COVETING ANOTHER WOMANThe lustful, lecherous man may have many women, but he still never stops peeking (ਮੰਦੀ ਨਿਗਾਹ) into
the homes of others. Day after day, he commits (such lustful acts - ਕਾਮ-ਵਾਸਨਾ ਵਾਲਾ ਕੰਮ), again and again, and then he
regrets his actions; (and thus) he wastes away (he ruins his spiritual life or ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ) in misery
and greed (i.e., in lust and regrets) ||3|| (sggs 672). If you seek the path of good conduct,
forsake greed, and do not look upon other men's property and women (sggs 526).
Human mind is the place where all problems start. Therefore, man's primary Dharma is to cultivate divine values in him. The Gurbani, and other scriptures and epics as well as the Great Souls provide mankind with moral guidance. Living primarily a material and conditioned life (Manmukh lifestyle), many of us often forget that Divine Hukam (Divine Will or Commandment) prevails all, thus, punishment for misdeeds is inevitable. It is for the purpose of emphasizing the importance of right conduct and behavior that world scriptures, epics and Great Souls act as the source of moral guidance.
One's conduct is primarily either virtuous or bad. Bad or misconduct consists of evil doings (evil passions) wherein one does not want to perform good deeds from within. The mentality of such person is to grab the wealth and possessions of others, including other man's wife, sister, daughter or mother (adultery, fornication, etc.). He suffers from baser desires that spring up from the unceasing demands of the defiled senses. In an illusion to fulfill his desires, he has no hesitation hurting others and himself. In essence, these lusty desires are but one's deluded mind (false ego-sense or Haume). A person with such impure mind will be unable to properly integrate with others, or care for their well being. Because he lacks selflessness and does not know how to sacrifice his own happiness and selfishness for the happiness of others. As the Gurbani emphasizes, he does not see himself in others. If he did then there will be no "others"!
- ਅਖੀ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਵੇਖਣਾ ਪਰ ਤ੍ਰਿਅ ਪਰ ਧਨ ਰੂਪੁ ॥: Akhee sootak vekhanaa par tria par dhann roop: The impurity of the eyes is to gaze upon the beauty of another man's wife, and his wealth (sggs 472).
- ਸੀਲੁ ਬਿਗਾਰਿਓ ਤੇਰਾ ਕਾਮ ॥: Seel bigaario tayraa kaam: But the goodness of your conduct has been destroyed by lust: evil passions (sggs 374).
- ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਤਜਿ ਕਰਿ ਕਾਮਿ ਵਿਆਪਿਆ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਇਆ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ॥: isataree taji kar kaam viaapiaa chit laaiaa par naaree: Abandoning his own wife, he is engrossed in sexual desire; his thoughts are on the wives of others (sggs 1013).
- ਕਾਮਵੰਤ ਕਾਮੀ ਬਹੁ ਨਾਰੀ ਪਰ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਜੋਹ ਨ ਚੂਕੈ ॥ ਦਿਨ ਪ੍ਰਤਿ ਕਰੈ ਕਰੈ ਪਛੁਤਾਪੈ ਸੋਗ ਲੋਭ ਮਹਿ ਸੂਕੈ ॥੩॥: Kaamavant kaamee bahu naaree par grih joh n chookai. Din prat karai karai pashhutaapai sog lobh mahi sookai ||3||: The lustful, lecherous man may have many women, but he still never stops peeking (ਮੰਦੀ ਨਿਗਾਹ) into the homes of others. Day after day, he commits (such lustful acts - ਕਾਮ-ਵਾਸਨਾ ਵਾਲਾ ਕੰਮ), again and again, and then he regrets his actions; (and thus) he wastes away (he ruins his spiritual life or ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ) in misery and greed (i.e., in lust and regrets) ||3|| (sggs 672).
- You shall not commit adultery (Bible, Deuteronomy 5:18).
- The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, flog each of them with a hundred stripes: let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment (Quran, Surah 24:2).
Coveting another man's wife is a heinous crime, and wicked men enjoy in doing so, but cannot hope to escape punishment. Such a man will do well to ponder how he will react if a stranger makes similar overtures to his wife, his daughter, his sister and his mother! That'a why we are urged to look at other women as our own mother or daughter or sister.
- ਪਰ ਧਨ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ਰਤੁ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਈ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: Par dhan par naaree rat nindaa bikh khaaee dukh paaiaa: Caught in slander and attachment to the wealth and women of others, t,people poison and suffer in pain (sggs 1).
- ਏਕਾ ਨਾਰੀ ਜਤੀ ਹੋਇ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ਧੀ ਭੈਣ ਵਖਾਣੈ ॥: Ekaa naaree jatee hoi par naaree dhee bhain vakhaanai: Having one women as wife he (the Sikh) is a celebate and considers any other's wife his daughter or a sister (Bhai Gurdaas Ji, Vaar 6).
- ਦਾਖਿ ਪਰਾਈਆਂ ਚੰਗੀਆਂ ਮਾਵਾਂ ਭੈਣਾਂ ਧੀਆਂ ਜਾਣੈ ॥: Dakh paraaeeaaan changeeaaan maavaan bhainaan dheeaaan jaanai: (Bhai Gurdaas Ji, Vaar 28).
- ਬਿਗਸਿਓ ਪੇਖਿ ਰੰਗੁ ਕਸੁੰਭ ਕੋ ਪਰ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਜੋਹਨਿ ਜਾਇਓ ॥: bigsi-o paykh rang kasumbh ko par garih johan jaa-i-o: Man is excited, gazing on the transitory color of the safflower, and looking at other men`s wives (sggs 712).
To make the point, some popular notorious exponent of this dictum are cited in the Gurbani. Inder Devta coveted Gautam Rishi's wife (Ahilliya), and failed to bear in mind that punishment for such misdeeds is inevitable. Raavana had committed the nefarious abduction of Sita, the wife of Sri Raam Chandra, to yield to his misdeed. As a result of this misdeed, later he lost all, including his own wife, and he finally lost his life and perished for his ignominious deed. He is the embodiment of false ego (Haume) and defiled senses.
- ਸਹੰਸਰ ਦਾਨ ਦੇ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੁ ਰੋਆਇਆ ॥: Sahansar daan de indra roaaiaa: Branded with a thousand marks of disgrace, Indra cried in shame (sggs 953).
- ਰੋਵੈ ਦਹਸਿਰੁ ਲੰਕ ਗਵਾਇ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਸੀਤਾ ਆਦੀ ਡਉਰੂ ਵਾਇ ॥: Rovai dahasir lank gavaai: Jin seetaa aadee douroo vaai: The ten-headed Rawana, who stole away Sita with the beat of his tambourine, wept when he lost Lanka (sggs 954).
Presently, most of us are primarily living an external life (Manmukh or materialistic lifestyle). Internal or spiritual life relates to Truth or Pure Consciousness, while the external life relates to falsehood. A Gurmukh (spiritual being) is quintessence of internal life. Thus, the key to living a virtuous or immaculate conduct in this life is becoming a Gurmukh now, not after death or some other time. Lotus flower grows in mud but ever remains immaculate; this is the characteristic of a Gurmukh, who while living in the midst of Maya, remains pure. On the other hand, a frog eats slimy scum even though it lives with the lotus! This is the characteristic of a Manmukh who behaves, eats, thinks, acts, and speaks that is destructive to the society and unconducive to his own spiritual unfoldment.
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਬਦਿ ਅਚਾਰਿ ॥: Gurmukhi paaeeai sabadi achaari: By becoming the Gurmukh, (by obtaining the righteous, higher...) conduct through the Shabad, attain (Mool, Realization ..). (sggs 941).
- ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਚੇਤਹਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਵੀਚਾਰਹਿ ਇਹੁ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਕਾ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥: Naam n cheetahi sabadu n vichaarahi ihu manmukh kaa aachaaru: The conduct of the Manmukh (self-willed...) is that (he) does not think of the Divine Naam (Hukam, Gur-Giaan...), and does not ponder on the Shabad (Gur-Shabad Vichaar..). (sggs 508).
- ਪਰ ਧਨ ਪਰ ਦਾਰਾ ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਇਨ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਨਿਵਾਰਿ ॥ Par dhan pardaaraa par nindaa in siyu preet nivaar: (O Lord, please) eradicate my love for (Stealing) others’ wealth, (coveting) others’ wives, and the slander of others (sggs 379).
- ... ਪਰ ਤ੍ਰਿਅ ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਪੇਖੈ ਨੇਤ੍ਰ ॥: ... Par tria roop na pekhai netar: ... whose eyes do not gaze upon the beauty of others' wives, whose ears do not listen to slander against anyone, who deems himself to be the worst of all, who, by Guru's Grace, renounces corruption, who banishes the mind's evil desires from his mind, who conquers his lusty instincts and is free of the five sinful passions (i.e. all evil pssions) - O Nanak, among millions, there is scarcely one such 'touch-nothing Saint' (sggs 274).
- ਲੋਭਾਦਿ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਪਰ ਗ੍ਰਿਹੰ ਜਦਿਬਿਧਿ ਆਚਰਣੰ ॥ ਤਜਿ ਸਕਲ ਦੁਹਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਦੁਰਮਤੀ ਭਜੁ ਚਕ੍ਰਧਰ ਸਰਣੰ ॥੩॥: Lobhaadi darisati par gariham jadibidhi aacharnam. Taji sakal duhakrit durmatee bhaju chakrdhar sarnam ||3||: Forsake greed, and do not look upon other's hme (ਪਰਾਏ ਘਰ ਵਲ ਦੇਖਣਾਂ...), and give up conduct that is "Jadibidhi" (agianst the established norms of moral, ethics ...). Renounce all evil deeds and evil inclinations, and hurry to the Lord's Sanctuary ||3|| (sggs 526).
Bhagat Nam Dev Ji has good advise. We can look at God with the same intensity we look at another man's wife when driven by sex urges. Bhagat JI in the following verse echoes this message. In other he would like us to s shift our focus to the Higher Thought.
- ਜਿਉ ਬਿਖਈ ਹੇਰੈ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ॥: Jio bikhee herai par naaree: (I look at God as) The man driven by sex looks upon another (man's) woman (ਪਰਾਈ ਨਾਰ) (sggs 873).
— T. Singh