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The 5 Stages of Life

By Guruka Singh

Guru Nanak was a great seer, saint, and mystic, centuries ahead of his time. He was a prolific poet and a unique singer; a prophet of peace, love, truth, and the Aquarian renaissance.

He and his loyal companion, Mardana, traveled on foot over thousands of miles to enlighten people with simple songs sung in ecstatic rhythm. His message of universal acceptance is as fresh and true today as it was then.

In fact, he belongs to that category of transcendent human beings who are not limited by any particular sect, creed, or religion, but who belong to all of humanity. Listening to his words and songs we can all blossom into our own identity and remember who we are, just as his listeners did 500 years ago.

The 5 Stages of Life

In a life of grace we go through five stages: child, young adult, householder, mentor, and then sage. As a child, from birth to puberty, sexuality is not yet a part of our lives. This is a time of intense learning and growth. As a young adult, from puberty to age 25, our sexuality begins to awaken, and it's a time of life when it's easy to be consumed with one's own sexuality. Guru Nanak describes this time of life this way:

“You are overflowing with sexual desire, and your intellect is stained with darkness; you are held in the grip of your own power. In the heat of youthful passion, you look with desire upon the faces of other men's wives; you don't distinguish between good and evil. Drunk with sexual desire and full of yourself, you go astray, and do not distinguish between vice and virtue.”

This time of life is meant for the highest stage of learning, for studying with a spiritual teacher, and for the development of our own self-discipline. In the Western world we live in a culture that doesn't recognize the sacredness and the purpose of this stage of life. We generally glorify "youth culture" and sexuality and don't recognize the role of the spiritual teacher and the sacred relationship between the young adult student and the teacher. If we are blessed to meet our spiritual teacher at this stage of life, we can rein in our desires and use our potent sexual energy to raise our own consciousness.

The Householder

It is as a householder that we realize, in marriage, the sacred expression of our sexuality. Here, in the coziness of marriage, the bliss of seeing our spouse as a god or goddess and merging with each other 's infinite being bring the union of two souls. Our auras become merged and synchronized, and we live as one soul in two bodies. The life of the householder is a sacred path.

“Householders live their faith in family life. Those who are tuned in to their True Identity remain unattached. Even as householders, they lovingly attune themselves to God. Within their households and families, they remain always detached. How rare are those who, tuning in to the Guru within, become liberated while yet alive.”
-Guru Nanak

This is the time of life, from 25 to 50, when we establish our domain and raise our children. It is a time of coziness, prosperity, and grace.

Mentor and Sage

The last two stages of life are about sharing our knowledge and experience with others. From 50 to 75 is the time that we become a spiritual teacher and consciously mentor others. The final stage of life, from age 75 until death, is a time of reflection. We bless ourselves to live decorated with the crown jewels of timeless wisdom and grace. We connect ourselves across and beyond the generations and close the circle between childhood and death. Simple devotion is the touchstone of this time of life.

“From the union of the mother's egg and the father's sperm, our form, infinitely beautiful, has been created. The warm blessing of the infinite light of God fills everything, everywhere. God has created birth and death. Why should anyone fear death if they come to understand the Truth through their inner wisdom? Blessed by God with deep understanding, pain and suffering leave the body.”    
-Guru Nanak

[Published as Guru for the Aquarian Age, Aquarian Times, Summer 2002]

Guruka Singh is a teacher, writer, and inveterate punster. In this incarnation, he met Yogi Bhajan in 1971 and has been teaching Kundalini Yoga ever since. He is well-known for his many YouTube video classes. http://www.sikhnet.com