Sikhism . Gurbani Class . Moral Evils and Virtues

5 Moral Evils (causing harm, destruction, misfortune and pain)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

8 Virtues

  1. 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.
  2.  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.
  3.  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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6.  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.
  7. 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'
  8. 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.


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