Rabid Dog and Greed

The Gurbani says that the man is accompanied by one dog and two bitches — greed is the dog, material and celestial desires are two bitches.

In the morning, they (i.e., dogs of all sorts of desires, avarice, and corruption) wake up with the man and start barking (practicing falsehood and deception in transacting with the outside world). Baabaa Nanak says:

  • ਏਕੁ ਸੁਆਨੁ ਦੁਇ ਸੁਆਨੀ ਨਾਲਿ ॥ ਭਲਕੇ ਭਉਕਹਿ ਸਦਾ ਬਇਆਲਿ ॥ ਕੂੜੁ ਛੁਰਾ ਮੁਠਾ ਮੁਰਦਾਰੁ ॥ ਧਾਣਕ ਰੂਪਿ ਰਹਾ ਕਰਤਾਰ ॥1॥: One dog (of greed) and two bitches (desires, avarice, ਆਸਾ, ਤ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨਾ, etc.) are with me. In the early morning, they (rise and) constantly bark (constantly engage in corruption, etc.). Falsehood is my dagger; through deception (ਠਗੀ), I eat the carcasses (of others wealth-ਪਰਾਇਆ ਹੱਕ, etc.). O Creator! I live as a wild hunter (ਭਾਵ ਭਯਾਨਕ ਅਤੇ ਨੀਚੁ-lowly and scary). ||1||  (sggs 24).

Apparently, our thoughts wake up even before we do! Thus, clearly, we are victims of our thoughts (instinctive or Haumai mind). The moment we wake up in the morning, we have different thoughts (dogs) taking control of our minds (this is barking of the dogs).

  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਲੋਭੁ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਹਲਕਾਏ ॥: Within (Pujaaree) is greed, and they wander around like mad dogs. (sggs 372).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਵਿਗੁਤਾ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਲੋਭੁ ਭਉਕੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਕੁਤਾ ॥: The self-willed Manmukh indulges in slander, and is ruined. The dog of greed barks within (the Manmukh). (sggs 1046).
  • ਕਲਿ ਹੋਈ ਕੁਤੇ ਮੁਹੀ ਖਾਜੁ ਹੋਆ ਮੁਰਦਾਰੁ ॥ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਬੋਲਿ ਭਉਕਣਾ ਚੂਕਾ ਧਰਮੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਨ ਜੀਵੰਦਿਆ ਪਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਮੁਇਆ ਮੰਦੀ ਸੋਇ ॥: In Kali (the mind’s state of wickedness, ill-thinking…), people have faces like dogs (i.e. greedy), and carrion (i.e., greed…) is their food. They tell lies and thus bark (like dog); all thought of Dharma has left them. Such people have no honor while alive, and have an evil reputation after they die (sggs 1242).

Greed is one of the “five” evil passions (Bikaars, negative inclinations of the instinctive mind, etc.) mentioned in the Gurbani. The other four are: lust, anger, attachment, and pride. There are also countless variations of these “five” such as Jealousy, hatred, selfishness, cheating, dishonest, deception, corruption, slandering others (“ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ”), and so on.

In essence, as indicated in the Gurbani, greediness = rabidness, and a greedy person = a rabid dog.

  • ਲਬੁ ਕੁਤਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਚੂਹੜਾ ਠਗਿ ਖਾਧਾ ਮੁਰਦਾਰੁ ॥ ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਪਰ ਮਲੁ ਮੁਖ ਸੁਧੀ ਅਗਨਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਚੰਡਾਲੁ ॥: Greed is a dog (within me); falsehood is a street-sweeper (within me). Cheating is eating a rotting carcass (within me). Slandering others is putting the filth of others into my own mouth. The fire of anger (within me) is the “Chandaal” (with me – pariah, merciless wretch…). (sggs 15).

Inflicted with the acute disease of rabies, a dog goes mad and runs around in ten directions – biting everyone in its way. Unsatisfied greed is akin to the disease of rabies; and the man with greed is compared by the Gurbani to the rabies-ridden dog. Greed arises from Bikaars, resulting in limitless hankering for sense enjoyment. Indulged in sensory pleasures, one slides down into the dark pit of ignorance, resulting in foolishness, madness and illusion. Consider the following verses of the Gurbani:

  • ਲੋਭ ਲਹਰਿ ਸਭੁ ਸੁਆਨੁ ਹਲਕੁ ਹੈ ਹਲਕਿਓ ਸਭਹਿ ਬਿਗਾਰੇ ॥: The waves of greed are like mad dogs with rabies. Their madness ruins all (those whom they bite – ਵੱਢਣਾਂ) (sggs 983).
  • ਜਿਉ ਕੂਕਰੁ ਹਰਕਾਇਆ ਧਾਵੈ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਲੋਭੀ ਜੰਤੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਈ ਭਖੁ ਅਭਖੁ ਸਭ ਖਾਇ ॥: Like the mad dog running around in all directions, the greedy person, unaware, consumes everything, edible and non-edible alike (sggs 50).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਕੂਕਰ ਹਰਕਾਇਆ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਲੋਭੀ ਬੰਧੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੬॥: Without meditating in remembrance on the Lord, one is like a mad dog. The greedy, Saakat (one separated from the Truth) falls into entanglements ||6|| (sggs 239).

A rabid dog cannot be trusted. It will bite and infect whosoever comes in its contact. Therefore, as it’s safe and commonsense to avoid a rabid dog, the Gurbani urges us to avoid a greedy person, for he cannot be trusted.

  • ਲੋਭੀ ਕਾ ਵੇਸਾਹੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ਜੇ ਕਾ ਪਾਰਿ ਵਸਾਇ ॥ ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ ਤਿਥੈ ਧੁਹੈ ਜਿਥੈ ਹਥੁ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥: If you can avoid doing so, do not trust the greedy person.  At the very last moment, (a greedy person)  will deceive you there, where no one will be able to lend a helping hand. (sggs 1417).
  • ਸਾਕਤ ਸੁਆਨ ਕਹੀਅਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਲੋਭੀ ਬਹੁ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਭਰੀਜੈ ॥ ਆਪਨ ਸੁਆਇ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਬਾਤਾ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਵਿਸਾਹੁ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਜੈ ॥੬॥: The Saakat (Manmukh, one separated from his Mool…) is said to be very greedy – he is like a dog. He overflows with the wicked intellect. He talks excessively about his own interests; but he cannot be trusted. ||6|| (sggs 1326).

In fact the SGGS tells us that greed is a poison!

  • ਲਾਲਚ ਬਿਖੁ ਕਾਮ ਲੁਬਧ ਰਾਤਾ ਮਨਿ ਬਿਸਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਹੀਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Attached to and stained by the poisons of greed and lust, the mind forgets the jewel of Prabh (Mool, Source, Jot…). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 487).

In addition to many dog, the crazy and crooked nature of the human mind is also compared in the Gurbani with the behavior of many other animals, etc.

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਅਉਗੁਣ ਜੇਤੜੇ ਤੇਤੇ ਗਲੀ ਜੰਜੀਰ ॥ ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਨਿ ਤ ਕਟੀਅਨਿ ਸੇ ਭਾਈ ਸੇ ਵੀਰ ॥: O Nanak! As many as are the demerits (Bikaar…), so many are the chains (bonds, Bandhan…) around (one’s) neck. If (one) possesses the Divine Virtues, then the chains are cut away; (hence Virtues) are (one’s) true brothers and mates. (sggs 595).

Among all species of living beings, although the human mind is most fit to be instructed about the nature of the Truth (Mool, Source, Origin, Jot…). However, even among the human beings, those who behave crooked like a dog’s tail are unconducive to the Divine Wisdom.

  • ਸੁਣਿ ਮਨ ਅੰਧੇ ਕੁਤੇ ਕੂੜਿਆਰ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਬੋਲੇ ਬੂਝੀਐ ਸਚਿਆਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Listen, O mind, you blind (i.e., ignorant…), false (i.e., ਝੂਠਾ…) dog (i.e., greedy…)! (A truthful person-ਸੱਚਾ ਮਨੁੱਖ) is known or recognized without him (even) speaking. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 662).
  • ਕਰਣੋ ਹੁਤੋ ਸੁ ਨਾ ਕੀਓ ਪਰਿਓ ਲੋਭ ਕੈ ਫੰਧ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਮਿਓ ਰਮਿ ਗਇਓ ਅਬ ਕਿਉ ਰੋਵਤ ਅੰਧ ॥੩੬॥: (O greedy man! You) have not done what you should have done; you are trapped in the net of greed. O Nanak!  (Your life) time is past and gone; why are you crying now, you blind fool? ||36|| (sggs 1428).

To an unwise mind, the Divine knowledge is a burden!

If we want to straighten our mad dog-mind, the Gurbani teaches us to reform it: We need to change our crooked thinking, habits and tendencies. We need to engage in Shabad-Vichaar (Naam, Bhagati…) with keen earnestness, faith, sincerity, and willingness. In turn, the Divine Knowledge attained through the Shabad-Vichaar will strike our mad  dog-mind’s crookedness (dog’s tail) and drive it out. When the mind is mended, the Maya’s wheel ceases: the dog’s tail becomes straight, never to curl again!

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਭਏ ਕੂਕਰ ਕਾਮ ॥: Without (Naam-) Simran, one becomes like a dog (sggs 239).
  • ਏਕ ਭਗਤਿ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਜਿਹ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਕੈ ਨਾਹਿ ਮਨਿ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਸੂਕਰ ਸੁਆਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਮਾਨੋ ਤਾਹਿ ਤਨੁ ॥੪੪॥: That person, who does not feel Bhagati to God in his mind — O Nanak, know that his body is like that of a pig and a dog ||4||4|| (sggs 1428).
  • ਜੋ ਸਹਿ ਰਤੇ ਆਪਣੈ ਤਿਨ ਤਨਿ ਲੋਭ ਰਤੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: Those who are attuned to their Divine (Divine Wisdom, Virtues…) – their is no blood of greed in their bodies. (sggs 949).
Filed Under: Animals, Gurbani, Haumai, Ego
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