The mind finds it hard to accept the idea that existence contains life and also death.
However, life is not logical as the mind! The reality is: If there is birth, there is death. Use whatever euphemism you want to use for death, it cannot be avoided. In all the directions, wherever we go, we will find it waiting.
Another point which should be borne in mind is that the Gurbani does not believe/support unnatural and illogical nonsense such as virgin-born, air-born, fire-born, etc., as the followers of many organized religions stake claim for their prophets. Many think that denying humanity of their prophets somehow establishes the divinity of their prophets and heightens their status! The Gurbani clearly Teaches us that there can be NO CHILD without the union (ਮੇਲ) of a mother and father or a male and female (“ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਲੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ”).
- ਜੈਸੇ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਲੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: As there is no child without (the union of) a mother and father (sggs 872).
The Gurbani talks about two types of living and death: (1) death of the physical body — Whatever is born of flesh must die; (2) death of the instinctive mind or death of its Bikaar (i.e., lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride…).
The Gurbani teaches us not to fear the death of the mind (i.e., death of Bikaar). Because, as the Gurbani puts it, it is also a Blissful moment for the mind — at last, a chance for enduring and untrammeled Anand (Bliss, Peace…)!
- ਕਬੀਰ ਜਿਸੁ ਮਰਨੇ ਤੇ ਜਗੁ ਡਰੈ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨਿ ਆਨੰਦੁ ॥ ਮਰਨੇ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਪਾਈਐ ਪੂਰਨੁ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦੁ ॥੨੨॥: O Kabeer! Death the world is afraid of (death of the mind’s Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, etc.) – that death fills my mind with Bliss. It is only by the death (of Bikaar) the Perfect Supreme Bliss is obtained! ||22|| (sggs 1365).
- 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).
- ਜਉ ਤਉ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਖੇਲਣ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ ॥ ਸਿਰੁ ਧਰਿ ਤਲੀ ਗਲੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਆਉ ॥ ਇਤੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਪੈਰੁ ਧਰੀਜੈ ॥ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਕਾਣਿ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ॥੨੦॥: If you desire to play this game of Divine Love with Me, then step onto My Way putting your head on palm. When you place your foot on this Way, give up your head (false ego-sense), do not be afraid or shrink ||20||. (sggs 1412).
- ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰਹੁ ਫਿਰਿ ਜੀਵਹੁ ਸਦ ਹੀ ਤਾ ਫਿਰਿ ਮਰਣੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: If you die through the Shabad, then you will live forever, you will not spiritually die again. (sggs 604).
The Gurbani tells us that our soul is Blissful and Eternal — Deathless, Immortal, Timeless…
- ਮਰਣਹਾਰੁ ਇਹੁ ਜੀਅਰਾ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੩॥: This soul is not perishable (sggs 188).
This is the reason why everybody wants to avoid death for Eternity is our True Nature (“ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ”)! Similarly, the reason why everybody wants to avoid sorrows (pain, suffering…) in life is because Eternal Bliss is our soul’s Real Nature as well! Thus, death does not and cannot hurt a true Giaanee or a Gurmukh.
- ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਦ ਜੀਵੈ ਨਹੀ ਮਰਤਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee ever lives and never dies (sggs 273)..
In other words, death only tortures the one who is engrossed in Maya: Ridden with doubt, lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, etc. To put it otherwise, death only hurts an active mind (worldly mind ridden with Maya, doubt, false ego-sense…).
- ਏਹ ਤ੍ਰਿਗੁਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਿਨਿ ਜਗਤੁ ਭੁਲਾਇਆ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਕਾ ਸਹਸਾ: This three-quality Maya has deluded the whole world, (and it builds within Jeev) the fear (doubt, anxiety…) of birth and death (sggs 1257).
- ਓਹੁ ਨ ਮੂਆ ਜੋ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: (The Brahm) that pervades (within) does not die (sggs 152).
In other words, a Gurmukh knows that death only hurts those who, instead of Jot Saroop, have become something other (i.e., time-bound, Manmukh, Saakat, Mayadhaaree…).
For example, the essence of wave, ocean, bubble, raindrop, etc., is still water. When a raindrop falls in the ocean, it becomes the ocean: Nothing gets lost.
- ਸਾਗਰ ਮਹਿ ਬੂੰਦ ਬੂੰਦ ਮਹਿ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਕਵਣੁ ਬੁਝੈ ਬਿਧਿ ਜਾਣੈ …: The drop is in the ocean, and the ocean is in the drop. Who understands, and knows this? (sggs 878).
So, the Gurbani Teaches us not to fear death. Because our Mool (Source, Jot...) — the Seer, the Subject — can never be lost. The Divine Wisdom of our Mool (Source, Jot, Raam, Hari, Gobind….) wipes out death, worldliness, duality, suffering.
Thus, there is only one way to avoid the pain of death — the Gurbani says recognize your Timeless Mool.
The Gurbani teaches us that death is only the five elements returning to themselves. The physical body being made up of the five elements (i.e., space, air, fire, water and earth), it is bound in the framework of time and space. Upon its destruction, each elements goes back to its respective source. That is, the earth merges with earth, the air with air, the fire with fire, the water with water, and the space with space.
- ਪਾਂਚ ਤਤ ਕੋ ਤਨੁ ਰਚਿਓ ਜਾਨਹੁ ਚਤੁਰ ਸੁਜਾਨ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਤੇ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਲੀਨ ਤਾਹਿ ਮੈ ਮਾਨੁ ॥੧੧॥: O wise and clever (man)! Know that (your physical body) is made up of the five elements. O Nanak! Believe it that (this physical body) will merge back into (these five elements). ||11||(sggs 1427).
- ਪਵਨੈ ਮਹਿ ਪਵਨੁ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਜੋਤੀ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਰਲਿ ਜਾਇਆ ॥ ਮਾਟੀ ਮਾਟੀ ਹੋਈ ਏਕ ॥…: Pavanai mahi pavanu samaaiaa… (sggs 885).
Accordingly, a true Sikh (a true student or a learner of the SGGS) looks upon both happy as well as sad events equally in his life! Thus, known as a Gurmukh in the Gurbani, the whole life of such an Awakened Being becomes a celebration itself!
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜੀਵੈ ਮਰੈ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥ ਆਰਜਾ ਨ ਛੀਜੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥: (Who ) becomes the Gurmukh, (his) life and death is of avail (ਸਫਲ, ਕਬੂਲ). (His) life does not waste away; (because he) realizes the Shabad (sggs 125).