ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਚੇਤਈ ਮਦਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੈ ਅੰਧੁ ॥
ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਭਜਨ ਪਰਤ ਤਾਹਿ ਜਮ ਫੰਧ ॥੨੬॥
Praani Kacchu Naa Chetayi Mad Maayaa Kai Andh |
Kaho Naanak Bin Har Bhajan Parat Taahe Jam Fandh | 26 |
With utmost sincerity, a person is unable to think,
When he in the dark ocean of illusion does sink.
Says Naanak, if now you are not praising the almighty Lord,
The god of death will tow you putting on thee a cord.
Guru Ji with verse wants us to reflect that we are so immersed in our futile and egoistic desires and illusions, that we are not able to comprehend what is the right way to do things and what is the most important thing life: a life blessed with divine name. Because, this web of illusion traps us into restlessness: We have to do this, and then that. We need this car, no! A new model has come out, let’s buy that. But if we reflect upon will it matter if our car is Toyota or Tesla, it has only one thing to do and that is go from one place to other.* Now, Guru Ji is not saying that we must not act or do things, yet keep grudge in our heart. He is just saying if our mind is at peace and divine love, we will be able to do things in right and pure way. Indeed, in Gurudwara, this practice of egoless service to sweep, to clean, to wash and to feed others was done to lower down our sense ego and live with simplicity and purity. If this service of serving at Gurudwara does annihilate our sense of pride and ego, we will be able to comprehend Guru Ji’s message with utmost sincerity and love and help others. And thus, also the fear of death will be annihilated. We should comprehend that everything Guru Ji is telling us to do it is to wipe away our ego linked to the body**, our pretense. The moment we forget our ego linked with body through singing divine name, or doing egoless service, fear will disappear. If we are not doing what Guru Ji is requesting us to do, there will always fear of death in our heart.
As we know, Bhakti or Bhagti is at core of Sikhism and Hinduism, Islam (in Sufism it’s called Zikr – remembrance), because Guru Ji wants us to purify our heart, before we delve into the secrets of Truth (Oneness). Sometimes, it happens that many of us think that these salokas are taking away our joy, our independence of feelings; Can’t we feel anger, jealousy, joy, laughter? Why is Guru Ji keep reminding us to chant God’s name all the time? Would not it be faking our feelings, if the urge of anger, and we keep chanting God’s name? Guru Ji is reminding us to chant God’s name, because he wants us to be mindful, for if we keep chanting God’s name in our heart, and soul, there will be no elapse, we won’t be abusing someone. Secondly, Guru Ji knows that everyone has their own emotions, but with God’s name, we will be aware of our own emotions, and if anger arises, we will know, and anger will not seize us and won’t take over us. Feelings are like languages, once we understand the grammar of a language, we will be able to construct good phrases. As I once read somewhere two examples where it shows that a single comma can save somebody’s life:
- Daniel is eating Grandmaa!
- Daniel is eating, Grandmaa!
So, it’s with feelings once we understand them, we can discard them or use them correctly. For instance, if a child is making the same mistake over and over, to scold them anger can be used, not otherwise. We in our lives must put the comma of mindful and Bhagti at right place and save our own and someone’s life.
*If you have it, don’t throw it away, just by reading this. 😬😅 This is just an example of how something can trap us. Nowadays, is iPhone, every one year new model, and puff we go crazy about it.
**Our ego linked to the body – I am body, et cetera.