Guru Granth Sahib on jealousy

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Sikhism is against jealousy. The Sikh Gurus asks the devotees to tackle this negative feeling and overcome it - "Jealousy and envy bring terrible pain, and one is cursed throughout the three worlds.(1)" (sggs page 1091). If one fails to subdue this evil trait, the person will suffer horrible pain everywhere he goes. As a negative emotion it causes harm to the mind and body. When one is 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. 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 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.

Gurbani teaches us how to manage to overcome this emotion and accept pain and pleasure as equals.

ਜਿਸ੝ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਤਾਤਿ ਪਰਾਈ ਹੋਵੈ ਤਿਸ ਦਾ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ ਭਲਾ ॥
ਓਸ ਦੈ ਆਖਿਝ ਕੋਈ ਨ ਲਗੈ ਨਿਤ ਓਜਾੜੀ ਪੂਕਾਰੇ ਖਲਾ ॥
Jis anḝar ṯĝṯ parĝ­ī hovai ṯis ḝĝ kaḝė na hovī bẖalĝ.
Os ḝai ĝkẖi­ai ko­ī na lagai niṯ ojĝṛī pūkĝrė kẖalĝ.
One whose heart is filled with jealousy of others, never comes to any good.

No one pays any attention to what he says; he is just a fool,
crying out endlessly in the wilderness.

Examples of jealousy

Jealousy- Is There a Way Out of its Doom and Gloom? from

From the corner of his eye he saw his wife making her way to the foyer area of the house, where a group of young, handsome guys from his office were chatting. His wife joined the group and soon seemed to be in the "thick" of conversation and jokes. Somehow he had never felt comfortable attending this upscale reception party celebrating his colleague's ten-year marriage anniversary. And seeing his wife "making out" with other guys, he now knew that his pre-party uneasiness was not unfounded.

He felt humiliated that that his wife "abandoned" him in such a callous way and was being promiscuous. He was getting more and more angry as he saw her "flirting" with these guys. Finally, he just could not take this any more. He walked up to her and announced that he was ready to leave. Surprised, at the suddenness of his decision to leave, she asked him to stay a bit longer. But he was not willing to stay even one more second and left the house in a huff; she followed him. And as soon as they sat in the car and pulled away from the driveway, he started criticizing her for being irresponsible, inconsiderate, uncaring and just incapable of doing anything right in life.

He went on with his tirades, humiliating her repeatedly. Not knowing the reason for his sudden outburst, soon she too got angry and started responding by hurling accusations at him. By the time they got home they simply could not tolerate each other…..A month later divorce became the only recourse to alleviating their miseries. They had clashed on that fateful night, much like two lines that had intersected, that were now diverging never to come together again…..

This type of incident is not uncommon in today's times. In fact, we could very well swap the position of the husband and wife in the above scenario and get a similar result - an angry and jealous wife! Jealousy is clearly a very potent feeling among human beings. And of course its impact is not limited to a romantic/matrimonial setting, but felt in almost all aspects of our professional and personal lives. Jealousy not only saps our energy but makes us unhappy and unfulfilled. Is there a way out of this negativity? Gurbani provides a clear answer to this problem.

Below are Shabads from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib that give the Sikh guidance on this issue:

Shabads against jealousy


ਦੇਵ ਸੰਸੈ ਗਾਂਠਿ ਨ ਛੂਟੈ ॥ ਕਾਮ ਕ੝ਰੋਧ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦ ਮਤਸਰ ਇਨ ਪੰਚਹ੝ ਮਿਲਿ ਲੂਟੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Ḏėv sansai gĝʼnṯẖ na cẖẖūtai. Kĝm kroḝẖ mĝ­i­ĝ maḝ maṯsar in pancẖahu mil lūtė. ॥1॥ rahĝ­o.
O Divine Lord, the knot of skepticism cannot be untied.>br>

Sexual desire, anger, Maya, intoxication and jealousy
- these five have combined to plunder the world. ॥1॥Pause॥


ਸ੝ਆਦ ਬਾਦ ਈਰਖ ਮਦ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਇਨ ਸੰਗਿ ਲਾਗਿ ਰਤਨ ਜਨਮ੝ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥੩॥
Su­ĝḝ bĝḝ īrakẖ maḝ mĝ­i­ĝ. In sang lĝg raṯan janam gavĝ­i­ĝ.(3)
Tastes and pleasures, conflicts and jealousy, and intoxication with Maya -

attached to these, the jewel of human life is wasted.(3)


ਝਕਸ੝ ਸਿਉ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਮਨ ਰਾਤਾ ॥ ਵਿਸਰੀ ਤਿਸੈ ਪਰਾਈ ਤਾਤਾ ॥੧॥
Ėkas si­o jĝ kĝ man rĝṯĝ. visrī ṯisai parĝ­ī ṯĝṯĝ.(1)
Those whose minds are imbued with the One Lord,

forget to feel jealous of others.(1)


ਬਿਸਰਿ ਗਈ ਸਭ ਤਾਤਿ ਪਰਾਈ ॥ ਜਬ ਤੇ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਮੋਹਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਨਾ ਕੋ ਬੈਰੀ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਗਾਨਾ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਗਿ ਹਮ ਕਉ ਬਨਿ ਆਈ ॥੧॥
Bisar ga­ī sabẖ ṯĝṯ parĝ­ī. Jab ṯė sĝḝẖsangaṯ mohi pĝ­ī.((1)(rahĝ­o.)
Nĝ ko bairī nahī bigĝnĝ sagal sang ham ka­o ban ĝ­ī.(1)
I have totally forgotten my jealousy of others,

since I found the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy.((1)(Pause))
No one is my enemy, and no one is a stranger. I get along with everyone.(1)

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