Five Vices We Should Overcome
According to the Sikh lifestyle instructed by Sikh Gurus, one should control and get rid of five vices. The Vices are Kaam (Lust), Krodth (Anger), Lobh (Greed), Moh (Emotional Attachment), and Ahankaar (Ego).
According to Sikhism, our soul is a part of God, it has been separated from God and the purpose of our life is to become One with God just like a drop of water mingles with the ocean. However, we are polluted and in order to become one with God, we have to purify ourselves to become like God.
Getting rid of five vices helps one to purify one’s self and meditate on God. When one meditates on God with pure love and pure soul, only then he or she attains salvation by becoming One with God.
Kaam: Kaam means Lust. Lust is a barrier in meditation and becoming one with God. Sikh Guru instructed again and again to control lust and get rid of sexual desires. After getting rid of lust, one can focus his or her entire energy to become One with God. "Sexual desire and anger are the wounds of the soul. The evil-minded ones forget the Naam, and then depart. True are the teachings of the true Guru. The body and mind are cooled and soothed by the touchstone of Truth. This is the true mark of wisdom: that one remains detached, like the water-lily, or the lotus on the water. Attuned to the Shabad, one becomes sweet, like the juice of sugarcane" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 152).
Krodth: Krodth means Anger. It is said that you are at your weakest when you are angry. One makes poor decisions and gets carried away in anger to act upon the tasks one later regrets. A Sikh is to be in control all the time and have a full control on his or her anger in order to think rationally. One can control anger by meditating on God. To live a peaceful life, Guru Granth Sahib Ji instructs one to not even have any relations with the ones who have anger. "Do not meet or even approach people whose hearts are filled with horrible anger" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 40).
Lobh: Lobh means Greed. Greed keeps one entangled in materialistic things, and as long as one remains entangled in worldly possessions, he or she wanders away from God. "The waves of greed rise within him and he does not remember God. He does not join the company of the holy, and suffers in terrible pain through countless incarnations" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 77). "Filled with greed, one constantly wanders around; he does not do any good deeds. O Nanak, the Lord abides within the heart of the one who follows the Guru" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 321). "I have seen the world being destroyed by greed and egotism. Only by serving the Guru, God is realized and the true gate of salvation is found" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 228).
Moh: Moh means Emotional Attachment. Emotional Attachment to things and worldly objects is a hindrance in the path to meet God. Family life is encouraged in Sikhism and in no way Sikhism states not to love your husband, wife, kids or family. However, one should be aware of the fact that all of this is temporary and will wash away as everyone who takes birth also dies. "Nanak says, you will die one day, so why do you bother to collect wealth and property?" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 24). "You will have to abandon the materialistic things you have collected. These entanglements will be of no use to you. You are in love with the things that will not go along with you. You think these things are your friends
but in fact these are your enemies. In such confusion, the world has gone astray. The foolish mortal wastes this precious human life. He does not like to see Truth and righteousness. He is attached to falsehood and deception; they seem sweet to him. He loves gifts, but he forgets the Giver. The wretched creature does not even think of death. He cries to possess other people?s things. He forfeits all the merits of his good deeds and religion. He does not understand the Lord's Command and continues going through birth and death. He sins and then regrets afterwards" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 676).
Ahankaar: Ahankaar means Ego. People with ego think they are the ones in control and they have the power to do things. Being in Ego they forget God, His Power, and His Will. As long as one remains in ego, he or she cannot be One with God. "Acting in egotism, selfishness and conceit, the foolish, ignorant, faithless cynic wastes his life. He dies in agony, like one dying of thirst; O Nanak, this is because of the deeds he has done" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 260). "Those who meditate single-mindedly on the Name of God, and contemplate the teachings of the Guru. Their faces are forever radiant in the Kingdom of God" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 28). "Egotism and anger are wiped away when the Name of God dwells within the mind. Salvation is attained by meditating on the Naam with a pure mind" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 33).
"The world is drunk, engrossed in sexual desire, anger and egotism. Seek the sanctuary of the saints, and fall at their feet; your suffering and darkness shall be removed" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 51). It is hard to get rid of five vices. Naam helps one to get rid of the five vices. "Lust, anger, egotism, jealousy and desires are eliminated by chanting the Name of Lord" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1389). "One who commits to Naam and sees this world as merely a temporary pasture. For him, lust and anger demolish like breaking a jar of poison" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 153).
"The compassionate perfect Guru has eradicated my doubts and fears. The horrific demons, unsatisfied sexual desire and unresolved anger have been totally destroyed" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 854). Guru Ram Das Ji states, "I have obtained the supreme status by singing the Guru's Hymns; meeting with the devotees of God, I am blessed and adorned. Anger and attachment have left my body; hypocrisy and doubts are eradicated. The pain of egotism is gone, and I have found peace. My body has become healthy and free of disease. By Guru's Grace, O Nanak, I have realized God, the ocean of virtue" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 773).