Revisiting death


THE prevailing thinking of death and what happens after death is a muddled idea that needs clarification.

In this second of a 12 video series on ‘Sikhi Concepts’, Dr Karminder Singh attempts to revisit the topic. (See introductory video here).

“The focus and obsession of the old canvas was death and after-death,” he argues.

By redefining death, Guru Nanak did two things. First, he shook the very foundation of the d canvas. He pulled the rug from under the feet of that canvass, so to speak. He demolished the two pillars that held up that canvas: death and the fear of what happens after death.

In redefining death Guru Nanak established the foundation of his own Sikhi: life and living in the her and now.

Gurbani provides a proper, balanced and realistic understanding of the notion of death. It can be summarised into four principles:

  • Physical death is for everyone
  • Physical death is certain
  • We are all in cue
  • Physical death is the return of elements back to their source.

These alignment is liberating because it frees us from the concocted tale, it frees us from the anxiety of a fabricated journey, and it liberates us from the worry of a faked journey. The alignment is meaningful because it tells us to make the very best of our lives. It tells us to live our lives in the here and the now. It tells us to live our lives positively in bliss and joy while contributing to humanity. It tells us to the fullest, right up to the moment of certainty of physical death.

“This is gift of liberation to mankind by Guru Nanak. It’s a blessing of freedom from fear that Gurbani provides us,” he says.

Dr Karminder, author of five newly released books on Sikhi, then goes on to discuss the ‘two revolutionary’ meanings of death in Gurbani. What are they?


Part 1: Guru Nanak’s Canvas

Part 2: Death

Part 3: After Life

Part 4: 8.4 million (Chaurasi Lakh)

Part 5: Reincarnation

Part 6: Heaven and Hell

Part 7: Salvation in Afterlife (Mukti)

Part 8: Court of Judgement (Dargah)

Part 9: Dhrm Raj



Karminder talks about what shaped his thinking, and his latest books on Sikhi (Asia Samachar, 20 Nov 2020)


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