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Faith

Death Is a Journey

by SHAMSHER SINGH PURI

 

 

Death is not the end.

Death can never be the end.

Death is merely the road. Life is the traveler. The soul is the guide. When the traveler is tired and exhausted, the guide instructs the traveler to take either a short or long rest and then the traveler's journey begins again. Unfortunately, most of us cherish wrong conceptions about death. We think death is something unusual, something destructive. But we have to know that right now death is something natural, normal and inevitable.

Is there life after death?

Yes. There is life after death. Death is not and can never be the end. Life and death are two rooms of a house. During the day, I work in my living room and death is the resting room. We equally need both in order to love, serve and please Waheguru.

Is it possible for a person to learn what death is while still living by actually Entering into death?

What death actually is one can easily know when one is in the very highest stage of meditation. Sometimes we can actually follow a soul when the soul leaves the body, and when we can get the full experience of death while remaining in the body

When we are dying, what is the best thing to do?

For a spiritual person, the best thing to do is to remember Waheguru. The near and dear ones should place a picture of his spiritual guide (Guru Nanak) in front of the seeker and let Waheguru be with him spiritually when he breathes his last. Let Waheguru be inside the very breath, the very last breath of the seeker. Then it is the duty, the responsibility of the inner guide to do what is necessary.

Is death painful?

It depends on the individual. If the individual has not prayed and meditated and has not followed the spiritual life, then it is really painful to part with his life because he does not want to surrender to God's Will. First of all, it is not in him to know or feel what God's Will is. Also, he does not feel God's consciousness, protection, guidance and concern, so he feels that he is totally lost.

Can you say something about eternity and the eternal life?

Not being a spiritual man, I can say on the strength of what I have learned from religious scriptures and my own inner realization that the soul does not die. We know that we are eternal. When we come from God, we are in God, we are growing into God and we are going to fulfill God. Life and death are like going from one place to another in this universe. We come from the Infinite, the life divine. This infinite life stays on the earth for short time. At that time, we have within us the earthbound life. But inside this earthbound life is the boundless life.

After a while, this life again passes through the corridor of death for sometime. When we enter this corridor, the soul leaves the body for a short or long rest and goes back to the soul region. Here, if the person is spiritual, the soul will regain eternal life, the life divine, which existed before birth, which exists between birth and death, which exists in death and at the same time goes beyond death.

Now, when we are living on earth, we can place ourselves in the realm of eternal life through our aspiration and meditation. But just entering into the endless life, we do not possess that life, we have to grow into it consciously. When we enter into the life of meditation, we must eventually become part and parcel of meditation. And when we are able to meditate twenty four hours, we are constantly breathing in the endless life. In the inner conscious, our soul becomes one with the Creator ... and that is life eternal.

 

[Courtesy: North-American Sikh Review]

August 30, 2010

Conversation about this article

1: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), August 30, 2010, 5:17 PM.

Guru Granth Sahib is the best repository of all maps for the ultimate journey. There are hundreds of shabads most graphically describing that final journey. May I share just a few lines, not to frighten anyone of the arduous journey but to describe the peace of final arrival: "Maa-ee khaat aa-oo ghar poota" - [GGS:495.15] - "O mother, your son has returned home with a profit!". Kirtan Sohila prepares us every night before sleeping of the inevitable homecoming. I remember of a station master who had his quarters near the railway lines and next to the station he had a small garden perfectly manicured and with flowers in full bloom in all colours and hues. This garden was his passion and never failed to evoke admiration from incoming or outgoing passengers. One day this beautiful garden started to show signs of neglect and was soon wilting and full of weeds. Some of the passengers who knew this station master asked him why he had stopped tending the garden. He said he had been transferred somewhere else, so what was the point in tending it any further - let the incoming station master look after it if he so wished. A lesson about our temporary tenure in this world. "Jo din aavahi so din jaahee karna kooch rahan thir haahee/ sang chalet hai hum bhee chalnaa doorf gavn sir oopar marnaa" - [GGS:793.18] - "That day which comes, that day shall go; you must march on, nothing remains stable/ Our companions are leaving, and we must leave as well/ We must go far away/ Death is hovering over our heads". Are we ready for this journey?

2: Harbans Lal (Arlington, Texas, U.S.A.), August 31, 2010, 9:46 AM.

Sardar Shamsher Singh Puri wrote an excellent essay on the concept of death as taught by the Sikh Gurus. Death has been a question bothering humankind forever; Guru Nanak had an answer in this simple verse: On page 152 of the Guru Granth, he wrote: "The human body is merely a structure made from earth elements; the sustaining breath inside is simply the wind. Let me tell you, O learned scholar, as to who dies and who does not! Those conscious of the ego and the fake-self die. The spectator within does not die." Puri Sahib recently published a translation of Bhai Gurdas' Varaan in English. The two volumes are worth owning.

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