Maataa kay udar meh partipaal karay so ki-o manhu visaaree-ai.
Manhu ki-o visaaree-ai ayvad daataa je agan meh aahaar pahuchaava-ay.
Os no kihu pohi na sakee jis na-o aapnee liv laav-ay.
Aapnee liv aapay laa-ay gurmukh sadaa samaalee-ai.
Kahai naanak ayvad daataa so ki-o manhu visaaree-ai. ||28||
Jaisee agan udar meh taisee baahar maa-i-aa.
Maa-i-aa agan sabh iko jayhee kartai khayl rachaa-i-aa.
Jaa tis bhaanaa taa jammi-aa parvaar bhalaa bhaa-i-aa.
Liv chhurhkee lagee tarisnaa maa-i-aa amar vartaa-i-aa.
Ayh maa-i-aa jit har visrai moh upjai bhaa-o doojaa laa-i-aa.
Kahai naanak gur parsaadee jinaa liv laagee tinee vichay maa-i-aa paa-i-aa. ||29||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 920-921)
According to GurBani (Gur’s words or God’s words; Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji), the human life is likened to a merchant. It is extremely essential to learn, understand and accept the Param Sat (the supreme-Truth) as to what commodity the human birth and the human life have been created to deal in. What is the purpose of the human birth and life? What is the mission of the human birth and life? Why have we been granted the human birth and life? What task must a human being accomplish in his human birth? As per GurBani, all these questions beg only one answer: the human birth is created to deal in Puran Sat (the perfect-Truth) while abiding in the world. That is to say, the human birth and life are created solely to hear, to understand and to accept Puran Sat, and to serve and care after Puran Sat. The human birth and life are solely created to be devoted in pursuit of Puran Sat. The human birth and life are solely created to seek assimilation in Puran Sat. The human birth and life are created merely to assimilate oneself in Puran Sat, and to propagate Puran Sat. That is, the human beings, who serve Puran Sat and assimilate themselves in Puran Sat, are blessed with the good fortune of the Maha Parupkaari Seva (service of guiding the mankind on the path of Bandagi and Jeevan Mukti) to propagate Puran Sat amongst the mankind. Thus, the human birth and life carry only one mission: to deal in and to trade in Puran Sat. The sole aim of the human birth and life is to deal in and to trade in Puran Sat. The sole purpose of the human birth and life is to pursue Puran Sat, to assimilate in Puran Sat, and to propagate Puran Sat.
GurBani equates the human lifespan to four Pahirs (units of time spanning an entire day or an entire night). The first Pahir of the human life begins in the mother’s womb. When the human soul comes to be stationed in the mother’s womb, the first Pahir in human life commences. Prior to birth, the human soul has complete awareness of itself. That is, the human soul is fully aware of all its previous births. It is completely aware of all its good and bad deeds, committed in the previous births. It is only after it has gone through the pains, sufferings and hardships in hell at the hands of the messengers-of-death, and has partaken of the pleasures of heaven – as determined by the deeds of its previous birth – that it is blessed with the good fortune to return to the human birth. As determined by the bad deeds committed by him in his past birth, when the human being faces the unbearable wrath of the messengers-of-death, his soul trembles, and crying and wailing he makes promise to himself never ever to commit a Kood Karam (the deed of falsehood) in his coming birth and life, and to only devote himself in Bandagi (submission before God) of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar (Truth, the Transcendent Lord and Creator of the Universe). The human soul, gravely trapped in the cycle of Kaal (time; mortality), has to carry the burden of all his good and bad deeds. In his human birth, a human being gives occurrence to many a disastrous deed, for which there is no sentence made available upon the earth. The horrifying sentence for these disastrous deeds can only be administered in hell. Therefore, the human being is made to visit hell, where he is made to undergo an extremely painful punishment for these gravely devastating deeds. Only after suffering the unbearable wrath of the messengers-of-death, the human being comes to realize the extent of the devastation of his deeds. While in hell, and undergoing and suffering all the highly-agonizing punishments, the human being comes to the realization of how he had let his priceless human birth go waste. Therefore, he makes a promise to himself that in his next birth he will always only commit the deeds of Sat, and will only abide in Bandagi of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar. This is why GurBani presents the Param Sat that, as soon as installed in the mother’s womb, the human being immerses himself in Simran (meditation) of Sat PaarBraham.
Maat garabh meh aapan simran day tah tum raakhanhaaray.
Paavak saagar athaah lahar meh taarahu taaranhaaray. ||1||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 613)
GurBani reveals the Param Sat that the stay in the mother’s womb is akin to living in the abyss-of-hell. The life in the mother’s womb is akin to an insect-creature living in dregs. The mother’s womb is the ocean-of-woes. In the mother’s womb, the human being exists as if suspended upside-down in dregs in the abyss-of-hell. Trapped in the cycle of births-and-deaths and following the commandment of the divine Dargah (the divine court), the human being arrives in the mother’s womb. So long as the human being isn’t released from the cycle of the births-and-deaths, in accordance with the divine Vidhaan (the Vidhaan of Karma; the laws determining one’s destiny in accordance with one’s good and bad deeds) of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar he must necessarily and repeatedly pass through this abyss-of-hell. That the mother’s womb is akin to the abyss-of-hell, this Param Sat dawns upon the human being only when he is installed in the mother’s womb. Therefore, suspended upside down in the mother’s-womb-cum-abyss-of-hell, the human being repents and makes prayers, appeals and supplications at Sat Charans (the feet where Sat abides) of Sat PaarBraham, that, in his coming human birth he will only deal in Puran Sat. Thus, installed in mother’s womb and suspended upside-down in the abyss-of-hell, the human being remains constantly absorbed in Simran of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar, seeking release from the pains of births-and-deaths. That is, Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar showers immense grace upon the human being in this state, and – hearing his prayers, appeals and supplications – keeps him engaged in His Simran. By virtue of the immense grace of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar, the human being remains unscathed even in the fire of hell in the mother’s womb. This is how the human being spends 9 months suspended upside-down in mother’s womb (abyss-of-hell) and immersed in Simran of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar. These Param Sat Tat’s (elements of the supreme-Truth) are repeatedly reaffirmed in GurBani:
Garabh kund narak tay raakhai bhavjal paar utaaray.
Charan kamal aaraadhat man meh jam kee taraas bidaaray. ||2||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 210)
Man chanchal baho chotaa khaa-ay.
Aythahu chhurhki-aa tha-ur na paa-ay.
Garabh jon vistaa kaa vaas.
Tit ghar manmukh karay nivaas. ||3||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 362)
Maat garabh dukh saagro pi-aaray tah apnaa naam japaa-i-aa.
Baahar kaadh bikh pasree-aa pi-aaray maa-i-aa moh vadhaa-i-aa.
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 640)
The newborn child’s eyes may have opened, but she doesn’t see the world through them. That is to say, the eyes of the newborn child do not perceive anything for a while. Gradually, in a few weeks, her eyes acquire the power to see by the sunlight. Until the time the eyes of the child are unable to see, her Surat (subconscious) remains immersed in Simran. This is the reason that the newborn child sleeps most of the time. Out of the 24 hours in a day, she sleeps for about 18 hours. When the power of sight manifests itself in the eyes of the newborn child, she begins to perceive the world from the aspects of Maya (the worldly temptations; all physical perceptions are nothing but illusions created by Maya). As she begins to behold the Maya-embodied world, her Simran begins to decline and her mind begins to be drawn towards her Maya-characterized family members. As she begins ingesting the sweet poison of Maya, her Liv (the state of absorption in divine thoughts; the state where the human consciousness is absorbed in the divine) with Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar is broken. It is a Param Sat that all the Bajjar Kapaats (the divine doors located at various places in the human body that, once opened, channel Amrit into the body and establish connection between the human being and Akaal Purakh) of a newborn child are ajar, and her Dehi (Suksham Dehi or the astral body; Suksham is part of the human souls that is the source of all energy running the senses and the physical functions of the body. This spiritual energy comes from the Sat Sarovars) is suffused with Amrit (our essence or the life-element; the divine energy; pure soul). Only the newborn child hasn’t been provided the power to speak; and so she is unable to express herself through speech. With all her Bajjar Kapaats opened up, she evidently is in possession of Braham Gyan (the divine wisdom). But since she does not as yet possess the power of speech (and expression), therefore she cannot express what she feels, experiences or perceives through speech. The child, prior to her birth, is completely aware of herself and, with the foundation of this awareness, is immersed in Liv of Simran with Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar and makes promises to herself to abide in Bandagi in this present human birth. Post-birth, as she steps into this Maya-embodied world, her Liv of Simran gets broken and gradually she begins to be imbued in colours of the sweet poison of Maya. With time, all her Bajjar Kapaats are closed shut and her Sat-mat (the intellect defined by Sat) begins to be overshadowed by the Manmat (one’s own wisdom as opposed to the Gurmat or God’s wisdom) of Maya. Her Gyan Netter (the wisdom eye; also called Dib Drisht or the divine vision and Trikuti, the third eye) gets shut, and the Braham Gyan slips away from her memory. All her spirituality is eclipsed under the veneer of Maya. By the time she acquires the power to speak, she is already imbued in the hues of Maya. In this fashion, the newborn child embarks upon her destiny as determined by the Vidhaan of Karma and gets further and further ensnared in the clutches of the Maya-dominated worldly forces. Therefore, if a newborn child is provided Sangat (company; congregation) of Sat (the eternal-Truth; God Himself) from her birth, her Bandagi gets a huge boost. That is to say, if both parents of the newborn child are Sants (saints), or have joined the Sangat of a Puran Sant (the perfect-saint) and practise SatNaam Simran (meditation upon SatNaam), it is of great help to the newborn child in her Bandagi. The Sangat of a Puran Sant from the very childhood proves a great blessing for the newborn child. This is so because, abiding in the Sangat of a Puran Sant, the child remains uninfluenced by Maya and acquires Sanskaars (the socio-cultural and moral norms; religious practices) of abiding in the service of Sat. This makes a deep and extremely pleasant impact on her Bandagi.
The blessed Bhagat Beni Ji (a 15th century saint-scholar) describes these elements of Param Sat in his Bani (composition; part of GurBani):
Ik-onkaar sat gurparsaad.
Ray nar garabh kundal jab aachhat uradh dhi-aan liv laagaa.
Mirtak pind pad mad naa ahinis ayk agi-aan so naagaa.
Tay din sammal kasat mahaa dukh ab chit adhik pasaari-aa.
Garabh chhod mitar mandal aa-i-aa ta-o narhar manhu bisaari-aa. ||1||
Fir pachhutaavhigaa moorhi-aa toon kavan kumat bharam laagaa.
Chayt raam naahee jam pur jaahigaa jan bichrai anraadhaa. ||1|| Rahaa-o.
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 93)
This is how with installation in the mother’s womb begins the first Pahir of the human birth. The blessed SatGuru incarnate Nanak Patshah Ji repeatedly manifests in GurBani this Param Sat as well as all the elements of the Param Sat contemplated above:
Pahilai pahrai rain kai vanjaari-aa mitraa hukam pa-i-aa garbhaas.
Uradh tap antar karay vanjaari-aa mitraa khasam saytee ardaas.
Khasam saytee ardaas vakhaanai uradh dhi-aan liv laagaa.
Naa marjaad aa-i-aa kal bheetar baahurh jaasee naagaa.
Jaisee kalam vurhee hai mastak taisee jee-arhay paas.
Kaho naanak paraanee pahilai pahrai hukam pa-i-aa garbhaas. ||1||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 74)
Sireeraag Mehlaa 1.
Pahilai pahrai rain kai vanjaari-aa mitraa baalak budh achayt.
Kheer pee-ai khaylaa-ee-ai vanjaari-aa mitraa maat pitaa sut hayt.
Maat pitaa sut nayhu ghanayraa maa-i-aa moh sabaa-ee.
Sanjogee aa-i-aa kirat kamaa-i-aa karnee kaar karaa-ee.
Raam naam bin mukat na ho-ee boodee doojai hayt.
Kaho naanak paraanee pahilai pahrai chhootahigaa har chayt. ||1||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 75)
Instated in the mother’s womb, the Surat of the human being’s seed stays absorbed in the feet of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar, because it is devoid of the pride that comes with a human body. It is only after setting foot in the world that the human being comes into the experience of Maya. The Panj Dhoots (the five thieves – lust, anger, greed, attachments and pride) begin influencing the human being only after she is born. The devastating forces of Maya look very attractive to a human being. This is why the sweet poison of the deadly forces of Maya begins to swiftly influence the human being in her childhood. At the outset, the child acquires the notion of I, me and mine. She learns to assert my mother, my father, my toys, my (feeding) bottle etc., and from then on begins the contemplation of I, me and mine. In this way, as the child continues to experience newer aspects of Maya, she begins to be imbued with every shade of Maya. The Sanskaars, acquired through deeds committed in the past births, guide the human being after her present birth. The human beings carrying Sanskaars of Maya-dominated Birti (destructive and sinful tendencies) from their past births are more deeply influenced by the devastating forces of Maya. The human beings bearing the Sanskaars of Sato Birti (tendencies defined by the Sato aspect of Maya; characterized by compassion, righteousness, contentedness and forbearance) come under lesser influence of the deadly forces of Maya. The devastating forces of Maya are associated with the physical human body. The Bandagi of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar too is associated only with the physical human body. That is, the deadly forces of Maya wither the human being and, at the same time, the divine forces assimilate the human being in Sat PaarBraham. The human beings embracing the devastating Maya-dominated Birti wither away and waste away their priceless birth. The human beings embracing divine, spiritual and Sato-Guni (Sato-characterized; virtuous) forces assimilate themselves in Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar and accomplish the purpose of their birth. All of this becomes possible only with the human birth, and with the acquiring of a human body.
Instated in the mother’s womb, the merchant dealing in SatNaam (Sat as a manifestation of the Name of God) stays absorbed in the Liv of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar. Having spent 9 months instated in a constant Samadhi (the deep trance-like state, where there is no thought except pure consciousness) in the mother’s womb, when the human being takes birth in the shape of a child, it marks the commencement of the second Pahir of his birth and life. With his very first steps in the second Pahir, the human being’s birth and life begin to be engulfed by the darkness of Maya. As the human body makes an entry into the domain of his acquaintances (the world), he begins to forsake all his previous knowledge and wisdom. As he begins to come in touch with Maya, his Liv of absorption in Sat PaarBraham is broken. His meditation is shattered with the first gulp of the sweet poison of Maya. Cosseted in the hands of the mother, father, brothers, sisters and rest of the family, he quickly begins to be imbued in the colours of Maya. Being entertained in the hands of the mother, father, brothers, sisters and rest of the family, who already are in Maya’s embrace, the child begins to readily acquire the hues of Maya. When he finds his mother, father, brothers, sisters and the rest of the family indulging in I, me and mine, he too quickly learns to assert himself. When he finds his mother, father, brothers, sisters and rest of the family in constant contemplation of I, me and myself, he too accepts this contemplation of I-me-myself as Sat, and immerses himself in this contemplation. When he dwells amongst his mother, father, brothers, sisters and rest of the family absorbed in contemplation of Maya, he too regards the contemplation of Maya as Sat and absorbs himself in Maya. By the time his power of speech arrives, the child has completely forsaken Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar and forgotten all the promises he made to himself in the mother’s womb, and is completely drowned in Sanskaars of Maya. The blessed Avataar SatGuru Nanak Patshah Ji reaffirms this Param Sat in his supremely powerful Bani:
Doojai pahrai rain kai vanjaari-aa mitraa visar ga-i-aa dhi-aan.
Hatho hath nachaa-ee-ai vanjaari-aa mitraa ji-o jasudaa ghar kaan.
Hatho hath nachaa-ee-ai paraanee maat kahai sut mayraa.
Chayt achayt moorh man mayray ant nahee kachh tayraa.
Jin rach rachi-aa tiseh na jaanai man bheetar dhar gi-aan.
Kaho naanak paraanee doojai pahrai visar ga-i-aa dhi-aan. ||2||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 75)
Doojai pahrai rain kai vanjaari-aa mitraa bhar joban mai mat.
Ahinis kaam vi-aapi-aa vanjaari-aa mitraa andhulay naam na chit.
Raam naam ghat antar naahee hor jaanai ras kas meethay.
Gi-aan dhi-aan gun sanjam naahee janam marhugay jhoothay.
Tirath varat such sanjam naahee karam dharam nahee poojaa.
Naanak bhaa-ay bhagat nistaaraa dubidhaa vi-aapai doojaa. ||2||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 75)
Once the human being has completed the first Pahir of his birth and life in the mother’s womb, he gets born and steps into the second Pahir. GurBani manifests the second Pahir as the period of childhood. In his childhood, the child comes in contact with his mother, father, sisters, brothers, the rest of his family, friends, mates, colleagues and teachers, and is influenced by their company. As does one keep company, so does he become. The good company imparts good Sanskaars. The bad company imparts evil Sanskaars. Therefore, the atmospheres at home and at school in one’s childhood very deeply impact the life of the child, acting as the foundation-stones upon which the Sanskaars of the human being’s life are built. The atmosphere of Sat imbues the human being with Sat. The atmosphere of Sat imbues the human being with Sato-Gun’s. The atmosphere of Sat imparts upon the human being the hues of the divine forces of compassion, righteousness, Sat Santokh (divine contentedness; the state where there is humility and an absence of desires), forbearance, humility, courage, amiability, Simran, Seva (humble and selfless service to others) and Parupkaar (selfless acts for benefaction of the humanity). The bad company imparts upon the human being the shades of gravely destructive forces. The bad company imbues the human being with the gravely disastrous force of Trishna (the worldly desires). The bad company paints the human being in the colours of the gravely destructive forces of the Chandaals (lowlifes; villains) of lust, anger, greed, attachments and pride. The bad company instils in the human being the gravely disastrous vices of the lust for power, youth, wealth and riches, speech (garrulity) and touch (physical contact).
In the second Pahir, the human being is intoxicated with youth and gravely falls prey to the Chandaal of lust. The disastrous forces of the lust-Chandaal take a very deep hold on the life of the human being. In the same way as the inebriation of alcohol imperils the intellect of a drunkard, the hold of the lust-Chandaal corrupts the wisdom of the human being. Drunk in the disastrous intoxication of lust, the human being (the male kind) gets so imperilled of judgement that he fails to distinguish the meaning of a mother, sister or daughter. Even the female kind is not uninfluenced by the devastating power of the lust-Chandaal. A woman too doesn’t shy away from forsaking her dignity under the influence of the gravely devastating force of the lust-Chandaal. A woman too doesn’t hesitate to cross the boundary of the holy bonds of a son, brother or father and lose her dignity under the slavery of the gravely disastrous force of the lust-Chandaal. It is to be borne in mind that according to Gurmat (the divine wisdom), the only pure relationship with the opposite sex – apart from one’s spouse – that a man has is that of a sister, daughter and mother, and a woman has is that of a son, brother or father. It is only through adherence to this supremely powerful and divinely wise principle of Puran Sat that the gravely devastating force of lust can be defeated.
Once the human being has passed through the second Pahir of childhood, he enters the third Pahir of his birth and life. The third Pahir is represented in GurBani as the period of youth. In youth, the human being builds upon the Sanskaars acquired in his childhood. The hues imparted upon the human being during the Pahir of childhood acquire even deeper shades in youth. The human birth, granted to the human being for dealing in the name ‘SatNaam’ of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar, gets painted in the colours of the devastating forces of Maya. It is only a fortunate human being who finds the Sat Sangat (gathering in the presence of Sat, or in presence of those who have attained Jeevan Mukti and thus becomes part of Sat). But there is no dearth of bad company in a world dominated by the evil and gravely disastrous Maya-led forces. All around in the world there is a scarcity of the company of the Sato-Guni (virtuous) and honourable human beings. But everywhere one can easily find the presence of the devastating Maya-dominated forces. Only a few highly-fortunate ones find the Sangat of a Puran Sant-SatGuru (the perfect saint-SatGuru; one who has accomplished Bandagi and attained Jeevan Mukti, and is divinely ordained to lead others on the path of Bandagi and Mukti). But one can readily find company of Trishna and of the Panj Chandaals (the five lowlifes; lust, anger, greed, attachments and pride) in one’s domestic environment. The company of worldly evils is easily available at every place to every human being. It is much too difficult for a human being to digest a suggestion meant for his wellbeing. But a suggestion of evil makes an immediate impact upon the human being. It is much too hard to practise Sato-Gun’s (meant toward well being of the human being) in life. But every human being finds it easy to practise sins and evils (leading to his utter ruin) in life. In the full bloom of youth and under intoxication of youth, a human being readily falls prey to sins and evils. In the bind of earning wealth and accumulating worldly pleasures and comforts, every single human being fails to distinguish between good and evil. Every single human being, seeking to fulfil his Trishna and in the clutches of the Panj Chandaals (lust, anger, greed, attachments and pride), willingly accomplishes many crooked and disastrous deeds. Seeking to further imbibe the intoxication of youth and falling prey to the lust-Chandaal, the human being readily commits several grave misdeeds. Seeking further inebriation of wealth and falling prey to the greed-Chandaal, the human being commits many serious crimes. A human being needs wealth in order to fully relish his youth. A human being needs riches in order to acquire the worldly pleasures and comforts needed to attain the intoxication of youth. Therefore, in order to satiate the Trishna of his youth, the human being gets enmeshed in acquiring wealth and, falling prey to the greed-Chandaal, commits several grave offences such as theft, larceny, bribe-seeking, encroachment upon others’ rights and misuse of one’s authority etc. in order to accumulate wealth. A human being, drunk upon the Maya-induced intoxications of wealth and youth, forgets Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar. Contemplating the elements of Maya, the human being gets deeper and deeper mired in the swamp of Maya and, intoxicated and unconscious, loses sight of Sat. Bereft of the magnificence of the Sat Tat’s (the core-essences of Sat), the human being becomes shallow and fritters away the priceless gem of his life. Squandering away the wealth of the Sat Tat’s and accumulating instead the disastrous essence of Maya’s perversions, the human being consigns himself to a long period of rotting in the swamp of Maya. The human being, sent in the world to deal in SatGun’s (virtues) and the elements of Sat, instead ensnares himself in Kood (falsehood) of Maya and wastes away his birth. The blessed SatGuru incarnate Nanak Patshah Ji emphasizes this Param Sat Tat in GurBani:
Teejai pahrai rain kai vanjaari-aa mitraa dhan joban si-o chit.
Har kaa naam na chaythee vanjaari-aa mitraa badhaa chhuteh jit.
Har kaa naam na chaytai paraanee bikal bha-i-aa sang maa-i-aa.
Dhan si-o rataa joban mataa ahilaa janam gavaa-i-aa.
Dharam saytee vaapaar na keeto karam na keeto mit.
Kaho naanak teejai pahrai paraanee dhan joban si-o chit. ||3||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 75)
Teejai pahrai rain kai vanjaari-aa mitraa sar hans ultharhay aa-ay.
Joban ghatai jaroo-aa jinai vanjaari-aa mitraa aav ghatai din jaa-ay.
Ant kaal pachhutaasee andhulay jaa jam pakarh chalaa-i-aa.
Sabh kichh apunaa kar kar raakhi-aa khin meh bha-i-aa paraa-i-aa.
Budh visarjee ga-ee si-aanap kar avgan pachhutaa-ay.
Kaho naanak paraanee teejai pahrai parabh chaytahu liv laa-ay. ||3||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 76)
Once the period of youth comes to an end in the human birth and life, the human being is besieged by the old age. The powers of the five sensory-organs diminish. For instance, the power of eyesight starts declining and the eyes begin to experience obscurity. The power of taste in the tongue almost comes to an end. The power of hearing is weakened. The power of speech wanes. Even the powers of the five action-organs too fall prey to debilitation. The body gets very weak. The flesh separates from the bones and, consequently, the physical strength of the body almost fades away. Having followed the whims of his mind all his life, the human being gets so immersed in slavery of Maya that he becomes completely oblivious of Sat PaarBraham. Therefore, how can one find succour in the old age? The old age turns out to be a house of diseases. The body is consumed with ailments. Satiating and relishing the carnal pleasures all his life, the human being eventually destructs this very body. Just as the night comes to end with the fourth Pahir, the human birth and life reach their end in the old age.
The human being spends away his youth accumulating wealth, raising family, educating his children and marrying them off and looking after his grandchildren, etc. Thus carrying on, he doesn’t even realize when his life enters the old age. Absorbed in worldly matters all his life, the human being remains entirely forgetful of Sat PaarBraham. A number of people decide to wait until they are free from the worldly obligations, before making attempts towards devotion and Bandagi. But, unfortunately, such a time never arrives in the life of a human being embroiled in the worldly affairs. Our merchant-friend, born to trade in Sat, becomes a mere merchant of Maya. Our merchant-friend (the human being), arrived in the world to trade in compassion, righteousness, contentedness, forbearance, humility, courage, amiability, Simran, Seva, Parupkaar and Maha Parupkaar, fritters away his priceless birth and life, dedicating them solely to Maya and trading in the devastating elements of Maya. Slaving under the forces of Maya, the human being remains totally ignorant of the Param Sat Tat that day-by-day his life is coming to an end and the capital of his breaths is going waste.
Imbibing the sweet poison of Maya and rendered senseless by the intoxication of Maya, the human being loses sight of the purpose that he was born to accomplish. He places himself at the mercy of the devastating forces of Maya to such an extent as to become unconscious of the real mission of his life. Oblivious of his approaching death and drowned deep in Maya, he doesn’t even realize when the messengers-of-death lay siege upon him. When the messengers-of-death arrive to extract the life-force of the Maya-beset human being, he finds himself utterly helpless before them. At the time the messengers-of-death are taking away his life-force, none of his associates, relations, ties, lands and estates, wealth and riches etc., which he thought of as belonging to him all through his life, accompanies him. None amongst his family members, friends, relations, kith-and-kin, lands and estates, wealth and riches etc. accompanies him on his journey. He is forced to proceed with the messengers-of-death all alone, leaving behind his entire crying and wailing family.
The death of a Maya-beleaguered human being is very horrifying. Since the human body doesn’t want to part with the life-force, therefore it is a very painful experience for the human being when the messengers-of-death draw the life-force out of the body. The Maya-bound human being is so deeply attached to his body that he never quite accepts his parting with the body. He wants to carry on living. The experience of the human being at the time the messengers-of-death extract the life-force out of his body is quite like pulling a sheet of cloth brutally over the thorny bush of an acacia tree, leaving it in tatters. As the messengers-of-death pull the life-force out of the human being’s body, he gets extremely frightened. The dying human being tries hard to utter words, but is incapable of speaking. He tries to raise a din, but cannot utter a sound from his mouth. He wishes to convey to his family members what he is going through, but is utterly powerless before the messengers-of-death. The human beings, who have been indulging in serious kinds of wrongdoings such as slandering a Sant or committing crimes against society etc., begin receiving blows of the messengers-of-death many days ahead of their death. They even begin to perceive the messengers-of-death. Such human beings make many pleas and appeals to save themselves from the messengers-of-death. But, at that point in time, their pleas and appeals do not have any effect upon the messengers-of-death. This is the way the messengers-of-death lead these wrongdoers away, raining blows upon them. Indeed, it is a Param Sat that a human being receives only as many breaths as are pre-written in his destiny. The account of the human being’s breaths is so well-kept under the divine Hukam (the divine will or command) that a human being can neither draw one-less nor one-more breath than those granted to him.
It is when the death approaches and the soul departs from the human body that the human being comes to realize the consequences of all his good and bad deeds committed during his birth and life. When the messengers-of-death extract the human being’s soul from the body and present him in the court of Dharam Raj (the divine judge who weighs our good and bad deeds and determines our next appropriate life form. Those who engage in Naam Simran are beyond his judgement; instead, he escorts them to the higher realms of Truth) and when the account of all his deeds is scrutinized, he finally comes to comprehend all his deeds. When he bears blows of the messengers-of-death and his sentences are carried out in accordance with all the deeds committed by him, he feels repentance for his deeds. When he is made to undergo the horrific consequences of the Asat (not Sat; false) and destructive deeds committed by him under intoxication of the devastating Maya-led forces, he then swears off such deeds and scorches in the fire of contrition. It is then that he becomes conscious of the promise he made to himself in the mother’s womb and feels remorse, having wasted away the priceless human birth. In this fashion, his cycle of births-and-deaths never comes to an end. GurBani reveals the Param Sat Tat’s occurring in the fourth Pahir of the human birth and life:
Cha-uthai pahrai rain kai vanjaari-aa mitraa laavee aa-i-aa khayt.
Jaa jam pakarh chalaa-i-aa vanjaari-aa mitraa kisai na mili-aa bhayt.
Bhayt chayt har kisai na mili-o jaa jam pakarh chalaa-i-aa.
Jhoothaa rudan ho-aa do-aalai khin meh bha-i-aa paraa-i-aa.
Saa-ee vasat paraapat ho-ee jis si-o laa-i-aa hayt.
Kaho naanak paraanee cha-uthai pahrai laavee luni-aa khayt. ||4||1||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 75)
Cha-uthai pahrai rain kai vanjaari-aa mitraa biradh bha-i-aa tan kheen.
Akhee andh na dees-ee vanjaari-aa mitraa kannee sunai na vain.
Akhee andh jeebh ras naahee rahay paraaka-o taanaa.
Gun antar naahee ki-o sukh paavai manmukh aavan jaanaa.
Kharh pakee kurh bhajai binsai aa-ay chalai ki-aa maan.
Kaho naanak paraanee cha-uthai pahrai gurmukh sabad pachhaan. ||4||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 76)
The blessed SatGuru incarnate Nanak Patshah Ji, with immense benevolence, has bestowed the entire humanity with Param Sat of the above-described four Pahirs of the human being’s birth and life. He has bestowed upon us Puran Sat of the post-birth discourse of the human being abiding in a Maya-characterized world. Dwelling further on the subject, SatGuru incarnate the blessed Nanak Patshah Ji also reveals Puran Sat of the discourse of the human birth in even simpler words in this supremely powerful Salok (verse):
Pahilai pi-aar lagaa than dudh.
Doojai maa-ay baap kee sudh.
Teejai bha-yaa bhaabhee bayb.
Cha-uthai pi-aar upannee khayd.
Punjvai khaan pee-an kee dhaat.
Chhivai kaam na puchhai jaat.
Satvai sanj kee-aa ghar vaas.
Athvai krodh ho-aa tan naas.
Naavai dha-ulay ubhay saah.
Dasvai dadhaa ho-aa su-aah.
Ga-ay sigeet pukaaree dhaah.
Udi-aa hans dasaa-ay raah.
Aa-i-aa ga-i-aa mu-i-aa naa-o.
Pichhai patal sadihu kaav.
Naanak manmukh andh pi-aar.
Baajh guroo dubaa sansaar. ||2||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 137)
The blessed SatGuru Avataar Nanak Patshah Ji divides the human being’s life into ten (10) stages:
- Post-birth, the child receives mother’s affection and occupies herself in being breast-fed by the mother. The newborn child cannot live without the mother; neither can the mother separate herself from her child. The child becomes the whole life of the mother, and the mother becomes the sole life-giver to the child. This is the beginning of the child’s attachment to her mother.
- In the second stage, when the child gains a little awareness, she becomes cognizant of her parents. She begins to recognize her parents. This recognition of the parents leads to her becoming conscious of the feeling of I, me and mine. This is the beginning of the child’s attachment toward her parents.
- In the third stage she begins to distinguish her siblings. She begins to be aware of the other members of her family. That is, her attachments for the rest of the family begin to take root. The feeling of I, me and mine begins to grow stronger.
- In the fourth stage, the child develops playfulness. She begins to be drawn towards rest of the world around her. She starts developing attachments with toys and other worldly objects. The feeling of I, me and mine is strongly established.
- In the fifth stage, the child develops taste of the tongue. She takes more and more interest in food and beverages. Her fondness for eating and drinking gains intensity.
- In the sixth stage, when the human being sets foot in his youth, his feelings of lust are aroused. His Trishna grows stronger. He begins to descend deeper into his desires. He begins to fall prey to lust. Intoxicated by lust, he fails to discern between good and bad associations. That is, he begins to get deeper and deeper ensnared in the web of Maya. In his attempts to quench his Trishna, he begins to slave under the devastating forces of the Panj Chandaals (lust, anger, greed, attachments and pride). His conduct is dominated by his Manmat. Abiding under Manmat, he loses his power to distinguish between good and bad deeds. The Kood Karams begin to dominate his life. He begins to commit Asat Karams (deeds against Sat; untruthful deeds). He begins to acquire deeper hues of Maya.
- In the seventh stage, he gets occupied in raising his home and family. He gets busy in accumulating wealth and riches and other worldly comforts and objects. He buries himself deep in domestic life. He mires himself in the temptations and attachments of the family life. He acquires deeper shades of the Maya-led Birtis over him. He absorbs himself with his spouse and children etc. and thus yields himself even more to the worldly tendencies. The worldly sorrows, strife, pains, troubles, hardships etc. lay him under their siege. The worldly entanglements take a deep hold over him.
- In the eighth stage, besieged by the worldly and domestic entanglements, disputes, sorrows, strife, pains, hardships, troubles etc., he is consumed with the wrath of the anger-Chandaal. The pride-Chandaal and the anger-Chandaal are emboldened. He immerses himself completely in slavery of Trishna and the Panj Chandaals. He buries himself wholly in the swamp of Maya. He commits all kinds of Asat Karams under slavery of Maya, which lead to his body suffering deep impacts of the devastating forces of Maya. As a consequence, his body begins to fall prey to the diseases. Maya leads the body to its ruin.
- In the ninth stage of his age, the human being’s hair turns grey. He loses his teeth. The eyes are weakened. The power of sight diminishes. The power of hearing wanes. The breathing becomes laborious. That is, all the organs of the body become debilitated. All five sensory-organs lose their vitality. All five action-organs lose their strength. The body is consumed with the diseases. Maya completes the ruin of the body.
- In the tenth stage, the body arrives at its end. The breaths are exhausted. The life-force is taken away. The body is consigned to the flames. The body that the human being all his life strived to serve burns away and turns into ashes. The life-soul quits the body to accompany the messengers-of-death. The entire family, friends and relations mourn and wail, beating their chests.
This is how a human being arrives in the world, and then departs. Oblivious of the real purpose of his human birth, rotting in Maya, forgetful of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar, he fritters away the priceless jewel of his birth and passes away. The Manmat is Maya. The mind is Maya. The Hirda (literally meaning heart, Hirda actually one of the seven Sat Sarovars located near heart; more a part of our spiritual being than our physical body) is Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar Himself. The Hirda is the Jyot (the divine light within; soul). The Manmat-governed love is a worldly attachment. The Manmat-governed love isn’t the true devotion of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar. The love for the world (the attachments) leads the human being to waste away his birth. The true devotion to Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar is achieved only by seeking the Charan Sharan (shelter at the feet) of a Puran SatGuru. The Bandagi of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar is attained only by entering the Charan Sharan of a Poora SatGuru (the perfect-SatGuru). The true path to accomplishing the mission of one’s life is found only through abiding in the Charan Sharan of a Poora SatGuru. The GurParsaad (the eternal bliss and eternal grace) of SatNaam, SatNaam Simran, SatNaam Di Kamai (practising SatNaam in life), Puran Bandagi (complete surrender before God) and Seva is obtained only through abiding in the Charan Sharan of a Poora SatGuru.
The blessed SatGuru incarnate Nanak Patshah Ji in this supremely powerful Salok describes the state of a human being’s birth and life, as he passes through his age:
Das baaltan bees ravan teesaa kaa sundar kahaavai.
Chaaleesee pur ho-ay pachaasee pag khisai sathee kay bodhaypaa aavai.
Satar kaa matiheen aseehaan kaa vi-uhaar na paavai.
Navai kaa sihjaasnee mool na jaanai ap bal.
Dhandholim dhoodhim dith mai naanak jag dhoo-ay kaa dhavalhar. ||3||
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 138)
This is the Param Sat of the human birth and life that for ten (10) years, the human being spends his life in childhood. Maya begins to mould the human being from the childhood. Attaining the age of twenty (20), he arrives into the stage of youth. In youth, the Maya-dominated tendencies take a deeper hold upon him. He starts becoming prey to his urges. The devastating force of Trishna becomes intense. The human being becomes slave to the calamitous force of lust-Chandaal. Overcome by lust, he starts committing many Asat Karams. At the age of thirty (30), he is admired for his looks. The colours of Maya upon him take on deeper hues. By the age of forty (40), he has attained complete adulthood. He is even more imbued in the shades of Maya. He begins to drown in Maya. Reaching the age of fifty (50), his youthfulness begins to decline. He is completely immersed in Maya. From the age of sixty (60), the old age starts descending upon him. The body gets weakened. The body falls prey to diseases. As a result, the body loses strength for the physical work. Maya turns him into an utter slave. At the age of seventy (70), his mental capacity starts declining. That is, he loses the capacity to apply his mind. He is physically and mentally debilitated. He becomes dependent on others. At the age of eighty (80), he ceases to be productive in any field. By the age of ninety (90), he becomes bedridden. He can no longer take his own care. Having learnt, known and understood this entire Param Sat, the only conclusion to be drawn is that even though the world appears full of attractions through our physical senses, but in reality is nothing but the deep darkness of ignorance. That is to say, the entire world, the worldly relationships, family, bonds, objects etc. are all a web of deceptions woven by Maya. All of it is doomed to perish. In the same way that the human being perishes, the whole world too eventually comes to end. Everything born in Kaal will come to perish in Kaal. Ignorant and trapped in the deceptive web of Maya, the human being lets his birth and life waste away.
‘Jaisee agan udar’ (‘just as there is fire in the mother’s womb’), i.e. just as a human being meditates for 9 months while suspended upside-down in the fire of the mother’s womb (abyss-of-hell and akin to dregs), ‘taisee baahar maa-i-aa’ (‘in the same way there is Maya in the outside world’), i.e. in the same way post-birth the human being blazes and scorches in the fire of Maya and wastes away the priceless jewel of his birth and life. Blazing in the fire of Trishna, the human being turns his whole life into hell in the slavery of the lust-Chandaal, anger-Chandaal, greed-Chandaal, attachments-Chandaal and pride-Chandaal, and wastes his life away. There is nothing but sufferings in the slavery of Maya. The real and eternal bliss is in keeping Maya as one’s slave. The human being has this awareness in the mother’s womb. This is why he remains absorbed in Liv at the feet of Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar. But as soon as born, the fire of Maya engulfs him. As per the divine Vidhaan of Karma, the birth and death of a human being are predetermined. Thus, the birth and the death of the human being are governed by the divine Hukam. Once born, the human being joins into his family. When the newborn child receives affection of his family members, his Liv with Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar is broken and he gets mired in the slavery of the Maya-led forces, drawn into the attachments of his family.
It is a Param Sat that Maya, too, is created by Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar. Maya was created in order to enact the world. Maya was created in order to run the world. The real object behind creation of the Panj Dhoots is to serve the human being. The actual mission of Maya is to serve the human being. But, instead of keeping Maya in his service, the human turns himself into a servant to Maya. Instead of keeping Maya in his slavery, the human being turns himself into a slave to Maya. The object of the Sat-originated human birth is to assimilate in Sat – through abiding in Maya but staying untouched by Maya; through acting Sat, serving Sat and practising Sat; and through keeping oneself unblemished.
The divine Vidhan of Karma is the incontrovertible Hukam. In accordance with the Vidhaan of Karma, the kind of deeds that a human being commits in his human birth and life determine his rewards after he relinquished his body (dies). When the human being’s soul departs from the body, it must carry with it burden of all the good and bad deeds of the human being. As long as the human being’s soul isn’t released from the burden of his deeds, the human being cannot attain Jeevan Mukti (salvation; deliverance from the cycle of births-and-deaths). It is only through obtaining GurParsaad that the human being’s soul can be freed from its burden of deeds. Only a human being, who seeks the Charan Sharan of a SatGuru after his birth, is blessed with the GurParsaad of Bandagi, Simran and Seva of Sat PaarBraham. Only a human being dedicating one’s complete self at Sat Charans of the SatGuru receives the GurParsaad of SatNaam, SatNaam Simran, SatNaam Di Kamai and Puran Bandagi. Only the supreme power of GurParsaad makes the human being accomplish the mission of his birth and life. The magnificence of the supreme power of GurParsaad is dwelt upon in the discourse of the first Pauri (first verse of Anand Sahib).
Only those human beings find the Sangat of Sat, who are carrying the Sanskaars of Sat from their previous birth. That is, only those human beings find the Sangat of a Puran Sant-SatGuru, who have a foundation in Sato Birti from their past births and who embrace the Birti of Sato-Gun’s. A human being accomplishes his Bandagi only through abiding in the Charan Sharan of a Puran SatGuru. Jeevan Mukti cannot be attained without vanquishing Maya. Maya can only be vanquished by the grace of a SatGuru and by the supreme power of GurParsaad. The human beings, performing Bandagi while being Sanmukh (before or in presence of) of the SatGuru, accomplish their Bandagi and such human beings go on to become Gurmukh beings (a Gurmukh is a soul in complete Bandagi; a soul in possession of GurParsaad of Naam; and a soul in Sach Khand). That is, the human beings observing Sat Bachans (the words of Sat; the divine words) of the Puran SatGuru easily vanquish Maya and, arriving at Chautha Pad (the fourth step; beyond the three attributes – Tamo, Rajo and Sato – of Maya), assimilate themselves in Sat PaarBraham Parmeshar. This is why every human being in his birth and life needs to focus his mind upon Sato Birti. Embracing virtues and renouncing vices, the human being achieves spiritual progress and comes to possess Sato Birti. The supreme power of GurParsaad invariably comes to bear upon a human being embracing Sato Birti. As a result, he finds the Sangat of a Puran Sant-SatGuru and his path to Jeevan Mukti opens up before him. It is only through obtaining GurParsaad that a human being breaks away from the whole Bharam Jaal (the web of deceptions) of Maya and –keeping himself unsullied by Maya even while abiding in Maya – attains Jeevan Mukti.