Rabid Dog and Greed

We speak or act according to our own mind’s thinking (Soch-ਸੋਚ). In that sense, each person is what his or her own mind is!

The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) says that each person’s mind is accompanied by one dog and two bitches — greed is the dog, and desires and avarice  (ਆਸਾ, ਤ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨਾ, etc.) are the two bitches. First thing in the morning, they (i.e., dogs of desires, avarice, and corruption) wake up with a person 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 person’s mind). In the early morning, they (rise and) constantly bark (constantly engage in corruption, etc.). (Mind) is a large knife of falsehood; body is the haft or handle of this mind-knife; the mind in this condition runs after Maya or chases Mayaic imaginations (‘ਕਲਿ ਕਾਤੀ-Kali Kaatee‘). O Creator! (Thus the mind) lives as a wild hunter (ਭਾਵ ਭਯਾਨਕ ਅਤੇ ਨੀਚੁ-lowly and scary). ||1||  (sggs 24).
  • ਕਲਿ ਕਾਤੀ ਰਾਜੇ ਕਾਸਾਈ ਧਰਮੁ ਪੰਖ ਕਰਿ ਉਡਰਿਆ ॥: Kali (thoughts, imagination, ਫੁਰਨੇ, ਕਲਪਨਾ, ਕਲਜੁਗ ਦੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਯਾ…) is the scalpel, (as a result) kings (minds…) are butchers (have become ਜਾਲਮ…), and the Dharma has taken wings and flown away. (sggs 145).

Apparently, our thoughts wake up even before our body-frame gets out of the bed!

  • ਹੇ ਲੋਭਾ ਲੰਪਟ ਸੰਗ ਸਿਰਮੋਰਹ ਅਨਿਕ ਲਹਰੀ ਕਲੋਲਤੇ ॥ ਧਾਵੰਤ ਜੀਆ ਬਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਰੰ ਅਨਿਕ ਭਾਂਤਿ ਬਹੁ ਡੋਲਤੇ ॥ ਨਚ ਮਿਤ੍ਰੰ ਨਚ ਇਸਟੰ ਨਚ ਬਾਧਵ ਨਚ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਤਵ ਲਜਯਾ ॥ ਅਕਰਣੰ ਕਰੋਤਿ ਅਖਾਦ੍ਯ੍ਯਿ ਖਾਦ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਅਸਾਜ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਸਾਜਿ ਸਮਜਯਾ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਾਹਿ ਤ੍ਰਾਹਿ ਸਰਣਿ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਬਿਗਾੑਪ੍ਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਨਰਹਰਹ ॥ ੪੮॥: O greed! You cling to even the great, assaulting them with your countless waves. (Under your spell) people run about in many directions and greatly wobble in multiple manners. (Living under your influence) they have no respect for friends, ideals, relations, mother or father.  … (sggs 1358).

Thus, clearly, we are victims of our thoughts (i.e., the wandering or Haumai mind). The moment we wake up in the morning, we have different thoughts (dogs) taking control of our individual mind (this is barking of the dog-mind).

  • 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, Bikaar…), 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’ 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.

  • ਮਾਣਸ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੁਤਾ ਦਰਿ ਫੁਰਮਾਨੁ ॥: O Nanak! A human being is a human in shape and name only; (but) by conduct he is a dog (greedy, selfish, corrupt, etc.) – this is the Divine edict. (sggs 350).
  • ਲੋਭ ਲਹਰਿ ਅਤਿ ਨੀਝਰ ਬਾਜੈ ॥: Tidal waves of greed constantly assault man (sggs 1196).

In essence, as indicated in the Gurbani:
(1) Greediness = rabidness; (2) 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).
  • ਸੁਰਹ ਕੀ ਜੈਸੀ ਤੇਰੀ ਚਾਲ ॥ ਤੇਰੀ ਪੂੰਛਟ ਊਪਰਿ ਝਮਕ ਬਾਲ ॥੧॥: You walk like a cow. Also, the hair on your tail is shiny and lustrous  (i.e., O dog-nature person! You look as exalted, pure, holy…).  (sggs 1196).

Greed results 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.

  • 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, grabs or misappropriates everything that comes in his way (ਸਭ ਕੁੱਝ ਹੜਪ ਜਾਂਣ ਦੀ ਵਿਰਤੀ). (sggs 50).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਕੂਕਰ ਹਰਕਾਇਆ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਲੋਭੀ ਬੰਧੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੬॥: Without remembrance (Wisdom, Virtues..), 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. 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.

  • ਲੋਭ ਲਹਰਿ ਸਭੁ ਸੁਆਨੁ ਹਲਕੁ ਹੈ ਹਲਕਿਓ ਸਭੈ ਬਿਗਾਰੇ॥: The waves of greed are like a mad dog with rabies. A mad dog with rabies (bites and) infects everybody (similarly, a greedy person infects others with greed). (sggs 983).
  • 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).

The SGGS tells us that the greed is also like poison!

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

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

Among all species of living beings, although the human mind is most fit to be instructed about the nature of the Truth (Jot Saroop…). However, even among the human beings, those who behave crooked like a dog’s tail are not conducive to the Wisdom or Virtues.

  • 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).
  • ਫਰੀਦਾ ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਭਉਕਣਾ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਦੁਖੀਐ ਕਉਣੁ ॥ ਕੰਨੀ ਬੁਜੇ ਦੇ ਰਹਾਂ ਕਿਤੀ ਵਗੈ ਪਉਣੁ ॥੮੮॥: O Fareed! This body (i.e., thoughts or mind) is ever barking (like a dog, always greedy). Who can stand this constant suffering? I have put plugs in my ears; I don’t care how much the wind is blowing (I don’t listen to the greedy barking or demands of my body anymore). ||88||  (sggs 1382).

To an unwise mind, the knowledge is a burden!

If we want the mad-dog-mind straightened, the Gurbani teaches us to reform its thinking (Soch) with the Giaan or Wisdom of the SGGS. This will require engaging it in churning the Gurbani (Naam, Bhagati…) with keen earnestness, sincerity and willingness. In turn, the Wisdom realized through the Shabad-Vichaar will strike our mad  dog-mind’s crookedness (dog’s crooked tail) and drive it out. When the mind gets mended with proper understanding, the hidden fire of Maya becomes extinguished: the dog’s tail becomes straight, never to curl again (Gurmukh Lifestyle)!

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਭਏ ਕੂਕਰ ਕਾਮ ॥: Without (Naam-) Simran, one becomes like a dog (sggs 239).
  • 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).

In nutshell, behavior of a rabid dog and a greedy person are similar. For example, (1) a rabid dog restlessly runs around in ten directions, so does a greedy person; (2) a rabid dog does not hesitate to bite his own master’s family members, similarly a greedy person will not hesitate to loot and ruin his own family; (3) a rabid dog foams at the mouth, similarly a greedy person’s mouth shoots poisonous words; (4) a rabid dog dislikes water, similarly a greedy person dislikes Wisdom or Virtues; (5) a rabid dog’s tail uncurls and remains straight, similarly a greedy person with his hands open always begs for more and more material wealth, possessions. Baabaa Nanak roars:

  • ਲਾਲਚੁ ਛੋਡਹੁ ਅੰਧਿਹੋ ਲਾਲਚਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਭਾਰੀ ॥: O blind (i.e., ignorant beings)! Renounce greed, for greed only brings great suffering. (sggs 419).
  • ਕੂੜਾ ਲਾਲਚੁ ਛੋਡੀਐ ਤਉ ਸਾਚੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ॥: When one renounces the stupid greed, then does one come to realize the Truth. (sggs 419).

In short, the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS asks us to make the kinfe of the mind of Truth (ਸਚ-Sach):

  • ਸਚ ਕੀ ਕਾਤੀ ਸਚੁ ਸਭੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਘਾੜਤ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਅਪਰ ਅਪਾਰ ॥ ਸਬਦੇ ਸਾਣ ਰਖਾਈ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਗੁਣ ਕੀ ਥੇਕੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: If the (mind-) knife is of Truth, and the Truth is its ALL steel, that knife’s workmanship is incomparably beautiful. (That mind-knife) is sharpened on the grindstone of the Shabad (Naam, Hukam, Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…). and it remains in the scabbard of Virtues (sggs 956).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕਾ ਭੋਜਨੁ ਗਿਆਨ ॥: Spiritual Wisdom (ਉੱਚੀ ਸਮਝ, etc.) is the food of the Brahm Giaanee – the knower of Truth. (sggs 273).


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