Couple of days back, a very powerful Indian political personality Smt Jayalalitha (Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) died. She had all the power, fame, resources, best medical treatment and yet she could not be saved. She was sick and remained in hospital for 90 days. All the best doctors of the world were summoned, yet she died. She was a popular personality among the masses and millions prayed for her recovery yet she died. About 250 of her supporters and fans committed suicide in the state of Tamil Nadu on hearing of her death.
When she was in hey day of her political power, people waited for her audience for days and hours. She was a law unto herself. She had amassed huge wealth, a palatial house, thousands of good clothes and sarees, hundreds pair of shoes, many ornaments and what not, yet she died after being bed ridden for her entire stay in the hospital. She did set up many populist measures for the poor in the state like cheap eating joints and many other highly subsidized facilities, which were of course at the cost of tax payer’s contributions. She was also embroiled in many corruption cases and even had to go to jail for some duration. During her lifetime she was so powerful that no subordinate political person of her party could dare oppose her. She remained the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state for a long time. Yet she died in a most helpless state in a very modern and expensive hospital. She was buried with much fanfare on the sea beach but the fact remains that she is gone and would soon be forgotten.
Thus one wonders as to what is the value of a human being? Why one feels so helpless towards the end? Why do we chase money, power and fame throughout our life? Why cannot each one of us live a peaceful and contented life and be good member of the society?
Today morning while going through the Sikh scriptures, I came across very meaningful verses written by Saint Namdev in Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) which echo the similar sentiments;
“Matee ko putraa kaisay nachat hai.”
‘How does a puppet of clay (human being) dance?’
“Daykhai daykhai sunai bolai daori firat hai”
He/She looks and listens, hears and speaks and runs around.’
“Jab kuchh paavai tab garab karat hai”
‘When He/She acquires something, He/She is inflated with ego.’
“Maaiaa gayee tab rovan lagat hai”
‘But when his/her wealth is gone, then He/she cries.’
“Mann bach karam ras kaseh lubhanaa.”
‘In thought, word and deed He/She is attached to the sweet and juicy things.’
” Binas gayiaa jaaye kahoon samanaa.”
When He/She dies, no one knows where He/she has gone.”
(Bhagat Namdev, SGGS Page 487)
Thus what is the value and essence of life? Even the strongest of the people wither away with time and are soon forgotten. The Sikh scripture have the answer to this riddle and Guru Nanak wrote that remedy lies in doing one’s duty towards the family, society and the humanity, earning your livelihood with hard work and honest means and donate part of their earnings for the needy.
” Ghal Khaye Kichh Hathon De, Nanak rah pachhane se.”
‘ One who works hard, earn their livelihood by fair means and donates part of his/her earnings for their needy, have indeed understood the true path of life.’ (SGGS Page 1245).
Similar sentiments are expressed which facilitate making one’s life sublime.
“Jinee naam dhiyaaiaa gaaye maskat ghal, Nanak tay mukh ujlay kaytee chhuti naal.”
‘Those who have meditated on Lord’s name and have departed after having worked hard during their life time, O Nanak their faces are radiant in the Court of the Lord and they save many who come in their contact.’ (SGGS Page 8).
Therefore let us follow the teachings of our great masters and continue with the journey of life.