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Why Do You Fear Death?

People who have no assurance, fear death (particularly as they get older and older). If there is no God, then death would merely be a ceasing of existence, with nothing to fear. However, if true, then those who do not believe should fear death, since the fate of Gurmukhs and Manmukhs is quite different.

ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖੈ ਰਾਹਿ ਪੈ ਚਲਣਾ ਮਾਲੁ ਧਨੁ ਕਿਤ ਕੂ ਸੰਜਿਆਹੀ ॥੪॥੨੭॥
Nānak ākẖai rāhi pai cẖalṇā māl ḏẖan kiṯ kū sanji▫āhī. ||4||27||
Says Nanak, you will have to walk on the Path of Death, so why do you bother to collect wealth and property? ||4||27||

~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Nanak, Ang 24

ਮਤੀ ਮਰਣੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿਆ ਖੁਸੀ ਕੀਤੀ ਦਿਨ ਚਾਰਿ ॥
Maṯī maraṇ visāri▫ā kẖusī kīṯī ḏin cẖār.
The people are intoxicated; they have forgotten death, and they have fun for a few days.

~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Nanak, Ang 15

Why will there be a judgment?

The consistency of the physical laws of the universe are reflection of God's unchangeable and righteous nature. In order to be consistent and righteous, God must assess every behavior that is not correct. Therefore, any ungodly thoughts or behavior will be assessed by God. A common myth is that God "grades on the curve" and "as long as I behave better than most people, God will keep me." God's righteousness is absolute, not relative.

ਗਾਵਹਿ ਚਿਤੁ ਗੁਪਤੁ ਲਿਖਿ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਧਰਮੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੇ ॥
Gāvahi cẖiṯ gupaṯ likẖ jāṇėh likẖ likẖ ḏẖaram vīcẖāre.
Chitr and Gupt, the angels of the conscious and the subconscious who record actions, and the Righteous Judge of Dharma who judges this record sing of You.

~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Nanak, Ang 6

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ ਪੂਛਿ ਨ ਕਰੇ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥੪॥
Nānak sacẖā pāṯisāhu pūcẖẖ na kare bīcẖār. ||4||
O Nanak, the True King does not seek advice from anyone else in decisions. ||4||

~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Nanak, Ang 17

Why fear?

All spiritual creatures (humans, animals, etc) have eternal spirits and will go through judgment of God, based upon their adherence to the principles of God through the Sikh Gurus teachings, which are in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

ਊਤਮ ਸੇ ਦਰਿ ਊਤਮ ਕਹੀਅਹਿ ਨੀਚ ਕਰਮ ਬਹਿ ਰੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Ūṯam se ḏar ūṯam kahī▫ahi nīcẖ karam bahi ro▫e. ||1|| rahā▫o.
They alone are good, who are judged good at the Lord's Door. Those with bad karma can only sit and weep. ||1||Pause||

~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Nanak, Ang 15

No fear?

There are many theoretical possibilities on the existence of God. Atheists say that God doesn't exist and that death results in the end of individual existence. There should be nothing to fear from death, since your brain just shuts down. Deists say that God exists, but doesn't have any interests in humanity. So, there is nothing to fear and death ends it all, as in atheism. The first Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji said, 'God himself is true, and true is his court.' So, if you go by the odds, either death brings the cessation of existence, re-births and deaths or a merger with God. It is irrational to fear this kind of uncertainty. So, the only kind of uncertainty that should be feared is whether or not it is true.

ਆਵਣੁ ਜਾਣੁ ਨ ਚੁਕਈ ਮਰਿ ਜਨਮੈ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥੩॥
Āvaṇ jāṇ na cẖuk▫ī mar janmai ho▫e kẖu▫ār. ||3||
Their comings and goings in reincarnation do not end; through death and rebirth, they are wasting away. ||3||

~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Nanak, Ang 19

Ending fear

If you want to relieve your fears about death, you should try to determine if Sikhism is true or false. The challenge is not too difficult. It isn't as if you need to examine every religion on the face of the earth - just one. Unlike other religions, Sikhism is the most straightforward, simple, modern, inclusive and equal. Get informed and make a rational decision.

ਭੈ ਤੇਰੈ ਡਰੁ ਅਗਲਾ ਖਪਿ ਖਪਿ ਛਿਜੈ ਦੇਹ ॥
Bẖai ṯerai dar aglā kẖap kẖap cẖẖijai ḏeh.
I am terrified by the Fear of You, God. Bothered and bewildered, my body is wasting away.

~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Nanak, Ang 16


If you fear death, yet believe that God does not exist, then you are being irrational. Then again, maybe you are uncertain whether death is the end of your existence. Are you ready to die?

ਮੁਇਆ ਜਿਤੁ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਈਐ ਤਿਤੁ ਜੀਵਦਿਆ ਮਰੁ ਮਾਰਿ ॥
Mu▫i▫ā jiṯ gẖar jā▫ī▫ai ṯiṯ jīvḏi▫ā mar mār.
To reach your True Home after you die, you must conquer death while you are still alive.

~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Nanak, Ang 21

How do you conquer your fear/ death while still alive? Start by learning about Sikhism and begin by following its 5 main principles;

1) Naam Japo - Remember God,
2) Ensaaf - Stand for justice,
3) Kirat Karo - Live honestly,
4) Sarbat Da Bhala - For the good of all (equality),
5) Vand Chhako – Share with others and provide charity (Sewa)

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