Living Dead!

In Semitic and Hindu religions, liberation generally means going to heaven after death etc. Gurmat rejects Hindu and Semitic notions of Mukti unequivocally. However, liberation (Mukti) in the Unique Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak or Gurmat the world was not false but one’s ego-sense (Haumai) is false and everything committed under Haumai’s influence accrued a false result. Hence, liberation in Sikhi or Gurmat means being liberated (Mkti) while living the reality of one’s life (Jeevan), and realizing the Creator within here and now.

Having said that, unlike all traditional religions, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) teaches us to liberate ourselves from the slavery of the outer domination while living the reality of one’s life (Jeevan), here and now.

In order to impart the Truth (ਸਚ), as examples (ਹਵਾਲਾ), all the 35 contributors of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) have used terms in their Bani (ਬਾਣੀ) that were prevailing in common language spoken by average citizens of their time. BUT, WITH DIFFERENT OR CHANGED MEANINGS!

The self-serving Pujaaree (clergy clique) and the Pujaaree system have brainwashed people to believe in their manufactured concept that liberation (Mukti) is an after death occurrence.

This falsity of the Pujaaree is going on for a long time. The purpose of the Gurbani is not to regurgitate the pre-1469 belief system.

The Gurmat (Wisdom-Giyan of the SGGS) assertively rejects this manufactured idea or fantasy of the crafty and self-serving Pujaaree. Instead, the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS believes in liberation while alive (‘Jeevan Mukati-ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ’) – NOT AFTER DEATH!

  • ਬੇਣੀ ਕਹੈ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਰੇ ਭਗਤਹੁ ਮਰਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਿਨਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੫॥: Says Baynee – Listen O devotees, nobody has ever attained liberation after death. ||5|| (sggs 93).
  • ਮੂਏ ਹੂਏ ਜਉ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਦੇਹੁਗੇ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਨੈ ਕੋਇਲਾ ॥ ਏ ਪੰਡੀਆ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਢੇਢ ਕਹਤ ਤੇਰੀ ਪੈਜ ਪਿਛੰਉਡੀ ਹੋਇਲਾ ॥੨॥: (O God!) If You liberate me (from vices, outer domination etc.) after I am dead, no one would know about that liberation granted by You (i.e. that’s why I do not believe or accept such phony liberation). These pandits (i.e. clergy-Pujaaree) are calling me a person born in low caste, and in this way actually Your own honor is decreasing. ||2|| (sggs 1292)
  • ਜੀਵਦਿਆ ਨ ਚੇਤਿਓ ਮੁਆ ਰਲੰਦੜੋ ਖਾਕ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਸੰਗਿ ਗੁਦਾਰਿਆ ਸਾਕਤ ਮੂੜ ਨਪਾਕ ॥੧॥ : Mortal who does not remember God while alive and is consumed in DUST upon dying; Nanak, such a Saakat (separated from Mool), foolish and unholy person has wasted all his life engrossed in worldliness. ||1|| (sggs 523).

Although the SGGS exposed and rejected this fraud of the self-serving Pujaaree clique several centuries ago, however, this fraud is still ongoing, including in Sikhi!

In fact, the Way of the Gurbani is so pure that a Wise person (i.e. a Gurmukh, Enlightened) even gives up the desire for Mukti or liberation!

  • ਰਾਜੁ ਨ ਚਾਹਉ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਚਾਹਉ ਮਨਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲਾਰੇ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਮਹੇਸ ਸਿਧ ਮੁਨਿ ਇੰਦ੍ਰਾ ਮੋਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਹੀ ਦਰਸਾਰੇ ॥੧॥ : (O God, I) neither desire for empire (Bhugati or materiality) nor liberation (Mukti); (my) mind longs for the love of your lotus feet (Virtues / Wisdom). Whereas others search for Brahma, Shiva, Sidhas, Munis and Indra, I yearn for the Blessed Vision of my God. (sggs 534).
  • ਮੁਕਤਿ ਬਪੁੜੀ ਭੀ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤਿਆਗੇ ॥: A spiritually Wise forsakes even liberation (sggs 1078).

Now, the question is: Mukti or liberation from what?

As per the Gurbani, Sikhs must become liberated from fetters (Bandhan, ‘ਗਲੀ ਜੰਜੀਰ’) here and now — these fetters are demerits, doubt (ਭਰਮ), ignorance of one’s Jot Saroop (True Nature, Mool…), Maya, Dubidhaa (duality, double ਡਾਵਾਂ ਡੋਲ ਮਨ, ਦੁਚਿਤੀ, ਮੇਰ-ਤੇਰ…) Haumai (false ego-sense) and its countless faults (Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, jealousy, sense-slavery, slandering, dishonesty, stubborn mindedness…) etc.

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਅਉਗੁਣ ਜੇਤੜੇ ਤੇਤੇ ਗਲੀ ਜੰਜੀਰ ॥ ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਨਿ ਤ ਕਟੀਅਨਿ ਸੇ ਭਾਈ ਸੇ ਵੀਰ ॥: O Nanak! As many as are the demerits (Bikaar…), so many are the chains (bonds, Bandhan…) around (one’s) neck. If (one) possesses the Divine Virtues, then the chains are cut away; (hence Virtues) are (one’s) true brothers and mates. (sggs 595).

Next question is: Who has fettered us? And, who will free us from these fetters?

In a nutshell, according to the Gurbani, humans themselves are responsible for their fetters. Therefore, humans themselves are responsible for liberation from these fetters.

We have to put the efforts. We have to have the courage to break free. One has to earn it himself / herself. One has to reveal it to himself / herself.

All anybody else or the Guru (Giyan-Wisdom) can do is GUIDE us how to break free from these fetters. That’s all. To take or not to take that GUIDE (Giyan-Wisdom etc.) is up to an individual!

  • ਬੰਧਨ ਤੋੜੇ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਮੁਕਤਾ ॥: One who breaks out of bondage is liberated forever. (sggs 125).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਕਰਤੂਤੀ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ॥ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਈਐ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : Without putting in efforts (remembering Naam: Wisdom…), liberation is not obtained (from Bikaar, Dubidhaa etc.). (Such) Valuable Liberation is not obtained without remembering Naam. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 201).
  • ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੁ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਾ ॥ ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਜੁਗਤਾ ॥: (A person) who gets rid of this (i.e. (Dubidhaa-duality), becomes liberated while yet alive. (A person) who kills this (duality), his lifestyle becomes pure. (sggs 238).

Once liberated from these fetters through the Satguru or True Wisdom, liberation is realized, HERE and NOW, NOT after death! However, only those who possess Bibek-Budh (discriminating intellect) or Wisdom (Gur-Giaan) understand this.

  • ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਛੁਟੈ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਸੋ ਹੋਇ ॥: By the Grace of the Gur (Giaan, Wisdom…), man is rid of the Haumai (false ego-sense) and then he becomes liberated whilst alive. (sggs 948).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥: Without the Satgur (True Wisdom, ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ), no one is liberated. (sggs 1343).
  • ਪਾਵੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਰ ਥੈ ਕੋਈ ਪੁਛਹੁ ਬਿਬੇਕੀਆ ਜਾਏ ॥: Go and consult the men of discrimination, (without the Satgur – True Wisdom, ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ) nobody can find liberation anywhere else. (sggs 920).

Once accepted this truth through the Shabad-Vichaar (Reflection on the Gur-Shabad...), we become living dead.

The Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS helps remove Aapaa Bhaav (ਆਪਾ ਭਾਵ, Haumai or false ego-sense, love of one’s own existence, body-consciousness, I-ness…), which is a big hurdle indeed!

  • ਆਪੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰ ॥: Abandon your self-conceit, and remain dead while yet alive through the Vichaar (Reflection…) of the Gur-Shabad (sggs 34).
  • ਓਹੁ ਧਨਵੰਤੁ ਕੁਲਵੰਤੁ ਪਤਿਵੰਤੁ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਭਗਵੰਤੁ ॥: He is a living liberated who keeps God in Heart. Such a person is indeed wealthy, honorable and of noble birth. (sggs 294).

The Gurbani tells us that when we so annihilate the Aapa Bhaav while yet alive, then we stand to realize the noble attainment (ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤੀ) – the transformation or freezing of the wandering mind.

  • ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਣੁ ॥: Whoever kills his mind, knows the state of being dead while yet alive (sggs 1343).

This is the state of turning away from the worldly ways (Maya), Haumai, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed…), Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree Lifestyle etc.

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਉਲਟੀ ਭਈ ਭਾਈ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ਤਾ ਬੂਝ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਸੋ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਜਿਸੁ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲਾਇ ॥: O Mind! Submitting to the ‘Satigur (True Wisdom, ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ), one understands (true Way of living – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ), and then turns away (from Bikaar, demerits, falsehood etc.) and remains living dead. O Mind! Whose Conscience merges with the Universal Light (the One Creator) through Internalization of the Guru’s Shabad (Enlightenment) becomes a (real) Sikh. (sggs 602).

Accordingly, this is the Awakened State (ਆਤਮਕ ਜਾਗ). This is the state of True Bhagti, Pooran-Giaan, the Gurmukh Lifestyle.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨਹੀ ਮਰਨਾ ॥੪॥੬॥੯॥: Become the Gurmukh, and you will never have to die again (spiritual death – ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). ||4||6||9|| (sggs 872).

Thus, the Gurbani tells us we can become living dead or liberated through ‘ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ – Gur Parasaadee’ (the Grace of the Gur-Wisdom, Aatam-Giaan…).

  • ਸੋ ਮੁਕਤਾ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ਜਿ ਗੁਰਿ ਉਪਦੇਸਿਆ ॥: Who listens, understands and applies the Gur-Upadesh or Wisdom, that person is liberated in this world (here and now). (sggs 519).

Realization of this Wisdom requires self-effortsnobody else can do it for you! The Gurbani uses this simple example to understand: If you are hungry, you have to eat yourself to satisfy your hunger. You cannot ask somebody else to eat for you! Can you?

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਖਾਏ ਬੂਝੈ ਨਹੀ ਭੂਖ ॥: Without eating, hunger is not satisfied. (sggs 1149).

Hence, the SGGS emphasizes one must read the Gurbani himself, understand it through Shabad-Vichaar, and then apply its Wisdom to one’s day-to-day life. Mechanical, robotic, or ritualistic reading of the Gurbani as propagated by the illiterate and deceptive paid clergy or Pujaaree-Vaad in Sikhi is of no avail and will not do the trick.

  • ਸਾਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਮੁਕਤਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਦਾ ॥੫॥: (The Gurmukh) through the True Shabad (i.e., Upadesh, Wisdom…) is liberated forever; he renounces emotional attachment to Maya. ||5|| (sggs 1066).
  • ਜੈਸੇ ਧਰਤੀ ਸਾਧੈ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਬੀਜੈ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਂਮੈ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੈ ॥੨॥: As the land may be prepared in many ways, but nothing sprouts without being planted. Similarly without the ‘Raam Naam‘ (Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…), no one is liberated, nor is egotistical pride eradicated. ||2|| (sggs 1205).
  • ਕਿਆ ਭਵੀਐ ਸਚਿ ਸੂਚਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਸਾਚ ਸਬਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (Baabaa Nanak tells Yogis) It’s of NO use wandering around (in peculiar external appearances at places of pilgrimage, mountains, jungles etc.) — renunciation (of world, society, family etc.) is not the way to liberate from the trappings of life, world, material etc. There can be no liberation without the guidance of the God-connecting Shabad (divine Message of the God-Connected Guru). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 938).

In a nutshell, according to the Gurbani, liberation comes from true understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ). If learning does not translate into understanding, no Realization or Liberation will come! This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ). Baabaa Nanak says:

  • ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਬਿਗਿਆਨਿ ॥: Liberation does not come from (spiritual) teaching or learning without understanding. (sggs 903).

Hence, true or real Mukti (liberation) is to continuously remain in the state of Bliss (Ananad) while alive — freedom from both good and bad (i.e. duality).

  • ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੀ ਆਗਿਆ ਆਤਮ ਹਿਤਾਵੈ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਸੋਊ ਕਹਾਵੈ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਹਰਖੁ ਤੈਸਾ ਉਸੁ ਸੋਗੁ ॥ ਸਦਾ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਤਹ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਓਗੁ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਸੁਵਰਨੁ ਤੈਸੀ ਉਸੁ ਮਾਟੀ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਤੈਸੀ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਟੀ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਮਾਨੁ ਤੈਸਾ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਰੰਕੁ ਤੈਸਾ ਰਾਜਾਨੁ ॥ ਜੋ ਵਰਤਾਏ ਸਾਈ ਜੁਗਤਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਓਹੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਕਹੀਐ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ॥੭॥: He, who abides by God’s Hukam (Cosmic System-Rule-Law of Nature), is a liberated person while still alive. As is joy, so is sorrow to him. In both, he remains in everlasting Bliss and attached to Hukam. As is gold, so is dust to him. As is nectar, so is bitter poison to him. As is honor, so is dishonor to him. As is the beggar, so is the king to him. His way is to accept and live in harmony with Hukam. Nanak, only such individuals can truly be called liberated while living. ||7|| (sggs 275).

In nutshell, to be liberated or dead while alive is to have the mind or intellect Awakened to the Gurmat Wisdom, which causes the expansion-development-progress-blooming of intellect.

  • ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਜਾਗਿ ਰਹੇ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਗਤਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੪॥: He, who remembers God constantly, becomes a liberated person while still alive through Inner Enlightenment. ॥4॥ (sggs 904).

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  1. Thank you Barjinder Ji for sharing Bellow’s suggestion.
    In fact, the Gurbani indicates that the Bhagti (Devotion…) is to live as one is dead.
    • ਏਹਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਜਨੁ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ॥: Ehaa bhagati jan jeevat marai (sggs 365).

  2. Satkar jog gurmukh T.Singh jio,
    Sat bachan ji

    >>This is the state of turning away from the worldly ways or Mayaic efforts (Manmukh / Saakat Lifestyle, “ਸਾਕਤ ਸਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਉਲਟੀ ਰੇ” …) through the Gurmat (Aatam-Giaan).<>ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜੀਵਤੁ ਮਰੈ ॥: Gur Parasaadee Jeevatu Marai (sggs 662).<<

    Das Gurpreet Singh

  3. This state of ” Living Dead” is the very beginning of an enlightened self though it may seem contradictory at first look. Saul Bellow in his novel Herzog seems to suggest a similar idea when he propounds the theory ” live as you are dead”.

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