The Real Death

The Gurbani repeatedly emphasizes that our physical body is born to finish or die, today or tomorrow. In other words, death is always hovering over one’s head. Just because the Jeeva (individual beings) have forgotten death, that does not mean the death has disappeared!

  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਅੰਧੇ ਕਿਛੂ ਨ ਸੂਝੈ ॥ ਮਰਣੁ ਲਿਖਾਇ ਆਏ ਨਹੀ ਬੂਝੈ ॥: The blind Manmuks (mentally blind or ignorant self-willed…) don’t understand anything. Death was pre-ordained for them when they came (into the world), but they do not understand. (sggs 114).

Thus, death of the physical body is no surprise at all, for it’s certain – just a matter of time! Thus, as indicated in the Gurbani, shedding of the body-frame does not and cannot constitute real death.

According to the Gurbani, the real death is to die while still alive: To become liberated-in-life, to become living dead, to become Jeevanmukta, ਮਰ ਕੇ ਜਿਉਦਾ ਹੋ ਜਾਣਾਂ …

  • ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਸੋ ਆਖੀਐ ਮਰਿ ਜੀਵੈ ਮਰੀਆ ॥: He who effaces his ownself (false ego) and is so dead in life, is said to have been liberated while alive (sggs 449).

By becoming the Gurmukh, when one dies while alive, there is no death for him again:

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

As a Gurmukh abides in Hukam instead of self-will (ਅਪਣੀ ਮਰਜੀ), the real death is to give up self-will (Manmukhataa, ਅਪਣੀ ਮਰਜੀ…) – total abandonment of all mental conditioning, without the least reserve.

  • ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਸੋ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਇ ॥: He alone is called liberated-in-life, from within whom ego is eradicated (sggs 1009).

In nutshell, the characteristics of a person who is liberated in this very life (living dead – real death) are: His ignorance, doubts, worldly bondage, Haumai (false ego-sense), hunger for Maya, greed, etc., have been eradicated by the realization of his Mool (Source, Jot…) through the Divine Knowledge of the Gurbani. That is, he has stopped living in Trikuti while yet alive; he is absorbed in Naam (Hukam, Shabad, Aatm-Giaan …) …

  • ਮੁਕਤਿ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ਪਰਪੰਚੁ ਕਰਿ ਭਰਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੧੦॥: Mukti (Liberation) Padaarath is obtained through the counselor of the Shabad … (sggs 1024).
  • ਜਿਸੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਸੋ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਾ ॥: (That person is) liberated while yet alive who has Naam in Heart (sggs 1156).

On account of body-consciousness, the Gurbani reminds that Jeeva (individual beings) embellish their body-frame, act hypocritically, practice superficial religiosity, etc. But the Gurbani warns that one cannot kill a snake by merely destroying the snake-hole (“Varmee“)!

  • ਵਰਮੀ ਮਾਰੀ ਸਾਪੁ ਨ ਮੂਆ ॥: By destroying its hole (ਖੁੱਡ), the snake (in that hole) is not killed (sggs 1348).

The Gurbani teaches us that the state of liberated-in-life (“Mukti“) can be obtained only when the touch-stone of the Gurbani (Aatam-Giaan of the Gur-Shabad…) is applied to the mind and assayed.

  • ਕੁਟਿ ਕੁਟਿ ਮਨੁ ਕਸਵਟੀ ਲਾਵੈ ॥ ਸੋ ਕੂਟਨੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਬਹੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ : Kuti kti manu kasavatee laavai … (sggs 872).

Varmee” (ਵਰਮੀ-hole…) is the body-frame, and the deluded mind is the snake in this “Varmee” of the body! This deluded mind always remains coiled or crooked just as a snake. The Gurbani reminds us that neither embellishment nor torturing of the the body (“Varmee“) will help kill the mind-snake! And, until the mind-snake is killed, one cannot die while still alive. Thus the noble attainment (ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤੀ) is the transformation of the deluded mind (“ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ”).

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

To say it otherwise, according to the Gurbani, Liberation comes from true understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ). In other words, if teaching or learning (ਆਤਮਕ ਵਿੱਦਿਆ) does not translate into understanding, no 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).

Thus, to be dead while alive (real death!) is not to jump off a cliff, or fall down from a roof! It’s simply to know one’s Essence (i.e., realize one’s “Mool” or “Joti Saroop” within), here and now, while alive — not after death of the physical body!

  • ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਭਗਵੰਤੁ ॥: (He) is liberated while yet alive in whose Heart “Bhagwant” abides (sggs 294).
  • 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॥: Prabh kee aagiaa aatam hitaavai… (sggs 275).

Therefore, the Gurbani warns that — without Shabad-Vichaar — mere seeing (Darshan-ਦਰਸਨ) will not and cannot liberate anybody from Maya, doubts, duality, Haumai (false ego-sense), worldly bondage, mind’s delusions, Bikaar, and so on. This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ):

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਨੋ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਵੇਖਦਾ ਜੇਤਾ ਜਗਤੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਡਿਠੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਚੁਕਈ ਨਾਮਿ ਨ ਲਗੈ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥: Satigur no sabhu ko vekhadaa jetaa jagat sansaar. Dithai mukti n hovaee … (sggs 594).

2 replies on “The Real Death”

ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰਹੁ ਫਿਰਿ ਜੀਵਹੁ ਸਦ ਹੀ ਤਾ ਫਿਰਿ ਮਰਣੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ सबदि मरहु फिरि जीवहु सद ही ता फिरि मरणु न होई ॥ Sabaḏ marahu fir jīvhu saḏ hī ṯā fir maraṇ na ho▫ī. pp604 sggsji

Means..Dying thru/by SABADu one shall live forever and one shall not die again.
Such is the greace of SABADu.

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