Greed is one of “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, and so on.

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

Inflicted with the acute disease of rabies, the 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 passion, 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 ॥: Lobh lahari sabh suaan halak hai halkio sabhai bigaare: The waves of greed are like mad dogs with rabies. Ttheir 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 ॥: Jiou kookar harkaaiaa dhaavai dah dis jaai. Lobhee jant n jaanaee bhakh abhakh sabh khaai: 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॥: Bin simran kookar harkaaiaa. Saakat lobhee bandhan paaiaa ||6||: Without meditating in remembrance on the Lord, one is like a mad dog. The greedy, Saakat (one separetd 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: Lobhee kaa vesaahu na keejai je kaa paar vasaai: If you can avoid doing so, do not trust the greedy person (sggs 1417).
Filed Under: Animals, Gurbani, Haumai, Ego
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