he youth nowadays use a slang term called ‘YOLO,’ which stands for "You Only Live Once." In this article, we will discuss what Sikhi says about this concept.

Let’s Break some Myths!


We often hear people say, “Just have fun and enjoy yourself! Have a good time because you won’t get life again!” On the other hand, Gurbani continually talks about reincarnation and multiple life cycles.

ਲਖ ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਭ੍ਰਮਤਿਆ ਦੁਲਭ ਜਨਮੁ ਪਾਇਓਇ ॥

Through 8.4 million incarnations you have wandered, to obtain this rare and precious human life.

Gurbani says that we live 8.4 million lives, and human life is the best chance of all because we have the opportunity to reconnect with Vaheguru and attain liberation from the cycle of reincarnation.

Having Faith in Gurbani

Scientifically, we cannot fit a camera to check where a person goes after death and whether reincarnation is true or not. There is a reason for that.

ਕਿ ਗੈਬੁਲ ਗ਼ੈਬ ਹੈਂ ॥੧੦੮॥

That Thou art most Mysterious! 108

Guru Gobind Singh Ji says that Vaheguru Ji is the invisible among the invisibles. Proving reincarnation would mean proving Vaheguru's existence, but Vaheguru's divine play is one of love and faith. While a servant may not fully comprehend the master, their love and faith can lead to union. Attempting to fit the master's infinite power into one's intellect and questioning it results in losing the game.

Gurbani References on Reincarnation

Firstly, Maharaj says ‘Ajooni’ in the Mool Mantar, which means Vaheguru Ji is outside of the Joons (life cycles). If there were no life cycles, this won't be possible.

Gurbani also says that this human life is difficult to obtain, referring to the 8.4 million life cycles that one must cross before attaining human birth. 

ਇਹੁ ਮਾਣਸ ਜਨਮੁ ਦੁਲੰਭੁ ਹੈ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਸਭੁ ਜਾਏ ॥

It is so difficult to obtain this human incarnation, and without the Naam, it is all futile and useless.

Next, Guru Sahib Ji says that without earning Vaheguru's name through Seva, Simran, and Sangat now, we won't have anything to rely on in the hereafter. If there was no hereafter and death marked the end, Maharaj wouldn't have conveyed this message. The second line states that those who neglect meditation on Vaheguru will undergo repeated cycles of birth.

ਹੁਣਿ ਵਤੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਬੀਜਿਓ ਅਗੈ ਭੁਖਾ ਕਿਆ ਖਾਏ ॥

Now, in this most fortunate season, he does not plant the seed of the Lord's Name; what will the hungry soul eat, in the world hereafter?

ਮਨਮੁਖਾ ਨੋ ਫਿਰਿ ਜਨਮੁ ਹੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਭਾਏ ॥੨॥

The self-willed Manmukhs are born again and again. O Nanak, such is the Lord's Will. ||2||

Notes on Heaven

Guru Nanak Dev Ji, in Gurbani, tell us about how they were made the Guru. 

ਢਾਢੀ ਸਚੈ ਮਹਲਿ ਖਸਮਿ ਬੁਲਾਇਆ ॥

My Lord and Master has summoned me, His minstrel, to the True Mansion of His Presence.

ਸਚੀ ਸਿਫਤਿ ਸਾਲਾਹ ਕਪੜਾ ਪਾਇਆ ॥

He has dressed me in the robes of His True Praise and Glory.

Guru Sahib Ji states they were once without a purpose, but Vaheguru bestowed upon them a divine task, calling them to heaven and blessing them with true praise. Bhai Gurdas Ji also affirms that Guru Sahib Ji entered Sachkhand, i.e., Heaven.

ਬਾਬਾ ਪੈਧਾ ਸਚਿ ਖੰਡਿ ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਗਰੀਬੀ ਪਾਈ।

Baba reached the region of truth, from where he received Naam, the storehouse of nine treasures and humility.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji vanished for three days, during which they visited Sachkhand. How can we claim that no one has been there when our Guru has experienced it? Additionally, in Gurbani, we recite this Shabad twice a day, during Japji Sahib in the morning and Rehras Sahib in the evening.

ਸੋ ਦਰੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਕੇਹਾ ਸੋ ਘਰੁ ਕੇਹਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਬਹਿ ਸਰਬ ਸਮਾਲੇ ॥

Where is That Door of Yours, and where is That Home, in which You sit and take care of all?

We inquire about the door where Vaheguru resides, and then we describe it by stating that it is filled with devotees engaged in Keertan, singing the praises of Vaheguru.

ਗਾਵਨਿ ਤੁਧਨੋ ਪਵਣੁ ਪਾਣੀ ਬੈਸੰਤਰੁ ਗਾਵੈ ਰਾਜਾ ਧਰਮੁ ਦੁਆਰੇ ॥

Wind, water and fire sing of You. The Righteous Judge of Dharma sings at Your Door.

Judgement and Dharam Raaj

Some people might say that there is no such thing as judgement or heaven. But Gurbani clearly says that we will all be answerable for our accounts.

ਧਰਮ ਰਾਇ ਜਬ ਲੇਖਾ ਮਾਗੈ ਕਿਆ ਮੁਖੁ ਲੈ ਕੈ ਜਾਹਿਗਾ ॥

When the Righteous Judge of Dharma calls for your account, what face will you show Him then?

In Gurbani, a story illustrates that a person devoted 5 minutes of their lifetime to Vaheguru's Simran, earning 5 minutes in Sachkhand. When the Jamdoots (servants of Dharam Raaj) requested Dharam Raj to retrieve him after the allotted time, Dharam Raaj conveyed that neither he nor they could approach the sacred space where saints remembered Vaheguru Ji. Guru Sahib Ji quotes Dharam Raaj in these lines.

ਜਹ ਸਾਧੂ ਗੋਬਿਦ ਭਜਨੁ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਨੀਤ ॥

Where the Holy people constantly vibrate the Kirtan of the Praises of the Lord of the Universe, O Nanak

ਣਾ ਹਉ ਣਾ ਤੂੰ ਣਹ ਛੁਟਹਿ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਨ ਜਾਈਅਹੁ ਦੂਤ ॥੧॥

- the Righteous Judge says, "Do not approach that place, O Messenger of Death, or else neither you nor I shall escape!"||1||

The Impact of Past Lives

One might wonder why some children are born with deficiencies or why some people enjoy a naturally privileged background while others don't. The reason behind this is the consequence of actions from past lives, which we continue to experience in our subsequent births.

ਜੋ ਮੈ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਮੈ ਪਾਇਆ ਦੋਸੁ ਨ ਦੀਜੈ ਅਵਰ ਜਨਾ ॥੨੧॥

Whatever I did, for that I have suffered; I do not blame anyone else. ||21||

It is not that God is fair to some and unfair to others, but that we receive fruits according to our actions.

Your Chance to Meet Vaheguru

ਬਹੁਤ ਜਨਮ ਬਿਛੁਰੇ ਥੇ ਮਾਧਉ ਇਹੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਤੁਮੑਾਰੇ ਲੇਖੇ ॥

For so many incarnations, I have been separated from You, Lord; I dedicate this life to You.

Hence, we understand the existence of our past lives, a purpose for being here, and the prospect of a hereafter. Guru Sahib Ji advises that to find peace in the hereafter and break free from the cycle of birth and death, we must connect with Vaheguru now; otherwise, rebirth is inevitable. Guru Sahib Ji is here to guide us. Let’s surrender to their wisdom and follow it with our whole heart to make this life successful. 

This article is a transcribed version of the video YOLO? Response to Anti-Gurmat preaching! by Bhai Jagraj Singh Ji. 

You can help spread the message of Sikhi to people around you by using the leaflet created by the Basics of Sikhi team.
You can also check out our other leaflets on the Downloads page.

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