- Jan 6, 2005
5 MORAL EVILS
8 VIRTUES TO COMBAT THE 5 EVILS
- Kaam : refers to lust and illegitimate sex. It is one of the greatest evils that tempts people away from God. It makes an individual weak-willed and unreliable. Normal sexual relationship as a house-holder is not restricted in any way in Sikhism. But sex outside marriage or sex against the will of the partner is taboo, as it can cause unlimited sorrows.
- Krodh : is anger and needs to be controlled. A person overcome by 'krodh' loses his balance of mind and becomes incapable of thinking. According to Sikhism, 'krodh' takes a person away from God as hatred has no place in religious practice.
- Lobh : means greed, a strong desire to possess what rightfully belongs to others. It makes an individual selfish and self-centred. It takes a person away from his religious and social duties. A person can become blind with greed if an effort to control the desire for unlimited possessions is not made.
- Moh : refers to the strong attachment that an individual has to worldly possessions and relationships. It blurs the perspective of a human being and makes him narrow minded. It deviates a person from his moral duties and responsibilities and leads him towards a path of sin.
- Ahankar : means false pride due to one's possessions, material wealth, intelligence or powers. It gives an individual a feeling that he is superior to others and therefore they are at a lower level than him. It leads to jealousy, feelings of enmity and restlessness amongst people. Sikhism requires that a person serves the society and community with humility. Hence, the practice of cleaning the footwear of visitors to a Gurdwara is followed by many devout Sikhs.
- Wisdom (gyan) : is the complete knowledge of a set of religious principles. It can be achieved by hearing good, thinking good and doing good. A man of wisdom tries to achieve a high moral standard in his life and interaction with others. According to Sikhism, the first steps to wisdom is to consider oneself as an ignorant person who has to learn a lot in life.
- Truthful Living (sat) : This is more than 'truth'. It means living according to the way of God i.e. the thoughts should match the words that a person speaks and his actions should also match his words. Truthful living brings a person closer to God.
- Justice (niaon) : means freedom and equal opportunities for all. Respect for the rights of others and strict absence of attempts to exploit a fellow being. Sikhism forbids the desire to loot another's property. It also strictly instructs the Sikhs to show respect even for the women and children of an enemy.
- Temperance (santokh) : means self control which has to be developed through meditation and prayers. A Sikh has to banish evil thoughts from his mind by constantly repeating Gods name and reciting prayers. Torture to the body to develop self-control is not advocated in Sikhism.
- Patience (dhiraj) : implies a high level of tolerance and empathy for others. It requires control over ones ego and willingness to overlook another's weakness or mistakes. It requires that a Sikh should be strong willed, but kind hearted.
- Courage (himmat) : means bravery i.e. absence of fear. It is the ability to stake ones life for ones convictions and for saving others from injustice or cruelty.
- Humility (namarta) : is a deliberate denial of pleasure at one's own praise and admiration. It means underplaying ones own strengths and respecting the abilities of others. It is the antidote to 'ahankar'
- Contentment (sabar) : means refraining from worldly fears and submitting oneself to the will of God. The typical worldly fears can be fear of death, poverty, disrespect and defeat. It is this virtue that has given the Sikhs the moral strength to withstand the various atrocities committed on their community in the last three centuries.