Envy

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Envy, is a state of mind which needs to be negated from ones mind. Envy is a feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another. Envy (also called invidiousness) may be defined as an emotion that "occurs when a person lacks another's (perceived) superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it." It is a state of mind which the Guru condemn. "ਫਰੀਦਾ ਦੇਖਿ ਪਰਾਈ ਚੋਪੜੀ ਨਾ ਤਰਸਾਝ ਜੀਉ ॥੨੯॥ Fareed, if you see someone else's buttered bread, do not envy him for it. (29)" (SGGS p 1379) Farid ji on page 1379 of the Guru Granth Sahib gives clear advise: When you see your neighbour or colleague or friend eat a buttered bread while you eat yours dry - DO NOT ENVY him or her.


Bertrand Russell said envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. It is a universal and most unfortunate aspect of human nature because not only is the envious person rendered unhappy by his envy, but also wishes to inflict misfortune on others. Although envy is generally seen as something negative, Russell also believed that envy was a driving force behind the movement towards democracy and must be endured in order to achieve a more just social system. Envy will take you away from God; accept things as the Hukam (command) of the Lord; some will reach higher while others will remain low; it is only by the Will of the Lord that these things are determined.


What the Guru's tell us

The Guru reminds us about the internal evils of jealousy and envy thus: "ਅਤਿ ਡਾਹਪਣਿ ਦ੝ਖ੝ ਘਣੋ ਤੀਨੇ ਥਾਵ ਭਰੀਡ੝ ॥੧॥ Jealousy and envy bring terrible pain, and one is cursed throughout the three worlds. (1)" (SGGS p 1091) So, don't indulge or become overwhelmed by jealousy or envy; they will lead you astray for a long time. If one fails to subdue these evil traits, the person will suffer horrible pain everywhere he or she goes. As negative emotions these two cause harm to the mind and body. When one is envious or jealous, one feels depressed, miserable; it brings hatred to the heart; ill feeling; nastiness and anger are elevated in the mind.

One who is jealous or envious of others feels painful and resentful at their betterment, and feels happy when some miseries befall on them (ie the others). The person feels happy when he obtains success but feels miserable when he fails at something. This emotional tug-of-war in the mind brings anguish and doubt to the person who has then has mood-swings all the time. Some days this person is happy but most of the time he is miserable and depressed. This is because happiness only comes to him when he has success or when others fail and depression comes at all other times.

The Guru gives us the formulae to destroy these negative traits of the mind: "ਕਾਮ ਕ੝ਰੋਧ ਲੋਭ ਮਦ ਮਤਸਰ ਸਾਧੂ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਖਾਪ ॥ Sexual desire, anger, greed, pride and envy are destroyed in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy" (SGGS p 1223). In the company of Holy people or wise people, these evil feelings are subdued and overcome. So link with people with Gurmat or "Guru-aware" beings; people who indulge in positive activity; folks who are motivated by righteousness and correctness rather than people attached to Maya - the illusions of the material world!.

More Gurbani

1.

ਅਹਿਰਖ ਵਾਦ੝ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ਰੇ ਮਨ ॥ ਸ੝ਕ੝ਰਿਤ੝ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਲੀਜੈ ਰੇ ਮਨ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Ahirakẖ vĝḝ na kījai re man. Sukariṯ kar kar lījai re man. (1) rahĝ▫o.
Do not indulge in envy and bickering, O my mind.

By continually doing good deeds, this state is obtained, O my mind. (1)Pause

2.

ਛਾਡਿ ਵਿਡਾਣੀ ਤਾਤਿ ਮੂੜੇ ॥ ਈਹਾ ਬਸਨਾ ਰਾਤਿ ਮੂੜੇ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੇ ਮਾਤੇ ਤੈ ਉਠਿ ਚਲਨਾ ॥ ਰਾਚਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਤੂ ਸੰਗਿ ਸ੝ਪਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Cẖẖĝd vidĝṇī ṯĝṯ mūṛe. Īhĝ basnĝ rĝṯ mūṛe. Mĝ▫i▫ĝ ke mĝṯe ṯai uṯẖ cẖalnĝ. Rĝcẖ rahi▫o ṯū sang supnĝ. (1) rahĝ▫o.
Give up your envy of others, you fool! You only live here for a night, you fool!

You are intoxicated with Maya, but you must soon arise and depart.You are totally involved in the dream. (1)Pause

3.

ਗ੝ਰਮ੝ਖਿ ਵੈਰ ਵਿਰੋਧ ਗਵਾਵੈ ॥ ਗ੝ਰਮ੝ਖਿ ਸਗਲੀ ਗਣਤ ਮਿਟਾਵੈ ॥ ਗ੝ਰਮ੝ਖਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਾਤਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗ੝ਰਮ੝ਖਿ ਖਸਮ੝ ਪਛਾਤਾ ॥੩੭॥
Gurmukẖ vair viroḝẖ gavĝvai. Gurmukẖ saglī gaṇaṯ mitĝvai. Gurmukẖ rĝm nĝm rang rĝṯĝ. Nĝnak gurmukẖ kẖasam pacẖẖĝṯĝ.(37)
The Gurmukh eliminates hate and envy. The Gurmukh erases all accounting.

The Gurmukh is imbued with love for the Lord's Name. O Nanak, the Gurmukh realizes his Lord and Master.(37)

Examples of envy

Example 1

“Sometimes I’m so envious of my friends, I hate them,” says Kimberly. “I was at dinner a month ago, celebrating a friend’s engagement, and I blurted out that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. I was frustrated about not being in a serious relationship myself. My envy took over, and I became a different person.”

Kimberly was experiencing envy — the desire for what someone else has and resentment of that person for having it. However, this doesn’t mean she is a bad person. “Everyone experiences envy — it’s a normal human emotion,” explains psychologist Karen Peterson.

Gurmat wants us to not get into this position where this type of feeling arises in our mind frequently.

Envy doesn’t have to make us feel powerless and bad about ourselves. Here are some ways to deal with envy and turn the bad into the good.

Kimberly’s envy at her friend’s engagement caused her to make the unkind remark about divorce. When you feel you want to express your envy in a negative way, stop it. Instead, think about what it is you’re envious of. “When she announced her engagement, it made me feel lonely and insecure,” admits Kimberly. Once you figure out why you’re envious, it’s much easier to eventually grow from the experience. “Envy can be an excellent educator,” states Peterson, “as long as you are open to learning its lessons.”


Example 2

Lucy and her friend were both trying to get a better position at their company. Lucy thought she would get the promotion, but things didn’t work out that way. Instead, her friend got the promotion, and Lucy became upset and jealous. Full of envy, she started saying hurtful things about her friend. “That wasn’t like me, but I couldn’t think straight,” she explains. She said mean things about her friend because not getting the job made her feel bad about herself, explains Peterson. Her reaction didn’t make her feel better, though; it just strengthened her negative feelings. Peterson says it would be better to try to understand why your friend got the promotion and learn from that instead of having negative feelings.

If you feel that getting what you want — marriage or lots of money — is impossible, remember that every big goal is made up of thousands of tiny steps. “Think of one or two small things you could do each week to help you come closer to your ultimate goal, then do them,” advises author Doreen Virtue. After Kimberly left her friend’s party feeling guilty about her nasty comment, she decided to make some changes in her social life. Making that decision was the first step in getting rid of envy.

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