In the Encyclopaedia of Sikhism by Ramesh Dogra and Dr. Gobind Singh Mansukhani (1996), Vikas Publishing House), there is a sakhi about Guru Amardas Ji.
At page 23 of the Encyclopedia we come across this passage.
Guru Amardas Ji valued human life greatly and considered it a golden opportunity for spiritual achievement. According to Guru Ji the body is a temple of God and as such it has to be looked after and properly maintained. Apart from care of one’s health, unnecessary risks need to be avoided.
One day Guru Amardas Ji was passing through the streets of Goindwal during the rainy season. Many houses were in a dilapidated condition.
The Guru crossed the street quickly and told the Sikhs to do the same, for there was the likelihood of some structures collapsing while they were passing.
The Sikhs were surprised at the Guru’s sudden hurry and asked Him if he were afraid of death.
The Guru told them He was not afraid of death, but human life being a precious gift of God should be cared for and preserved.
Sikhism regards self injury as unnecessary and undue risk as of no spiritual merit. Just as a tree which is preserved well will bear blossom and fruit, in the same way, if the body is kept at a distance from risk and insecurity, it can practice charity, simran as well as social service”.
Some parcharaks and kirtanias have posed the question to the sanggat as to whether they are scared of death.
They miss the point. One should not be scared of death as it will surely come to all.
But the reason for suspending some programs is to avoid the risk of infection. It does not mean if you are infected, you will surely die. Thousands have recovered from Covid-19 infection. But the period their bodies were infected left them unable to function properly.
We all know fire will burn you. If you keep your hands safe from fire does not mean you are fearful of death. It just means you wish to avoid unnecessary injury to yourself and take common sense precautions.
Remember, if you get infected, it is a very high probability that your loved ones, including children, might get infected too.
Best to take precautions. You can do satsang by listening to Shabad Kirtan on youtube or other sources.
You can start reading the paath you have put off for so long.
Sit down in simran. Go deep inwards. Connect with Shabad Guruji within yourself and be guided to Nirankar within you.
Do satsang with your own family. Start reading Rehras together as a family.
As the virus dissipates you find you have enriched yourself through Gurbani at your own home.
Satsang is very important. But in the present circumstances, for the safety of all it is best to cancel/postpone as many programs as practical.
Guru Amardas Ji tells us that we can achieve union with God in our homes too.
(Ang 1421. Slok 64 Vaaran te Vadeek)
”Nanak ghar bethiyan jog paaiye satgur ke updesh”
ਨਾਨਕ ਘਰਿ ਬੈਠਿਆ ਜੋਗੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਉਪਦੇਸਿ ॥੬੪॥
(Nanak says you can achieve union (jog) with God sitting at home through the Teaching of the Satguru).
Bhai Manjeet Singh, now retired, started Shabad Veechar discussion groups in 2002 while running law firm in Kuala Lumpur. You can find his writings and audio recordings here. This article first appeared here.
The four laavan (Asia Samachar, 9 Sept 2017)