A Pile of Bones, Filth and Worms

The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) Teaches Sikhs (learners, seekers – ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ) the human body without developing partnership with Virtues / Wisdom (i.e. God’s Naam) is just a PILE OF BONES, FILTH AND MAGGOT (the state of utter ignorance…).

  • ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਅਸਤ ਬਿਸਟਾ ਕ੍ਰਿਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੋਰ ॥੧॥ : Accursed is that body of that person who recognizes anybody else except God, and is nothing but bones, filth and worms. ll1ll (sggs 1228).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਗਰਬੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੀਐ ਚਾਮ ਲਪੇਟੇ ਹਾਡ ॥ : Kabeer, do not be so proud of your (body, after all it just a bundle of) bones wrapped up in skin. (sggs 1366).
  • ਕਰਪੂਰ ਪੁਹਪ ਸੁਗੰਧਾ ਪਰਸ ਮਾਨੁਖ੍ਯ੍ਯ ਦੇਹੰ ਮਲੀਣੰ ॥ ਮਜਾ ਰੁਧਿਰ ਦ੍ਰੁਗੰਧਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਥਿ ਗਰਬੇਣ ਅਗ੍ਯ੍ਯਾਨਣੋ ॥੧॥ : Camphor, flowers and perfume become filthy by coming in contact with the human body. The human body contains bone marrow, blood, and many foul smelling things, but Nanak, still the ignorant man takes egotistical pride in it. ||1|| (sggs 1360).
  • ਜਾਣੋ ਸਤਿ ਹੋਵੰਤੋ ਮਰਣੋ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟੇਣ ਮਿਥਿਆ ॥ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਸਾਥਿ ਚਲੰਥੋ ਭਣੰਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗੇਣ ॥੩॥ : We should understand that physical death is inevitable, and whatever is visible in this world is illusory or perishable (i.e. ‘Mithiya’). Nanak says, so live your daily life according to the Wisdom of the Guru; this alone will help you in life. ||3|| (sggs 1360).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸੇ ਨਰ ਅਸਲਿ ਖਰ ਜਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਣ ਗਰਬੁ ਕਰੰਤਿ ॥੨॥ : Nanak, those are real donkeys, who have no Virtues but are filled with egotistical pride ||2|| (sggs 1246).
  • ਗੁਣ ਵਿਹੂਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਲੁ ਧਾਰੀ ॥ : (Those) without Virtues, bear the filth of Maya (in their minds). (sggs 367).

The SGGS asserts there is only One Omnipresent Creator. To consider any ‘other’ is duality (‘Avar– ਅਵਰੁ’) — the principle of plurality, relativism, two-ness, worldliness, Doojaa Bhaav, Dubidhaa (‘ਦੁਬਿਧਾ’, ਦੁਚਿੱਤਾ) etc.

  • ਸਚੇ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਕੋ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਦੂਆ ॥ ਦੂਜੈ ਲਾਗਿ ਜਗੁ ਖਪਿ ਖਪਿ ਮੂਆ ॥ : except the eternal God, there is no one else. Attached to duality, humanity suffers and deteriorates spiritually. (sggs 113).
  • ਜਿਸੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਰਾਮ ਰਸੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਕਰਮ ਬਿਕਾਰੀ ॥੩॥ : Within whose mind the Bliss of God’s love does not well up, that person remains engrossed in duality and vices or Bikaar. ||3|| (sggs 1198).
  • ਵਿਛੁੜਿਆ ਕਾ ਕਿਆ ਵਿਛੁੜੈ ਜਿਨਾ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥ : What more separation could they suffer since they are already separated from God due to their love of duality? (sggs 587).
  • ਦੂਜੈ ਲਗੇ ਪਚਿ ਮੁਏ ਮੂਰਖ ਅੰਧ ਗਵਾਰ ॥ ਬਿਸਟਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕੀਟ ਸੇ ਪਇ ਪਚਹਿ ਵਾਰੋ ਵਾਰ ॥ : Like worms living in manure, and in it, they die over and over again, similarly, attached to duality, the foolish, (spiritually) blind and stupid people (ਮਤਿ-ਹੀਣ ਜੀਵ) waste away and suffer, repeatedly. (sggs 85).
  • ਜਬ ਜਰੀਐ ਤਬ ਹੋਇ ਭਸਮ ਤਨੁ ਰਹੈ ਕਿਰਮ ਦਲ ਖਾਈ ॥ : If dead body is cremated, it becomes ashes; if buried it is eaten by the army of worms. (sggs 654).

Duality gives rise to divisions, separateness, foolishness, false ego-sense (i.e. Haumai), the notion of ‘I, me, mine, you’, vices or Bikaar, suffering etc.

  • ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਸਭੋ ਰਤੁ ਹੈ ਰਤੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਤੰਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਜੋ ਸਹਿ ਰਤੇ ਆਪਣੈ ਤਿਨ ਤਨਿ ਲੋਭ ਰਤੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ : This body is all blood; without blood, the body cannot survive. Those who are imbued with the love of their God, do not have any greed in their blood (i.e. they are free all vices or Bikaar…). (sggs 949).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਅਵਰੁ ਜਿ ਚਾਹਨਾ ਬਿਸਟਾ ਕ੍ਰਿਮ ਭਸਮਾ ਰਾਮ ॥੩॥ : Nanak, to desire anything ‘other’ than God is like being consumed like a worm of filth; it is nothing but ruining of spiritual life. ||3|| (sggs 848).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਸਭ ਨੀਚ ਜਾਤਿ ਹੈ ਬਿਸਟਾ ਕਾ ਕੀੜਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ : Without the Naam, all are low class, like maggots in manure (sggs 426).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਵਡਾ ਰੋਗੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਇ ਦੂਜੈ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਇ ॥ : (Those persons who have not follow the Message of the Guru’s Shabad) they are stricken by the deadly disease of false ego-sense (i.e. Haumai) and perform deeds in the love of duality. (sggs 589).

If duality is likened to a body, suffering would be its head. The more one loves duality, the more one will suffer.

Yet, most of us in duality inexorably chase the illusion or mirage. As time and again pointed out in the SGGS, to live in a mere duality is the man’s sad fall into a low state of the mind.

  • 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).
  • ਮਾਣਸ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੁਤਾ ਦਰਿ ਫੁਰਮਾਨੁ ॥ : O Nanak! A human being is a human in shape and name only; (but) by conduct he is a dog (greedy, selfish, corrupt, etc.) – this is the Divine edict. (sggs 350).
  • ਬਿਸਟਾ ਕੇ ਕੀੜੇ ਬਿਸਟਾ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਣੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੁਗਧ ਗੁਬਾਰਾ ॥੩॥ : Just as the worms of filth remain in the filth, similarly (without Internalizing Naam) the foolish Manmukh persons (Unenlightened) remain consumed in the darkness of ignorance. ||3||(sggs 601).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਕੂਕਰ ਹਰਕਾਇਆ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਲੋਭੀ ਬੰਧੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੬॥ : Without remembrance (of Wisdom, Virtues..), one is like a mad dog. The greedy, Saakat (one separated from the Truth) falls into entanglements. ||6|| (sggs 239).

Aptly we are taught by the Gurbani (SGGS) that man’s paramount duty in life is to understand his degradation and reclaim himself from this state of outer dominationMaya-slavery, duality-slavery, sense-slavery, Haumai or ego-slavery, Pujaaree-slavery etc.

In fact, according to Bhagat Kabeer Ji, there is no difference between humans and animals or vegetation if we humans are just limited to filling our belly in Mayaic slumber!

  • ਸੁਆਨ ਸਿਆਲ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਤਾ ॥ ਬੰਤਰ ਚੀਤੇ ਅਰੁ ਸਿੰਘਾਤਾ ॥ ਮਾਂਜਾਰ ਗਾਡਰ ਅਰੁ ਲੂਬਰਾ ॥ ਬਿਰਖ ਮੂਲ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਹਿ ਪਰਾ ॥੪॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਭੀਨੇ ਦੇਵ ॥ ਸਾਗਰ ਇੰਦ੍ਰਾ ਅਰੁ ਧਰਤੇਵ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਜਿਸੁ ਉਦਰੁ ਤਿਸੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਤਬ ਛੂਟੇ ਜਬ ਸਾਧੂ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੫॥੫॥੧੩॥ : Dogs and jackals are imbued with Maya. Monkeys, leopards, and lions, are all indulged in Maya. So are cats, sheep, and foxes. Trees and roots have all fallen to spell Maya in the form of food and water for their survival. ||4|| Even the demigods are drenched with the love for Maya. All the creatures living in the ocean, space and the earth are engrossed in Maya. Says Kabeer, whoever has a belly to fill, is under the spell of Maya. One is released from Maya’s grips only when he Realizes the Guru — lives a life of Giyan-Wisdom / Virtues. ||5||5||13|| (sggs 1160).

The spirituality of Baabaa Nanak or the Shabad (SGGS) is the Sikhi of the self, for the self, and by the self.

Furthermore, there is NO concept of transfer of blessing in the Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak. Here is the principle of Baabaa Nanak’s Sikhi or Gurmat:

  • ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ॥੨੦॥ : (So long there is breathPraan) accomplish the task (of God Realization) yourself ( i.e. with self-efforts, hard work: Shabad-Vichaar …). ||20|| (sggs 474).
  • ਆਪਣਾ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਆਪਿ ਸਵਾਰੇ ਹੋਰਨਿ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ : (One) resolves his own affair himself (i.e. the ultimate Purpose of life of God Realization); anyone else cannot do this work (for him). (sggs 351).

Therefor, before the body turns into ashes, dust or is eaten by worms the SGGS asks Sikhs to Internalize the Spiritual Message of the Shabad (Enlightenment).

  • ਦੂਜੀ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਸਬਦੇ ਖੋਈ ॥ : The polluted intellect of duality is destroyed by the Gur-Shabad. (sggs 1051).
  • ਕੁਬੁਧਿ ਮਿਟੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ : Corrupt intellect or destructive mindset is eliminated by Reflecting on the Gur-Shabad (Shabad-Vichaar). (sggs 944).
  • ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ ਹੋਇ ਹਉਮੈ ਤਜੇ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥ : When one’s mind dies in the Shabad gains Knowledge and conviction, and (he) sheds egotism and ‘Vikaar’ (sggs 162).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਮਤਿ ਮਲੀਣ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਭਈ ਜਪਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੁਰਾਰਾ ॥ : Receiving Giyan (Wisdom) from the Satigur and reflecting on Hari Essence (Mool, True Nature or Jot Saroop…), the polluted intellect becomes enlightened by understanding the Wisdom. (sggs 163).

The Gurbani (SGGS) asserts a person without Virtues (Gun-ਗੁਣ) is as useless as a cow without milk; a bird without wings; vegetation or crop without water; an emperor without respect, empty husk without grain etc. This is the edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ) of the SGGS:

  • ਦੁਧ ਬਿਨੁ ਧੇਨੁ ਪੰਖ ਬਿਨੁ ਪੰਖੀ ਜਲ ਬਿਨੁ ਉਤਭੁਜ ਕਾਮਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਕਿਆ ਸੁਲਤਾਨੁ ਸਲਾਮ ਵਿਹੂਣਾ ਅੰਧੀ ਕੋਠੀ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੧॥ : A cow without milk; a bird without wings; vegetation without water (i.e. useless)! What is an emperor without respect? (Similarly) without the Naam (i.e., ਗੁਣ, Virtues, Wisdom, Truth…), the soul (or the mind) is just a dark room. ||1|| (sggs 354).
  • ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਰਚਨਾ ਅਪਾਰੰ ਮਨਿ ਬਿਲਾਸ ਸੁਆਦੰ ਰਸਹ ॥ ਕਦਾਂਚ ਨਹ ਸਿਮਰੰਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਜੰਤ ਬਿਸਟਾ ਕ੍ਰਿਮਹ ॥ : Those who remain engrossed in the enjoyment of their beautifully decorated houses, pleasures of the mind and in the relishes of tasty foods, they never remember God; Nanak, they are just like the worms of filth. ||1|| (sggs 707).
  • ਏਤਾ ਗਬੁ ਅਕਾਸਿ ਨ ਮਾਵਤ ਬਿਸਟਾ ਅਸ੍ਤ ਕ੍ਰਿਮਿ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਿਓ ਹੈ ॥ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਧਾਇ ਮਹਾ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਕਉ ਪਰ ਧਨ ਛੀਨਿ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਹਰਿਓ ਹੈ ॥ : (O my foolish mind!) You indulge in so much arrogance, as if you cannot be contained even in the sky, but the reality is that your belly is filled with ordure, bones and worms. For the sake of Maya, you run in all directions and snatch other’s wealth because you have been deceived by ignorance. (sggs 1388).

Since the Gurbani is the ‘Gun Bani-ਗੁਣ ਬਾਣੀ’ (Gun = Virtues), the more Virtues Awaken within translate into more gain in Spiritual Giaan-Knowledge (Bibek…).

  • ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੇ ਗੁਣ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥੪॥੫॥: ‘Janu’ Nanak utters the Bani of the Divine Virtues [i.e., the Divine Wisdom (‘Gur-ਗੁਰ’) and the Divine Virtues (‘Gun-ਗੁਣ’) are embedded in the Gurbani]; one gets absorbed in the Hari Naam through the Gurbani (i.e., living by the Divine Wisdom and the Divine Virtues of the Gurbani). ||4||5|| (sggs 494).

The Gurbani does NOT want us to become the follower of BLIND FAITH (ਅੰਧ ਵਿਸ਼ਵਾਸ, ਅੰਨੀ ਸਰਧਾ-Sardhaa) concocted by the self-serving Pujaaree (clergy). In fact the Gurbani has RE-DEFINED ‘ਸਰਧਾ-Sardhaa‘ for Sikhs as follows.

  • ਜਿਨ ਸਰਧਾ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਿ ਲਗੀ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਦੂਜੈ ਚਿਤੁ ਨ ਲਾਇਆ ਰਾਮ ॥ : Those, who develop ‘ਸਰਧਾ-Sardhaa‘ (faith etc.) in Divine Naam (Giyan-Wisdom / Virtues), do not attach their consciousness to someone else. (sggs 444).
  • ਬਿਸਟਾ ਅਸਤ ਰਕਤੁ ਪਰੇਟੇ ਚਾਮ ॥ ਇਸੁ ਊਪਰਿ ਲੇ ਰਾਖਿਓ ਗੁਮਾਨ ॥੩॥
    ਏਕ ਵਸਤੁ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਤਾ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਪਾਕ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਤੂੰ ਸਦਾ ਨਾਪਾਕ ॥੪॥ : You are nothing but ordure, bones and blood wrapped in skin. It is upon this filthy bundle you have based your conceit. If you could realize God within, then you would become pure. (sggs 374).

Hence, instead of BLIND FAITH (ਅੰਨੀ ਸ਼ਰਧਾਂ, ਅੰਧ ਵਿਸ਼ਵਾਸ), in order to make human body and life worthwhile while alive Here and Now, the SGGS asks Sikhs to BECOME THE GURBANI.

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਬਣੀਐ ॥ : The Satgur’s Bani (the God-Connecting Shabad-Guru) is the embodiment of the Creator; (therefore) BECOME THE GURBANI (to Realize the Creator). (sggs 304).
  • ਮੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਆਧਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਲਾਗਿ ਰਹਾਉ ॥੮॥ : The Gurbani (i.e. the Enlightening spiritual  Wisdom of the Guru Shabad) is my Base or Support of my life. Attuned to the Guru Shabad I remain spiritually alive. ||8|| (sggs 759).

Essentially the Gurbani is asking us not to let the duality run our lives. Instead, the Gurbani asks us to remember that our physical existence in this world is meant for Realizing the Creator within Here and Now, NOT afterlife or after death.

Off course, this will require sincere self-efforts toward the target of life. And, to meet this ultimate purpose of life, the Gurbani asks us to keep aimed at the target with the sword or arrow of the Guru’s Giyan-Wisdom.

  • 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).
  • ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਪਾਪ ਦਰਬੁ ਕੀਆ ਵਰਤਣ ਕੈ ਤਾਈ ॥ ਮਾਟੀ ਸਿਉ ਮਾਟੀ ਰਲੀ ਨਾਗਾ ਉਠਿ ਜਾਈ ॥੨॥ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਕੀਐ ਸ੍ਰਮੁ ਕਰੈ ਤੇ ਬੈਰ ਬਿਰੋਧੀ ॥ ਅੰਤ ਕਾਲਿ ਭਜਿ ਜਾਹਿਗੇ ਕਾਹੇ ਜਲਹੁ ਕਰੋਧੀ ॥੩॥ : By continuously committing sins, one kept amassing worldly wealth for his use, but in the end, the person departs naked (without the worldly wealth) and the ashes of the dead body merged with dirt. ||2|| Those for whom one works so hard to amass wealth, they become his spiteful enemies. In the end, they all run away abandoning you; so why do you agonize yourself in anger for their sake? ||3|| (sggs 809).

Some Related Posts:


  1. T. Singhji well explained that without spiritual awakening life has no meaning. At the same time spirituality of Guru Nanak so logical and practical it encourages to have goals, ambitions in life but problems come when we become totally attached and identified with goals and ambitions. Humans have gained tremendous knowledge about everything except themselves. Thanks for your blog.

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. * = required fields. Comment Policy.