n this article of the ‘Reminders from Guru Sahib’ series, we will delve into Gurbani that can help us finding work-life balance amidst a busy schedule. 

This series draws lessons from Gurbani to help overcome various emotional and practical challenges that a Sikh may encounter in their day-to-day life.

What is the Eternal Wealth?

ਸਲੋਕੁ ॥


ਸਾਥਿ ਨ ਚਾਲੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਜਨ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਸਗਲੀ ਛਾਰੁ ॥

Nothing shall go along with you, except your devotion. Everything else will turn into ash.

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਮਾਵਨਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹੁ ਧਨੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥੧॥

Earn the Name of the Lord, Har, Har. O Nanak, this is the most excellent wealth. ||1||

First, we are contemplating a Salok blessed to us by Guru Arjan Dev Ji. The initial step is to realise that while we work to sustain ourselves in this world, the wealth we accumulate will not accompany us after death. If there is anything that goes with the soul on its journey after death, it is the earning of Naam (the experience of Vaheguru). Now, the question arises: how do we earn this wealth of Naam and make time for it?

Contentment is Key!

A key aspect of finding work-life balance is knowing how to be content. 

ਬਿਨਾ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਊ ਰਾਜੈ ॥

Without contentment, no one is satisfied.

Guru Sahib Ji states that the key to satisfaction is not having enough but being content with what you have. A Gursikh must determine the ideal amount of earnings that is sufficient to sustain the family while also contributing to the service of the Panth and aiding the less fortunate. The remaining time can then be allocated to the earning of Naam by doing Vaheguru Simran, reading Gurbani, engaging in Seva (selfless service), and going to the Saadh Sangat (holy company).

Remember with Each Breath

ਨਾਮਾ ਕਹੈ ਤਿਲੋਚਨਾ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਰਾਮੁ ਸੰਮ੍ਹਾਲਿ ॥

Naam Dayv says, O Trilochan, chant the Lord's Name with your mouth.

ਹਾਥ ਪਾਉ ਕਰਿ ਕਾਮੁ ਸਭੁ ਚੀਤੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੨੧੩॥

With your hands and feet, do all your work, but let your consciousness remain with the Immaculate Lord. 

Gurbani tells us that while life keeps us occupied with various errands, the key is to consistently remember Vaheguru in our hearts. As we go about our day, this can be as simple as tuning into a BoS TV podcast while cooking dinner or reading a Chaupai Sahib with our little ones during the school run!

Having a Proactive approach to Life

The last tip for building a good work-life balance is one from Guru Ramdas Ji. 

ਹਰਿ ਜਪਦਿਆ ਖਿਨੁ ਢਿਲ ਨ ਕੀਜਈ ਮੇਰੀ ਜਿੰਦੁੜੀਏ ਮਤੁ ਕਿ ਜਾਪੈ ਸਾਹੁ ਆਵੈ ਕਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਰਾਮ ॥

Do not hesitate for an instant - meditate on the Lord, O my soul; who knows whether he shall draw another breath?

The most important aspect of building a life where one earns an honest living while also practising Sikhi and making time for Seva, Simran, and Sangat is to never postpone the good things. By constantly keeping death in mind, you reflect on the limited nature of your time here and resist letting laziness take over. Waking up at Amritvela (the last part of the night, before sunrise) can be a complete game-changer, as it helps one find time for Vaheguru Ji, establish focus, and complete tasks on time.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, a fundamental aspect of leading a householder’s life is to earn an honest living and to share our earnings with others.

ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥

One who works for what he eats, and gives some of what he has,

ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥

- O Nanak, he knows the Path. ||1||

By Vaheguru’s grace and Guru Sahib Ji’s Kirpa, a Gursikh fulfils this duty while also dedicating time to Seva, Simran, and Sangat, collecting the true wealth that transcends both this world and the next. 

ਸੋ ਜਾਗੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਕਿਰਪਾਲੁ ॥

He alone is awake, unto whom God shows His Mercy.

ਇਹ ਪੂੰਜੀ ਸਾਬਤੁ ਧਨੁ ਮਾਲੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ॥੨੦॥੮੯॥

This is the true investment, wealth and property that remains intact. 

This realisation cannot be attained solely through our own efforts; we need Vaheguru Ji’s grace and mercy. Therefore, we must do Ardaas for Guru Sahib Ji to bless us, enabling victory in both our professional and spiritual pursuits.

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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