10 lessons from Gurbani that Coronovirus pandemic reminds us of

A reminder for us to establish a relationship with the Guru ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

Thursday, March 26, 2020

ਕਰੋਨਾ ਦੀ ਮਹਾ ਮਾਰੀ ਵੇਲੇ ੧੦ ਉਪਦੇਸ਼ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਯਾਦ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲੇ ।
10 lessons from Gurbani that Coronovirus pandemic reminds us of

by: Bhai Manvir Singh

The Infinite Wisdom of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is relevant at all times and for all people. The Creator talks to humanity through the Holy Words of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, providing clarity during uncertainty, reassurance during insecurity, and hope during helplessness. 

The sad pandemic of Covid-19, also known as Coronavirus, is a reminder for us to establish a relationship with Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and have conversations with the Guru. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji not only provides answers, but provides love, support and direction for our lives and for humanity.

Below are 10 lessons from Gurbani (the Holy Words of the Guru) that this pandemic helps to remember:

1. Humans easily become divorced from the reality that the world we know is only temporary. Only the Creator alone is eternal. However, human kind easily falls in the trap of becoming self-absorbed in just working, making money, and temporary pleasures.

ਸਚੁ ਜਾਣੈ ਕਚੁ ਵੈਦਿਓ ਤੂ ਆਘੂ ਆਘੇ ਸਲਵੇ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਆਤਸੜੀ ਮੰਝਿ ਨੈਣੂ ਬਿਆ ਢਲਿ ਪਬਣਿ ਜਿਉ ਜੁੰਮਿਓ ॥੨॥
सचु जाणै कचु वैदिओ तू आघू आघे सलवे ॥
Sacẖ jāṇai kacẖ vaiḏi▫o ṯū āgẖū āgẖe salve.
नानक आतसड़ी मंझि नैणू बिआ ढलि पबणि जिउ जुमिओ ॥२॥
Nānak āṯasṛī manjẖ naiṇū bi▫ā dẖal pabaṇ ji▫o jummi▫o. ||2||

You believe what is false and temporary to be true, and so you run on and on. O Nanak! Like butter in the fire, it shall melt away; it shall fade away like the water-lily. ||2||
(Maaroo M:5, Ang 1095)

2. With advancement of technology, more wealth and an increase of power, humans sometimes think they are invisible. However, the reality is that we are fragile bodies made of the five elements.

ਅਮਰ ਜਾਨਿ ਸੰਚੀ ਇਹ ਕਾਇਆ ਇਹ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਕਾਚੀ ਗਗਰੀ ॥
ਜਿਨਹਿ ਨਿਵਾਜਿ ਸਾਜਿ ਹਮ ਕੀਏ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਬਿਸਾਰਿ ਅਵਰ ਲਗਰੀ ॥੧॥

अमर जानि संची इह काइआ इह मिथिआ काची गगरी ॥
Amar jān sancẖī ih kā▫i▫ā ih mithi▫ā kācẖī gagrī.
जिनहि निवाजि साजि हम कीए तिसहि बिसारि अवर लगरी ॥१॥
Jinėh nivāj sāj ham kī▫e ṯisėh bisār avar lagrī. ||1||
Believing this body to be immortal, I pampered it, but it is a fragile and perishable vessel.  Forgetting the Lord who formed, fashioned and embellished me, I have become attached to another. ||1||
(Bilaaval Kabeer Ji, Ang 856)

3. At time of death one dies alone, with even family not able to stand by their side. Hospitals are not allowing any relatives to go near anyone who has been quarantined for Covid-19. Furthermore, families cannot bathe or dress their dead and funerals cannot be attended more than 2 people.  

ਦੁਖ ਸੁਖ ਕਰਿ ਕੈ ਕੁਟੰਬੁ ਜੀਵਾਇਆ ॥
ਮਰਤੀ ਬਾਰ ਇਕਸਰ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥

दुख सुख करि कै कुट्मबु जीवाइआ ॥
Ḏukẖ sukẖ kar kai kutamb jīvā▫i▫ā.

मरती बार इकसर दुखु पाइआ ॥२॥
Marṯī bār iksar ḏukẖ pā▫i▫ā. ||2||

Through pain and pleasure, you have taken care of your family. But at the time of death, you shall have to endure the agony all alone. ||2||
(Soohee Kabeer Ji, Ang 792)

4. Everyone should be prepared for death. Someone you know will inevitably die with this pandemic

ਰਾਮ ਨ ਜਪਹੁ ਕਵਨ ਮਤਿ ਲਾਗੇ ॥
ਮਰਿ ਜਇਬੇ ਕਉ ਕਿਆ ਕਰਹੁ ਅਭਾਗੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

राम न जपहु कवन मति लागे ॥
Rām na japahu kavan maṯ lāge.
मरि जइबे कउ किआ करहु अभागे ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
Mar ja▫ibe ka▫o ki▫ā karahu abẖāge. ||1|| rahā▫o.
You have not meditated on the Lord; what thoughts are you attached to? What preparations are you making for your death, O unfortunate one? ||1||Pause||
(Soohee Kabeer Ji, Ang 792)

5. In an instant the world has been allowed to heal from the suffering imposed on it by humans through deforestation, pollution, animal cruelty and careless human behavior towards the world. 

ਏਹੁ ਆਕਾਰੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੈ ਧਾਰਾ ॥
ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਕਰਤ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ਬਾਰਾ ॥੨॥

एहु आकारु तेरा है धारा ॥
Ėhu ākār ṯerā hai ḏẖārā.
खिन महि बिनसै करत न लागै बारा ॥२॥
Kẖin mėh binsai karaṯ na lāgai bārā. ||2||
This Creation was established by You. In an instant You destroy it, and You create it again without a moment's delay. ||2||
(Bhairo M:3, Ang 1128)

6. We are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we are. This disease has engulfed people beyond distinguishes and boundaries. Royalty like Prince Charles, actors like Tom Hanks and countless politicians and religious figures have tested positive for Covid-19. 

ਧਨਵੰਤਾ ਅਰੁ ਨਿਰਧਨ ਮਨਈ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਕਾਨੀ ਰੇ ॥
ਰਾਜਾ ਪਰਜਾ ਸਮ ਕਰਿ ਮਾਰੈ ਐਸੋ ਕਾਲੁ ਬਡਾਨੀ ਰੇ ॥੨॥

धनवंता अरु निरधन मनई ता की कछू न कानी रे ॥
Ḏẖanvanṯā ar nirḏẖan man▫ī ṯā kī kacẖẖū na kānī re.
राजा परजा सम करि मारै ऐसो कालु बडानी रे ॥२॥
Rājā parjā sam kar mārai aiso kāl badānī re. ||2||
It gives no special consideration to either the rich or the poor. The king and his subjects are equally killed; such is the power of Death. ||2||
(Bilaaval Kabeer Ji, Ang 855)

7. It is important to live in a disciplined manner and following precautions to avoid inner and out disease and sickness.  

ਗੁਰਿ ਪੂਰੈ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਦੀਆ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਤਉ ਫਿਰਿ ਦੂਖ ਨ ਥੀਆ ॥੪੫॥

गुरि पूरै संजमु करि दीआ ॥
Gur pūrai sanjam kar ḏī▫ā.
नानक तउ फिरि दूख न थीआ ॥४५॥
Nānak ṯa▫o fir ḏūkẖ na thī▫ā. ||45||
The Perfect Guru given instructions for precautions and how to live. O Nanak! (Following this) one then does not suffer illness. ||45|| 
(Gauree M:5, Ang 259)

8. Each and every one has to make an effort to act, be responsible, share and help one another. If we do that, let go of our worries and stress, by putting our trust in God as our Helper. 

ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇਦਿਆ ਜੀਉ ਤੂੰ ਕਮਾਵਦਿਆ ਸੁਖ ਭੁੰਚੁ ॥
ਧਿਆਇਦਿਆ ਤੂੰ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਮਿਲੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਉਤਰੀ ਚਿੰਤ ॥੧॥

उदमु करेदिआ जीउ तूं कमावदिआ सुख भुंचु ॥
Uḏam kareḏi▫ā jī▫o ṯūʼn kamāvḏi▫ā sukẖ bẖuncẖ.
धिआइदिआ तूं प्रभू मिलु नानक उतरी चिंत ॥१॥
Ḏẖi▫ā▫iḏi▫ā ṯūʼn parabẖū mil Nānak uṯrī cẖinṯ. ||1||
Make the effort, and you shall live; practicing it, you shall enjoy peace. O Nanak! Through meditating you shall meet God and your anxiety shall vanish. ||1||
(Goojree M:5, Ang 522)

9. Through prayer and meditation we become self-confident and attain the will-power to fight and get through disease and crisis. 

ਮਨੁ ਨ ਡਿਗੈ ਤਨੁ ਕਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਡਰਾਇ ॥
ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਚਿਤੁ ਰਹਿਓ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
मनु न डिगै तनु काहे कउ डराइ ॥
Man na digai ṯan kāhe ka▫o darā▫e.
चरन कमल चितु रहिओ समाइ ॥ रहाउ ॥
Cẖaran kamal cẖiṯ rahi▫o samā▫e. Rahā▫o.
The mind which is absorbed in the Lord, such a mind is not shaken (in hardships); then how can the body become frightened? ||1||Pause|| 
(Bhairo M:5, Ang 1162)

10. Seeing the world in melt-down, we are reminded to turn to the Creator-Lord and rely on the power of Ardaas (prayer) and take refuge in the calmness and coolness that comes chanting and remembering the Lord's Name:

ਏਹੁ ਜਗੁ ਜਲਤਾ ਦੇਖਿ ਕੈ ਭਜਿ ਪਏ ਹਰਿ ਸਰਣਾਈ ਰਾਮ ॥
ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ਕਰੀਂ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਆਗੈ ਰਖਿ ਲੇਵਹੁ ਦੇਹੁ ਵਡਾਈ ਰਾਮ ॥

एहु जगु जलता देखि कै भजि पए हरि सरणाई राम ॥
Ėhu jag jalṯā ḏekẖ kai bẖaj pa▫e har sarṇā▫ī rām.
अरदासि करीं गुर पूरे आगै रखि लेवहु देहु वडाई राम ॥
Arḏās karīʼn gur pūre āgai rakẖ levhu ḏeh vadā▫ī rām.
Seeing that this world on fire, hurry to the Sanctuary of the Lord (where you can be saved). Offer your prayer to the Perfect Guru: please save me, and bless me with greatness of being able to remember You. 
(Vadhans M:3, Ang 571)

Manvir Singh

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