the Bani known as SOHILA...and more commonly "Kirtan Sohila" is the Nitnem bani that is prescribed to be read just before retiring to bed for the night.
It is also the Bani that is recited in the crematorium as the dead body of a Sikh is set alight. iN THE fIRST INSTANCE IT IS THE lAST BANI THAT WE RECITE FOR TEH DAY...AND IN THE SECOND INSTANCE..THE LAST BANI OUR DEAREST ONES HEAR AS WE EXIT THIS WORLD...
When a Bride is about to be WED....to her PRITAM..the Groom..her FUTURE LIFE PARTNER... there is a custom called MAIYAAN...and on this ocassion the bride is "entertained" by her relatives and family friends etc who sing songs that are "sad" and yet "Happy"...sad becasue she is going to leave her parents, brothers sisters family behind....and Happy because she is going to meet her Pritam..the Beloved..husband..the future of her life. This ceremony in a way PREPARES the young bride for the unseen FUTURE..normally the young girl would be really TERRIFIED of what the future holds for her..new "parents" new "frineds..new life partner..etc etc everything new..and she will be worried whether she can cope...etc etc..and these Maiyaan Songs seek to set her unease at rest...seek to pacify her wildly beating heart...by telling her..this home of her parents was TEMPORARY..she had to go to her PERMANENT home one day..and that day has now come...be calm and peaceful..and make sure you make the most of your stay there adn be welcomed...Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/gurmat-vichaar/19425-sohila-the-bani-dispells-fear-death.html
This most Common of "customs" in Punajbi Society is what GURU NANAK JI chose to write SOHILA on.... and just see how Masterly Guru Ji combines Mans FEAR of DEATH with a Happy Ocassion Just like in MAIYAAN... SOHILA tells US that this EARTH..this LIFE is just a "TEMPORARY PLACE" ( Brides' parental home)...and all of us MUST soon depart for our REAL PERMANENT HOME---- the Home of WAHEGURU..our PRITAM..our BELOVED...our HUSBAND who has been waiting for us...and we must make sure we are made welcome there through our gurmukhta....just like the new bride will be in her in laws home... due to her good character, loving nature, frinedliness sweetness of tongue etc etc
Just as the Bride parts from her home and family..we also PART from all that is here on EARTH..when DEATH arrives. Just like the new Bride is afraid of what the future holds..Each one of US is also mortified of what happens after DEATH....
And in SOHILA..Guru Ji tells us EXACTLY what happens after DEATH. We go to our BELOVED's HOUSE to stay blissfully ( if we deserve that and if we have prepared ourselves for that day...)..!!!
And just as the Brides friends are asked to shower their blessings upon her so that her future life may be happy and beautiful..so are the assembled sangat at a funeral..asked to shower their blessings upon the DEPARTED ...Deho sajjnoo assessarreaan..jio hoveh SAHIB SION MElReference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=19425
Whosoever has defeated the FEAR of DEATH becomes LIBERATED and happy.....how beautifully Guru Ji liberates us from that FEAR..by Giving us HOPE and a VISION of what we can expect...in Wahegurus House...
In the following article das will try and translate the SOHILA line by line so that everything becomes clear. Guru Piayare may also contribute their ideas and comments..so that we may all benefit..
Warm Regards to all
Gyani jarnail Singh