Defeating the Five Vices

It is every Sikh's duty to defeat the Five vices: Kam (Lust), Krodh (Rage), Lobh (Greed), Moh (Attachment) and Ahankar (Ego). The Guru Granth Sahib gives clear warning about these plunderers, thus:

Within this body dwell the five thieves:
sexual desire, anger, greed, emotional attachment and egotism.

They plunder the Nectar, but the self-willed manmukh does not realize it;...

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The Gurmukhs, (Guru oriented) people realise the existence of these five while the Manmukhs (own-mind centred) folks do not and are under the constant exploits of the five - their actions, thoughts and behaviour are totally governed by these negative emotions. They have not learnt to recognise the influence of these negative internal forces and are under their total control.

The Guru asks us all to watch over the traits of our minds and the influence of these five emotions and regulate our thoughts in a positive way. Sikhs are encouraged to 'tackle' these five vices with Naam Simran (prayer, meditation) and with positive virtues of Seva (selfless service), Sat (Truth), Santokh (Contentment), Daya (Compassion), Nimrata (Humility) and Pyare (Love), etc. A Sikh needs to constantly guard and to overcome these five internal evils; to always be vigilant and on guard to tackle the negative effects of these five thieves at all times! Gurbani offers clear guidance to the devotee and many warnings of how to be spiritually aware of the damage that these vices can cause. The Sikh needs to keep the mind engaged in positive work and under the influence of creative and useful forces.

A Sikh is encouraged to spend time in regularly reading and critical analyzation in order to better understand the meaning of Gurbani (hymns) found in the Guru Granth Sahib; also to keep company of the Sadh Sangat (like-minded Gurmukh- Guru oriented) folks who share similar positive goals in life. The daily recitation of hymns reminds and teaches him/her how to avoid the pitfalls of life in this world; to become a better person; to value life; to attain maximum benefit from their time on this planet; to improve ones spiritual understanding and to understand the message of God and to attain a higher consciousness.

The Shabads (Gurbani) below help explain the position the Gurus take on this issue:

1. Lays waste to the body

In the following Shabad, the Guru explains in very clear terms that lust and wrath will eat away the body away just as borax dissolves and eats away pure gold. So the pure God-given body will be wasted away if one allows the mind to be overcome by rage, anger or lust. One is given a very clear warning to guard oneself from these negative emotions.

ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਕਾਇਆ ਕਉ ਗਾਲੈ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਕੰਚਨ ਸੋਹਾਗਾ ਢਾਲੈ ॥

Kām kroḏẖ kā­i­ā ka­o gālai. Ji­o kancẖan sohāgā dẖālai.
Lust and wrath wastes the body away, as borax melts gold.

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2. Sexual promiscuity

a. Abandoning ones life partner
In the following Shabads, the Guru clarifies the need to restrain ones sexual relations to just ones partner and not to allow your thoughts to wonder outside the one and only sexual relationship that is allowed in Sikhism.
ਹਾਥ ਕਮੰਡਲੁ ਕਾਪੜੀਆ ਮਨਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਉਪਜੀ ਭਾਰੀ ॥

Hāth kamandal kāpṛī­ā man ṯarisnā upjī bẖārī.
With bowl in hand, wearing his patched coat, great desires well up in his mind.

ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਤਜਿ ਕਰਿ ਕਾਮਿ ਵਿਆਪਿਆ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਇਆ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ॥
Isṯarī ṯaj kar kām vi­āpi­ā cẖiṯ lā­i­ā par nārī.

Abandoning his own wife, he is engrossed in sexual desire; his thoughts are on the wives of others.
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b. Painful diseases
The Guru states that promiscuous behaviour will bring painful diseases to the person.

ਭੋਗੀ ਕਉ ਦੁਖੁ ਰੋਗ ਵਿਆਪੈ ॥

Bẖogī ka­o ḏukẖ rog vi­āpai.

Painful diseases afflict those who are sexually promiscuous.
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3. Wounds of the soul

ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਜੀਅ ਮਹਿ ਚੋਟ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿ ਚਲੇ ਮਨਿ ਖੋਟ ॥੨॥

Kām kroḏẖ jī­a meh cẖot. Nām visār cẖalė man kẖot.॥2॥
Sexual desire and anger are the wounds of the soul.
The evil-minded ones forget the Naam, and then depart. ॥2॥

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4. Lead to ruin

ਕਾਮਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧਿ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਵਿਗੂਤੇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਛੂਟੇ ॥੧॥

Kām kroḏẖ ahaʼnkār vigūṯė. Har simran kar har jan cẖẖūtė. ॥1॥
Sexual desire, anger, and egotism lead to ruin.
Meditating on the Lord, the Lord's humble servants are redeemed. ॥1॥

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5. Suffer in pain

ਨਿਮਖ ਕਾਮ ਸੁਆਦ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਕੋਟਿ ਦਿਨਸ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ॥

Nimakẖ kām su­āḏ kāraṇ kot ḏinas ḏukẖ pāvahi.
For a moment of sexual pleasure, you shall suffer in pain for millions of days.

ਘਰੀ ਮੁਹਤ ਰੰਗ ਮਾਣਹਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਪਛੁਤਾਵਹਿ ॥੧॥
Gẖarī muhaṯ rang māṇeh fir bahur bahur pacẖẖuṯāvahi. ॥1॥
For an instant, you may savor pleasure, but afterwards, you shall regret it, again and again. ॥1॥

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6. About Purity of Virginity

ਖਿੰਥਾ ਕਾਲੁ ਕੁਆਰੀ ਕਾਇਆ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਡੰਡਾ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ ॥

खिंथा कालु कुआरी काइआ जुगति डंडा परतीति ॥
khinthaa kaal ku-aaree kaa-i-aa jugat dandaa parteet.
Let the remembrance of death be the patched coat you wear, let the purity of virginity
be your way in the world, and let faith in the Lord be your walking stick.

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See also

External Links

This page uses content from the English Sikhi Wiki. The original article was at Guru Granth Sahib against lust. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Religion-wiki, the text of Sikhi Wiki is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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