Life is transitory ; one must live accordingly – by Sri M

Full text of the article published in The Economic Times – 11 August 2016
 
When Guru Nanak was travelling, he met a Nawab who was a miser. Nanak was always helping people; wherever he went, he opened langars, offering food to all. Nanak wanted to impart a lesson to the Nawab. One day, he took a sewing needle, wrapped it up, wrote a note and sent it to the Nawab.

The note said, “Nawab Saheb, I am sending you a sewing needle. Please keep it safe with you. I feel that you and I will pass away very soon. So, when we meet in the other world, please return this sewing needle to me.”
The Nawab got perturbed. He replied, “Sir, you have put me in a fix! How am I going to carry this sewing needle after my death and give it back to you?” Nanak said, “Then how do you expect to take all your money with you? Why don’t you give to the needy?”

When a person understands that at some point all his worldly activity will cease, he then starts to live accordingly. The following verse of the Upanishad is addressed to Agni, the God of Fire.

Agni is considered to be a powerful deity since fire has the capacity to burn and equalise.

“Sceptre and crown must tumble down/ And in the dust be equal made.” Fire has always been a symbol of the spirit. Before the matchstick was invented, fire had to be lit by rubbing dry flint and fire came from a spark.

And the question asked was, “Where was this fire before it came out?” So, fire was used as a symbol for the inner Self that manifests itself and then goes back into the unmanifest.

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