Came across a sermon by a holy Sikh preacher who quoted the famous Shabad (gurbani) by Guru Nanak that says:
“Hum aadmi hai ik dami hai
mohlat mahat na jana” which can be loosely translated as “Human beings live for short moment, not knowing the appointed time of departure.”
He cites a very glaring example of a person who has been advised by his Doctor that he has only one week to live as his serious ailment has now reached its end stage. The sermoniser asks the audience, “ Do you think such a person will fight with anyone or have greed to shortchange someone for quick gains or any such requirement for any material gain? His standard refrain to all this would be that what he needs to accumulate materials for or to have avarice for more as in any case he’s going!” The preacher further tells his audience that if such a person has even an iota of intelligence, he’d be bereft of all insecurities, fears or despair! To drive home his point, he says that if a person destined to live at least one week realises the futility of greed, materialism, fear, insecurity etc, what about all of us, who have no guarantee as to whether we will be alive to live the next moment! And then he quotes the aforesaid bani of Guru Nanak that there’s only one last breath that separates us from death!
The preacher further says that it doesn’t mean that due to uncertainty of life, we should not do or plan anything but wait for the ultimate moment. In fact, the message exhorts us to plan for positive things – progress, benevolence, charity, character and nation building, kindness et al!
A very powerful thought that, in fact , not only promotes positivity but expels negativity by stressing impermanence of everything, including life. And this immediately brings me to my favourite topic – Covid 19! If life is momentary, Corona cannot be permanent. If we are not to have greed for or attachment to materials , we definitely not need to fear pandemics, cyclones, floods, droughts etc.
Let’s live the moment!