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The body shall turn to dust, and the soul shall fly away

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The Sikh Gurus tell us very clearly that slowly our time in this world is running out. As we live and enjoy the pleasures of mother Earth "plugged" into the world through our sensual inputs, the body's time is slowly seeping away. The body like any other material item in the universe is slowly withering away; slowly, our life is moving towards the end!

The human body has excellent sensory inputs; the five senses provide us with unlimited amounts of entertainments. In fact most people these days do not have enough time to enjoy all the excitements that are available in the world today. The planet is full of exciting places to visit and enjoy; amazingly fascinating sports, hikes, and adventures to go on; unimaginable films, plays and theatres to visits, etc. - the list is endless.

So much to choose from; so much to do!

The quality of the inputs from our senses are almost unmatched anywhere; the excellent 20-20 vision eyes provide us with exciting images of our transient surroundings; the image is deep, full colour and real-time. But it does not stop there! We are linked into the most superb hi-fi audio receptacles called ears, which provide unbelievable stereophonic sound. To add to these 2 sensual inputs, we have several others inputs – the sense of touch, the sense of feeling and physical contact; the sense of taste and of smell; and the sense of movement, temperature, etc.

It is not surprising that with so many high-calibre inputs, the mind – the central processing unit - is overwhelmed and lost in this physical sensual world! Most of us become slaves of our senses; we spend most of our free time “plugging” pleasurable inputs into these senses so that our mind is pleasantly entertained.

The message of Gurbani

The founder master Guru Nanak in the Guru Granth Sahib tells us very clearly:

ਦੇਹੀ ਹੋਵਗਿ ਖਾਕੁ ਪਵਣੁ ਉਡਾਈਐ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਕਿਥੈ ਘਰੁ ਅਉਤਾਕੁ ਮਹਲੁ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ॥੪॥
Ḏehī hovag kẖāk pavaṇ udā▫ī▫ai. Ih kithai gẖar a▫uṯāk mahal na pā▫ī▫ai.(4)
The body shall turn to dust, and the soul shall fly away.

So where are their homes and resting places now? They do not find the Mansion of the Lord's Presence, either. (4)

The body's stay on this planet is short and limited; so don't just waste it all by building permanent long-term dwelling and other comforts because your real resting place is elsewhere; prepare well for that permanent "Mansion in the sky"! If you waste this jewel of a life here then, you will not find peace in your long-term home. What preparation have you made for your next existence? Where will the soul fly to?

Further, the Guru continues to warn us:

ਇਆ ਧਨ ਜੋਬਨ ਅਰੁ ਸੁਤ ਦਾਰਾ ਪੇਖਨ ਕਉ ਜੁ ਦਇਓ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਹੀ ਮਾਹਿ ਅਟਕਿ ਜੋ ਉਰਝੇ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਪ੍ਰੇਰਿ ਲਇਓ ॥੩॥
I▫ā ḏẖan joban ar suṯ ḏārā pekẖan ka▫o jo da▫i▫o. Ŧin hī māhi atak jo urjẖe inḏrī parer la▫i▫o. (3)
This wealth, youth, children and spouse which the Lord has given you - this is all just a passing show.

Those who are caught and entangled in these are carried away by sensual desire. (3)

All the material wealth that we have; the cars, the houses, the techi gadgets - this is just a show. They will be gone soon. Our youth - a period of unlimited possibilities; or great promise; a new awakening; this period does not last at all. All our friends, family and emotional attachments will be gone. So do not get carried away by your sensual desires; look beyond these attachments.

Don't become a slave of these senses

Some become addicts of TV; others become food slaves; others indulge in excessive drink, or cigarettes, etc. The list goes on and on. Then to add to this we become slaves of our five emotional senses – lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego. Emotions begin to control our sensual reality and we mimic the models we see in our material world. Soon our sensual world and emotional world dominate us. We become a product of our environment – totally dependent on the immediate surroundings.

Our emotions and senses play a predominate part in our lives. For many this overload of inputs and emotion creates ‘processing overload’. To satisfy our emotional “needs” we move away from the path of truthfulness and toward wrong-doings. Some begin to crave for the wealth belonging to others; some start robbing and thieving; some start to suppress other beings; many abuse the weak in society - women, children, minorities, etc. The list of abuses then becomes endless.

Mind over matter

While these senses and emotions are busy sending entertaining signals to the mind, the everyday pains of life are forgotten. We are continuously feed our emotional cravings. We forget the reality around us and are awake only to the world created by these sensory signals and emotional feelings.

Of all other living forms, in this world, the human form is the most highly evolved being known. Coupled to high-calibre sensual inputs, we have the exquisite faculty of distinction and discrimination, called ‘intellect’. The processing system called the mind is miles ahead of anything else found on Earth. For this reason, man is said to have been created by God ‘in His own image’. Thus, as far as we know, we say that the ‘human form is the paragon of cosmic creation’. However, the driver of the mind and the body is the soul.

Man - the supreme Consciousness

According to Sikhi, the soul is an integral part of the ‘Prime Soul’ or the Supreme Consciousness, in very much the same way as a ray of light belongs to its source — ‘the Sun’. The two differ only in degree (power), but in essence (quality) they are the same.

“Within the pool of the body, there is an incomparably beautiful lotus flower. Within it, is the Supreme Light, the Supreme Soul, who has no feature or form. (1)” (SGGS p857)

and also

“All are in the One, and the One is in all. This is what the True Guru has shown me. (5) He who created the worlds, solar systems and galaxies - that God cannot be known. (6) From the lamp of God, the lamp within is lit; the Divine Light illuminates the three worlds. (7)” (SGGS p907)

Most of us do not have the time or inclination to explore the mind and the soul which can only be realised by “self interrogation.”

“Those who restrain their wandering mind, keeping it steady and stable, obtain the supreme status, by Guru's Grace…...How rare are those who, as Gurmukh, look within their bodies, into their minds. Through loving devotion, their ego evaporates. The Siddhas, the seekers and the silent sages continually, lovingly focus their consciousness, but they have not seen the mind within the body. ||7||” (SGGS p123)

It is time for us to “plug” ourselves out of these sensual and emotional inputs; to look within and face the reality of human life. Read this shabad and face the truth of Gurbani:

More Gurbani quotes

ਪੰਚ ਬੈਲ ਗਡੀਆ ਦੇਹ ਧਾਰੀ ॥
Pancẖ bail gadī▫ā ḏeh ḏẖārī.
The five bulls, the senses, pull the wagon of the body around.

ਪਾਂਚਉ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਨਿਗ੍ਰਹ ਕਰਈ ॥ ਪਾਪੁ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਦੋਊ ਨਿਰਵਰਈ ॥੨੭॥
Pāʼncẖa▫o inḏrī nigrėh kar▫ī. Pāp punn ḏo▫ū nirvar▫ī. (27)
One who controls his five senses rises above both sin and virtue. (27)

ਸੁਰਖੀ ਪਾਂਚਉ ਰਾਖੈ ਸਬੈ ॥ ਤਉ ਦੂਜੀ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਨ ਪੈਸੈ ਕਬੈ ॥੬॥
Surkẖī pāʼncẖa▫o rākẖai sabai. Ŧa▫o ḏūjī ḏarisat na paisai kabai. (6)
If you restrain your five senses, then you shall not cast your glance on another. (6)

ਦਸ ਪਾਤਉ ਪੰਚ ਸੰਗੀਤਾ ਏਕੈ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਸਾਥੇ ॥ ਭਿੰਨ ਭਿੰਨ ਹੋਇ ਭਾਵ ਦਿਖਾਵਹਿ ਸਭਹੁ ਨਿਰਾਰੀ ਭਾਖੇ ॥੩॥
Ḏas pāṯa▫o pancẖ sangīṯā ekai bẖīṯar sāthe. Bẖinn bẖinn ho▫e bẖāv ḏikẖāvėh sabẖahu nirārī bẖākẖe. (3)
The ten senses are the dancing girls, and the five passions are the chorus; they sit together within the one body.

They all put on their own shows, and speak in different languages. (3)

ਖਸਮੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿ ਕੀਏ ਰਸ ਭੋਗ ॥ ਤਾਂ ਤਨਿ ਉਠਿ ਖਲੋਏ ਰੋਗ ॥ ਮਨ ਅੰਧੇ ਕਉ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਜਾਇ ॥ ਵੈਦ ਨ ਭੋਲੇ ਦਾਰੂ ਲਾਇ ॥੨॥
Kẖasam visār kī▫e ras bẖog. Ŧāʼn ṯan uṯẖ kẖalo▫e rog. Man anḏẖe ka▫o milai sajā▫e. vaiḏ na bẖole ḏārū lā▫e. (2)
Forgetting his Lord and Master, the mortal enjoys sensual pleasures;then, disease rises up in his body.
The blind mortal receives his punishment.O foolish doctor, don't give me medicine. (2)

ਕਾਮਣਿ ਲੋੜੈ ਸੁਇਨਾ ਰੁਪਾ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਲੁੜੇਨਿ ਸੁ ਖਾਧਾਤਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਪਾਪ ਕਰੇ ਤਿਨ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਜਾਸੀ ਜਮਪੁਰਿ ਬਾਧਾਤਾ ॥੪॥੨॥੧੪॥
Kāmaṇ loṛai su▫inā rupā miṯar luṛen so kẖāḏẖāṯā. Nānak pāp kare ṯin kāraṇ jāsī jampur bāḏẖāṯā. (4)(2)(14)
The wife yearns for gold and silver, and her friends, the senses, yearn for good food.

O Nanak, she commits sins for their sake; she shall go, bound and gagged, to the City of Death. (4)(2)(14)

Soohee, First Mehla:
As iron is melted in the forge and re-shaped, so is the godless materialist reincarnated, and forced to wander aimlessly. ||1||
Without understanding, everything is suffering, earning only more suffering. In his ego, he comes and goes, wandering in confusion, deluded by doubt. ||1||Pause||
You save those who are Gurmukh, O Lord, through meditation on Your Naam. You blend with Yourself, by Your Will, those who practice the Word of the Shabad. ||2||
You created the Creation, and You Yourself gaze upon it; whatever You give, is received. You watch, establish and disestablish; You keep all in Your vision at Your Door. ||3||
The body shall turn to dust, and the soul shall fly away. So where are their homes and resting places now? They do not find the Mansion of the Lord's Presence, either. ||4||
In the pitch darkness of broad daylight, their wealth is being plundered. Pride is looting their homes like a thief; where can they file their complaint? ||5||
The thief does not break into the home of the Gurmukh; he is awake in the Name of the Lord. The Word of the Shabad puts out the fire of desire; God's Light illuminates and enlightens. ||6||
The Naam, the Name of the Lord, is a jewel, a ruby; the Guru has taught me the Word of the Shabad. One who follows the Guru's Teachings remains forever free of desire. ||7||
Night and day, enshrine the Lord's Name within your mind. Please unite Nanak in Union, O Lord, if it is pleasing to Your Will. ||8||2||4|| sggs 752

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