Enjoy the Grass Before it Grows on Top of You!

Pride is one of the “five” (i.e., evil passions, Bikaars…). The Gurbani time and again reminds us to get rid of all Bikaars, including “pride”.

For example, Bhagat Kabeer Sahib says:

  • 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).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਗਰਬੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੀਐ ਚਾਮ ਲਪੇਟੇ ਹਾਡ ॥ ਹੈਵਰ ਊਪਰਿ ਛਤ੍ਰ ਤਰ ਤੇ ਫੁਨਿ ਧਰਨੀ ਗਾਡ ॥੩੭॥: O Kabeer! Do not be proud of your (youth, beauty…), (after all it is nothing more than a bundle of) bones wrapped up in skin. (Proud of this body) Those people were also (in the end) buried under the ground who were on the best horses (who used to ride selected horses) and sit under their canopies (ਝੁਲਦੇ ਛਤਰ ਹੇਠ). ||37|| (sggs 1366).

In nutshell, regardless if cremated or buried, once dead, ultimately this physical body will mingle with dust, and grass will grow on top of it (“ਊਪਰਿ ਜਾਮੈ ਘਾਸੁ”)!!

So, Bhagat Kabeer Sahib reminds us (Mayadhaaree: those in love with Maya…) not to be proud of this body, big houses, etc.

Kabeer Sahib further advises us not to take pride in worldly possessions, wealth, etc. (ਧਨ-ਪਦਾਰਥ), and not to laugh at those who are poor and may lack those possessions. Because, our life-boat is still in the ocean, and no one knows what will happen next (one may loose everything while still alive!).

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਗਰਬੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੀਐ ਰੰਕੁ ਨ ਹਸੀਐ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਅਜਹੁ ਸੁ ਨਾਉ ਸਮੁੰਦ੍ਰ ਮਹਿ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਨਉ ਕਿਆ ਹੋਇ ॥੩੯॥: O Kabir! Do not be take pride and laugh at the poor. As yet the boat (of your life) is in the sea. Who knows what may happen? (sggs 1366).

Furthermore, Kabeer Sahib tells us not to be proud of beautiful body. Because, we will have to leave it behind any time.

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਗਰਬੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੀਐ ਦੇਹੀ ਦੇਖਿ ਸੁਰੰਗ ॥ ਆਜੁ ਕਾਲ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਤਜਿ ਜਾਹੁਗੇ ਜਿਉ ਕਾਂਚੁਰੀ ਭੁਯੰਗ ॥੪੦॥: O Kabeer! Do not be proud, looking at your beautiful body. Today or tomorrow, you will have to leave it behind, like the snake shedding its skin. ||40|| (sggs 1366).

In other words, the association of the body and soul is also impermanent.

  • ਜੋ ਤਨੁ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਸੰਗ ਹੀ ਸੋ ਭੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਹੋਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Even that body, which you were born with, will not go along with you in the end. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 726).

Death suddenly pounces on Jeeva (individual being) just as a hawk suddenly pounces on a bird engaged in play!

  • ਕੇਲ ਕਰੇਦੇ ਹੰਝ ਨੋ ਅਚਿੰਤੇ ਬਾਜ ਪਏ ॥: While a Hans (swan, goose…) is engaged in play, a hawk suddenly pounces on it. (sggs 1383).

Baabaa Nanak sums it up as follows:

  • ਧਨੁ ਜੋਬਨੁ ਅਰੁ ਫੁਲੜਾ ਨਾਠੀਅੜੇ ਦਿਨ ਚਾਰਿ ॥: Wealth, youth and flower are guests for only a few days (sggs 23).

The Gurbani talks about the learned fool (“ਪੜਿਆ ਮੂਰਖੁ”)! Devoid of the essence of the Shabad-Giaan (Gurmat-Aatam Giaan or Divine Knowledge), such learned fool (“ਪੜਿਆ ਮੂਰਖੁ”) is egoistic: arrogant, proud, greedy, etc., hence Manmukhs. The Gurbani identifies such learned or educated ignorant (Moorakh or fool) as follows:

  • ਪੜਿਆ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਸੁ ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ ॥: That educated person who is full of greed, avarice and pride, is said to be a fool (sggs 140).

So, essentially, the Gurbani is asking us not to engage in Bikaars (evil passions…). Instead, the Gurbani asks us to remember that our physical existence in this world is meant for Spiritual Attainment (” ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ”-Realization of the Mool within…).

  • ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥: Bhaee praapati maanukh dehureeaa. Gobind milan kee ih teree bareeaa (sggs 12).

In other words, we are reminded to utilize this rare opportunity of human birth to become the Gurmukh (follower of the Gurbani’s Giaan, Truth-ਸਚ…) and enjoy (“ਆਨੰਦ”-Bliss) by Realizing the Spiritual Attainment (ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤੀ) before death – before the grass grows on top of us!!!!!!

Because, the Gurbani indicates that by becoming a Gurmukh, one fulfills the purpose of this human birth (ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਲਾਹਾ), while a Manmukh (the opposite of the Gurmukh) loses this opportunity …

  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਖੋਇਆ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਲਾਧਾ ॥: The Manmukh loses; the Gurmukh gains (sggs 939).

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