Gurbani Word Of The Day: naavai

ਨਾਵੈ (naavai)
Meaning: adverb: At the ninth (stage of life).
ਨਾਵੈ ਧਉਲੇ ਉਭੇ ਸਾਹ॥ਦਸਵੈ ਦਧਾ ਹੋਆ ਸੁਆਹ॥
naavai dhaule ubhe saah. Dasvai dadhaa hoaa suaah.

At the ninth stage of life, hair turns grey and breathing becomes laboured. At the tenth stage of life, one is cremated and turns to ashes. – Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 137

Message: Ninth stage comes with more signs of aging and lifestyle effects. It is the beginning of frailty. Hair turns gray. Breathing is heavy and laboured.

Lastly one dies and is burnt into ashes. The relatives and companions accompany to the cremation ground and send one off.

They may afterwards hold ceremonies and feed people (or birds) in one’s memory. But none of this charity reaches the departed person.

This is how a human life comes to and departs from the world. After a while, even one’s name disappears from memory.

Why not then share our rich repository of experiences at this age, to guide others and help them to avoid the mistakes we made? Why not share the lessons that we have learnt?

Let us teach others about the value of living.  Let us remind them not to take our lives for granted, but to live each moment of life to its fullest.

Etymology: From Sanskrit navam (ninth) → Pali navam → Prakrit ṇavam → Old Punjabi naavaa.

Summary of the Week:
Every human being goes through various stages of life without knowing the real purpose of life on earth: a chance to be with our Father, the Divine, by leading a spiritual life.

Dividing human life into ten stages, Guru Nanak Sahib explains how from infancy one is continuously attached to worldly pleasures and comforts. Instead of following the Guru’s advice, one follows the dictates of one’s mind and desires, which ultimately bring pain and suffering.

This is the cycle of life everybody goes through. Most of us are living a material life and have not learnt a lesson yet to make it spiritual in spite of the instructions from our Gurus.

There are those who are very ambitious and arrogant in youth and look down upon aged people, not knowing the same thing will happen to them.

We are separated from spirituality by the influence of our excessive material desires. We have to overcome them by making our mind spiritual by loving the wisdom of Gurbani and emulating virtues. We are then able to live in peace and bliss.

Do we continue to be disoriented and self-centred? Or do we want to lead a Guru-guided fruitful life? The choice is ours.



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