One Dog and Two Bitches

The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) asserts  humans are accompanied by one dog and two bitches — greed is the dog, and desires and avarice  (ਆਸਾ, ਤ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨਾ-Trishanaa, etc.) are the two bitches.

In the morning, they (i.e., dogs of all sorts of desires, avarice, and corruption) wake up even before one’s body-frame gets out of the bed and start barking (i.e. practicing falsehood and deception while 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 (the mind of humans). In the early morning, they (rise and) constantly bark (constantly engage in corruption, etc.). The greedy person lies incessantly (i.e. through deception he cheats his own people and strangers). His cunningness is as sharp as a knife. taking what rightfully belongs to other people is equivalent to eating carcasses. O Creator! (the mind) lives as a wild hunter (ਭਾਵ ਭਯਾਨਕ ਅਤੇ ਨੀਚੁ-lowly and scary). ||1||  (sggs 24).

Also called ‘rabid dog‘ and ‘poison’ (i.e. Maya) in the Gurbani, greed is one of the ‘five’ Bikaar mentioned in the Gurbani (or negative inclinations of the mind). The other four are: lust, anger, attachment, and pride. There are also countless variations of these ‘five’ such as Jealousy, hatred, selfishness, cheating, dishonesty, deception, corruption, slandering others, and so on.

A rabid dog cannot be trusted. It will bite and infect whosoever comes in its contact. Unsatisfied greed is akin to the disease of rabies; and the man with greed is compared by the Gurbani to the rabies-ridden dog. 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.

  • 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, grabs or misappropriates everything that comes in his way (ਸਭ ਕੁੱਝ ਹੜਪ ਜਾਂਣ ਦੀ ਵਿਰਤੀ). (sggs 50).

We are warned by the Gurbani that desires (Trishana etc.) are wounds (‘ਚੋਟ’) of the soul or the mind. And it is only by controlling desires one can link with the Truth within (ਮਨਸਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ॥ sggs 120).

These desires flow out from the uncontrolled appetite of our defiled senses. Aptly, we are counseled by the Gurbani to restrain (ਬੰਨ ਕੇ, ਰੋਕ ਕੇ ਰਖਣਾਂ) the flow of our desires (Kaam, hunger for Maya…).

  • ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਇਸੁ ਤਨਹਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥: Spiritual ignorance and desire burn this human body (sggs 1067).
  • ਆਸਾ ਮਨਸਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਕਮਾਵਹਿ ਰੋਗੁ ਬੁਰਾ ਬੁਰਿਆਰਾ ਹੇ ॥੭॥: Trapped by hope and desire, (Manmukh) practice falsehood, and remain afflicted by the terrible disease of corruption. ||7|| (sggs 1029).

The moment we wake up in the morning, we have different thoughts (dogs) taking control of our minds (this is barking of the dogs).

  • ਲੋਭ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਬਿਖੈ ਲਾਗੇ ਹਿਰਿ ਵਿਤ ਚਿਤ ਦੁਖਾਹੀ ॥: Those attached to the poison (i.e. Maya) and Bikaar hurt (others) by stealing their wealth. (sggs 408).
  • ਸਾਕਤ ਸੁਆਨ ਕਹੀਅਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਲੋਭੀ ਬਹੁ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਭਰੀਜੈ ॥ ਆਪਨ ਸੁਆਇ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਬਾਤਾ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਵਿਸਾਹੁ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਜੈ ॥੬॥: Saakat (those separated from God…) are said to be very greedy like dogs; they are full of too much filth of wicked intellect. One who talks excessively but to suit ones own interests; how can such a person be trusted? ||6|| (sggs 1326).

For example, if it is not lust, then it is anger. If it is not anger, it is greed. If it is not greed, it is emotional attachment. If it is not attachment, it is pride. If it is not pride, it is selfishness. If it is not selfishness, it is worry. If it is not worry, it is envy. If it is not envy… (thus goes the unending barrage of thoughts or Bikaars).

Then how can the mind know Peace (or Anand, Joy…)? Not possible with such a corrupt and conditioned state of the mind.

  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਲੋਭ ਮੋਹ ਅਭਿਮਾਨਾ ਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਈਐ ॥: Lust, anger, greed, emotional attachment and pride – (caught in them) Peace is not obtained (sggs 614).
  • ਸਭ ਬਿਧਿ ਖੋਈ ਲੋਭਿ ਸੁਆਨ ॥੨॥: (O mind, due to Ahankaar – false ego-sense, self-conceit…) the dog of greed has ruined you in every way. ||2|| (sggs 374).

Making honest money is not a bad thing. But to remain greedy is compared with a rabid dog in the Gurbani.

The Gurbani asserts that a person inside of which the dog of greed dies is very ‘rare’:

  • ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਬਿਰਲੇ ਹੀ ਕੀ ਬੁਝੀ ਹੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕੋਟਿ ਜੋਰੇ ਲਾਖ ਕ੍ਰੋਰੇ ਮਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਰੇ ॥ ਪਰੈ ਪਰੈ ਹੀ ਕਉ ਲੁਝੀ ਹੇ ॥੧॥: Trishnaa (fire of greed, desires…) is extinguished inside a rare person. ||1||Pause|| (The general condition is that a person) earns millions, accumulates millions, yet does not restrain his mind (from greed). (Rather, he) keeps burning (in the fire of Trishnaa) to accumulate more and more extra wealth. ||1|| (sggs 213).

To overcome these effectively, the Gurbani recommends remembrance of Naam (Giaan or Wisdom), and live a Gurmukh lifestyle.

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਭਏ ਕੂਕਰ ਕਾਮ ॥: Without (Naam-) Simran, one becomes like a dog (sggs 239).
  • ਬਹਤੀ ਮਨਸਾ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਬਾਂਧਿ ॥: Keep your flowing desires (pulsating from the senses-ਸਰੀਰਕ ਇੰਦ੍ਰਿਆਂ) restrained. (sggs 342).
  • ਗੁਰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੀਣਸ੍ਯ੍ਯ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੰਤ ਜਨਮ ਭ੍ਰਸਟਣਹ ॥ ਕੂਕਰਹ ਸੂਕਰਹ ਗਰਧਭਹ ਕਾਕਹ ਸਰਪਨਹ ਤੁਲਿ ਖਲਹ ॥੩੩॥: That mortal who lacks the Gur-mantra (Guru’s counsel, advice, Wisdom, Upadesh, ਸਲਾਹ), cursed and fallen (depraved, polluted…) is his life. That wicked person is a dog, a pig, a jackass, a crow, a snake (in this very life, here and now, not after death). ||33|| (1356).

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