Dying to the Shabad...
Tulsee Das was a Saint. When he was young he was devoted to reaching God and he struggled slowly on this path. When he got married he was head over heels in love with his beautiful wife, she became the sole reason for his living, everything he did was to please her. One day he surprised her with a gift - she was overwhelmed by his love and said, 'If you were devoted to God half as much as you are to me, I'm sure you would have reached God by now.' The words struck Tulsee Das to the core and his earlier life of devotion came flooding back to his mind, from that day on God became his sole focus once again.
Many years later when Tulsee Das was old and wise and respected by all in the village as a saint, a Brahmin priest came to him. He said to Tulsee Das, 'All my life I've preached and read the scriptures, but I haven't met my Beloved Ram. Tell me what I should do?'. Tulsee Das said, 'It's very simple, all you have to do is climb that tall tree and jump off the branch with full faith that Ram will catch you.'
The Brahmin was inspired and climbed the tree, he sat on the branch and looked down at the hard ground below. No matter how hard he tried he couldn't make the leap. Many hours passed and the Village HeadMan (SarPanch) walked by with a bag of money. Noticing the Brahmin he enquired as to what he was doing. The Brahmin explained that Tulsee Das had said that by jumping off the tree Ram would catch him. The SarPanch who wasn't a religious man quickly said, 'O Brahmin, if you like you may have this bag of money, but give me Tulsee Das's blessing in exchange.'
The Brahmin didn't take too long to think about the offer and was soon off on his way with the bag of money. The SarPanch climbed the tree went across the branch and with full faith in Ram he jumped off. Ram caught him like a baby in its mother's arms.
Sounds too unbelievable to be true? But look for the deeper meaning, there's a very, very important spiritual point to this story. I am like the Brahmin, I do my nitnem prayers and preach to people. I do Waheguru Waheguru meditation and I follow the bits of the Guru's Shabad that I like and ignore the bits that are difficult to apply. I follow half of the Hukam, God's Order, and my life trickles away like this then I wonder why I haven't met Waheguru ji. When my brother comes to me with a great business opportunity my focus becomes how I can make lots and lots of money and in the background I rush my nitnem and Waheguru Waheguru meditation. My life trickles away like this and I wonder why I haven't met Waheguru ji.
But one day with Guru Ji's great kirpa, I hear the story of Tulsee Das. Now I realise I am like the Brahmin, I have lots of things to live for and I am scared of dying. Guru Nanak Ji says 'I have no anxiety about dying, and no hope of living.' (p20). Why is Guru Nanak Ji so brave? Because he has full faith that Waheguru ji is looking after him 'SIREE RAAG, FIRST MEHL: I have no anxiety about dying, and no hope of living. You are the Cherisher of all beings; You keep the account of our breaths and morsels of food. You abide within the Gurmukh. As it pleases You, You decide our allotment. 1 ' (p20).
So in my ardas, 'Guru Granth Sahib Jee you have given your blessing like Tulsee Das gave to the Brahmin. Give me full faith in your Gurbanee Words like the SarPanch had full faith in what Tulsee Das said. Baba Ji may I follow your words 100% and if it kills me then I have faith Waheguru ji You yourself will catch me.'
And dear Khalsa Ji, when you die while alive and are caught by Waheguru ji then you will be called Jeevan Mukhat. While still alive you have obtained liberation. By dying to the Shabad one finds the True Life held in the arms of Waheguru ji.