Meaning: noun: A state of final emancipation, an idealized state of freedom from suffering, pain, worries, etc.
ਤੂੰ ਹਰਿ ਭਜੁ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ਪਦੁ ਨਿਰਬਾਨੁ॥ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ਤੇਰਾ ਆਵਨ ਜਾਨੁ॥
tooň hari bhaj man mere pad nirbaan.
bahur na hoi teraa aavan jaan
O my mind! Contemplate on the Divine, the giver of the state of nirvana. Thus, you will not have your coming and going in misery again
– Bhagat Namdev, Guru Granth Sahib, 525
In Hinduism, after death, a person is reborn to pay for his bad actions or to enjoy the rewards of good actions in the previous life. The goal of life is to become free from the cycle of birth and death or attain nirvana.
It is in this context that, Bhagat Namdev asks his mind to revere and have faith in the Divine, in all circumstances, good or bad.
Pleasure and pain are part of life. This is the way of the world. Accept it and do not allow your mind to waver and be in doubt. By leading our lives with the awareness of the Divine consciousness, we will realise the one Almighty pervading everywhere.
We will learn to live on a higher spiritual plane akin to the state of nirvana, here and now. There will be no delusion or fear of any misery or coming and going, hereafter.
You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity. -Thomas Wolfe, novelist, 1900-1938
Etymology: From Sanskrit nirvaaṇ (blowing out, extinguishing, extinction; final emancipation), from nis (out) + vati (blows). Ultimately from the Indo-European root we (to blow) that is also the source of wind, weather, ventilate, window and wing.
Summary of the Week:
Guru Nanak and the succeeding Gurus spoke to the masses in their lingo. Thus we have terms and words from other cultures and traditions in Guru Granth Sahib.
The Gurus may have used the same words, but that does not mean they identified with the original meanings that the people used to believe in.
Infact, the Gurus gave new meanings to old words and terms of references. This can be seen when the Gurus were not concerned with delusions of the afterlife though they did speak about the doubts of their devotees regarding notions of afterlife.
Let’s revisit and more deeply ponder the real message of Gurbani. Let us read Guru Granth Sahib with a view to understand and grasp the real message inherent in it – rather than superficially.