Guru Arjan Sahib describes the ever-diminishing human lifespan to remind individuals to use their precious time wisely. This life is an invaluable opportunity to walk in the path of the Guru.
rāgu gaüṛī pūrabī mahalā 5.
karaü benantī suṇahu mere mītā   sant ṭahal belā.
īhā khāṭi calahu hari lāhā   āgai   basanu suhelā.1.
aüdh ghaṭai dinasu raiṇāre.
man gur mili kāj savāre.1. rahāu.
ihu sansāru bikāru sanse mahi   tario braham giānī.
jisahi jagāi pīāvai ihu rasu   akath kathā tini jānī.2.
kaü āe soī bihājhahu   hari gur te   manahi baserā.
nij ghari mahalu pāvahu sukh sahaje   bahuri na hoigo pherā.3.
antarjāmī purakh bidhāte   sardhā man pūre.
nānak dāsu ihai sukhu māgai   mo kaü kari santan dhūre.4.5.
-Guru Granth Sahib 13
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Arjan, the fifth Nanak, urges us in the fifth stanza to use our time wisely. With each day and each night, our lifespans are diminishing. We are losing time. Guru Arjan says, if you know that, my mind, meet the Wisdom (Guru) so that you can resolve your affairs and beautify your life.

It is important to remember that this composition is often sung at funerals, but the understanding we are being guided towards is that death is not the only opportunity for union. We ought to prepare now. We ought to experience union while we are alive. This composition is about wedding the Fearless and confronting death while we are living.

Guru Arjan is urging us to ask ourselves if it is clear to our own minds that we want to experience that marriage with the Fearless in life. If our minds are clear on wanting that marriage, the mind will then make that request. The mind cannot make that request if it is not ready for this union; if the union is not our only need. Until the union is a thing that the mind needs, any request will purely be ceremonial. When this becomes a priority, the way we ask changes.

This world is full of vices. To rise above this, we need the one who understands how to connect with IkOankar (One Universal Integrative Force, 1Force) to help us, to awaken us to the flavor of life, to help us experience the unnarratable narrative. The wisdom-oriented is the one who can help us, who is enjoying the flavor, who has realized the story of the 1-Light. The one who has all of these things is the Wisdom. Guru Arjan says, this is the time to serve the Wisdom. This is the moment. This is the life in which to serve. Whatever we do now, the profit from that will carry us through to the next world as well. If we awaken and drink the essence of Identification, if we understand the narrative of the Indescribable 1-Light, if, through the Wisdom, we trade in the things that will help us resolve our affairs and connect with the 1-Light, then we will not visit this world again.

Guru Arjan is urging us to ask our minds what is good for us. We all have our unique affairs to resolve in this lifetime. We all know that with each day and night, that lifespan diminishes. What is good for us? We must resolve our affairs. We know what those affairs are. We know about the illnesses of our lives, the lessons of our lives, the work of our lives. But maybe we do not know how to resolve them. We must find the one who can help us alleviate our pains. If we find the one who can help us get that done beautifully and successfully, if we get the story right this time around, it will make the time we have left and the time ahead of us happy. This is how the mind will feel good. This is how the home in our hearts becomes a mansion. This is how within that mansion, we have a sense of comfort and a sense of intuitive ease of connection with the 1-Light. It is within that mansion that the seeker and the One, the being, and the Being exist together. This is how the cycle of birth and death becomes irrelevant.

Guru Arjan ends by addressing the Inner-Knower, asking for the fulfillment of the mind’s yearning. Guru Arjan asks the One to make him the dust of the saintly beings, the ones who have understood this unnarratable narrative and connected with the One in their own hearts. This is the company we ought to seek — that of the truth-exemplars, who have made their small homes into big homes, who dwell in the inner-mansion in comfort and ease. May we learn from them.