8. Preservation of Life

Guru Amardas greatly valued human life and regarded it as a wonderful opportunity for working towards salvation. The body is the temple of God and as such, it should be looked after and not mutilated or mortified. The Guru emphasised the needs of good health and the avoidance of unnecessary risks. One day as the Guru approached a dilapidated house, he rode quickly past it. When the Sikhs saw this, they question him if he was afraid of death. He replied in the negative and explained that human life must be duly preserved. If we protect the body and look after it, we can perform holy and charitable works. The body which can confer benefit on oneself and others, must be cherished by all. He elaborated the idea with a simile. Just as a tree, if preserved will bear blossom and fruit, in the same way, if the body is cared for, it can practise charity and meditation.