Guru Granth Sahib on anger

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The five evils or five thieves or panch doot (five demons) or panj vikar (five sins) as they are referred to in the Sikh Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, are according to Sikhi, the five major weaknesses of the human personality at variance with its spiritual essence.

These are the five traits, part of the human mind, which bring misery and pain to our lives; the Guru Granth Sahib asks us to overcome these internal demons and clasp the virtues of the "Super soul". Gurbani tells us that "The world is drunk, engrossed in sexual desire, anger and egotism." "" (SGGS p51)

The common evils found in mankind far exceed this number, but a group of five of them came to be identified because of the major obstruction they are believed to cause to man's pursuit of the moral and spiritual path. These five evils according to Sikhi are:

  • Lobh (Greed)
  • kam (Lust, extreme desire)
  • moh (Attachment or emotional attachment)
  • ahankar (ego)

Together these five are the ones that need to be eradicated from our persona so that we can live a life without the pain and misery that results from the company of these five vices.

What does Gurbani say about anger?

After Kam (or lust), anger has been totally condemned by Gurbani. The Guru tells us that anger is a very serious disease; to be avoid and protected against at all times. Only by keeping the disease away from our mind can we gain real happiness and a pain feel life. "The Name of the Lord is the medicine; it is like an axe, which destroys the diseases caused by anger and egotism (1)(Pause)" (SGGS p 714). Bani clearly states that the remembrance of the Lord's Name is the only cure for this crippling disease.

Four rivers of fire.....

Further Gurbani goes on to tell us that anger together with cruelty, material attachment and greed are the four most serious ways to ruin our lives. The guru calls them the Four rivers of fire. Falling into any one of these rivers will result in annihilation!

ਹੰਸ੝ ਹੇਤ੝ ਲੋਭ੝ ਕੋਪ੝ ਚਾਰੇ ਨਦੀਆ ਅਗਿ ॥ ਪਵਹਿ ਦਝਹਿ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਤਰੀਝ ਕਰਮੀ ਲਗਿ ॥੨॥
Hans heṯ lobẖ kop cẖĝre naḝī▫ĝ ag. Pavėh ḝajẖėh nĝnkĝ ṯarī▫ai karmī lag. (2)
Cruelty, material attachment, greed and anger are the four rivers of fire.

Falling into them, one is burned, O Nanak! One is saved only by holding tight to good deeds. (2)

Lust and anger are wounds of the soul

ਖੇਤੀ ਵਣਜ੝ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੀ ਓਟ ॥ ਪਾਪ੝ ਪ੝ੰਨ੝ ਬੀਜ ਕੀ ਪੋਟ ॥

ਕਾਮ੝ ਕ੝ਰੋਧ੝ ਜੀਅ ਮਹਿ ਚੋਟ ॥ ਨਾਮ੝ ਵਿਸਾਰਿ ਚਲੇ ਮਨਿ ਖੋਟ ॥੨॥

Kẖeṯī vaṇaj nĝvai kī ot. Pĝp punn bīj kī pot.

Kĝm kroḝẖ jī▫a mėh cẖot. Nĝm visĝr cẖale man kẖot. (2)

My farming and my trading are by the Support of the Name.

The seeds of sin and virtue are bound together. Sexual desire and anger are the wounds of the soul. The evil-minded ones forget the Naam, and then depart. (2)

Bound down and mired... the fools eat poison

ਆਸਾ ਬੰਧੀ ਮੂਰਖ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਕਾਮ ਕ੝ਰੋਧ ਲਪਟਿਓ ਅਸਨੇਹ ॥

ਸਿਰ ਊਪਰਿ ਠਾਢੋ ਧਰਮ ਰਾਇ ॥ ਮੀਠੀ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਖਾਇ ॥੨॥

Āsĝ banḝẖī mūrakẖ ḝeh. Kĝm kroḝẖ lapti▫o asneh.

Sir ūpar ṯẖĝdẖo ḝẖaram rĝ▫e. Mīṯẖī kar kar bikẖi▫ĝ kẖĝ▫e. (2)

The fools - their bodies are bound down by desires.

They are mired in sexual desire, anger and attachment; the Righteous Judge of Dharma stands over their heads. Believing it to be sweet, the fools eat poison. (2)

They do not recognize the ultimate reality

ਚਲਣ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣਨੀ ਕਾਮ੝ ਕਰੋਧ੝ ਵਿਸ੝ ਵਧਾਇਆ ॥ ਭਗਤ ਕਰਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਅਨਦਿਨ੝ ਨਾਮ੝ ਧਿਆਇਆ ॥

ਦਾਸਨਿ ਦਾਸ ਹੋਇ ਕੈ ਜਿਨੀ ਵਿਚਹ੝ ਆਪ੝ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ਓਨਾ ਖਸਮੈ ਕੈ ਦਰਿ ਮ੝ਖ ਉਜਲੇ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸ੝ਹਾਇਆ ॥੧੬॥

Cẖalaṇ sĝr na jĝṇnī kĝm karoḝẖ vis vaḝẖĝ▫i▫ĝ. Bẖagaṯ karan har cẖĝkrī jinī an▫ḝin nĝm ḝẖi▫ĝ▫i▫ĝ.

Ḏĝsan ḝĝs ho▫e kai jinī vicẖahu ĝp gavĝ▫i▫ĝ. Onĝ kẖasmai kai ḝar mukẖ ujle sacẖai sabaḝ suhĝ▫i▫ĝ. (16)

They do not recognize the ultimate reality, that we all must go; they continue to cultivate the poisons of sexual desire and anger.

The devotees serve the Lord; night and day, they meditate on the Naam. Becoming the slaves of the Lord's slaves, they eradicate selfishness and conceit from within. In the Court of their Lord and Master, their faces are radiant; they are embellished and exalted with the True Word of the Shabad. (16)


They are destroyed by lust, anger and egotism

ਦੂਜੀ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਗਤ ਚਿਤ ਵਾਸ੝ ॥ ਕਾਮ ਕ੝ਰੋਧ ਅਹੰਕਾਰ ਬਿਨਾਸ੝ ॥੧॥

ਦੂਜਾ ਕਉਣ੝ ਕਹਾ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਝਕ੝ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ੝ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Ḏūjī mĝ▫i▫ĝ jagaṯ cẖiṯ vĝs. Kĝm kroḝẖ ahaʼnkĝr binĝs. (1)

Ḏūjĝ ka▫uṇ kahĝ nahī ko▫ī. Sabẖ mėh ek niranjan so▫ī. (1) rahĝ▫o.

The duality of Maya dwells in the consciousness of the people of the world.

They are destroyed by sexual desire, anger and egotism. (1) Whom should I call the second, when there is only the One? The One Immaculate Lord is pervading among all. (1)(Pause)

The wicked are ruined by their anger

ਕਾਮ੝ ਚਿਤੈ ਕਾਮਣਿ ਹਿਤਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਕ੝ਰੋਧ੝ ਬਿਨਾਸੈ ਸਗਲ ਵਿਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਪਤਿ ਮਤਿ ਖੋਵਹਿ ਨਾਮ੝ ਵਿਸਾਰੀ ॥੪॥
Kĝm cẖiṯai kĝmaṇ hiṯkĝrī. Kroḝẖ binĝsai sagal vikĝrī. Paṯ maṯ kẖovėh nĝm visĝrī. (4)
The lover of women is obsessed with sex.

All the wicked are ruined by their anger. Honor and good sense are lost, when one forgets the Naam, the Name of the Lord. (4)

Engrossed in anger ... one is plundered and ruined

ਕਾਮ ਕ੝ਰੋਧ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੇ ਲੀਨੇ ਇਆ ਬਿਧਿ ਜਗਤ੝ ਬਿਗੂਤਾ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਜਾ ਰਾਮ ਨ ਛੋਡਉ ਸਗਲ ਊਚ ਤੇ ਊਚਾ ॥੨॥੨॥੧੭॥੬੮॥
Kĝm kroḝẖ mĝ▫i▫ĝ ke līne i▫ĝ biḝẖ jagaṯ bigūṯĝ. Kahi Kabīr rĝjĝ rĝm na cẖẖoda▫o sagal ūcẖ ṯe ūcẖĝ. (2)(2)(17)(68)
The world is engrossed in sexual desire, anger and Maya; in this way it is plundered and ruined.

Says Kabeer, do not forsake the Lord, your Sovereign King, the Highest of the High. (2)(2)(17)(68)

Meditating on the Lord, one is redeemed

ਕਾਮਿ ਕ੝ਰੋਧਿ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਵਿਗੂਤੇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਨ੝ ਕਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਛੂਟੇ ॥੧॥
Kĝm kroḝẖ ahaʼnkĝr vigūṯe. Har simran kar har jan cẖẖūte. (1)
Sexual desire, anger, and egotism lead to ruin.

Meditating on the Lord, the Lord's humble servants are redeemed. (1)


See also