A miser is essentially a greedy person.
A miser person (Soom) is also called “Kirapan” in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS). As he serves only Maya, consequently, the “Kirapan” is a repository of all Bikaars (negativities): lust, anger greed, attachment, pride, enviousness, stubborn mindedness, selfishness, unrighteousness, and other numerous variations of these negative tendencies. He dose not know giving; for giving or sharing is not his nature. As a result, he only knows taking, stealing, squandering, misappropriating, and so on. He is in love with wealth and “calls it his own”. He is “full of sins”.
- ਕਿਰਪਨ ਤਨ ਮਨ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਭਰੇ ॥: Kirapan tann mann kilavikh bhare: O miser, your body and mind are full of sin (sggs 714).
- ਕਾਮਿ ਕਰੋਧਿ ਮੋਹਿ ਵਸਿ ਕੀਆ ਕਿਰਪਨ ਲੋਭਿ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥: Kaam karodhh mohi vas keeaa kirapan lobh piaar: Uunder the power of lust, anger and worldly attachment, a miser is in love with greed (sggs 70).
- ਧਾਇ ਧਾਇ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਨ ਸ੍ਰਮੁ ਕੀਨੋ ਇਕਤ੍ਰ ਕਰੀ ਹੈ ਮਾਇਆ ॥: Dhaaye dhaaye kirapan sram keeno ikatr karee hai Maya: With great effort and exertion, the miser works to amass Maya (sggs 712).
- ਸੂਮਹਿ ਧਨੁ ਰਾਖਨ ਕਉ ਦੀਆ ਮੁਗਧੁ ਕਹੈ ਧਨੁ ਮੇਰਾ: Soomahi dhan raakhan kaou deeaa mugadh kahai dhan meraa: The miser is busy in amaasing wealth, and the fool (miser) calls it his own (sggs 479).
- ਕਿਰਪਨ ਕਉ ਅਤਿ ਧਨ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥: Kirapan kaou ati dhan piaar : The miser is totally in love with the wealth (sggs 1180).
- ਰੋਵਹਿ ਕਿਰਪਨ ਸੰਚਹਿ ਧਨੁ ਜਾਇ ॥: Rovahi kirapan sanchahi dhan jaai: The miser amasses wealth, but cries when it is gone (sggs 954).
Thus the miser person is said to be the lowest of the low. He is like that of the dog in the manger. Any society where misers are prevalent will suffer; for misers can only increase the suffering of others in the world. A miser cannot be the support of anybody. He is unaware of the truth that to gain real happiness one has to selflessly give. Hence, he creates hellish existence on this earth for himself as well as for others to live in.
In fact, the miser and Maya are synonymous, Maya is labeled in the Gurbani as daughter of the miser!
- ਸੋਹਾਗਨਿ ਕਿਰਪਨ ਕੀ ਪੂਤੀ ॥ ਸੇਵਕ ਤਜਿ ਜਗਤ ਸਿਉ ਸੂਤੀ ॥ ਸਾਧੂ ਕੈ ਠਾਢੀ ਦਰਬਾਰਿ॥ ਸਰਨਿ ਤੇਰੀ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਨਿਸਤਾਰਿ ॥੨॥ : Maya is the ‘Suhaagan’-daughter of the misers (i.e. misers keep amassing it, but do not use it). Except for the divine’s Sevak or those who live by Hukam (Bhagat, Daas, Jan, Gurmukh…), she loves the materially- oriented (i.e. Maya sleeps with theme as a wife — she has brought the materially oriented people unnder her control). Standing at the door of the ‘Saadhoo‘ (Bhagat, Daas, Jan, Gurmukh…), Maya shouts, ‘I have come to your shelter; save me!’ (i.e. ‘Saadhoo‘ beings keep Maya or temptations under their control). ||2|| (sggs 872).
Influenced by the money, we become greedy. In turn, greed gives rise to corruption, selfishness and stealing. Accordingly, the SGGS indicates that the greedy persons cannot be trusted. Such people are compared to the mad dog with rabies. “Their madness ruins everything”, states the Gurbani.
- 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).
- 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 – ਵੱਢ ਵੱਢ ਕੇ) (sggs 983).
- And the miser — his instruments ‘are’ evil … (Bible, Isaiah 32:7).
- But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient, and gives the lie to the best,- we will indeed make smooth for him the path to Misery; nor will his wealth profit him when he falls headlong (into the Pit). (Quran, chapter 92, verses 8-11).
- “Become not a miser” (Veda).
The SGGS urges us to conquer relativist consciousness and fix the instinctive mind in the Sameness. However, in selfishness or self-centeredness, the miser does not follow this great virtue of Sameness — seeing the same One God in all beings.