish one day for birth is the proof of impending death! For example, the physical body is born, and it is also continuously disappearing!

  • ਚਿੰਤਾ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਕੀਜੀਐ ਜੋ ਅਨਹੋਨੀ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਕੋ ਨਾਨਕ ਥਿਰੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥੫੧॥ ਜੋ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਸੋ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਹੈ ਪਰੋ ਆਜੁ ਕੈ ਕਾਲਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਇ ਲੇ ਛਾਡਿ ਸਗਲ ਜੰਜਾਲ ॥੫੨॥ : Worry about something that is unnatural. Nanak, this is the rule (of Nature) in the world that nothing is everlasting. ||51|| Whatever takes birth, will die today or tomorrow. Nanak, shun all worldly temptations with corrupting influences and live life with Godly Virtues. ||52|| (sggs 1429).
To run after this ‘mirage’ like world is to deny Timelessness

To be Real or Timeless means to be free of beginning, middle, and end. Whatever comes and goes is bound and limited by beginning, middle, and end. Therefore unreal — false, changeful, temporary, impermanent, perishable, illusion, or simply ‘Mithiya‘.

So the Gurbani asks us not to stay detached and run after this world.

  • ਮ੍ਰਿਗ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਜਿਉ ਜਗ ਰਚਨਾ ਯਹ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਬਿਚਾਰਿ ॥: Reflect in your mind and see for yourself that this world play is like the thirst of the deer – mistaken for water, who runs towards the mirage in the desert (humans tempted by the world-play also run after it). (sggs 536).
What comes and goes is not Real

In addition to a ‘mirage‘, this material world is also likened to a ‘safflower’ in the Gurbani. It’s deceptively enchanting. The Gurbani warns us that the color (the look, appearance…) of this ‘safflower’ like world and its objects (Maya…) will fade away (i.e., these worldly objects will perish).

  • ਜੈਸਾ ਰੰਗੁ ਕਸੁੰਭ ਕਾ ਤੈਸਾ ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥: This world is like the (pale, temporary…) color of the safflower (sggs 346).
  • ਹਥੁ ਨ ਲਾਇ ਕਸੁੰਭੜੈ ਜਲਿ ਜਾਸੀ ਢੋਲਾ ॥: O friend! Do not touch the safflower (i.e., Maya); if you do, you will get ‘burnt‘ (i.e., your love for this deceptive Maya will lead you to sufferings) (sggs 794).

In addition, the Gurbani also tells us that the world is as unsubstantial as a ‘dream‘.

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਕਹਤ ਜਗਤ ਸਭ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਜਿਉ ਸੁਪਨਾ ਰੈਨਾਈ ॥੨॥੧॥: Nanak says, the entire material world is illusion like the nightly dream ||2||1|| (sggs 1231).

To instill detachment (Bairaag) in us, the Gurbani uses various examples, allegories, metaphors, illustrations, similes, etc. With their help, the Gurbani cautions us about this massive world-picture which looks very real, wondrous, and hypnotizing. But it’s all fleeting!

  • ਚਚਾ ਰਚਿਤ ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਹੈ ਭਾਰੀ ॥ ਤਜਿ ਚਿਤ੍ਰੈ ਚੇਤਹੁ ਚਿਤਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਇਹੈ ਅਵਝੇਰਾ ॥ ਤਜਿ ਚਿਤ੍ਰੈ ਚਿਤੁ ਰਾਖਿ ਚਿਤੇਰਾ ॥੧੨॥: CHACHA (a letter of the Gurmukhi alphabet): This universe created by the Creator is as it were a very huge painting. Forget this painting and remember the Painter (the One Creator). (Because) the problem is that this Painting is captivating to the mind. (So, to avoid the attachment to this captivating picture) forget this picture and focus your Conscience on the Painter (i.e. the Creator). ||12|| (sggs 340).

So, to escape unburnt from this world, the Gurbani urges us to focus the consciousness on the Painter of this world-picture, not the world itself.

That which has beginning cannot escape end.

The Gurbani indicates Such discerning intellect (Vivek-Budh) can be Awakened by constantly probing the nature of one’s Mool (Source, Jot Saroop…) through the Shabad-Vichaar. The Wisdom obtained by churning the Gurbani helps us learn to dissociate affinities to the body-senses and the material world. In other words, the real nature of this world is realized only when we Wake up to the Wisdom.

  • ਹਰਿ ਜਪਤੇ ਮਨੁ ਮਨ ਤੇ ਧੀਰਾ ॥: Understanding (one’s own) Mool (Hari… through the Gurbani), the (extrovert) mind is comforted by the (Introvert) Mind (Hari…)..(sggs 1042).

The Gurbani asks us to look within to where there is no name or form. The Gurbani Teaches us to remove the form from the mind by removing attachment to any object, thought or action. In nutshell, the Gurbani asks us to become the Gurmukh (Awakened Being…). Because, only the Gurmukh understands the real nature of this world. Thus only he knows how to handle it without getting ‘burnt’ in the process!

A Gurmukh is convinced that the Wisdom is worth sacrificing anything for, because everything else is just a ‘mirage’ rising out of Consciousness. Hence, guided by the Wisdom, he remains open to everything but detached from everything!
Waves come and go … the ocean is. Similarly all that’s seen comes and goes … our Mool is (Jot Saroop).

  • ਮਮਾ ਮੂਲ ਗਹਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ॥: MAMAA: Clinging to the Mool, the mind is satisfied (ਮੰਨੇ, ਸਮਝੇ, comply…). (sggs 342).


  1. Thanks Veer T Singh ji for your affirmative response,
    I may further like to present my own understanding for SABADu/SABAD.
    I feel that SABAD is the reference for THE DIVINE VOICE of BRAHM which is existing all over or to say the whole of universe is fully filled with this , And the smallest ,indivisible part /portion of this VOICE is refered as SABADu.
    THE VOICE is assigned a word for knowing SABADu and that word is GuROO and therefore we have SABADu GuROO.
    It obviously means the word GuROO is an EXCLUSIVE WORD for
    SABADu or SABADu can be understood from THE WORD GuROO for its true character.
    In other words we may understand that it is THE WORD GuROO speaking the VOICE of BRAHM Therfore we are required to learn the true meanings of gurbaanee messages from this WORD GuROO only.

  2. Knowing of true reference meaning of SABAD is very essential for getting true and correct understanding of messages from SGGS ji.

    Correct Ji. Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio!
    The Gurbani time and again asks to look within, go within, turn inward…
    Because, according to the Gurbani, Jeev’s (individual being) “Nij Ghar” (one’s own True Home…) is in the Heart, within.

    Luminosity of Naam, Shabad, Bhagti … is there, within.
    • ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਦੇਹੀ ਮਹਿ ਇਸ ਕਾ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮੁ ॥: Naou nidh amritu… (sggs 293).
    • ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਭਾਖੇ ॥੧॥: Ghati Ghati Sabadu subhaakhe (sggs 628).
    • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਸਾਚੀ ਹੋਇ ॥: Antari preeti bhagti saachee hoi (sggs 1129).
    • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਦੇਹੀ ਸੋਧਿ ਤੂੰ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Ihu manu dehee sodhi toon… (sggs 427).
    • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਖੂਹਟਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਭਰਿਆ ਸਬਦੇ ਕਾਢਿ ਪੀਐ ਪਨਿਹਾਰੀ ॥: Antari khoohtaa amriti bhariaa… (sggs 571).
    • ਇਸੁ ਕਾਇਆ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ॥੪॥: isu kaaiaa andari … (sggs 754).
    • ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰੇ ਸਾਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਾਚੋ ਆਪਿ ਪਛਾਣੇ ਰਾਮ ॥: Ghat antare… (sggs 769).
    • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਸਾਚਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥੧੦॥: Antari Sabadu… (sggs 931).
    • ਜੀਆ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਸਬਦੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਹ ਮੇਲਾਵਾ ਹੋਇ ॥: Jeeaa andari jeeou Sabadu… (sggs 1250).
    • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਆ ਬੁਝਾਇ ॥: Antari teerathu Giaanu… (sggs 587).

    So, according to the Gurbani, our mind has to go there — within ( i.e., to its Mool, Source, Jot…). It’s all Imperishable (“Abigatu”) Mool’s expansion there.
    • ਜਹ ਅਬਿਗਤੁ ਭਗਤੁ ਤਹ ਆਪਿ ॥ਜਹ ਪਸਰੈ ਪਾਸਾਰੁ ਸੰਤ ਪਰਤਾਪਿ ॥: Jah Abigatu… (sggs 292).
    • ਏਕੁ ਭਗਤੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਬਸੈ ॥: Eku bhagatu mere hirdai basai (sggs 1163).

  3. From the point of the context under considerations from gurbaanee one learns that even written words are going to disappear and it is SABADu which is going to remain for ever. .
    Thus imperishable ENTITY is SABADu ,Therefire I feel that the meaning of SABAD as Shabad is perhaps incorrect.Its true reference meaning should be different. That is why one can see the great significance of SABADu/SABAD thruout SGGS ji.
    Knowing of true reference meaning of SABAD is very essential for
    getting true and correct understanding of messages from SGGS ji.
    This is my own perception as per observation of gurbaanee.

  4. In this context there is a very clear Quote in SGGS ji as
    ਜੇਤੀ ਸਮਗ੍ਰੀ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਰੇ ਨਰ ਤੇਤੀ ਹੀ ਛਡਿ ਜਾਨੀ ॥
    ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਸੰਗਿ ਕਰਿ ਬਿਉਹਾਰਾ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਪਦੁ ਨਿਰਬਾਨੀ ॥੧॥ pp614
    There is very clear advice for human beings that only practice in life
    OMNIPRESENT NAAMu to attain the highest spiritual state.

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