What is life…

Some of these thoughts were penned by me a few months back when my maternal grandmother left for her heavenly abode.


The Guru’s viewpoint, both on Life as well on Death is very different from a normal person’s viewpoint. While the world sees birth as a beginning and death an an end, the Guru sees them as transitory moments in His Existence. Says Kabir:

ਕਬੀਰ ਜਿਸੁ ਮਰਨੇ ਤੇ ਜਗੁ ਡਰੈ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨਿ ਆਨੰਦੁ ॥
Says Kabeer, the world may fear death – but for me, it fills my mind with pleasure
ਮਰਨੇ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਪਾਈਐ ਪੂਰਨੁ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦੁ ॥੨੨॥
It is only by death that perfect and supreme bliss is obtained. ||22||

If you spend each moment of your life remembering Him, then Death does not make you afraid. Such was my grandmother:

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਾਲਾਹਿ ਜਨਮੁ ਸਵਾਰਿਆ ॥
Praising the Naam, the Name of the Lord, the Gurmukhs redeem their lives.
ਆਪਿ ਹੋਆ ਸਦਾ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਸਭੁ ਕੁਲੁ ਨਿਸਤਾਰਿਆ ॥
They themselves are liberated forever, and they save all their ancestors.

She was 86 and is survived by my Grandfather. It seems purpose-less to stay in this false world. These decisions though, are not ours to make. The Guru confirms its purposeless:

ਨਰੂ ਮਰੈ ਨਰੁ ਕਾਮਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥
When a man dies, he is of no use to anyone.
ਪਸੂ ਮਰੈ ਦਸ ਕਾਜ ਸਵਾਰੈ ॥੧॥
But when an animal dies, it is used in ten ways. ||1||
ਅਪਨੇ ਕਰਮ ਕੀ ਗਤਿ ਮੈ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਨਉ ॥
What do I know, about the state of my karma?
ਮੈ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਨਉ ਬਾਬਾ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
What do I know, O Baba? ||1||Pause||
ਹਾਡ ਜਲੇ ਜੈਸੇ ਲਕਰੀ ਕਾ ਤੂਲਾ ॥
His bones burn, like a bundle of logs;
ਕੇਸ ਜਲੇ ਜੈਸੇ ਘਾਸ ਕਾ ਪੂਲਾ ॥੨॥
his hair burns like a bale of hay. ||2||
ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਤਬ ਹੀ ਨਰੁ ਜਾਗੈ ॥
Says Kabeer, the man wakes up,
ਜਮ ਕਾ ਡੰਡੁ ਮੂੰਡ ਮਹਿ ਲਾਗੈ ॥੩॥੨॥
only when the Messenger of Death hits him over the head with his club. ||3||2||

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