Every one is concerned about death which is inevitable and none knows its time. A fatal accident can cause death in no time, still we have forgotten death and are badly involved in worldly affairs. Even science has failed to conquer it completely. It is the law of the nature that everyone who is born will die, but still everyone wants to avoid it. It is a universal experience which one must face at sometime. It does not differentiate between rich and the poor or between the young and the old. It is a mystery and none is certain about what happens after death. Most of us long for heaven after death. Some say that body is subject to death and soul is immortal, while others do not agree. For some death is a tragedy from which they may never recover. For others, it is a transformation. Most of us believe that God creates and destroys the world , but atheist do not believe it. Let us see what Gurbani says about death.

Death is Inevitable

Gurbani teaches us that death is inevitable. It is law of the nature. Whosoever is born must die. Rich and poor, young and old all die. Guru Nanak Dev has written:

jo AwieAw so clsI sBu koeI AweI vwrIAY ] (SGGS:474)
'Whosoever has come shall depart; all shall have their turn.'

mrxu ilKwie mMfl mih Awey ]ikau rhIAY clxw prQwey ] (SGGS1022)
'With their death already preordained, mortals come into this world.
How can they remain here? They have to go to the world beyond.'

ijqu idhwVY Dn vrI swhy ley ilKwie ] ( Sheikh Farid..SGGS;1377)
The day of the bride's ( mortal's) wedding (death) is pre-ordained.

Death Knows no Time

Nobody knows the time of death, but only God knows it. Some die in infancy while others die in old age. Death does not consider time, age or place. Sometimes it occurs due to unexpected causes. It is good that we do not know the time of our death. Had we known it,our progress would have stopped. Guru Nanak Dev has rightly said:

mrix n mUrqu puiCAw puCI iQiq n vwru ] (SGGS1244)
'Death does not ask the time; it does not ask the date or the day of the week.'

Sheikh Farid has nicely expressed this idea in the following quote:
PrIdw drIAwvY kMn@Y bgulw bYTw kyl kry]
kyl krydy hMJ no AicMqy bwj pey ]
bwj pey iqsu rbu dy kylW ivsrIAW]
jo min iciq n cyqy sn sy gwlI rb kIAW]
'Freed, the crane perches on the river bank, playing joyfully.
While it is playing, a hawk suddenly pounces upon it.
When the Hawk of God attacks, playful sport is forgotten.
God does what is not expected or even not foreseen'.

Who Controls Birth and Death?

MaaraiRaakhe (23K)According to Gurbani only God controls death. He has the power to create and destroy. None can interfere or order Him. Everyone is under His command. It does not mean that we should not take precautions or refuse medical treatment.

hukmy AwvY hukmy jwvY hukmy rhY smweI ] (Guru Nanak Dev. SGGS:940)
'Everyone comes here at the Lord's command, leaves in His will and remains merged, too, in the Lord's will.'
guxdwqw vrqY sB AMqir isir isir ilKdw swhw hy ] (Guru Amar Daas. SGGS:1055)
'The Giver of virtue(the Lord) is pervading deep within all the beings; He inscribes the time of destiny upon each and every person's head.'

kauqku kwlu iehu hukim pTwieAw ] (Guru Arjan Dev. SGGS:1081)
'In His Will,the Lord has sent us this wondrous death.'

Let us not Forget Death and Entangle ourselves too much in Worldly Affairs

When death is unavoidable and it can come at any time, we should not entangle ourselves too much in worldly affairs as we cannot take any thing with us after death. We should avoid being proud of our wealth which may not be ours for ever. We should try to become a good human being, remember death and God:

swihbu sm@wilh pMQu inhwilh Asw iB EQY jwxw ] (Guru Nanak Dev. SGGS: 579)
'Let us remember the Lord and Master in contemplation, and keep a watchful eye on the Path. We shall have to go there .'

hm AwdmI hW iek dmI muhliq muhqu n jwxw ]
nwnku ibnvY iqsY sryvhu jw ky jI prwxw ]
( Guru Nanak Dev. SGGS:660)
'We are human being of a single breath; we do not know the appointed time (of our departure).
Prays Nanak, serve the One, to whom our soul and breath of life belong'.

imrqu hsY isr aUpry psUAw nhI bUJY ]
bwd swd AhMkwr mih mrxw nhI sUJY ]
Guru Arjan Dev. SGGS:809)
'Death hovers over his head, laughing, but the beast (foolish human being) does not understand.
Entangled in conflict, pleasure and egotism, human beings do not even think of death.'

Death and Holy Persons

Death of those who remember God and lead a pure life facilitates their union with God. We should lead an honest life doing good deeds and keep God in our mind. Thus we can lessen the fear of death and not blame death. Guru Nanak Dev says:
mrxu n mMdw lokw AwKIAY jy mir jwxY AYsw koie ]
syivhu swihbu sMmRQu Awpxw pMQu suhylw AwgY hoie ]
pMiQ suhylY jwvhu qW Plu pwvhu AwgY imlY vfweI ]
BytY isau jwvhu sic smwvhu qW piq lyKY pweI ]
mhlI jwie pwvhu KsmY Bwvhu rMg isau rlIAw mwxY ]
mrxu n mMdw lokw AwKIAY jy koeI mir jwxY ]
'Death would not be called bad if one knows how to truly die.
Serve your omnipotent Lord.
Thus, your path in the world hereafter will be easy to tread.
If you go by the easy route, you shall gather fruit and receive honor in the world beyond.
If you go with the offering of meditation, you shall merge in the True Lord and your honor will be approved.
You shall obtain place in the Master's mansion; being pleasing to Him, you shall enjoy the pleasure of His love.
If one knows to die (like this), one shall not call death bad'.

kbIr sMq mUey ikAw roeIAY jo Apuny igRih jwie ] (Bhagat Kabir. SGGS:1365)
'Kabeer, why cry at the death of a Saint? He is just going back to his home (the Lord's court).'

kbIr ijsu mrny qy jgu frY myry mn AwnMdu ]
mrny hI qy pweIAY pUrnu prmwnMdu ]
(Bhagat Kabir. SGGS: 1365)
'Kabir, death, of which the whole world is terrified, is pleasing unto me;
as it is in death alone, that one is blessed with the Supreme Bliss.'

Soul and Death

ReincarnationCycle (24K)

According to Gurbani our soul is immortal and never dies, while this body is mortal. Death does not mean the death of our soul. After death soul of the god-fearing persons merges in the Lord as a ray of the sun merges with the sun and a drop of rain water mixes with the ocean.:-

sUrj ikrix imly jl kw jlu hUAw rwm ]
joqI joiq rlI sMpUrn uQIAw rwm ]
Guru Arjan Dev.SGGS:846)
'As the ray blends with the sun and water merges with water,
so blends the human light with the Supreme Light and becomes totally perfect'

iehu qau rcnu ricAw krqwir ]
Awvq jwvq hukim Apwir ]
nh ko mUAw n mrxY jogu ]
nh ibnsY AibnwsI hogu ] 
(Guru Arjan Dev.SGGS:885)
'The Creator Lord created this creation.
It comes and goes, subject to the Will of the Infinite Lord.
No one dies; no one is capable of dying.
The soul does not perish; it is imperishable.'

No Mourning after Death

Gurbani teaches us not to weep over the death of anybody. We should submit to the will of the Lord and pray that the departed soul may rest in peace. Gurbani says people cry not for the dead but how it affects them:

mq mY ipCY koeI rovsI so mY mUil n BwieAw ] (Baba Sundar.SGGS:923)
'Let no one weep for me, after I die. That is not at all pleasing to me'.

AMqy siqguru boilAw mY ipCY kIrqnu kirAhu inrbwxu jIau ](Baba Sundar.SGGS:923)
'Finally the True Guru said," When I am gone, sing the praise of the Pure Lord."

Bgqu siqguru purKu soeI ijsu hir pRB Bwxw Bwvey ] (Baba Sundar.SGGS:923)
'One who is eased with the Lord's will is a devotee, the True Guru and the sublime person'.

Let us not be afraid of Death

Gurbani teaches us that we should not be afraid of death and live an honest life remembering God. This life is temporary and everyone has to leave this world sooner or latter. We should not think of hell or heaven rather desire to be united with God:

kbIr surg nrk qy mY rihE siqgur ky prswid ]
crn kml kI mauj mih rhau AMiq Aru Awid ]
(Bhagat Kabir.SGGS: 1370)
'Kabir says," By the grace of the Lord, I have escaped from the desire of paradise and the fear of death.
Always I live in the memory of the Lord's lotus feet'.

Gurbani Teaches to Die while Living

Gurbani advices us to live humbly and thus die while living . We should remember God sincerely and not feel proud of our wealth:

sbid mrY su muAw jwpY ]
kwlu n cwpY duKu n sMqwpY ]
(Guru Amar Dass. GGS:111)
'A devotee who dies by Guru's hymns (lives a humble life) is truly dead.
His death does not crush him, and pain does not afflict him.'

sd jIvnu Blo khWhI ]mUey ibnu jIvnu nwhI ] (Bhagat Kabir.SGGS:655)
'People say it is good to live forever, but without dying (living humbly), there is no life.'


According to Gurbani death is inevitable and its time is fixed by God. We should not be afraid of death, rather we should lead an honest life, remember God and live a humble life. Death unites holy persons with God. Soul does not die while our body is subject to death. We should not mourn after the death of some body and submit to God's Will. We did not bring anything with us and will go empty handed:
ttY tMcu krhu ikAw pRwxI GVI ik muhiq ik auiT clxw ]
jUAY jnmu n hwrhu Apxw Bwij pVhu qum hir srxw ]
(Guru Nanak Dev. SGGS:433)
'Tatta: Why do you practice hypocrisy, O mortal?
In a moment, in an instant, you shall have to get up and depart.
Don't lose your life in the gamble - hurry to the Lord's Sanctuary.'

nWgy Awvnu nWgy jwnw ]koie n rihhY rwjw rwnw ] (Bhagat Kabir.SGGS:1157)
'Naked we come, and naked we go. No one, not even the kings and queens, shall remain.'

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