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The five thieves

Discussion in 'Spiritual Articles' started by arshi, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    Aug 20, 2009
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    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’

    The ‘five thieves’ (five vices), were referred to in the previous article in this series, "At the Guru's Door". Guru Arjan Dev Ji refers to these as the ‘five stalwarts’ or the ‘five wrestlers’ in Sri Raag Mahalla 5.

    inhqy pMij juAwn mY, gur QwpI idqI kMif jIEu] (isrIrwgu m: 5)

    Nihatey punj juan maen, Gur thaapee ditee kand jio. (Siriraag M. 5)

    With the Guru's blessing I have conquered the five stalwarts.

    A person's entire life is ruled by these five weaknesses and the greater he subjects himself to these the tighter becomes their hold over him. Even those who attempt to grapple with the five thieves often fail to overcome them and only a precious few, with the spiritual guidance and Guru Ji's blessing, manage to escape from their evil clutches. The five thieves (punj chor) are:

    1. lust (kaam):
    2. anger (krodh);
    3. greed (lobh);
    4. attachment (moh); and
    5. ego (hunkaar).

    A person's overwhelming obsession with money (greed) and status (ego) binds him to the other three. He needs money to satisfy his basic physical needs (tamo gun) and, in order to gain recognition in society he becomes conscious of status and social standing.

    A mind which entertains vanity will forever be afflicted with self-conceit and lead to an erratic and sinful existence, says Guru Arjan.

    jb iehu mn mih krq gumwnw] qb iehu bwvru iPrq bEurwnw] (rwgu gEuVI m: 5)

    Jab eh man mae kart gumana. Tab eh Bavar phirat baurana. (Raag Gauri M.5).

    An obsession with sensual desires creates and perpetuates lust, a vicious circle out of which even saints and yogis have struggled to escape. There are numerous accounts of yogis and sadhus, vowing celibacy and isolation, only to be in the end thwarted by sensuality at the mere sight of a beautiful maiden.

    kwmix dyiK kwim loBwieAw] {prBwqI m: 1}

    Kamun dekh kaam lobhaya. (Parbhati M.1)

    Many succumb to the desires of the heart and flesh when put to the test. Exercising control over sensual desires has been the hardest task faced by men seeking to ‘cross over’ (attaining moksha – Eternal Bliss, Unification with God); many having conquered the other four, fail to clear this last hurdle.

    The quest for money, in the first instance, is to satisfy one’s basic needs of food and drink, but as a person's basic needs are satisfied a desire for self-esteem and self-gratification creeps in, and he engages himself in status-building. This
    leads to an ever-increasing craving for wealth, turning that person into a helpless victim of his own greed.

    Guru Arjan proclaims that the hunger for worldly wealth is never satisfied; the worldly thirst is never quenched.

    jbu iehu DwvY mwieAw ArQI] nh iqRpqwvY nh iqs lwQI] (rwgu gEuVI m: 5)

    Jab eh dhavae maya arthi. Nah triptavae nah tis lathi. (Raag Gauri M.5).

    No matter how rich or powerful a person becomes, he always feels insecure, in fact the wealthier he becomes the more insecure and nervous he feels, afraid that he may one day lose his hard-earned wealth and status.

    ‘True prosperity’, however, will not come unless a person can detach himself from these worldly comforts and pleasures, says Guru Arjan.

    jb ies qy hoieEu jEulw] pICY lwig clI EuiT kEulw] (rwgu gEuVI m: 5)

    Jab is tey eh hoeo jaula. Peecheay laag chali utth kaula. (Raag Gauri M.5).

    Human insecurity extends to anxiety for the well-being and safety of one's family and further binds the soul to materialistic desires and attachment to family and friends.

    suq kMcn isEu hyq vDwieAw] {prBwqI m: 1}

    Sut kanchan seo het vadhaya. (Parbhati M.1)

    Thus, the feeling of insecurity will tighten a person's bondage to greed and worldly attachment. He is ever fearful for his own security and for the security of his loved ones. His bondage to worldly attachments will only help to perpetuate the cycle of death and rebirth and render the attainment of mokasha to be an elusive dream.

    It is not until all worldly delusions are dissipated that he will attain Oneness with God.

    jb iqsqy sB ibnsy Brmw]
    Bydu nwhI pwrbRhmw] (rwgu gEuVI m: 5)

    Jab tistaey sabh binsay bharma. Bhed nahi hai Paarbrahma. (Raag Gauri M.5).

    A person who is able to control his anger or rage will have a greater chance of overcoming the other four negative attributes, for this destructive wrath (krodh) is the root cause of all other problems and vices.

    kyRD ibnwsY sgl ivkwrI] (gEuVI m: 1)
    Krodh binaasae sagal vikari. (Gauri M.1).

    Lust coupled with anger eats away at the soul until it is totally burnt out, scorched beyond repair, at least in one's present life-time.

    kwim kyRioD kwieAw kEu gwlyY] (rwmklI m: 1}
    Kam krodh kaya ko galeay. (Ramakali M.1)

    kwim kroiD jlY sB kyeI] (mwrU m: 3)
    Kam krodh jalai sabh koi. (Maru M.3)

    Guru Gobind Singh Ji in "Shabad Hazare" (Ramkali Paatsahi 10) mentions another negative human trait, ‘obstinacy’ (hath), which one must come to terms with.

    kwim kyRD hMkwr loB hT moh n mn isau lXwvY]
    Kaam, krodh, hunkaar, lobh, hath, moh na man seo liavae.

    Harbour neither lust in the mind nor wrath, ego, greed, obstinacy or attachment.

    Stubbornness is a common human weakness, and very often we opt for worldly comforts even against our own better judgement. Many know, understand and sometimes also believe in the teachings of the Gurus but, nevertheless, are unable to break away from the worldly comforts in which they have so deeply entrenched themselves in body, soul and mind. It is this inherent obstinate attribute in our character that forms a barrier between the lower (materialistic) and higher (spiritual) planes of existence.

    It is only after a person overcomes this obstinate streak in his character, can he begin his battle against the five thieves or the five stalwarts, and the fruit of victory over these will allow him to see the quintessence of his soul and, then and only then will he, attain Union with the Supreme Being. However, all this cannot be achieved without the guidance of "Satguru" (The True Master).

    When someone makes an honest attempt in controlling his self-will, the Lord will intervene and offer True Guidance. Guru Arjan says that after his "trial" a person will prosper and, through Lord's Infinite Mercy, the "lamp of wisdom" will light in his "mind's temple" (man mandar). He will then begin to discriminate between good and bad, between victory and defeat, and grasp life's real purpose.

    kir ikrpw jaou siqgur imila] mn mMdr mih dIpku jila] (rwgu gEuVI m: 5)

    Kar kirpa jo Satgur mileo. Man mandar meh deepak jaleo. (Raag Gauri M.5).

    A Sikh need not travel far to seek Satguru (The True Master). Guru Gobind Singh Ji (the Tenth Nanak), has rendered a Sikh’s task extremely simple by vesting the authority of the Ten Masters in the Adi Granth and ordaining it to be the final Guru of the Sikhs. The Holy Guru Granth Sahib, therefore, personifies the teachings of the Sikh Gurus and offers guidance on every aspect of one's life (see the author's previous two articles "Why I am a Sikh" and "At the Guru's Door"). This easy access to the True Guru drives home the realisation “how lucky I am to be a Sikh”.

    Author's notes:
    (1) For simplicity, throughout this article, I have referred to the masculine gender but, wherever appropriate, this should be read as including the female gender.

    (2) Differences of opinion are inevitable when interpreting Gurbani. The author most humbly regrets any inaccuracy or errors in quoting or interpreting Gurbani and prays Satguru grants him the boon of greater insight into understanding the Guru’s word.
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  3. vsgrewal48895

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    Mar 12, 2009
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    FIVE VICES/ਅਵਗੁਣ & FIVE VIRTUES/ ਗੁਣ


    In Sikh faith Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment, and Ego are five vices. And five virtues are Truth, Contentment, Compassion, and Faith in the existence of God, and Fortitude. The aim of life should not be to become saints but to make an effort to grow along spiritual lines in the search of Truth. Truth is the other name of God in Sikh thought. Guru Nanak warns about these five thieves living in the mortal body in Raag Gujri;

    The rest of this article can be found at http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-youth/24254-five-vices-and-five-virtues.html
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  4. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    Aug 20, 2009
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    A very detailed and good response Virinder Jji. I look forward to reading it when I have more time. This area is so important and intersting that I had to break it into several parts. I hope to publish the other parts in the days to come.

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  5. vsgrewal48895

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    Mar 12, 2009
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    I have posted each one of these separately which can be located in the archives some where Arshi Ji.
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