(Chance to meet PARMATMA)
If we ask any body that in addition to his worldly affairs he should spare sometime for Bhagati, he will immediately reply that he does not have the time to die even, leave aside Bhagati. Perhaps he forgets that when death comes there will be no escape. Similarly others give a million and one excuses. They say that they will start doing Bhagati definitely as soon as their PARISTHITI (outer circumstances) improves. For example: let them first arrange the marriage of their daughter or complete the under construction house or let their son find a job after he completes his studies. Fact is that there is no end to our demands and they are never fulfilled. They are like the high and low tides of the sea which continue day and night. Not only the ordinary man, but the PARISTHITI of the Bhagats and Gurus also, was not very satisfactory.
We see, Harnakish was never in good terms with his son Parahlaad and created various circumstances to kill him. Parahlaad, however, did not care and continue his Bhagati. People even called Guru Nanak Dev Ji “Bhootna and Betaala”. The elder brother of Guru Arjan Devi Ji, Sri Pirthi Chand, was never in good terms with him. Similarly the Mughal emperor Aurangjeb could never tolerate the tenth Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji to lead a peaceful life. So always remember that our PARISTHITI will never be in order at any time. It is, therefore, advised that we should not look at our PARISTHITI but should try to improvise on our MANOSTHITI (inner circumstances) and start doing Bhagati without any further delay. We generally say that Bhagati is meant to be done in our old age and we still have sufficient time. But we forget that if we cannot carry out our other works properly in our old age, how can we do Bhagati?
The main aim of our coming to this world is to do Bhagati of God as mentioned in Gurbani:
BHAYEE PARAAPAT MAANUKH DEYHUREEAA
GOBIND MILLAN KEE EH TERREE BAREEAA
This human life given to us by the God is an opportunity for meeting with Him. We get this change this chance after having gone through a life cycle of CHAURAASEE LAKH JUNEEs (84 lakhs rebirths). We completely forget this important fact and indulge ourselves in worldly affairs only. Gurbani does not restrict us for looking after our children and other relatives. We should, however, remember that all these worldly responsibilities are our duties but our actual ultimate destination is to immerge with God. We will wander away from our goal of unification with God if we take life to be the final destination of our rebirths. We should, therefore, always remember our final destination.
Life is an opportunity and not the goal. It is a path and not the destination. We have to reach somewhere by way of it. So do not assume that the very fact that we are alive means we have arrived. Life is not an accomplishment but only a process. If we pass through it, very good, we arrive but if not, we go astray. The world is a dharamshala (inn or rest house), where we stop a while before we proceed onwards as it is not our permanent home. He who makes it his home definitely denies himself of the proper utilization of this opportunity.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji instructed his Gursikhs to keep DASWAND i.e. to reserve ten percent of their honest earnings in the name of the Guru so as to help the needy and poor. Similarly we are also required to devote ten percent of our time for Bhagati i.e. 2.4 hours out of the 24 hours of a day. Bhagat Kabir Ji gives us more relaxation by saying:-
KABIR EK GHAREE AADHEE GHAREE AADHI HOON TE AADH
BHAGATAN SETEE GHOSTEE JO KEENE SO LAABH (SGGS-1377)
If we cannot spare even ten percent of our time, let us at least devote ten per percent of the required ten percent i.e. only 20 minutes or even 10 minutes to start with and then go on increasing the time day by day. It is, however, important that we must devote this time regularly every day preferably in the early morning hours.
Actually, there is no shortage of time but only our lack of understanding about the importance of Bhagati. When, however, we understand the value of a diamond, it becomes valuable for us; otherwise it is an ordinary stone. See a cow is crazy for grass and is not even bothered to look at a diamond as she is not aware about its value. When a man is hungry, he realizes the importance of food and will definitely search for the same. Similarly if we have sincere love for God and realize the importance of Bhagati in our life, we will definitely find time and a way for doing so. Simultaneously, we should also pray to God to change our circumstances so that we get sufficient time for Bhagati.
In this connection, I would like to mention my personal experience. When at the age of 30 years I realized the importance of doing Bhagati, I also faced the similar problem of lack of time. I started devoting whatever time I got and at the same time also prayed to God to help me. It is a true fact that as a result of my prayers, my circumstances changed completely. My business started running smoothly and I used to complete my official work in 3 to 4 hours only and began to devote the remaining time on reading religious books on Gurbani and doing NAAM SIMRAN. Later on God created such circumstances that I had to go for a ‘By pass” heart operation. After recovery, I retired from my work at the age of 55 years and since then have been devoting this extra bonus life, given by God, completely for SEWA and SIMRAN. At this stage my wife also encouraged me that if we had sufficient for leading a simple life, we should not be greedy for more as our desires are endless.
We forget the irony of the fact that though we are growing physically day by day, yet we are also decreasing our age with each passing day. On the other hand, no doubt, our family, wealth and property may be increasing but we are definitely getting older and older day by day and one day, death will come knocking at our door and end the whole game. Gurbani reminds us about this truth by saying that death is like a cobra (snake), with its venomous hood spread, running after us ready to bite at any time. The realization of the danger of this moment should serve as a reminder to us that we should not waste even a single precious minute of our short life span without doing Bhagati. Remember not even a single more breath can be bought at the cost of the wealth of the whole world.
Keeping in view the importance of Bhagati, our daily program should respectively be as below:-
1. To do Bhagati, Simran, Nitnem and to study Gurbani regularly.
2. To look after our health and to do some exercise. Morning walks can be very useful.
3. To fulfill all our needs with our honest and hard earnings.
4. To help all needy persons with money and other basic necessities.
5. To enjoy the company of our Gurmukh friends and to entertain ourselves with other useful activities.
It is, therefore, very important that we do not postpone this important work for tomorrow, as this TOMORROW never comes in our lives. Remember that whatever we want to do should be done TODAY only.