Many many have left this world and many keep leaving, but the deluded individual, stuck in the web of maya and illusion and deceived by desire does not believe that he too will have to leave. The closest and most beloved friends have left before his eyes and keep leaving, but the friend left behind keeps believing and has convinced himself that he will never leave. He has this false hope that he will remain at this place forever.
The nagaara (drum) of death may beat at everyone’s head but everyone everywhere believes that “this drum is not for me, it is only for others”. Some are completely unaware that we too one day will be the prey of this death. And some deceive themselves by thinking that remembering death is a trouble and think, “when it’s time to die, death will come itself. To think about death before that is pointless. Enjoy your days of youth and enjoy life while you have it. When death comes, we’ll worry about it then. It is not as though life is finished quite yet.”
But they who say this do not understand “ਮਰਣਿਨਮੂਰਤੁਪੁਛਿਆਪੁਛੀਥਿਤਿਨਵਾਰੁ ॥” (1244) and nor do they have news that “ਹਮਆਦਮੀਹਾਂਇਕਦਮੀਮੁਹਲਤਿਮੁਹਤੁਨਜਾਣਾ ॥”(660).
What trust can we put on our breaths? A breath could come or not come. Death is not bound by the condition that it must only come in old age. Some leave in the prime of youth. Some do not even come into youth and leave in childhood. When we daily see death take away lives like this every day, then how can we have hope of more life? And what anticipation of a long life can remain? And what purpose or benefit are those days that pass under this false hope and desire?
Living life while unaware of death and wanting a long life is something that falls in the pages of sin. According to the gurvaak “ਵਾਟਵਟਾਊਆਇਆਨਿਤਚਲਦਾਸਾਥੁਦੇਖੁ ॥”, we should know death to always be upon our heads yet at the same time we should not live life in fear of death, but in fear of sin and tremble in the terror of committing sin. And in this solemn and fearful state we should put right our lives and make our life-journey worthwhile. In this way we can remove the fear of death from our minds. In this state, death is not death, it is liberation. In a state of fearlessness of death, leaving is not death, it is Akaal ChalaaNaa (leaving for the timeless one). In this way, dying as a MarjeevaRaa (one who has died while alive ie. Gursikh) is not death but having set right one’s death.
Blessed are the lives of those individuals who have died this way and set right their deaths. “ਜੀਵਤਸਾਹਿਬੁਸੇਵਿਓਅਪਨਾਚਲਤੇਰਾਖਿਓਚੀਤਿ ॥” (1000). We hear about those sacred souls in the Guru’s home who have completed their life-journey according to the given gurvaak and had Akaal ChalaaNaa. But has the enthusiasm to follow the example of such individuals ever arisen in our hearts? If it has not, then know that as of yet, within our souls, that seed of dharma (faith) has not grown which will give life to our God-oriented Panthic jeevan.
Otherwise, our panthic history is completely filled with sacred examples to follow. In this present time too, before our eyes, there are many individuals with Gurmukh jeevan who do Akaal ChalaaNaa and give us their example to encourage us. But we do not notice them at all and we do not change. Nor does the fear of death touch us nor does the desire to imitate the soul of one who does Akaal ChalaaNaa rise within us.