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The Experience Beyond Science Or Rationality

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The Experience beyond Science or rationality

As I read Guru Nanak, I do not believe that what he has given to his Sikhs is about science and its discoveries in context of the Creator; finding science from religious scriptures is a common fallacy; the science is an open field of conquering possibilities, but it is not complete in its mission, and it never will be. What the Guru says while talking about infinite form of the Creator can possibly resemble with some facts we know today about the universe through science; however, the Guru hasn’t disclosed scientific facts intentionally. I have read some Muslims writers on the net who are bent upon proving that actually Holy Quran is mentioning things which were not known to the public at the time of their prophet, some Hindus are trying to prove that the concept of airplane exists in Vedas on the base of a word “wahan” used in the scriptures, and such a list of boasters of various faiths goes on; unfortunately, some Sikhs are also trying to contend with those boasters. Guru Nanak has declared that it is impossible to define infinity; therefore, it is not possible to express the infinite Creator. That teaches us a lesson to avoid describing that which is beyond words. Taking evolution of the world as a base, in the issue of The Sikh Bulleten” (January 2012), Dr Chahal, has tried to prove that Guru Nanak doesn’t believe in a soul or in after death scenario , and he also believes that the past deeds are not responsible for the current miseries one endures as it is said often in Hindu ideology that everything occurs because of past “Karma”; how far Dr Chahal understands the Guru in this context, we shall look at it by addressing the quotes he has introduced to us from Gurbani to justify the Guru’s thinking in his conclusion. In the article, Dr Chahal believes that Guru Nanak doesn’t believe in existence of “soul” but a principle of evolution; though Guru Nanak came before Charles Darwin (1809-1882), he introduces to the mankind “the evolution of life”; in a nut shell; it is fair to say that according to Dr Chahal, the Guru believes that there is a body formed from five elements, and it comes into life with consciousness; as it crumbles, everything finishes right here; this human body has reached to its form through an evolution which is described in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. To support that idea, he gives some quotes; I have no intention to criticize what Dr Chahal believes in just as I, being a strong believer of the Creator, have no problem with an atheist who may suspect me to be in an illusion. Whatever such atheist may say about me, will not shatter my faith in the Creator. In the same manner, Dr Chahal’s views are his, but my concern is his way of distorting Gurbani to support his beliefs. I am going to question his interpretation and translation (done by him or someone) of Gurbani referred in his article. I am going to quote the entire shabdas from which the quotes are taken so that we can see if the idea presented in his given quotes matches with the idea conveyed in the entirety of the shabdas.

To support the theory of evolution, Dr Chahal quotes the following verses, on 176, SGGS; the shabda is addressed to a follower:

ਗਉੜੀ ਗੁਆਰੇਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ

Ga▫oṛī gu▫ārerī mėhlā 5.

Raag Gaurhi Guareri, Bani of Fifth Nanak

ਕਈ ਜਨਮ ਭਏ ਕੀਟ ਪਤੰਗਾ ਕਈ ਜਨਮ ਗਜ ਮੀਨ ਕੁਰੰਗਾ

Ka▫ī janam bẖa▫e kīt paṯangā. .) Ka▫ī janam gaj mīn kurangā.

In Essence: In many lives you have been a worm and a mot; in many lives, you have been an elephant, a fish and a deer;

ਕਈ ਜਨਮ ਪੰਖੀ ਸਰਪ ਹੋਇਓ ਕਈ ਜਨਮ ਹੈਵਰ ਬ੍ਰਿਖ ਜੋਇਓ ॥੧॥

Ka▫ī janam pankẖī sarap ho▫i▫o. Ka▫ī janam haivar barikẖ jo▫i▫o. ||1||

In many lives you have been a bird and a snake, in many lives you have been yoked as a horse and an ox;

Please note down the word: Hoeeo/ ਹੋਇਓ, which means “became” and also the word “Joeeo (ਜੋਇਓ,)”, it is a passive form of “johna” which means to yoke; do these words tell us about the evolution? After that, the Guru comes to remind the follower about the life he has:

ਮਿਲੁ ਜਗਦੀਸ ਮਿਲਨ ਕੀ ਬਰੀਆ ਚਿਰੰਕਾਲ ਇਹ ਦੇਹ ਸੰਜਰੀਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

Mil jagḏīs milan kī barī▫ā. Cẖirankāl ih ḏeh sanjarī▫ā. ||1|| rahā▫o.

This is a chance (turn/ਬਰੀਆ ) to meet the Master of the world, meet Him, because you have obtained this human body after a long time (ਚਿਰੰਕਾਲ ) . Pause

Idea starts with other lives through which realization of the Creator is not possible; after a long time, the human body is obtained. Have we gone through all these lives - each and every life - before reaching to this human body or these are the stages of human evolution? As we read the whole Shabda, it doesn’t appear that it is indeed all about evolution (principles of mutation and selection). Some try to take these existences as Metaphors of stages of life, which totally makes no sense when a tree or vegetation is referred as an existence.

There are new discoveries in molecular biology; we need to hesitate to mortgage Gurbani thought to such theories anyway; please read the following views of biologist Michael Denton:

Darwin's Theory of Evolution is a theory in crisis in light of the tremendous advances we've made in molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics over the past fifty years. We now know that there are in fact tens of thousands of irreducibly complex systems on the cellular level. Specified complexity pervades the microscopic biological world. Molecular biologist Michael Denton wrote, "Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10-12 grams, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machinery built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world……… “Despite the tremendous increase in geological activity in every corner of the globe and despite the discovery of many strange and hitherto unknown forms, the infinitude of connecting links has still not been discovered and the fossil record is about as discontinuous as it was when Darwin was writing the Origin.


The first big problem with evolution is that the fossil record increasingly does not, honestly viewed, support it, a fact that famous Prof. Steven Jay Gould of Harvard has described as "the trade secret of paleontology." Evolutionary theory claims that there once existed a whole series of successive forms of the various organisms alive today. These supposedly changed by infinitesimal amounts with each generation as they evolved into the present varieties, so the fossil record should show these gradual changes, but, it doesnt. Instead, it shows the sudden emergence of new species out of nowhere, fully complete with all their characteristics and not changing over time. It is almost entirely devoid of forms that can plausibly be identified as intermediates between older and newer ones. This is popularly known as the "missing link" problem, and it is massively systematic across different species and time periods. Worse, this problem is getting worse, not better, as more fossils are discovered, as the new fossils just resemble those already found and doesn’t fill in the gaps. In Darwin's day, it was easy to claim that the fossils were there but had not been discovered. Problem is, we now have hundreds of thousands of well-catalogued fossils, from all continents and geologic eras, and we still haven't found these intermediate forms.

Should we close our minds and attach Gurbani quotes to such theories just to prove that the Guru Nanak talked about science?

Now coming back to the shabda

ਕਈ ਜਨਮ ਸੈਲ ਗਿਰਿ ਕਰਿਆ ਕਈ ਜਨਮ ਗਰਭ ਹਿਰਿ ਖਰਿਆ

Ka▫ī janam sail gir kari▫ā. Ka▫ī janam garabẖ hir kẖari▫ā.

In many lives you have been created rock and mountain (it means confined to a rock or mountains within);

ਕਈ ਜਨਮ ਸਾਖ ਕਰਿ ਉਪਾਇਆ ਲਖ ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਜੋਨਿ ਭ੍ਰਮਾਇਆ ॥੨॥

Ka▫ī janam sākẖ kar upā▫i▫ā. Lakẖ cẖa▫orāsīh jon bẖarmā▫i▫ā. ||2||

In many lives you have been made the vegetation (or plants); you have been made wander into eighty four existences.

(I take Janam as a life not as a stage; wherever a word is used in metaphoric expression, it is made clear through the context it is used in; therefore, we cannot blindly take a word and turn it into metaphoric usage)

Please remember, the Guru is using established belief of eighty four existences; to convey the idea of evolution, we cannot base evolution on such a believed concept. Besides, from animal or insect, how evolution leads to a tree? Also a point to be noted is that here in the above verse, the Guru defines “Janam” by using the word “jon” which means existence. Jon is not a stage of a life either as some say so to support their own thinking against the concept of reincarnation in Gurbani because we don’t act like trees and plants because of Maya entanglement, and then through Gurbani, improve ourselves from trees to spiritually perfect individuals.

In evolution, existences are not exchanged; it is a long process through which lives of different spices said to be changed in mechanism under different environments.

ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਭਇਓ ਜਨਮੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਭਜੁ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ

Sāḏẖsang bẖa▫i▫o janam parāpaṯ. Kar sevā bẖaj har har gurmaṯ.

Now you have obtained this life; therefore, in the company of Prabh’s devotees through the Guru guidance, remember Hari (the Creator).

ਤਿਆਗਿ ਮਾਨੁ ਝੂਠੁ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰਹਿ ਦਰਗਹ ਪਰਵਾਨੁ ॥੩॥

Ŧi▫āg mān jẖūṯẖ abẖimān. Jīvaṯ marėh ḏargėh parvān. ||3||

Forsake pride, falsehood and conceit, and one who gets rid of self conceit (becomes detached) becomes accepted in the court (of the Creator).

ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਹੋਆ ਸੁ ਤੁਝ ਤੇ ਹੋਗੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਕਰਣੈ ਜੋਗੁ

Jo kicẖẖ ho▫ā so ṯujẖ ṯe hog. Avar na ḏūjā karṇai jog.

Oh Prabh! Whatever occurs, it occurs because of you and will occur as per your Will; there is none other than you who is potent to do anything.

ਤਾ ਮਿਲੀਐ ਜਾ ਲੈਹਿ ਮਿਲਾਇ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇ ॥੪॥੩॥੭੨॥

Ŧā milī▫ai jā laihi milā▫e. Kaho Nānak har har guṇ gā▫e. ||4||3||72||

We can meet you if you unite us with you. Nanak says: sing the virtues of Hari

Dr Chahal writes in his conclusion: “Different opinions on the existence of soul in Gurbani are because of its different interpretations. The interpretation of Gurbani under the influence of ancient philosophy (?) and the Vedantic philosophy will lead to the existence of soul while the interpretation of Gurbani in its real perspective application of Science and logic will lead us to the Non-existence of soul”.

Why we need ancient or Vedanta- philosophy or application of science to interpret Gurbani which is already interpreted in Sri Guru Granth Sahib? Almost every idea, Guru Nanak has written is interpreted by his descendant Gurus. As Nirmale and Udasi and other interpreters, who aligned with all Hindu scriptures, have tried to bury the Guru’s concept by aligning Gurbani to Hindu scriptures, (Sadhu Abanand in his Jap Ji interpretation states that Guru Nanak was a disciple of six Gurus without any support from Gurbani because he wanted to promote what he believed in not the Guru, Interpreter of Teeka Freedkoti lived on a grant of a Sikh King but he, while interpreting Gurbani, keeps bringing rituals as important for the life even though the Guru rejects them, for just one example check on 1191 SGGS, verse numbers 7 and 8), the new kind of scholars are also failed to get rid of nostalgia of science while interpreting Gurbani; in both, I don’t see any difference but their own ideologies interfering with Gurbani. Just look the continuity of the thought in above quoted Shabda, do you see any hint of evolution in it? I don’t.

The shabda is about life related to different species; and it is said that after all those existences, it is the human life in which one can remember the Creator as in those previous lives, it was not possible; it is that simple.

Now, the Guru states how actually a part of the Creator exists in us and merges back to Him at death; this coming out of Him and then going back to Him is called “Chalat,” a staged play ”. The Creator in His Sargun form goes through this staged play. We get attached to our dear ones and at death we suffer because of that, the Guru suggests us to take the death of human as His staged play, it is on 885 SGGS:

ਰਾਮਕਲੀ ਮਹਲਾ

Rāmkalī mėhlā 5.

Raag Ramkli: Bani of Fifth Nanak

ਪਵਨੈ ਮਹਿ ਪਵਨੁ ਸਮਾਇਆ ਜੋਤੀ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਰਲਿ ਜਾਇਆ

Pavnai mėh pavan samā▫i▫ā. Joṯī mėh joṯ ral jā▫i▫ā.

In Essence: The breath merges in the air; the light (of the dead) blends in the Main light (All Pervading light/Jyoti).

Please note that merging of breath with air is not enough for the Guru, he elaborates it further by saying the light merges in the Main light (Please see the difference between “ਜੋਤੀ” and “ਜੋਤਿ”; it tells the whole story)

ਮਾਟੀ ਮਾਟੀ ਹੋਈ ਏਕ ਰੋਵਨਹਾਰੇ ਕੀ ਕਵਨ ਟੇਕ ॥੧॥

Mātī mātī ho▫ī ek. Rovanhāre kī kavan tek. ||1|

The body becomes the dust it came from (Here, idea expressed is about the matter; as matter doesn’t die either, the body actually got another form as a matter). What is the base of the bewailing person for crying? (He cries in doubt)

Now the Guru takes the idea further:

ਕਉਨੁ ਮੂਆ ਰੇ ਕਉਨੁ ਮੂਆ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਮਿਲਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ਇਹੁ ਤਉ ਚਲਤੁ ਭਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

Ka▫un mū▫ā re ka▫un mū▫ā. Barahm gi▫ānī mil karahu bīcẖārā ih ṯa▫o cẖalaṯ bẖa▫i▫ā. ||1|| rahā▫o.

Oh brother! Who has died? Oh Divine ones (the knowers of the Creator) ponder over it! It is just a wondrous play. Pause

Through the Guru, it is understood that it is just a play in force. How this wondrous play is played is beyond words. The important thing is to realize that it is just His staged play.

A natural change occurs as the play is staged by the Creator; it also indicates that the death doesn’t come to the light that permeates in an alive body (remember the word “ਜੋਤੀ”); the Guru calls it literally a part of the Main light (“ਜੋਤਿ”), the Creator; if this whole process is only up to the breath that merges in the air, why the Guru needs to talk about the light and another light in which it merges, and what is that light that merges with another light? The Guru makes it clear that through Prabh’s play, the light comes to exist in the body and at so called “end/death”, the breath merges with the air and the body (material) in the dust (material); however, the light returns to the light it emanates from. The science doesn’t approve such statements. How we can dig out science out of a spiritual experience? Science defines what is found, but what is still more out there, it is silent on it; the spiritual experience has nothing to do with the science discoveries. The Guru doesn’t talk about the origin of life as the science does; just look what Guru says on 3 SGGS

ਕੀਤਾ ਪਸਾਉ ਏਕੋ ਕਵਾਉ ਤਿਸ ਤੇ ਹੋਏ ਲਖ ਦਰੀਆਉ

Kīṯā pasā▫o eko kavā▫o. Ŧis ṯe ho▫e lakẖ ḏarī▫ā▫o.

In Essence: with His only ordinance, He (the Creator) created the expansion; as per that ordinance, millions of rivers began to flow.Some people can dig the big bang theory out of above verses. Shabda we were discussing continues:

ਅਗਲੀ ਕਿਛੁ ਖਬਰਿ ਪਾਈ ਰੋਵਨਹਾਰੁ ਭਿ ਊਠਿ ਸਿਧਾਈ

Aglī kicẖẖ kẖabar na pā▫ī. Rovanhār bẖė ūṯẖ siḏẖā▫ī.

No one knows what is the next (the Guru is just saying that no one knows what occurs after death exactly, but as per guided by doubt, the people cry and do some religious ceremonies to secure peace for the dead; obviously doing all that without experiencing the truth is useless). And, the bewailer doesn’t know that he or she will also depart (eventually)

ਭਰਮ ਮੋਹ ਕੇ ਬਾਂਧੇ ਬੰਧ ਸੁਪਨੁ ਭਇਆ ਭਖਲਾਏ ਅੰਧ ॥੨॥

Bẖaram moh ke bāʼnḏẖe banḏẖ. Supan bẖa▫i▫ā bẖakẖlā▫e anḏẖ. ||2||

All these are bonds of attachment and doubt. The life is just like a dream, as it ends, one grieves in vain.

ਇਹੁ ਤਉ ਰਚਨੁ ਰਚਿਆ ਕਰਤਾਰਿ ਆਵਤ ਜਾਵਤ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਅਪਾਰਿ

Ih ṯa▫o racẖan racẖi▫ā karṯār. Āvaṯ jāvaṯ hukam apār.

The Creator has fashioned this system. One (as it is being talked about a person) comes and goes as per eternal Will of the Creator.

Forget about ancient philosophy or Vedanta - claims; let us ponder over above verse:

Who is that who comes and goes? Think about it.

ਨਹ ਕੋ ਮੂਆ ਮਰਣੈ ਜੋਗੁ ਨਹ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਹੋਗੁ ॥੩॥

Nah ko mū▫ā na marṇai jog. Nah binsai abẖināsī hog. ||3||

No one dies; no one is capable of dying; it doesn’t perish, it will remain eternal (It will be useful if we can relate this expression with “Akaal Moorat”).

What is Imperishable? As per Dr Chahal, one takes birth, lives and dies and the story ends, right? What or who doesn’t die? Is it matter? If so, it doesn’t add up because about the matter, the Guru already said, “the dust merges with the dust”; obviously, it is not the matter.

As Gurbani says that everything is perishable (Please remember, in that context, physical perishability is about a change in existing forms), then what is that which is not capable of perishing? Isn’t it the light? Isn’t it the soul (jeea)? If not then what is imperishable and who or what is discussed in the context of the so called death? Those who deny the existence of soul and also claim that Gurbani doesn’t accept existence of soul should answer above questions one by one. It is though obvious, the Guru talks about “Jeea/soul” a part of the Creator. What it looks or appears like, or usually thought about, actually it is not:

ਜੋ ਇਹੁ ਜਾਣਹੁ ਸੋ ਇਹੁ ਨਾਹਿ ਜਾਨਣਹਾਰੇ ਕਉ ਬਲਿ ਜਾਉ

Jo ih jāṇhu so ih nāhi. Jānaṇhāre ka▫o bal jā▫o.

What you think of the soul, it is not like that. I sacrifice to that person who knows it (this imperishable thing).

Again it is stressed that what is often thought about “Jeea/soul/light,” it is not like that; so what is the truth? It doesn’t die because it is a part of the all pervading Jyot (i) or a form of waves; the Guru defines the Creator as “ being spread in countless waves:(275 SGGS: ਪਸਰਿਓ ਆਪਿ ਹੋਇ ਅਨਤ ਤਰੰਗ ਲਖੇ ਜਾਹਿ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕੇ ਰੰਗ ॥ Pasri▫o āp ho▫e anaṯ ṯarang. Lakẖe na jāhi pārbarahm ke rang. In Essence: The Creator is expanded in countless waves; it is impossible to express His plays)

To understand above verses in brackets, it will be easier to understand His existence as all pervading power if we study “the wave structure of matter”, we will understand how He exists everywhere. In another example to understand His oneness with all the forms, if we take a part of a big glowing light and put it aside, it will appear the same light, and if we hide that light in a glass container, it will appear a little different; however, still it remains the same light (a part). What we are, we are because of Him because we emanate from Him; we see difference between Him and us because we have built walls of conceit, lust, greed, anger and attachment before us that make us think ourselves different than the Original light or wave, the Creator. If we grasp that, only then we can understand why Bhagat Kabir says: on 1158 SGGS

ਸੰਤਨ ਸੰਗਿ ਕਬੀਰਾ ਬਿਗਰਿਓ ਸੋ ਕਬੀਰੁ ਰਾਮੈ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਬਰਿਓ ॥੪॥੫॥

Sanṯan sang kabīrā bigri▫o. So Kabīr rāmai ho▫e nibri▫o. ||4||5|

In Essence: In association of His devotees, Kabir has also lost his identity, now that Kabir has become Prabh (he has become one with Prabh).

This is what Guru Nanak wants his followers to be, not after death but while alive; when our created walls are crumbled, no difference is left between the Creator and us. The light that goes in change stables with Him; no change then remains due for it. The Guru concludes in the same shabda we are discussing:ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਿ ਭਰਮੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਆ ਨਾ ਕੋਈ ਮਰੈ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਇਆ ॥੪॥੧੦॥

Kaho Nānak gur bẖaram cẖukā▫i▫ā. Nā ko▫ī marai na āvai jā▫i▫ā. ||4||10||

Nanak says: the Guru has dispelled the doubt and I know now that no one dies and no one comes and goes (in every show it is that light, a part of the Creator).

What happens then? That part (jotee) of the Main Jyot (i) goes through His created plays; our thought are stuck with the body; as it crumbles, we think, the resident of it has died; the Guru dispels that doubt by telling us that it is actually imperishable like its origin.

As per the science, a person dies, but as per Gurbani, no one dies, but the “Jeea” goes through a process of change as being a part of Him. Change is not death. Death is end of everything, but the Guru talks beyond that in Asa Dee Vaar. In the following shabda, the Guru clearly says that it is not you or I who speak but the Creator: on 152, SGGS, the Guru is not referring to death but spiritual progression, but Dr Chahal looks at it as death – occurrence:

ਗਉੜੀ ਮਹਲਾ

Ga▫oṛī mėhlā 1.

Raag Guarhi of First Nanak

ਪਉਣੈ ਪਾਣੀ ਅਗਨੀ ਕਾ ਮੇਲੁ ਚੰਚਲ ਚਪਲ ਬੁਧਿ ਕਾ ਖੇਲੁ

Pa▫uṇai pāṇī agnī kā mel. Cẖancẖal cẖapal buḏẖ kā kẖel.

In Essence: body is a union of air, water and fire, within it plays flickering mind- intellect;

ਨਉ ਦਰਵਾਜੇ ਦਸਵਾ ਦੁਆਰੁ ਬੁਝੁ ਰੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਏਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥੧॥'

Na▫o ḏarvāje ḏasvā ḏu▫ār. Bujẖ re gi▫ānī ehu bīcẖār. ||1||

In the body there are nine openings and there is the tenth gate (to see and understand), the brain/state of mind (where it rises above Maya influences); oh scholar! Understand this idea (a secret, below a hint is given about it):

ਕਥਤਾ ਬਕਤਾ ਸੁਨਤਾ ਸੋਈ ਆਪੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੇ ਸੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

Kathṯā bakṯā sunṯā so▫ī. Āp bīcẖāre so gi▫ānī ho▫ī. ||1|| rahā▫o.

(now the idea is expressed) only the Creator talks and hears, if one realizes one’s “self” only then one obtains divine knowledge. Pause

Realizing “the self” is to know from where it has come or what is its origin; once the self is related to the origin, the duality goes away.

In the followings words, the Guru is not talking about death at all but about spiritual progression; please read carefully:

ਦੇਹੀ ਮਾਟੀ ਬੋਲੈ ਪਉਣੁ ਬੁਝੁ ਰੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਮੂਆ ਹੈ ਕਉਣੁ

Ḏehī mātī bolai pa▫uṇ. Bujẖ re gi▫ānī mū▫ā hai ka▫uṇ.

In the body, the breath is alive (ਬੋਲੈ ਪਉਣੁ bolai pa▫uṇ), find it out oh scholar, what has died?

What the Guru means is this that the breath is alive and if so, what is that which dies then (or should die in spiritual progression)

DR Chahal looks in these verses the death; his quote – interpretation, “The body is made of soil (various elements) and through which one speaks is the vibration of the wind. Try to understand oh wise man, who has died?...”

There is hint of breath that still exists, from where Dr. Chahal brings the idea of death? I am amazed to read his interpretation. The following verses make it clear how Dr Chahal incorrectly talks about death in this context:

ਮੂਈ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਬਾਦੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਓਹੁ ਮੂਆ ਜੋ ਦੇਖਣਹਾਰੁ ॥੨॥

Mū▫ī suraṯ bāḏ ahaʼnkār. Oh na mū▫ā jo ḏekẖaṇhār. ||2||

That consciousness and self conceit, which were into strife, have died; however, that one has not died who actually sees all that (means only inclinations toward conceit, greed, attachment, lust and other vices are dead, hint is about spiritual progression)

ਜੈ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਤਟਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਜਾਹੀ ਰਤਨ ਪਦਾਰਥ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਮਾਹੀ

Jai kāraṇ ṯat ṯirath jāhī. Raṯan paḏārath gẖat hī māhī.

For the one people go to visit places of pilgrimages, that jewel exists within;

ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਬਾਦੁ ਵਖਾਣੈ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਹੋਦੀ ਵਸਤੁ ਜਾਣੈ ॥੩॥

Paṛ paṛ pandiṯ bāḏ vakẖāṇai. Bẖīṯar hoḏī vasaṯ na jāṇai. ||3||

Pundits read scriptures and enter into arguments; however, they don’t know for what they go to visit places of pilgrimages, exists within them.

ਹਉ ਮੂਆ ਮੇਰੀ ਮੁਈ ਬਲਾਇ ਓਹੁ ਮੂਆ ਜੋ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ

Ha▫o na mū▫ā merī mu▫ī balā▫e. Oh na mū▫ā jo rahi▫ā samā▫e.

I haven’t died but the calamitous ignorance and conceit; (obviously) the one that resides within hasn’t died;

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਦਿਖਾਇਆ ਮਰਤਾ ਜਾਤਾ ਨਦਰਿ ਆਇਆ ॥੪॥੪॥

Kaho Nānak gur barahm ḏikẖā▫i▫ā. Marṯā jāṯā naḏar na ā▫i▫ā. ||4||4||

Nanak says: the Guru has shown me Brahm, the Creator, and I don’t see Him dying (“I” is part of Him; if He doesn’t die, how can “I” die? who realizes this, understands that no one actually dies; it is a play staged by Him)

The next quote in the article of Dr Chahal is this (on 648 SGGS):


Mėhlā 1.

First Nanak

ਇਕ ਦਝਹਿ ਇਕ ਦਬੀਅਹਿ ਇਕਨਾ ਕੁਤੇ ਖਾਹਿ

Ik ḏajẖėh ik ḏabī▫ah iknā kuṯe kẖāhi.

In essence: some people cremate their dead, some burry them, and some throw them to dogs;

ਇਕਿ ਪਾਣੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਉਸਟੀਅਹਿ ਇਕਿ ਭੀ ਫਿਰਿ ਹਸਣਿ ਪਾਹਿ

Ik pāṇī vicẖ ustī▫ah ik bẖī fir hasaṇ pāhi.

Some people throw their dead in the water and some in a dry well;

ਨਾਨਕ ਏਵ ਜਾਪਈ ਕਿਥੈ ਜਾਇ ਸਮਾਹਿ ॥੨॥

Nānak ev na jāp▫ī kithai jā▫e samāhi. ||2||

Nanak says: they don’t know where their dead relatives go?

The Guru is saying that based on their beliefs, people treat the bodies of their dead relatives differently without knowing the truth behind the death and after death. There is no direct statement made in the above sloka by the Guru about the soul in context of its existence. Does he say that they don’t know that there is no soul or that there is and it goes to certain place? No, he is simply addressing only people’s different beliefs which are totally devoid of truth. In other words, when people don’t know what occurs to the dead, why they indulge in certain things for the well fare of the dead? The Guru says nothing more than this in the above verses.

Dr Chahal distorts the following Gurbani quote very badly; it is on 730, SGGS

ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ਭਾਂਡਾ ਹਛਾ ਸੋਇ ਜੋ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਵਸੀ ਭਾਂਡਾ ਅਤਿ ਮਲੀਣੁ ਧੋਤਾ ਹਛਾ ਹੋਇਸੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਹੋਇ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਇਸੀ ਏਤੁ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਧੋਇ ਹਛਾ ਹੋਇਸੀ ਮੈਲੇ ਹਛੇ ਕਾ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ਆਪਿ ਵਰਤਾਇਸੀ ਮਤੁ ਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ਜਾਇ ਅਗੈ ਪਾਇਸੀ ਜੇਹੇ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਇ ਤੇਹਾ ਹੋਇਸੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਆਪਿ ਵਰਤਾਇਸੀ ਚਲਿਆ ਪਤਿ ਸਿਉ ਜਨਮੁ ਸਵਾਰਿ ਵਾਜਾ ਵਾਇਸੀ ਮਾਣਸੁ ਕਿਆ ਵੇਚਾਰਾ ਤਿਹੁ ਲੋਕ ਸੁਣਾਇਸੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਹਾਲ ਸਭਿ ਕੁਲ ਤਾਰਸੀ ॥੧॥੪॥੬॥

Sūhī mėhlā 1. Bẖāʼndā hacẖẖā so▫e jo ṯis bẖāvsī. Bẖāʼndā aṯ malīṇ ḏẖoṯā hacẖẖā na ho▫isī. Gurū ḏu▫ārai ho▫e sojẖī pā▫isī. Ėṯ ḏu▫ārai ḏẖo▫e hacẖẖā ho▫isī. Maile hacẖẖe kā vīcẖār āp //ṯā▫isī. Maṯ ko jāṇai jā▫e agai pā▫isī. Jehe karam kamā▫e ṯehā ho▫isī. Amriṯ har kā nā▫o āp //ṯā▫isī. Cẖali▫ā paṯ si▫o janam savār vājā vā▫isī. Māṇas ki▫ā vecẖārā ṯihu lok suṇā▫isī. Nānak āp nihāl sabẖ kul ṯārsī. ||1||4||6||

Raag Soohi, Bani of First Nanak. In essence: if the mortal is pure, Akalpurakh will be pleased with him, but if he is extremely filthy, by bathing (wahing), he cannot become good. If the mortal goes to the Guru, he will obtain understanding about becoming pure, and in the Guru’s refuge, he can become pure; then, Akalpurakh bestows the understanding of distinguishing between good and bad. Don’t think that hereafter one can obtain Him (this statement refutes the claim of those who do religious rituals but remain in lust, greed, conceit, attachment and anger and then claim to be with Him hereafter). What one sows, so shall one reap. Akalpurakh Himself bestows His Immortalizing Name as a gift. Then, one departs from here as honorable one, and music of joy is played. What to speak of poor mortals, Akalpurakh makes glory of His devotee renown in three worlds. Nanak says that when Akalpurakh bestows His grace, the mortal saves not only him but also all his family lineage.

Unfortunately, Dr Chahal selects a couple verses and interprets them, here are they:

ਮਤੁ ਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ਜਾਇ ਅਗੈ ਪਾਇਸੀ ਜੇਹੇ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਇ ਤੇਹਾ ਹੋਇਸੀ

One must not understand that the karmas (good or bad deeds) of the current life are rewarded in the next world. It is here in this world ‘what (deeds) you sow so shall you reap.

If we look at the entire shabda, do we see that the Guru talks about the reward of done deeds to be achieved in the next world in above verses? Or is it the theme of the all verses? To understand the theme, we need to read the first five verses before the verses Dr Chahal quotes; in them, no hint is given about receiving rewards in next life. Actually, the Guru talks about becoming virtuous through the Guru counseling to become pleasing to the Creator; then, he stresses that we shouldn’t think that at our own, we will have Him hereafter if we remain filthy with lust, greed and so on; If through the Guru, one becomes virtuous, He will bestows His Name; then one departs with glory. If we go back on the concept of non existence of soul, then we must also think what glory is needed at the time of the end? We die and everything is finished, do we really need the glory “aggai/hereafter”?

Let us go to Asa Dee Vaar; this very thought is expressed in there too with slightly different way; here, the glory of the departing person is referred, but there, a plight of a person, who lives ignoring the Guru, is expressed; what his plight can be hereafter? Find out in the quote given below; I wonder why the Guru has to talk about hereafter when there is no “hereafter” as per the principle of non existence of soul? Let us look two stanzas on 64 SGGS from Asa Dee Vaar

ਪਉੜੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੀਅ ਉਪਾਇ ਕੈ ਲਿਖਿ ਨਾਵੈ ਧਰਮੁ ਬਹਾਲਿਆ ਓਥੈ ਸਚੇ ਹੀ ਸਚਿ ਨਿਬੜੈ ਚੁਣਿ ਵਖਿ ਕਢੇ ਜਜਮਾਲਿਆ ਥਾਉ ਪਾਇਨਿ ਕੂੜਿਆਰ ਮੁਹ ਕਾਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਦੋਜਕਿ ਚਾਲਿਆ ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਇ ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਜਿਣਿ ਗਏ ਹਾਰਿ ਗਏ ਸਿ ਠਗਣ ਵਾਲਿਆ ਲਿਖਿ ਨਾਵੈ ਧਰਮੁ ਬਹਾਲਿਆ ॥੨॥

Pa▫oṛī. Nānak jī▫a upā▫e kai likẖ nāvai ḏẖaram bahāli▫ā. Othai sacẖe hī sacẖ nibṛai cẖuṇ vakẖ kadẖe jajmāli▫ā. Thā▫o na pā▫in kūṛi▫ār muh kālĥai ḏojak cẖāli▫ā. Ŧerai nā▫e raṯe se jiṇ ga▫e hār ga▫e sė ṯẖagaṇ vāli▫ā. Likẖ nāvai ḏẖaram bahāli▫ā. ||2||

In Essence: After creating beings, they are made subject to Dharma/righteous judgement. Under that, based on the truth, decision is taken and faulty ones are taken out. Such false beings get no place and get dishonored in His justice, and they go through miseries; who are absorbed in your Name, oh Prabh, only they pass (that test); the cheaters get defeated. Thus, the Justice of the Almighty has been established.

Its application is given in the next stanza:

ਪਉੜੀ ਆਪੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ ਹੋਇ ਭਸਮੜਿ ਭਉਰੁ ਸਿਧਾਇਆ ਵਡਾ ਹੋਆ ਦੁਨੀਦਾਰੁ ਗਲਿ ਸੰਗਲੁ ਘਤਿ ਚਲਾਇਆ ਅਗੈ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਵਾਚੀਐ ਬਹਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਕਰਿ ਸਮਝਾਇਆ ਥਾਉ ਹੋਵੀ ਪਉਦੀਈ ਹੁਣਿ ਸੁਣੀਐ ਕਿਆ ਰੂਆਇਆ ਮਨਿ ਅੰਧੈ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥੩॥

Pa▫oṛī. Āpīnĥai bẖog bẖog kai ho▫e bẖasmaṛ bẖa▫ur siḏẖā▫i▫ā. vadā ho▫ā ḏunīḏār gal sangal gẖaṯ cẖalā▫i▫ā. Agai karṇī kīraṯ vācẖī▫ai bahi lekẖā kar samjẖā▫i▫ā. Thā▫o na hovī pa▫uḏī▫ī huṇ suṇī▫ai ki▫ā rū▫ā▫i▫ā. Man anḏẖai janam gavā▫i▫ā. ||3||

Stanza: In Essence: After having enjoyed reveling, the body becomes heap of ashes and the soul (ਭਉਰੁ) goes away. When the mortal dies, the soul is led away in a control; the mortal’s good and bad deeds are explained as per the account of the deeds. (Being at fault), the ਭਉਰੁ (soul/jotee) gets no place, and no bewailing is cared about either. Thus, the blind one (in Maya) has wasted his life.

Why the Guru goes in detail how Prabh’s justice is served? How His devotees are spared but mind slaves suffer after death scenario? After death, what account is left anyway to be settled about which the Guru talks about if the soul doesn’t exist?

We see that the word “Joni” is used for womb existence which can also be taken as any way of coming into existence; Fifth Nanak explains that the Creator doesn’t go in a womb (permeating in others is different concept); the words he uses to express that automatically defines :”awai Jawai” or “awan jawan” means to come here on this planet and to depart from here, and when specially these expressions are used in Gurbani along with the word “Joni/existence” or :garbh/mother’s womb”, they certainly convey the meaning of “coming and going” means coming and going into existence; these words are frequently used in SGGS. Let us look at that ( it is on 1136 SGGS) it is made clear how the word “joni” conveys the meaning of mother’s womb and the phraise “awai jawai or awan jawan’ for “coming and going here on this planet”; in the following verses, the Guru indirectly addresses those who believe that Lord Krishana is the Creator:

ਸਗਲ ਪਰਾਧ ਦੇਹਿ ਲੋਰੋਨੀ ਸੋ ਮੁਖੁ ਜਲਉ ਜਿਤੁ ਕਹਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਜੋਨੀ ॥੩॥

Sagal parāḏẖ ḏėh loronī. So mukẖ jala▫o jiṯ kahėh ṯẖākur jonī. ||3||

In Essence: (Shabada is addressed to the person who thinks Krishan Ji is Akalpurakh) The biggest sin of all is giving a lullaby to a stone-god, may that mouth burn which says that the Creator enters into an existence

The Guru also makes it clear what does mean by “awai jawai” as I stated above:

ਜਨਮਿ ਮਰੈ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਇ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਰਹਿਓ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੪॥੧॥

Janam na marai na āvai na jā▫e. Nānak kā parabẖ rahi▫o samā▫e. ||4||1||

In Essence: Prabh of Nanak neither takes birth nor dies; He doesn’t come and go. He always remains pervading (Obviously, the meaning of Janam and Maran and Awai na Jae is made clear here).

If we read Pahre on 76 and 77 SGGS, we see the use of the phrase “awan jana/coming and going” by First Nanak which is defined by the fourth Nanak as: janam maran dukh/pain of birth and death, and then Fifth Nanak defines it as “bahu joni dukh/ pain of many existences. First Nanak’s bani is interpreted by other Gurus in very simple way; if we follow the track of the words used in there, we totally don’t need Vedanta philosophy or any other philosophy to understand him.

On 152, SGGS, the Guru talks about the desires and conceit that detour us from virtuous way, this is also taken as “the Guru’s opinion on death” by Dr Chahal which is incorrect:

ਗਉੜੀ ਮਹਲਾ

Ga▫oṛī mėhlā 1.

Raag Gaurhi, Bani of First Nanak

ਜਾਤੋ ਜਾਇ ਕਹਾ ਤੇ ਆਵੈ ਕਹ ਉਪਜੈ ਕਹ ਜਾਇ ਸਮਾਵੈ

Jāṯo jā▫e kahā ṯe āvai. Kah upjai kah jā▫e samāvai.

In Essence: how to understand from where it comes? From where does it springs up and in what does it merge?

( the Guru is talking about attachments of desires we have, not about the death as DR. Chahal states)

ਕਿਉ ਬਾਧਿਓ ਕਿਉ ਮੁਕਤੀ ਪਾਵੈ ਕਿਉ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਵੈ ॥੧॥

Ki▫o bāḏẖi▫o ki▫o mukṯī pāvai. Ki▫o abẖināsī sahj samāvai. ||1||

Why the mortal is bound (by those desires and so on) and how can he be liberated to settle in ever stable state?

ਨਾਮੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਰਹਰ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਰਹਰ ਨਿਹਕਾਮੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

Nām riḏai amriṯ mukẖ nām. Narhar nām narhar nihkām. ||1|| rahā▫o.

(Answer) one who utters Naam and keeps Naam in heart, like Immaculate Prabh Naam, one becomes immaculate. Pause

Now the Guru elaborates on from where the desires and attachments origin and how through Naam they still within:

ਸਹਜੇ ਆਵੈ ਸਹਜੇ ਜਾਇ ਮਨ ਤੇ ਉਪਜੈ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਇ

Sėhje āvai sėhje jā▫e. Man ṯe upjai man māhi samā▫e.

They come naturally and end naturally; they originate from the mind and end in it.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੁਕਤੋ ਬੰਧੁ ਪਾਇ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ਛੁਟੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਇ ॥੨॥

Gurmukẖ mukṯo banḏẖ na pā▫e. Sabaḏ bīcẖār cẖẖutai har nā▫e. ||2||

The Guru follower remains liberated and doesn’t get bound by attachments and desires; reflecting through Shabd on Hari’s Name, thus one becomes liberated.

ਤਰਵਰ ਪੰਖੀ ਬਹੁ ਨਿਸਿ ਬਾਸੁ ਸੁਖ ਦੁਖੀਆ ਮਨਿ ਮੋਹ ਵਿਣਾਸੁ

Ŧarvar pankẖī baho nis bās. Sukẖ ḏukẖī▫ā man moh viṇās.

The mortals are like the birds staying on a tree for a night (The Guru means: a temporary life), and because of the attachment they harbor in the mind, they endure peace and sorrows and this way they perish.

ਸਾਝ ਬਿਹਾਗ ਤਕਹਿ ਆਗਾਸੁ ਦਹ ਦਿਸਿ ਧਾਵਹਿ ਕਰਮਿ ਲਿਖਿਆਸੁ ॥੩॥

Sājẖ bihāg ṯakėh āgās. Ḏah ḏis ḏẖāvėh karam likẖi▫ās. ||3||

the bird come to stay on a tree, but as the night passes, they depart looking to the sky (means the mortals come and leave this world as the birds come to rest on a tree for a night); this way they wander in many directions as per their actions.

In the above quote, I don’t see any reference of “a defined death” but a reference to the death to take this life as “a temporary stay” to inspire the follower to get over with attachments, and the Guru also elaborates how we get bound from attachment and desires that spring up within.

There is another quote, by referring which Dr Chahal concludes that the Guru clearly says that there is no birth after this life. It is amazing how such a claim can be made when the same Guru talks about repetition of births; let us look at the quote Dr Chahal gives in his article: It is on 1096 SGGS

ਡਖਣੇ ਮਃ

Dakẖ▫ṇe mėhlā 5.

Dakhne, Fifth Nanak

ਆਗਾਹਾ ਕੂ ਤ੍ਰਾਘਿ ਪਿਛਾ ਫੇਰਿ ਮੁਹਡੜਾ

Āgāhā kū ṯarāgẖ picẖẖā fer na muhadṛā.

In Essence: Long to move forward instead of looking backward ( “fer nh “means “do not turn”, “mohadra” means “shoulder”, message is: what is done is done and move on)

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਿਝਿ ਇਵੇਹਾ ਵਾਰ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਹੋਵੀ ਜਨਮੜਾ ॥੧॥

Nānak sijẖ ivehā vār bahuṛ na hovī janamṛā. ||1||

Nanak says: become successful in this very turn ( in this life ਇਵੇਹਾ ਵਾਰ ) so that again there will be no birth (ਹੋਵੀ ਜਨਮੜਾ ), ( it doesn’t say there is not no birth or “Hai”.)

Where is the language in this verse through which the Guru declares that there is no birth after death? It is a turn which should be utilized, but for what? Answer is to remember the Creator. This is what is stressed throughout all Sri Guru Granth Sahib. We don’t plan to leave something incomplete to complete in the next birth; therefore, we don’t need to be told that there is no birth after this; therefore, don’t leave anything unfinished. Point is: do it now so that we don’t have to go through another turn.

Guru Nanak actually is expressing clearly how coming to this world is stopped through reflecting, understanding and realizing Akalpurakh; that shows how Naamu contemplation frees from coming back to this world; if still people want to remain in denial, it is their choice, but the Guru has said so in chrytal clear words; it is on 1328, SGGS:

ਪ੍ਰਭਾਤੀ ਮਹਲਾ

Parbẖāṯī mėhlā 1.

Raag Prabhati, Bani of First Nanak

ਜਾ ਕੈ ਰੂਪੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਮੁਖੁ ਮਾਸਾ

Jā kai rūp nāhī jāṯ nāhī nāhī mukẖ māsā.

In Essence: those ones who have no beauty, caste (high status) and bodily power,

ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਮਿ ਹੈ ਨਿਵਾਸਾ ॥੧॥

Saṯgur mile niranjan pā▫i▫ā ṯerai nām hai nivāsā. ||1||

When they meet the true Guru, they obtain immaculate Prabh; they live in the love of Naamu;

ਅਉਧੂ ਸਹਜੇ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ

A▫oḏẖū sėhje ṯaṯ bīcẖār.

Oh detached one! In poise, reflect on Akalpurakh (contemplate Him in love with stilled mind),

ਜਾ ਤੇ ਫਿਰਿ ਆਵਹੁ ਸੈਸਾਰਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

Jā ṯe fir na āvhu saisār. ||1|| rahā▫o.

Then you will not come into the world again. Pause (Pleae note down the words ਫਿਰਿ and ਆਵਹੁ ਸੈਸਾਰਿ )

My question to the none believers of the soul is that why Guru Nanak is saying that after reflecting and contemplating Akalpurakh, one doesn’t come to this world again?

We need to understand why the Guru asks us to deem this life as “a short stay” on this earth and makes us aware that to what we get attached, do not give us a company as we depart from here. Now let us look at the following statements made by the Guru on 918, SGGS:

ਏਹੁ ਕੁਟੰਬੁ ਤੂ ਜਿ ਦੇਖਦਾ ਚਲੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਲੇ

Ėhu kutamb ṯū jė ḏekẖ▫ḏā cẖalai nāhī ṯerai nāle.

In Essence: the family you see will not go with you;

We know our family remains behind, but where are we going leaving the family behind?

ਸਾਥਿ ਤੇਰੈ ਚਲੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਨਾਲਿ ਕਿਉ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਈਐ

Sāth ṯerai cẖalai nāhī ṯis nāl ki▫o cẖiṯ lā▫ī▫ai.

When it will not go with you, why to get attached to it?

ਐਸਾ ਕੰਮੁ ਮੂਲੇ ਕੀਚੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਅੰਤਿ ਪਛੋਤਾਈਐ

Aisā kamm mūle na kīcẖai jiṯ anṯ pacẖẖoṯā▫ī▫ai.

Do not do anything which leads to repentance in the end;

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕਾ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਸੁਣਿ ਤੂ ਹੋਵੈ ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਲੇ

Saṯgurū kā upḏes suṇ ṯū hovai ṯerai nāle.

Listen to the teachings of the true Guru that will be with you (to support you)

What is that teaching of the Guru? Answer:

ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਤੂ ਸਦਾ ਸਚੁ ਸਮਾਲੇ ॥੧੧॥

Kahai Nānak man pi▫āre ṯū saḏā sacẖ samāle. ||11||

Nanak says: oh dear mind, contemplate eternal Prabh always.

If the family doesn’t go with us, how Naam or singing of His praises can go with us when we are finished right here? If Naam goes with us as per Gurbani, then the death is not an end. After death, where are we going? Aren’t we finished right here as per “non existence of soul thought”? Isn’t the Guru saying that it is He who remains with us hereafter? Now look at the following shabda in which Fifth Guru says contrary to Dr Chahal’s conclusion on 1137 SGGS:

ਭੈਰਉ ਮਹਲਾ

Bẖairo mėhlā 5.

Raag Bhairo, Bani of Fifth Nanak

ਕੋਟਿ ਮਨੋਰਥ ਆਵਹਿ ਹਾਥ ਜਮ ਮਾਰਗ ਕੈ ਸੰਗੀ ਪਾਂਥ ॥੧॥

Kot manorath āvahi hāth. Jam mārag kai sangī pāʼnth. ||1||

In essence: millions of wishes are fulfilled (by Naam). Naamu ( Naam is clearly referred in the Rahao Verse) is the companion on the path of death;

ਗੰਗਾ ਜਲੁ ਗੁਰ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਨਾਮ ਜੋ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਗਤਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਪੀਵਤ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਜੋਨਿ ਭ੍ਰਮਾਮ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

Gangā jal gur gobinḏ nām. Jo simrai ṯis kī gaṯ hovai pīvaṯ bahuṛ na jon bẖarmām. ||1|| rahā▫o.

Gur Prabh”s Naam is pure like the water of Ganges (it is common quote in Indian culture: pure like Ganges); one, who contemplates Naam, becomes liberated, and by tasting Naam, one doesn’t wander in existences again. Pause

Look at the words “ ਜੋਨਿ ਭ੍ਰਮਾਮ “, we already have seen a quote given above in which the Guru points out “Joni” to be born. One cannot just keep saying that “Janam” means a stage of life or evolusion,” and “to be in womb of mother” is another stage of life, and when the Guru talks about Lord Krishna (quote given above) and uses these expressions, only then we should believe that it is about birth and death; we cannot have both ways.

On 1138 SGGS, the Guru says:

ਪਤਿਤ ਪਾਵਨ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਤੇਰੋ ਨਾਉ ਪੂਰਬਿ ਕਰਮ ਲਿਖੇ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

Paṯiṯ pāvan parabẖ ṯero nā▫o. Pūrab karam likẖe guṇ gā▫o. ||1|| rahā▫o.

Prabh! Your Name is the purifier of the sinners. As per the destiny, one sings praises of Prabh. Pause

Siging His praises is related to preordained destiny? How one can justify “ਪੂਰਬਿ ਕਰਮ ਲਿਖੇ ‘preordained destiny” (or let us say “earlier done deeds”) in context of


How Prabh’s Naam remains helper, please read on 230 SGGS:

ਗਉੜੀ ਮਃ

Ga▫oṛī mėhlā 3.

Raag Gauri, Bani of Third Nanak

ਇਸੁ ਜੁਗ ਕਾ ਧਰਮੁ ਪੜਹੁ ਤੁਮ ਭਾਈ ਪੂਰੈ ਗੁਰਿ ਸਭ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਈ

Is jug kā ḏẖaram paṛahu ṯum bẖā▫ī. Pūrai gur sabẖ sojẖī pā▫ī.

In essence: brother! Learn about today’s dharma (righteous way of life) in this world (age/jug refers to today, no reference of other so called Yogas); the perfect Guru has imparted this understanding (what is that? Answer):

ਐਥੈ ਅਗੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਖਾਈ ॥੧॥

Aithai agai har nām sakẖā▫ī. ||1||

Here (ਐਥੈ ) and herafter (ਅਗੈ ), Hari Naam is our helper.

As believers of non existence of soul thought, we can accept that Hari Naam is our helper here, but what about hereafter? Is that “hereafter” is there? If it is not as per the Guru, why he refers to it then? Please also read this (on 469 SGGS)


Mėhlā 1.

First Nanak

ਵਦੀ ਸੁ ਵਜਗਿ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚਾ ਵੇਖੈ ਸੋਇ ਸਭਨੀ ਛਾਲਾ ਮਾਰੀਆ ਕਰਤਾ ਕਰੇ ਸੁ ਹੋਇ

vaḏī so vajag nānkā sacẖā vekẖai so▫e. Sabẖnī cẖẖālā mārī▫ā karṯā kare so ho▫e.

In Essence: whatever is already decided, will become known, Nanak says that eternal Prabh watches that. Everyone may use his or her power to do (something), what the Creator does only that occurs. (Some people interpret first verse as “what is bad deed, it will be known in the world”, but the next verse’s meaning doesn’t support that interpretation)

ਅਗੈ ਜਾਤਿ ਜੋਰੁ ਹੈ ਅਗੈ ਜੀਉ ਨਵੇ ਜਿਨ ਕੀ ਲੇਖੈ ਪਤਿ ਪਵੈ ਚੰਗੇ ਸੇਈ ਕੇਇ ॥੩॥

Agai jāṯ na jor hai agai jī▫o nave. Jin kī lekẖai paṯ pavai cẖange se▫ī ke▫e. ||3||

Hereafter, there is no human caste or power but new ones; there only those are deemed as good ones who obtain honor (by Him)

Obviously, here in this world, caste exists, but what is that place where neither the caste nor the man’s power exists? If these things exist here, then what is that place where power and caste suddenly disappear? What is “ ਅਗੈ ਜੀਉ ਨਵੇ/ agai jī▫o nave” ?

Also please look at the following, it is on 511 SGGS:

ਗਉੜੀ ਮਹਲਾ ਕਾ ਕੀ ਮਾਈ ਕਾ ਕੋ ਬਾਪ ਨਾਮ ਧਾਰੀਕ ਝੂਠੇ ਸਭਿ ਸਾਕ ॥੧॥

Ga▫oṛī mėhlā 5. Kā kī mā▫ī kā ko bāp. Nām ḏẖārīk jẖūṯẖe sabẖ sāk. ||1||

Raag Gaurhi, Bani of Fifth Nanak: In Essence: All relations are false and are for the name’s sake, neither anyone is the mother of anyone nor anyone is the father of anyone.

We beat drums of these relations pretty high, don’t we? Why the Guru is saying that in reality, no one is related with each other the way we see. Here is a point expressed to understand the Guru’s idea. The soul is put in His temporary creation, it starts liking it, when it departs from it, it goes alone, and no relationship is deemed as helpful for the soul at the departing moment because they do not (cannot) accompany the soul. Therefore, they are called false; the true relation is the relation we build with Him by falling in love with Him, and that relation goes with our souls as per Gurbani. Worldly relations are bound to end as the life ends. That is the point stressed here. Keep reading:

ਕਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਮੂਰਖ ਭਖਲਾਇਆ ਮਿਲਿ ਸੰਜੋਗਿ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਤੂੰ ਆਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

Kāhe ka▫o mūrakẖ bẖakẖlā▫i▫ā. Mil sanjog hukam ṯūʼn ā▫i▫ā. ||1|| rahā▫o.

In Essence: Oh fool! Why are you hollering? As per His Ordinance and your destiny (chance), you have come to this life. (Pause)

Here above idea is further elaborated. Our coming here is a part of His Ordinance. When we are here, we establish temporary relationships and we name them. In reality, there is only one relation that is endless, and that is the relationship of the soul with its Creator. As long the Creator Wills, these relations are there; however, when His call comes, these relations are destined to end outright.

ਏਕਾ ਮਾਟੀ ਏਕਾ ਜੋਤਿ ਏਕੋ ਪਵਨੁ ਕਹਾ ਕਉਨੁ ਰੋਤਿ ॥੨॥

Ėkā mātī ekā joṯ. Ėko pavan kahā ka▫un roṯ. ||2||

In Essence: All lives are made from the same clay and the same light of Prabh (Who permeates in them). In them, the same is the breath; when it stops, what is the use of bewailing?


All are made of the same stuff and in all of them His light exists. When this union of His light and this body ends, what can the cries do literally? It is better to understand the fact of soul’s coming into human existence (which is a union of the body and the light). When death occurs, the union of the body and the soul (Light) ends; nonetheless, the light doesn’t die. Only His devotees understand this fact because all others are so much into entanglements that they cannot realize this truth. In doubt, they keep questioning others, “Have you seen a soul? Have you seen God personally?” We are used to get convinced about something if it is shown to our eyes. Even if the shown act is an illusion, we get amazed like seeing Magician’s illusions or special effects in the movies’ however, in the case of above stated idea, many feel difficulty to accept it. Always bear in mind that enlightened ones speak out of their experience. They just don’t make statements to impress others but to share their experience with others. If we are doubtful, their message is not for us. A Sikh shouldn’t have any doubt about this. There are some persons who want to discuss and try to get answers about this experience based on rationality, which is fine; however, the reason behind the faith in the Creator itself cannot be proved on rational measures just as it cannot be proved scientifically that He doesn’t exist. Such kinds of debates are sheer games of mind.

ਮੇਰਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਕਰਿ ਬਿਲਲਾਹੀ ਮਰਣਹਾਰੁ ਇਹੁ ਜੀਅਰਾ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੩॥

Merā merā kar billāhī. Maraṇhār ih jī▫arā nāhī. ||3||

In Essence: At death, people claim the soul to be theirs and bewail, but do not understand that the soul / ਜੀਅਰਾ/ jī▫arā (if we take meaning of Jiara as life, the meaning of the verse is crippled) they think is dead and cry for is not actually perishable.

Above, openly and clearly the Guru expresses the fact we need to understand. We cry at someone’s death in vain, because the soul we cry for doesn’t die. The body is its house which falls apart when the soul takes exit from it at His call. To understand the fact stated in verses number 3, we should also look at the following verses on 1186 SGGS:

ਸਾਧੋ ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਜਾਨਉ

Sāḏẖo ih ṯan mithi▫ā jān▫o.

In Essence: oh saints! Believe that this body is perishable.

ਯਾ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਜੋ ਰਾਮੁ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਸਾਚੋ ਤਾਹਿ ਪਛਾਨੋ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

Yā bẖīṯar jo rām basaṯ hai sācẖo ṯāhi pacẖẖāno. ||1|| rahā▫o.

That Raam (Omnipresent Creator) that abides within, recognize Him only the eternal one. Pause

Above verses explain what is “jiara” and its quality of “being imperishable reality”. In the following verses of the shabda we have been discussing above, the Guru makes clear that when this secret is understood through the Guru (he eradicates that doubt), one becomes liberated:

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਿ ਖੋਲੇ ਕਪਾਟ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਭਏ ਬਿਨਸੇ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਥਾਟ ॥੪॥੪੩॥੧੧੨॥

Kaho Nānak gur kẖole kapāt. Mukaṯ bẖa▫e binse bẖaram thāt. ||4||43||112||

Nanak says: when the Guru opens the mind closed in ignorance, one becomes liberated and doubt disappears.

In the following verse, look at “the condition” put in there, it is on 434 SGGS:

ਯਯੈ ਜਨਮੁ ਹੋਵੀ ਕਦ ਹੀ ਜੇ ਕਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ

Ya▫yai janam na hovī kaḏ hī je kar sacẖ pacẖẖāṇa

In Essence: There will be never birth if (ਜੇ ਕਰਿ /condition) eternal Prabh is realized.

I have given many Gurbani quotes (and there are numerous Gurbani verses) that do not support what Dr Chahal believes in. What he believes in, I respect that though.

Now let us also look at Nanakanian philosophy as Dr Chahal stresses on calling Gurbani a philosophy; he writes:

‘Aeyoh kaha Nanak” means “Guru Nanak says this philosophy”

With all respect, I disagree with Dr Chahal that its meaning is “Guru Nanak says this philosophy” because nowhere else Guru Nanak declares himself a philosopher; he calls himself a poet though. As it is said “Nanak bolai Amrit bani”, in this phrase, the stress is not on its being philosophy but on its being sublime words. Look at the followings: 434 SGGS:

ਕਰੇ ਕਰਾਏ ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਜਾਣੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਇਰ ਇਵ ਕਹਿਆ ॥੩੫॥੧॥

Kare karā▫e sabẖ kicẖẖ jāṇai Nānak sā▫ir iv kahi▫ā. ||35||1|

In Essence: Nanak, the poet says this: Prabh does and causes others to act and knows everything.

If it is “ Keh Nanak” Or “Kahu Nanak” or there is just “Nanak” and the verse, it all means that it is said by Nanak, or Nanak utters this; there is no where any evidence that can convince us that “ eheon Kahe Nanak” means it is a philosophy of Nanak. I just wonder why we need to distort a phrase to add our own thinking in to it. Guru Nanak says on 877, SGGS:

ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਣੀ

Nānak bolai amriṯ baṇī.

Does Amritbanee (ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਣੀ ) mean immortalizing or nectar Bani or nectar philosophy? Have we ever heard about nectar philosophy? It just doesn’t add up when we start giving new meaning to it from “no where context”.

I agree with Dr Chahal that as Gurubani says the education is that which is uplifting; simply to justify one’s own thinking by distorting Gurbani is not fair or uplifting. Nirmale sadhus who got control over interpreting Gurbani for some time, tried to bury the uplifting aspect of Gurbani, and so are Dr Chahal and others, who are aligned with his thoughts, doing. Gurbani is an experience not a thought as it has been taken by Dr Chahal. To prove it a simple example is enough; take words uttered by any of Prabh’s devotees in SGGS, it is the same wording and the same description of the same experience. To express our philosophy, we don’t feel any kind of difficulty, but to express personal spiritual experience of the Creator, we will feel difficulty to express it if we have that experience, which is experienced by His devotees. Look at Sheikh Freed, Kabir and others who walked on this planet before First Nanak, they all speak the same language and express the same inexpressible experience with reservation:

657 SGGS (Bhagat Namdev)

ਗੂੰਗੈ ਮਹਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਰਸੁ ਚਾਖਿਆ ਪੂਛੇ ਕਹਨੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਹੋ ॥੩॥

Gūʼngai mahā amriṯ ras cẖākẖi▫ā pūcẖẖe kahan na jā▫ī ho. ||3||

In Essence: the mute tastes the most sublime nectar, but if he is asked, he cannot express its taste.

327 SGGS (Bhagat Kabir)

ਜਿਨਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਤਿਨਹਿ ਪਛਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਗੂੰਗੇ ਸਾਕਰ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥੧॥

Jin rām jāni▫ā ṯinėh pacẖẖāni▫ā Ji▫o gūnge sākar man māni▫ā. ||1||

In Essence: those who have come to know Prabh, only they have realized, it is like a mute who tastes sugar and pleased with it (but cannot express his feelings in words)

607 SGGS (Fourth Nanak)

ਜਿਨਿ ਇਹ ਚਾਖੀ ਸੋਈ ਜਾਣੈ ਗੂੰਗੇ ਕੀ ਮਿਠਿਆਈ ॥\

Jin ih cẖākẖī so▫ī jāṇai gūnge kī miṯẖi▫ā▫ī

Who has tasted this, knows it because its taste is like the tasting of sweet by a mute.

On 1205, SGGS (Fifth Nanak)

ਬਿਸਮ ਭਈ ਪੇਖਿ ਬਿਸਮਾਦੀ ਪੂਰਿ ਰਹੇ ਕਿਰਪਾਵਤ

Bisam bẖa▫ī pekẖ bismāḏī pūr rahe kirpāvaṯ.

In Essence: I am amazed to see wondrous and Merciful Prabh who is all pervading


ਪੀਓ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਮੋਲਕ ਜਿਉ ਚਾਖਿ ਗੂੰਗਾ ਮੁਸਕਾਵਤ ॥੧॥

Pī▫o amriṯ nām amolak ji▫o cẖākẖ gūngā muskāvaṯ. ||1||

I have drunk precious nectar Naam; I can just smile as a mute does after tasting something (which cannot be expressed).

A person, who goes through such a spiritual experience, cannot express it in detail unlike us who, without understanding and experiencing it, start building pyramid of thoughts and keep churning water to get butter out of it.

Time has come for the Sikhs to study Gurbani by themselves instead of depending on anyone else; many thanks to Harjinder Singh Gill, Santa Monica for providing SGGS Gurmukhi and English data on the line, which has made it easier to study SGGS. I recommend studying a Gurbani grammar rules and looking at the words used in various contexts to figure out the meaning of the words used to express the inexpressible experience of His union. Guru Nanak’s bani is interpreted by Second Nanak, Third Nanak, Fourth Nanak, Fifth Nanak and Ninth Nanak in a very simple way; follow them instead of following anyone else including me.

Above article is taken from http://gursoch.blogspot.in/2012/03/experience-beyond-science-or.html

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