Instability of the Universe

This universe is unstable and perishable. It is continually changing. It will not be tomorrow as it is today. There is no stability in this world. It is the land of death, and like a house of sand it can be destroyed at any time.

The world is peopled by the dead; it is like a castle of sand. Its destruction, like that of a piece of paper in a rainstorm, can be accomplished in a moment.

Belawal M5, 808-5

Know this world to be false, oh friend; oh Nanak, it is unstable as a wall of sand.

Salok M9, 1428-16

Everything that is seen in this world is like a cloud. It is not stable. What has been created will certainly perish one day.

He who is born will die; if not today then tomorrow.

Salok M9, 1429-1

This creation – like a bubble in water – is created and destroyed again and again.

Just as a bubble appears and disappears; oh Nanak! the created world does the same.

Salok M9, 1427

The universe is like a dream. It is made of dream stuff. People come together and are separated according to the law of union and separation.

The world is like a dream; the play is over in a moment; people come together by chance and go away in separation.

Sri Rag M1, 18-8

Whatever is seen here is some day going to perish. Every object in the universe is short-lived. Kings, subjects, houses, palaces, those who dwell in them, all the objects of the universe, gold and silver and their wearers, this body, clothes, men and women, all are perishable. The people have forgotten the Lord because of these entanglements. No one really deserves to be loved here. Many have gone, some are going and the rest are ready to go.

Kings and nobles do not remain, nor do the rich or poor; each has his turn; there is no help for any one.

Ramkali M1, 936

Oh, what is there to love? See with your eyes open. One is gone, and another is about to go. Everyone goes in his turn.

Belawal M5, 808

But still one remains engrossed in this universe. Our wealth, our wife, our riches and our houses are not ours, and nothing will go with us when we leave. Why, then, is one so fond of them?

Of what are you proud? This World is like a dream; nothing is yours, as Nanak says very clearly.

Salok M1, 1428-8

The body which comes with us at birth is also left here and does not go with us when we leave.

Wake up, oh mind, wake up from your sound sleep; the body which comes with you at birth, that also does not accompany you.

Telang M9, 726-18

How, then, can those, who are related to this body, and how can our other possessions accompany us?

Neither wealth, wife, riches, house nor anything else will accompany us.

Know this for certain.

Basant M9, 1187-1

Wealth, wife and the possessions which you consider as yours; oh Nanak, none of these will accompany you.

Believe it to be true.

Salok M9, 1426

Think for a moment about how your companions have gone. All are coming or going. Where are your mother, father, grand-father, great-grand-father?

Oh Farid! Where are your father and mother of whom you were born? They have passed away before you, but you still do not believe.

Farid, Salok, 1381-15

Everyone in this universe has to leave it in his turn.

Death is certain; no one can live forever. One is certain to go: Why should Sahjo for her short married life get her hair dressed?

Sahjo Bai

Where have Rama and Krishna, the incarnations, great prophets and Saints, Bhim, Arjun, Rustum and Sohrab, the warriors, gone? This universe is like a long drawn out dream.

Ram is gone; and Ravana, who had a big family is also gone. Oh Nanak, nothing is lasting in this world of dream.

Salok M9, 1428

What reliance can be placed on this life?

How can you rely on this life? Man is like a bubble of water.

Telang M9, 726-15

Every day, every hour, every minute is bringing us nearer to the end of the body.

Our life is ticking away every moment; like water dripping out of a broken pitcher.

Telang M9, 726

When we accompany a dead body to the cremation ground, we shout 'Ram Naam is true' but in our hearts we believe in the everlastingness of the world and are doubtful of death.

It is related in the Mahabharat that when Yakasha asked Yudhistra what was the most wonderful sight, he said:

We see people die every day, but live in the hope that we will live for ever. What can be more wonderful!


When nothing is stable and whatever is to happen will happen, then why should we worry?

One should worry only about a thing that can be prevented. Oh Nanak, in the way of this world nothing is stable.

Salok M9, 1428-18

This body and universe are both false and unreal. Only God and the particle of God which is in the body are true.

Holy men judge this body to be illusion; only the Lord that dwells in it is real.

Basant M9, 1186-8

Know this world to be a dream or play; oh Nanak, nothing is real in it except the Lord.

Salok M9, 1427-9

In this perishable body and universe, the only real thing is the Lord Himself and His particle, the soul.

Oh Kabir, the soul is a particle of Rama (the Lord); like writing in indelible ink, it cannot be erased.

Kabir, Gori, 871-10

Know and sing the praises of the Lord and be engrossed in Him. Worldly attachments are futile. Turn away from them and love the Lord. Surrender every priceless breath, which cannot be purchased for any amount of money, to the Master and the Lord.

Oh Kabir, do not sleep. Wake up! Every breath is a gem, count and surrender it to the Lord. I say and am saying with the beat of drums, your breath is being wasted, although it is more valuable than the three worlds.