5 Moral Evils (causing harm, destruction, misfortune and pain)
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
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
Lobh : means greed, a strong desire to possess what rightfully belongs to
others. It makes an individual selfish and self-centered. 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
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 Gurudwara 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.