Category: Essay

Anger: A perspective from the Guru Granth Sahib
An article by T. Singh

You (anger) take the perplexed beings (corrupt, agitated, Bikaaree,
full of desires or hunger of Maya...) in your power, and make them dance like monkeys
O Nanak, through lust and anger, no one has ever found God
- go, and ask any wise man (sggs 551).
Anger barks and brings ruin on itself, blindly pursuing useless conflicts (sggs 1288).


With the false ego-sense (Haumai, "I-ness") up and active, all our acting in the world becomes selfish and evil. Hence there is no other factor causing the illusory duality (Doojaa Bhaav) and the repeated pain and delusion it entails than the psychological ego-sense. When the materially identified ego has sided with the materialistic forces (Maya), it is said to have the following faults: lust (Kaam), anger (Krodh); greed (Lobh), delusory emotional attachment (Moh), pride (Mada or Ahankaar), envy (Matsarya) and stubborn mindedness (Mann-Hatha). Also called evil passions, man's Spiritual heritage constantly gets looted by these internal thieves (and their numerous variations), causing him to lose knowledge of his True Being. The attempt of this Gurbani reflection is to reflect on the nature of anger, its cause, its signs and its cure or management.
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਬੰਧਨ ਬੰਧਿ ਭਵਾਵੈ ॥: haumai bandhan bandh bhavaavai: Egotism binds people in bondage, and causes them to wander around lost (sggs 227).
  • ਹਉ ਵਿਚਿ ਜੰਮਿਆ ਹਉ ਵਿਚਿ ਮੁਆ ॥: Haou vich janmiaa haou vich muaa: In ego man is born; in ego he dies (sggs 466).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦ ਮਤਸਰ ਏ ਖੇਲਤ ਸਭਿ ਜੂਐ ਹਾਰੇ ॥: Kaam krodh maya mada matsar ae khelat sabhi jooai haare: Kaama, Krodha, Maya, Mada and Matsara — these have combined to plunder the world (sggs 974).
  • ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਮੋਹੁ ਨਿਤ ਝਗਰਤੇ ਝਗਰਾਇਆ ॥: Kaam krodh lobh mohu nit jhagarate jhagaraaeiaa: Lust, anger, greed and emotional attachment bring continual conflict and strife (sggs 984).
  • ਹਠੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਕਰੈ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: Hatha ahankaar karai nahee paavai: Acting in stubbornness and egotism, (Truth) is not attained (Realized, etc.) (sggs 905).
What is anger? Loads and loads of books have been written on anger. But it still appears to be one of the most misunderstood and overused of human emotions. Some scriptures have done a wonderful job explaining it in a very layman's terms. As they reveal to us, psychological ego gives rise to body-mind-intellect consciousness (duality). In turn, this body-mind-intellect personality gives rise to the perceiver of objects (beings, things and places), the feeler of emotions and the thinker of thoughts. Anger is one of the human emotions or feelings - one of the psychological ego's passions (negativity, Bikar orBikaar). In other words, anger is an emotional-physiological-cognitive internal state of consciousness which renders a man blind to the existence of inner Light. Hence sometime it's referred in the scriptures as hidden evil or thief, waiting for an excuse to find expression and expansion.
  • ਬਸਇ ਕਰੋਧੁ ਸਰੀਰਿ ਚੰਡਾਰਾ ॥: Basai krodh sareeri chandaalaa: Anger, the outcaste, hides within man's body (sggs 759).
  • ਭੀਤਰਿ ਪੰਚ ਗੁਪਤ ਮਨਿ ਵਾਸੇ ॥ ਥਿਰੁ ਨ ਰਹਹਿ ਜੈਸੇ ਭਵਹਿ ਉਦਾਸੇ ॥੧॥: Bheetar panch gupat mani vaase. Thir n rahahi jaise bhavahi oudaase ||1||: The "five" (i.e., all evil passions: lust, anger, greed, etc.) dwell hidden within the mind. They do not remain still, but move around like wanderers (ਠਠੰਬਰੇ ਹੋਇਆਂ ਵਾਂਗ, and do not let my mind remain still) ||1|| (sggs 359).
  • ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਧਨੁ ਹਿਰੈ ॥: Kaamu krodhu antari dhanu hirai: Lust and anger steal the wealth (of the Naam...) within (sggs 352).
How does anger arise in us? First, the false ego begets lust (Kaama) - the compelling, coercive materialistic desire to indulge in sensory temptations. In turn, lust clouds our understanding of life. Consequently we end up living false values: external looks, wealth, name, fame, material success, popularity, irrational expectations, false concepts, fantasies and brooding on the past. Frustrated or unfulfilled lust results in anger (Krodh).
Frustration is the feeling we experience when we don't get what we want, or when something interferes with our gaining a desired and expected goal, good or bad. The feeling of frustration can come from unexpected situations, our own limitations, our actions and choices, actions of others, motives of others, experiences of injustice, and so on. Anger is feeling upset in response to such frustration arising from non-fulfillment of desires. Thus, lust is the first perverted son of the sense-blind mind, and its second perverted son is anger. In brief, when obstructed, evil desire turns to its debased brother we call anger. These two impulses attack unenlightened beings from within and without. This is why the scriptures tirelessly warn us against the blind attachment to sense objects. As the Gurbani puts it: anger and lust are "the wounds of the soul".
  • ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਜੀਅ ਮਹਿ ਚੋਟ ॥: Kaamu krodhu jeea mahi chott: Lust and anger (i.e. all evil passions) are the wounds of the soul (i.e. they inspire us do evil) (sggs 152).
  • ਸਲੋਕੁ ਮਰਦਾਨਾ ੧ ॥ ਕਲਿ ਕਲਵਾਲੀ ਕਾਮੁ ਮਦੁ ਮਨੂਆ ਪੀਵਣਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਕਟੋਰੀ ਮੋਹਿ ਭਰੀ ਪੀਲਾਵਾ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਮਜਲਸ ਕੂੜੇ ਲਬ ਕੀ ਪੀ ਪੀ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਕਰਣੀ ਲਾਹਣਿ ਸਤੁ ਗੁੜੁ ਸਚੁ ਸਰਾ ਕਰਿ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਗੁਣ ਮੰਡੇ ਕਰਿ ਸੀਲੁ ਘਿਉ ਸਰਮੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਆਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਖਾਧੈ ਜਾਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥: Slok Mardaanaa 1 || Kali (imagining Mayaic mind...) is the vessel, filled with the wine of lust; the mind is the drinker. Anger is the cup, filled with the worldly attachment; pride is the bartender. Drinking too much in the company of falsehood and greed, (the mind) is ruined. So let good conduct (based on the Gurmat) be your distillery, and let Truth be the molasses you ferment; make the most excellent wine of True (Naam). Make Virtue your bread, cool headedness (ਸੀਤਲ ਸੁਭਾਉ) the ghee and modesty the dish of meat. O Nanak! By becoming a Gurmukh, (this diet) is obtained; by consuming which, all the Bikaar (evil and corruption...) depart ||1|| (sggs 553).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕਰੋਧੁ ਸਬਲ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥: Kaam karodhu sabal sansaaraa: Lust and anger are very powerful in the world (sggs 1060).
Looking at it from an another angle, anger comes from despair or threatening of one's will when his sensory desire is obscured or hindered. In other words, anger is the result of hurt pride for not getting one's own way. Frustrated or unfulfilled desires provoke worry and regrets, followed by fear which causes man to have an inability to face a critical moment, even in the intimacy of his deepest meditation. When this fear is disturbed, anger boils in us causing resentment, agitation and envy. Those who anger easily are overly fearful of God, elders, government, impending disaster, death, safety, time (past, present and future), security, fate, and the list goes on and on. As we can see, desire-worry-fear-anger have hand-in-glove relationship. This is why the scriptures repeatedly remind us that a person full of desires, material or celestial, cannot be on the path of Spiritual Unfoldment. Such person is not only angry at himself and other people, he is even angry at his God. Furthermore, he is often angry at some people who are already dead!
  • ਭੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਜੰਮੈ ਭੈ ਮਰੈ ਭੀ ਭਉ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: Bhai vich jammai bhai marai bhee bhaou mann mahi hoi: In fear we are born, and in fear we die; fear is always present in the mind (sggs 149).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਜਾਲੁ ਪਸਾਰਿਆ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਚੋਗ ਬਣਾਇ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਪੰਖੀ ਫਾਸਿਆ ਨਿਕਸੁ ਨ ਪਾਏ ਮਾਇ ॥: Maya jaal pasaariaa bheetar chog banaai. Trisnaa pankhee phaasiaa nikis n paae maai: Maya has spread out her net and in it has placed the bait (ਵਿਸ਼ਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਚੋਗਾ ਜਾਲ, sensuousness, sense-gratifications, Bikaars, desires, etc.). The bird of desire (instinctive mind, ਜੀਵ-ਪੰਖੀ, etc.) is caught, and cannot find any escape, O (my) mother (sggs 50).
  • ਡਰਿ ਡਰਿ ਪਚੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਵੇਚਾਰੇ ॥: Dari dari pache manmukh vechaare: The wretched Manmukhs (material or unenlightened beings) are ruined through fear and dread (sggs 677).
  • ਆਪੁ ਗਇਆ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਭਉ ਗਇਆ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਦੁਖ ਜਾਹਿ ॥: Aap gaiaa bhram bhaou gaiaa janam maran dukh jaahi: When ego departs, doubt and fear also depart, and the pain of birth and death is removed (sggs 1093).
Man's limited egocentric life is said to be the cause of his repeated pain and delusion. As discussed earlier, anger is the offspring of this unripe egoism. Hence the primary cause of anger is innate, genetic or physiological. Medical science has proven this with evidence: some children, for example, are born irritable, touchy, easily angered, can throw a temper tantrum without any formal training and often even without observing a model, and that these signs are present from a very early age. As we grow, anger gets stronger many ways. One way is sociocultural - if we have seen our parents get angry first and resolve an issue after, we are more likely to use the same approach. Second may be through learning as we grow. For example, if one was abused by aggression, he may become abuser himself. Research has also found that, typically, people who are easily angered come from families that are disruptive, chaotic, and not skilled at emotional communications. Further, some find having a temper and being aggressive yield payoffs, although temporary.
  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਕਾ ਚੋਲੜਾ ਸਭ ਗਲਿ ਆਏ ਪਾਇ ॥: Kaam krodh kaa cholarraa sabh gali aaye paai: All have come, wearing the robes of lust and anger (sggs 1414).
  • ਬਿਖੈ ਬਿਖੈ ਕੀ ਬਾਸਨਾ ਤਜੀਅ ਨਹ ਜਾਈ ॥: Bikhai bikhai kee baasanaa tajeea nah jaaee: I cannot escape my Vaasnaa for sin and corruption (sggs 855).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਮਦ ਲੋਭ ਮੋਹ ਦੁਸਟ ਬਾਸਨਾ ਨਿਵਾਰਿ ॥: Kaam krodh madd lobh moh dusatt baasanaa nivaar: Take away my Vaasna - lust, anger, pride, greed, and emotional attachment (sggs 523).
We all have anger in us. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems - problem of violence or aggression, problems at work, problem in personal relationships, problem in mental and physical well-being, and problem in the overall quality of one's life. When our anger or aggression becomes so extreme that we lose self-control, it is said that we are in a rage, like a train running out of control and about to derail. Anytime we feel frustrated, especially when we think someone else is to blame for our loss, is a real potential trigger for outburst of anger. Besides getting our way, we may unconsciously use anger to play psychological put-down games: blaming others for our own shortcomings, demeaning others, insulting another person, taking revenge, oppressing others and then justify it to boost our own sagging ego. Furthermore, anger can also turn into hostility which is a chronic state of anger. In other words, anger is a temporary response to a particular frustrating situation; whilst hostility is a permanent personality characteristic.
The Gurbani urges us to picture to ourselves the way in which anger originates from non-fulfillment of desires, and how it leads to serious consequences. Anger is said to be the reason-blinding, health-impairing, peace-destroying and misery-causing behavior. This negative power stirs up conflicts, causes confusion, and scatters the mind hither and thither; which makes meditation, knowing who you are, impossible. Anger comes in many forms, some quite subtle. Also, it varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage. Simply put: anger drives man to commit misdeeds and misconduct.
  • ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨੁ ਮਹਾ ਬਡ ਦੁੰਦਰ ਤਹ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਵਾਸੀ ਰਾਜਾ ॥: Krodhu pradhaanu mahaa bad dundar tah manu maavaasee raajaa (sggs 1161).
  • ਭੰਉਕੈ ਕੋਪੁ ਖੁਆਰੁ ਹੋਇ ਫਕੜੁ ਪਿਟੇ ਅੰਧੁ ॥: Bhanoukai kop khuaar hoe fakarr pitte andh: Anger barks and brings ruin on itself, blindly pursuing useless conflicts (sggs 1288).
  • ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਰਾਜ ਮਹਿ ਨਰਕੁ ਉਦਾਸ ਕਰੋਧਾ ॥: Grih raaj mahi naraku udaas karodhaa: A householder indulged in sensual pleasures lives in hellish existence, and the renunciate is always victim of his own anger (sggs 1019).
  • ਤਤੈ ਤਾਮਸਿ ਜਲਿਓਹੁ ਮੂੜੇ ਥਥੈ ਥਾਨ ਭਰਿਸਟੁ ਹੋਆ ॥: Tatai taamas jaliohu moorre thathhai thaan bharisat hoaa: Tatta: In anger, you are burnt, you fool; Thatha: that place where you live, is cursed (sggs 435).
Thus, like other emotions, anger has physiological and psychological consequences. When people get angry, their heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of their energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. It has a bad effect on health; for an angry man's whole system undergoes a change (headaches, hypertension, gastrointestinal disturbances, heart attacks, etc.). It causes terrible reactions within the nerve system of the body. In person who routinely goes through paroxysm of anger, the heart and nerve system begins to weaken from the repeated shocks.
  • ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਕਾਇਆ ਕਉ ਗਾਲੈ ॥: Kaam krodh kaaiaa kaou gaalai: Lust and anger destroy the body (sggs 932).
  • ਆਪਣੈ ਰੋਹਿ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਦਝੈ ॥: Aapanai rohi aape hee dajhai: By his own anger, man burns himself (sggs 1418).
Psychological effects of anger are also grave, and Spiritually lethal. It dulls and paralyzes the mind, numbing its functioning power. It creates mental delusion, a state of psychological blindness that affects all other faculties, followed by the loss of memory. This is why when in rage, man forgets what belongs to him and to others. It's the cancer of the mind, which obscures one's memory of his Essential Nature as Unconditioned Consciousness, causing decay of the discriminative faculty (Bibek Budhi), followed by annihilation of one's righteous behavior and intelligence. Here is the step-by-step analysis. Man's brooding over objects of the senses causes attachment to them. From such attachment, lust or desires develop; from unfulfilled lust, anger arises; from anger, mental delusion arises; from delusion comes bewilderment or loss of memory of the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...); the loss of such memory causes loss of intelligence or the discriminating faculty; upon loss of intelligence or discriminative judgment, one falls down into the material consciousness; which, in turn, brings annihilation of his Spiritual Life (the Gurmukh Lifestyle). The result is destruction of man's inner peace, happiness, health, brain power, clarity of thoughts, memory, and proper judgment.
  • ਕਠਨ ਕਰੋਧ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਕੇ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਜਿਹ ਸੁਧਿ ਸਭ ਬਿਸਰਾਈ ॥: Kathan karodh ghatt hee ke bheetari jih sudhi sabh bisaraaee: The heart is filled with anger and violence, which cause all sense to be forgotten (sggs 218).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਜੂਐ ਮਤਿ ਹਾਰੀ ॥: Antari krodhu jooai mati haaree: Man filled with anger within, loses his mind in the gamble of anger (sggs 314).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧਿ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਦੇਵਾਨਿਆ ॥: Kaam krodhi ahankaar firahi devaaniaa: Engrossed in lust, anger and egotism, man wanders around insane (sggs 708).
  • ਅਤਿ ਕਰੋਧ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝਦੇ ਅਗੈ ਪਿਛੈ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ॥: Ati karodh siou loojhade agai pishai dukhu paavahi: People struggle with great anger; here and hereafter, they suffer in pain (sggs 1089).
  • ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਬਿਨਾਸੈ ਸਗਲ ਵਿਕਾਰੀ ॥: Krodh binaasai sagal vikaaree: All the wicked are ruined by their anger (sggs 225).
  • ਆਪ ਪਰ ਕਾ ਕਛੁ ਨ ਜਾਨੈ ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧਹਿ ਜਾਰਿ ॥: Aap par kaa kashu na jaanai kaam krodhahi jaari: Man does not know what belongs to him and to others, when he burns in lust and anger (sggs 1225).
Peace and love are Divine qualities. Anger is opposite of peace and love. Hence the most common disturber of the peace and love in an individual, in a family and among groups and nations is anger. It begets terror, wars, riots, crime, murders, spouse and child abuse, divorce, stormy relationships, poor working conditions, poor physical health, emotional disorders, impatience, hostility, ungodly actions, antisocial behavior, violence, inner seething, envy, resentment, meanness, hatred, aggression, fanaticism and destruction. The Gurbani labels anger as "fire", "demon", "horrible", "unbearable", "poison", "false", "Chandaal", "thief", "wild", and so on.
  • ਮਨਿ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਮਹਾ ਬਿਸਲੋਧੁ ਨਿਰਪ ਧਾਵਹਿ ਲੜਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: Mani hiradai krodh mahaa bisalodhu nirap dhaavahi larri dukh paaiaa: Hearts and minds filled with the horribly poisonous essence of anger, the kings fight their wars and obtain only pain (sggs 445).
  • ਕਾਮਿ ਕਰੋਧਿ ਜਲੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ॥: Kaam karodh jalai sabh koee: All are burning in the fires of lust and anger (sggs 1062).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਪਰੇਤੁ ਹੈ ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ ॥: Maya mohu paret hai kaam krodhu ahankaaraa: Attachment to Maya, lust, anger and egotism are demons (sggs 513).
  • ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਬਿਖੁ ਬਜਰੁ ਭਾਰੁ ॥: Kaam krodh bikh bajar bhaar: The burden of lust, anger and corruption is unbearable (sggs 1187).
  • ਸਪੁ ਪਿੜਾਈ ਪਾਈਐ ਬਿਖੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਨਿ ਰੋਸੁ ॥: Sapp pirhaaee paaeeai bikhu antari manni ros: The snake may be locked in a basket, but it is still poisonous, and the rage (to bite others) within its mind remains (sggs 1009).
  • ਸੰਗੀ ਖੋਟਾ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਚੰਡਾਲ ॥: Sangee khotaa krodh chandaal: O man, your constant companion is the demon of anger (sggs 374).
Anger is a sign of man's selfishness and his ignorance of his true identity (Mool); the immature state of the soul. On account of selfishness and ignorance, we are cowardly fearful of almost everything. In body-consciousness, wholly ignorant of our Mool, we remain bewildered and busy in compulsive bodily activities, tossed around by desires and anger. Whenever a desire for material objects is fulfilled, the inevitable result is greed and more. On the other hand, if a desire remains unfulfilled, it manifests in fear and anger. These impulses of lust, anger and greed pull the consciousness to matter and sense enslavement. This is attachment that bounds us to worldliness. So long we are in bondage, Truth remains hidden from us. Hence, the disease of brooding over sense objects is such that even if a man acquires all the wealth and possessions of the world, his desires will go on multiplying. These negative impulses lead one to repeated pain and delusion, hellish existence or Spiritual oblivion.
  • ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਮਨਿ ਰੋਸੁ ਕਰੇਇ ॥: Agiaanee mani rosu karaee: The ignorant person shows his anger (sggs 268).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧਿ ਲੋਭਿ ਮੋਹਿ ਬਾਧਾ ॥: Kaam krodhi lobhi mohi baadhaa: Man is bound to worldliness by lust, anger, greed and emotional attachment (sggs 741).
  • ਕਾਮਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧਿ ਲੋਭਿ ਬਿਆਪਿਓ ਜਨਮ ਹੀ ਕੀ ਖਾਨਿ ॥: Kaami krodhi lobhi biaapio janam hee kee khaan: Engrossed in unfulfilled lust, unresolved anger and greed, you will be consigned to reincarnation (sggs 1304).
An angry person is generally unwilling to concede that he has the disease of anger. He always blames others! Furthermore, the majority of us (probably over 99.9 percent) live in unenlightened existence, hence we go to any length to justify our anger - we excuse it or rationalize it by calling it "righteous anger", "good anger", "assertiveness", and so on. From doing so, we get an ego boost, or we may try to conceal other feelings: the feelings underlying the anger reaction make us feel vulnerable and weak; anger makes us feel, at least momentarily, strong and in control. This is all self-deceiving. Because anger causes most of us to lose our inner balance and to easily forget about universal love and become quite mad. The Gurbani does not entertain such excuses or rationalization. Anger is anger whether it's due to frustration of good desires or bad desires; for both good or bad desires are in Maya or duality, hence relative. Anger must also be distinguished from assertiveness, fearlessness, or moral courage. These three are essentially synonymous. True assertive behavior is tactfully and rationally standing up for ourselves without causing undue anxiety to others, to express honest feelings comfortably, and to exercise personal rights without denying the rights of others. Thus, true assertiveness is to look not only to one's own interests but also to the interests of others. Therefore, a true assertiveness is not the natural tendency of manipulating or hurting others so that one's own needs are met, even at the cost of another persons needs. The quality of true assertiveness or true fearlessness belongs to a person who possesses the Divine attribute of true Humility - a Mool-realized person (the Gurmukh), who acts only in Dharma, not out of anger.
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾਮਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਪੁਛਹੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਾਇ ॥: Nanak kaami krodhi kinai na paaio pushahu Giaanee jaai: O Nanak, through lust and anger, no one has ever found God - go, and ask any wise man (sggs 551).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਸਿਉ ਠਾਟੁ ਨ ਬਨਿਆ ॥: Kaam krodh siou thaat na baniaa: Don't deal whatsoever with lust and anger (sggs 1347).
  • ਪਰਹਰੁ ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ॥: Paraharu kaamu krodhu ahankaar: Set aside lust, anger and pride (sggs 324).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਸੰਗਿ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਬਹਹੁ ॥: Kaam krodh sangi kabahu na bahahu: Don't ever associate with lust or anger (sggs 343).
  • ਮਨ ਕਾ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਨਿਵਾਰਿ ਪੰਡਿਤ ॥: Mann kaa krodhu nivaar pandit: Eradicate anger from your mind, O Pandit (sggs 887).
  • ਭੈ ਕਾਹੂ ਕਉ ਦੇਤ ਨਹਿ ਨਹਿ ਭੈ ਮਾਨਤ ਆਨ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੁਨਿ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤਾਹਿ ਬਖਾਨਿ ॥੧੬॥: Bhai kaahoo ko det nahi nahi bhai manat aan ...: One who does not frighten anyone, and who is not afraid of anyone else (ਡਰਾਵਿਆਂ ਤੋਂ ਘਬਰਾਂਦਾ ਨਹੀਂ) — says Nanak, listen, mind: call him Giaanee (spirituallt Wise, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ ਵਾਲਾ, etc.) ||16|| (sggs 1427).
  • ਮਨ ਰੇ ਸਚੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਭਉ ਜਾਇ ॥: Mann re sachu milai bhaou jaai: O mind, meeting with the Truth, fear departs (sggs 18).
What are the signs of anger? Anger can be recognized from its behavioral and verbal signs. Behavioral signs may include assaultive behavior (physical and verbal cruelty, rage, slapping, shoving, kicking, hitting, threaten with a weapon, etc.), aggressive behavior (criticizing others, chronic fault finding, accusing someone of having immoral or despicable traits or motives, nagging, scolding, whining, sarcasm, prejudice, flashes of temper, haranguing, abusive, cursing, etc.), hurtful behavior (malicious gossip, stealing, trouble-making, thinking ill of others, etc.), rebellious behavior (antisocial behavior, open defiance, refusal to talk, taking offense easily, etc.), withdrawal (quiet remoteness, silence, lack of communication, etc.), psychosomatic disorders (iredness, anxiety attacks, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.), depression and guilt, serious mental illness like paranoid schizophrenia, accident-proneness, self-defeating or addictive behavior (drinking, overeating, drugs, smoking, etc.), vigorous distracting activity (exercising or cleaning, etc.), excessively submissive deferring behavior, crying, distrusting, skeptical, argumentative, irritating, indirectly challenging attitude, resentful, jealous, disruptive, uncooperative, distracting actions, unforgiving or unsympathetic, sulky, sullen, pouting, passively resistant, and interfering with progress. Verbal or cognitive signs may include open hatred and insults, contempt and disgust, slander, backbiting, critical and suspicious nature, blaming others, no respect, revengeful, name calling, disappointed, annoyed, disgusted, put out, profanity, cynical humor or teasing, etc.
  • ਹੇ ਕਲਿ ਮੂਲ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੰ ਕਦੰਚ ਕਰੁਣਾ ਨ ਉਪਰਜਤੇ ॥ ਬਿਖਯੰਤ ਜੀਵੰ ਵਸ੍ਹੰ ਕਰੋਤਿ ਨਿਰਤ੍ਹੰ ਕਰੋਤਿ ਜਥਾ ਮਰਕਟਹ ॥: Hey kali mool krodham kadanch karunaa na uparajate. Bikhayant jeevam vasam karoti niratam karoti jathaa marakatah: O anger, you are the root of conflict; compassion never rises up in you. You (anger) take the perplexed beings (corrupt, agitated, Bikaaree, full of desires or hunger of Maya...) in your power, and make them dance like monkeys (sggs1358).
  • ਬੈਰ ਬਿਰੋਧ ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਮੋਹ ॥ ਝੂਠ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਮਹਾ ਲੋਭ ਧ੍ਰੋਹ ॥ ਇਆਹੂ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਬਿਹਾਨੇ ਕਈ ਜਨਮ ॥: Bair birodhh kaam krodhh moh. Jhooth bikaar mahaa lobh dhroh. Eiaahoo jugati bihaane kaee janam: Hate, conflict, lust, anger, emotional attachment, falsehood, corruption, immense greed and deceit. So many lifetimes are wasted in these ways (sggs 267).
  • ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਮੋਹੁ ਨਿਤ ਝਗਰਤੇ ਝਗਰਾਇਆ ॥: Kaam krodh lobh moh nit jhagarte jhagaraayaa: Lust, anger, greed and attachment to delusion bring continual conflict and strife (sggs 984).
  • Lust, anger, and greed — these constitute the threefold gate of hellish life leading to the destruction of the soul's welfare. These three, therefore, man should abandon (Gita 16:21).
  • Now when you restrain your anger, you please the All-Compassionate....You have also brought delight to the heart of the person from whom you withheld your anger....Thus the Prophet already ordered us to practice mutual affection and to love one another. And this (i.e., restraining one's anger) is one of the highest of the causes helping to realize Love (Sufi Shams Tabriez).
  • You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. Overcome anger by love (Buddha).
As we can see, anger has psychological and biological payoffs. It's destructive. It drags us down. It neither fixes anything nor does it make anybody feel better — it actually makes us feel worse. Therefore, the scriptures and the enlightened beings urge us manage it and keep it at bay. But how? First, theories like "letting it all hang out" or "let it rip" with anger actually escalates anger or aggression and does nothing to help anybody to get rid of it or resolve the situation. Second, anger turned inward is unhealthy for it may cause hypertension, high blood pressure or depression. Third, you can't totally eliminate or avoid the objects (things, places and people) that enrage you. Fourth, you cannot change other people either; because each one of us must change himself or herself. Fifth, in spite of all our efforts, things will happen that will cause us and others anger. In other words, life will be filled with frustration, inconvenience, annoyance, pain, loss and the unpredictable actions of others. Although one cannot change all that, but one can change himself and learn to control his reactions and not let such events, environment or objects affect him. When in full control, anger can motivate us to take action in positive ways.
  • ਸੋ ਸੂਚਾ ਜਿ ਕਰੋਧੁ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ॥: So soochaa ji karodh nivaare: He alone is pure, who eradicates anger (sggs 1059).
  • ਦੁਨੀਆ ਦੋਸੁ ਰੋਸੁ ਹੈ ਲੋਈ॥ਅਪਨਾ ਕੀਆ ਪਾਵੈ ਸੋਈ ॥: Duneeaa dosu rosu hai loee. Apanaa keeaa paavai soee: Man receives the fruits of his own actions; but he blames the world, and gets angry with people (sggs 1161).
  • ਅੰਤ ਕਾਲਿ ਭਜਿ ਜਾਹਿਗੇ ਕਾਹੇ ਜਲਹੁ ਕਰੋਧੀ ॥: Ant kaal bhaj jaahige kaahe jalahu karodhee: In the end, they (relatives) will run away from you; why do you burn for them in anger? (sggs 809).
In material existence, once we are faced with a problem, we start thinking about it's solution, rather than its root-cause. Without seeing the reality of the problem, we may solve the problem for time being, however, the problem will arise again. Unless the root-cause of any problem is known, one will be unable to see the reality of that problem. And, without thinking about the reality or understanding the nature of the problem, we will be unable to eradicate it once for ever. As the Gurbani says: "One can not kill a snake by merely destroying the snake-hole"! By conducting the Shabad-Vichaar, we can seek to understand the nature or root-cause of worldly problem. Once the answer is known, we can find a permanent solution to it. Hence, the Gurbani first looks at the root-cause of human problems, and then offers the solution. When the cause is removed, the effect will not arise. As discussed earlier, the root-cause of man's all evil passions is his false ego-sense. It's this ego-sense on whose account our instinctive minds are in control of lust and anger, unable to bear the truth. Once ego (Haaumai) is annihilated, falsehood in the robe of lust and anger folds its tent and disappear, never to make the comeback again.
  • ਕਾਮਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧਿ ਮਨੁ ਵਸਿ ਕੀਆ ॥: Kaami krodhi manu vasi keeaa: Sexual desire and anger hold the mind in its power (sggs 1192).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕਰੋਧੁ ਨਗਰ ਮਹਿ ਸਬਲਾ ਨਿਤ ਉਠਿ ਉਠਿ ਜੂਝੁ ਕਰੀਜੈ ॥: Kaam karodhu nagar mahi sabalaa nit outhi outhi joojh kareejai: Lust and anger are very powerful in the body-village; rise up to fight the battle against them (sggs 1325).
  • ਸਚੁ ਕਹੈ ਤਾ ਛੋਹੋ ਆਵੈ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਹੁਤਾ ਰੋਹਾ ॥: Sachu kahai taa shoho aavai antari bahataa rohaa: If someone speaks the truth, then you are aggravated; for you are totally filled with anger (sggs 960).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕਰੋਧ ਮਹਾ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਰਸ ਇਨ ਤੇ ਭਏ ਨਿਰਾਰੇ ॥: Kaam karodh mahaa bikhiaa ras in te bhaye niraare: Lust, anger and the pleasures of terrible corruption - keep away from these (sggs 1269).
  • ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਮੋਹੁ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ਨਿਵਰੇ ਸਗਲ ਬੈਰਾਈ ॥: Kaam krodh lobh moh nivaare nivare sagal bairaaee: When lust, anger, greed and attachment to delusion are eradicated; then I have no more enemies (sggs 1000).
To overcome the spell of anger along with its root-cause, the false ego, the Gurbani asks engaging in Shabad-Vichaar. With it, desires are silenced, and one goes beyond the state of physical perceptions and thereby seeks the "right" lifestyle. When desires are silenced, the mind becomes still. Therefore, if performed faithfully, Shabad-Vichaar brings about mind-control: self-unfoldment, self-integration, self-perfection, or self-purification. Such mindfulness leads us to dwell deeply in the eternity of the "now", to be aware of what is going on within and around us, and to see the same Mool in all Beings. Thinning of ego makes room for detachment, pure knowledge and wisdom, true understanding, selfless love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, harmony, righteousness, contentment, and joy; which helps taking care of and transforming suffering in our lives and in our society. Exercising attention to the every moment restores the quietude in us, opening doors to firsthand understanding of our living, and thereby changing the way we think and deal with others. Relaxed or still mind naturally improves our communication, behavior, conduct, assertiveness and humor. It shuns upsetting circumstances or company, destructive use of energy, frustrations, irrational ideas, and emotional upheaval and related physiological arousal. Then, when we realize the false beliefs that our conditioned mind was clinging to, they drop away. The root-cause of anger then melts away; true Love remains over; Spiritual Life (the Gurmuk Lifestyle)dawns; and one abides in the most inimitable quality of fearlessness as there will not be anxieties or conditionings.
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨਿਵਾਰੈ ॥: Haumai krodh Shabad nivaarai: Egotism and anger are prevented through the Shabad (sggs 1057).
  • ਕਾਢਿ ਕੁਠਾਰੁ ਪਿਤ ਬਾਤ ਹੰਤਾ ਅਉਖਧੁ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ॥: Kaadhi kuthaar pit baat hantaa aoukhadh har ko naaou: The Divine Name is the medicine; it is like an axe, which destroys the diseases caused by anger and egotism (sggs 714).
  • ਜਿਹ ਸਿਮਰਨਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਤੂ ਕੇਲ ॥ ਦੀਪਕੁ ਬਾਂਧਿ ਧਰਿਓ ਬਿਨੁ ਤੇਲ ॥ ਸੋ ਦੀਪਕੁ ਅਮਰਕੁ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥ ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਬਿਖੁ ਕਾਢੀਲੇ ਮਾਰਿ ॥: Jih simran karahi too kel. Deepak baandhio dhario binu tel. So deepak amrak sansaar. Kaam krodhh bikh kaadteelae maar: Meditating on the Divine you feel joyous. God has placed the lamp (Knowledge) deep within you, which burns without any oil. (Whosoever awakened it within) This lamp makes one immortal in the world; it conquers and drives out the poisons of lust and anger (sggs 971).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਮਦ ਮਾਨ ਮੋਹ ਬਿਨਸੇ ਅਨਰਾਗੈ ॥: Kaam krodh mada maan moh binase anuraagai: Lust, anger, the intoxication of egotism and emotional attachment are dispelled, by loving devotion (sggs 818).
  • ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਲੂਟਾ ॥: Kaamu krodhu gur sabadee lootaa: Gur-Shabad, the Divine Name, will release you from lust and anger (sggs 879).
  • ਰੋਸੁ ਨ ਕਾਹੂ ਸੰਗ ਕਰਹੁ ਆਪਨ ਆਪੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Rosu na kaahoo sang karahu aapan aap beechaar: Don't be angry with anyone else; look within (Vichaar) your own self instead (sggs 259).
  • ਰੋਸੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਜੈ ਰਹਣੁ ਨਹੀ ਸੰਸਾਰੇ ॥: Rosu na keejai amritu peejai rahan nahee sansaare: Don't be angry - drink in the Ambrosial Nectar (of the Divine Name); you will not remain in this world forever (sggs 931).
  • ਬਕੈ ਨ ਬੋਲੈ ਖਿਮਾ ਧਨੁ ਸੰਗ੍ਰਹੈ ਤਾਮਸੁ ਨਾਮਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥: Bakai na bolai khimaa dhanu sangrahai taamas naam jalaae: Don't speak empty words; burn away your anger with the Divine Name and gather the true wealth of tolerance (sggs 1013).
  • ਫਰੀਦਾ ਬੁਰੇ ਦਾ ਭਲਾ ਕਰਿ ਗੁਸਾ ਮਨਿ ਨ ਹਢਾਇ ॥ ਦੇਹੀ ਰੋਗੁ ਨ ਲਗਈ ਪਲੈ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਪਾਇ ॥: Fareedaa bure daa bhalaa kari gussaa mani na hadhaai. Dehee rogu nu lagaee pallai sabhu kishu paai: Fareed says: answer evil with goodness; do not fill your mind with anger. Your body will not suffer from any disease, and you will obtain everything (sggs 1381).
— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org

Here is an account of Babar's Invasion of India as described by Harbans Singh in the Encyclopedia of Sikhism. It is an interesting essay that combines history, references from Gurbani and stories written about Guru Nanak by early Sikhs.  Some of the material used, especially from the early stories, don't seem accurate (like the miracles described about Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana), but much of the other material seems very accurate and well collated.  





Babar was soldier of fortune, founder of the Mughal dynasty in India, diarist and poet, descending in the fifth generation from Timur, was born on 14 February 1483. In June 1494, he succeeded his father, 'Umar Shaik , as ruler of Farghana, whose revenues supported no more than a few hundred cavalry. With this force of helmeted, mailclad warriors, Babar began his career of conquest. He joined in the family struggle for power, thrice winning and thrice losing Samarkand, alternately master of a kingdom or a wanderer through the hills. In 1504, he made himself master of Kabul and so came in touch with India whose wealth was a standing temptation. In 1517 and again in 1519, he swept down the Afghan plateau into the plains of India. He entered the Punjab in 1523 on the invitation of Daulat Khan Lodhi, the governor of the province, and 'Alam Khan, an uncle of Ibrahim Lodhi, the Delhi Sultan. But, wars in his home country however, compelled Babar to return so that his final invasion was not begun until November 1525.

Babar's army of 12,000 men was mostly undisciplined group of men who wanted to loot the riches of India. These 12,000 men, a tiny army with which to attempt the conquest of Ibrahim Lodhi's realm, first devasted Punjab. Guru Nanak in his famous epic named "Babarvani" describes the atrocities of Babar and his men in Punjab.

Babarvani (Babar's command or sway) is how the four hymns by Guru Nanak alluding to the invasions by Babar (1483-1530), are collectively known in Sikh literature. The name is derived from the use of the term in one of these hymns "Babarvani phiri gal kuiru na rot khai -Babar's command or sway has spread; even the princes go without food" (GG, 417). Three of these hymns are in Asa measure at pages 360 and 417-18 of the standard recension of Guru Granth Sahib and the fourth is in Tilang measure on pages 722-23.

In his first invasion, Babar came as far as Peshawar. The following year he crossed the Indus and, conquering Sialkot without resistance, marched on Saidpur (now Eminabad, 15 km southeast of Gujranwala in Pakistan) which suffered the worst fury of the invading host. The town was taken by assault, the garrison put to the sword and the inhabitants carried into captivity. During his next invasion in 1524, Babar ransacked Lahore. His final invasion was launched during the winter of 1525-26 and he became master of Delhi after his Victory at Panipat on 21 April 1526.

Guru Nanak was an eye-witness to the havoc created during these invasions. Janam Sakhis mention that he himself was taken captive at Saidpur. A little of his, outside of Babarwani hymns, indicates that he may have been present in Lahore when the city was given up to plunder. In six pithy words this line conveys, "For a pahar and a quarter, i.e. for nearly four hours, the city of Lahore remained subject to death and fury" (GG,1412). The mention in one of the Babalvani hymns of the use of guns by the Mughals against the Afghan defence relying mainly upon their war - elephants may well be a reference to the historic battle of Panipat which sealed the fate of the Afghan king, Ibrahim Lodhi.

The Sikh tradition strongly subscribes to a meeting in 1520 between  Guru Nanak and Babar during the latter's invasion of Saidpur, now called Eminabad, in Gujranwala district of Pakistan. The town was taken by assault, the garrison put to the sword and the inhabitants carried into captivity. According to the Puratan Janam Sakhi,  Guru Nanak and Mardana, also among the captives, were ordered to be taken to prison as slaves. The Guru was given a load to carry and Mardana a horse to lead. But Mir Khan, says the Janam Sakhi, saw that the Guru's bundle was carried without any support and Mardana's horse followed him without the reins. He reported this to Sultan Babar who remarked, "If there was such a holy man here, the town should not have been destroyed." The Janam Sakhi continues, "Babar kissed his (Guru Nanak's) feet. He said, 'On the face of this fair one sees God himself.' Then all the people, Hindus and Musalmans, began to make their salutations. The king spoke again, 'O dervish, accept something'. The Guru answered, 'I take nothing, but you must release all the prisoners of Saidpur and restore their property to them'. King Babar ordered, 'Those who are in detention be released and their property be returned to them'. All the prisoners of Saidpur were set at liberty"

Babarvani hymns are not a narrative of historical events like Guru Gobind Singh's Bachitra Natak, nor are they an indictment of Babar as his Zafarnamah was that of Aurangzab. They are the outpourings of a compassionate soul touched by scenes of human misery and by the cruelty perpetrated by the invaders. The sufferings of the people are rendered here in accents of intense power and protest. The events are placed in the larger social and historical perspective decline in moral standards must lead to chaos. A corrupt political system must end in dissolution. Lure of power divides men and violence unresisted tends to flourish It could not be wished away by magic or sorcery Guru Nanak reiterated his faith in the Almighty and in His justice. Yet so acute was his realization of the distress of the people that he could not resist making the complaint: "When there was such suffering, such killing, such shrieking in pain, did not Thou, O God, feel pity? Creator, Thou art the same for all!"

The people for Guru Nanak were the people as a whole, the Hindus and the Muslims, the high-caste and the low-caste, soldiers and civilians, men and women. These hymns are remarkable for their moral structurs and poetical eloquence. Nowhere else in contemporary literature are the issues in medieval Indian situation comprehended with such clarity or presented in tones of greater urgency. In spite of his destructive role Babar is seen by Guru Nanak to have been an unwitting instrument of the divine Will. Because the Lodhi's had violated God's laws, they had to pay the penalty. Babar descended from Kabul as God's chosen agent, demonstrating the absolute authority of God and the retribution which must follow defiance of His laws. Guru Nanak's commentary on the events which he actually witnessed thus becomes a part of the same universal message. God is absolute and no man may disobey. His commands with impunity. Obey Him and receive freedom. Disobey him and the result must inevitably be retribution, a dire reckoning which brings suffering in this present life and continued transmigration in the hereafter. The hymn rendered in free English verse reads:Lord, Thou takest Khurasan under Thy wing, but yielded India to the invader's wrath. Yet thou takest no blame; And sendest the Mughal as the messenger of death. When there was such suffering, killing, such shrieking in pain, Didst not Thou, O God, feel pity ?


The fourth Babarvani hymn is probably addressed to Bhal Lalo, one of Guru Nanak's devotees living at Saidpur itself. It ends on a prophetic note, alluding perhaps to the rise of Sher Khan, an Afghan of Sur clan, who had already captured Bengal and Bihar, defeated Babar's son and successor, Humayun, at Chausa on the Ganga in June 1539 (during the lifetime of Guru Nanak), and who finally drove the Mughal king out of India in the following year. The hymn in Tilang measure is, like the other three, an expression of Guru Nanak feeling of distress at the moral degradation of the people at the imposition by the mighty. It is a statement also of his belief in God's justice and in the ultimate victory of good over evil. In an English rendering:" As descendeth the Lord's word to me, so do I deliver it unto you, O Lalo: [Babar] leading a wedding-array of sin hath descended from Kabul and demandeth by force the bride, O Lalo. decency and righteousness have vanished, and falsehood struts abroad, O Lalo. Gone are the days of Qazis and Brahmans, Satan now conducts the nuptials, O Lalo. The Muslim women recite the Qur'an and in distress remember their God, O Lalo. Similar is the fate of Hindu women of castes high and low, O Lalo. They sing paeans of blood, O Nanak, and by blood, not saffron, ointment is made, O Lalo. In this city of corpses, Nanak proclaimeth God's praises, and uttereth this true saying: The Lord who created men and put them to their tasks watcheth them from His seclusion. True is that Lord, true His verdict, and true is the justice He dealeth. As her body's vesture is torn to shreds, India shall remember my words. In seventy-eight they come, in ninety seven shall depart; another man of destiny shall arise. Nanak pronounceth words of truth, Truth he uttereth; truth the time calls for."


The words Seventy-eight and ninetyseven" in the penultimate line are interpreted as 1578 and 1597 of the Indian calendar, corresponding respectively with 1521 and 1540 which are the dates of Babar's invasion and Humayun's dethronement by Sher Khan/Shah. Though Babar's Tuzk, or Memoirs, a work of high literary quality, gives many interesting details of the campaigns and the events he was involved in and also describes the Indian life and customs very minutely there is no mention in these recollections that he met Guru Nanak. Nevertheless, the possibility of such a meeting having taken place cannot be ruled out. There are references in Guru Nanak's bans to Babars's invasions. An open tragedy like the one that struck Saidpur moved him profoundly and he described the sorrows of Indians-Hindus and Muslims alike-in words of intense power and suffering. Babar's army, in the words of Guru Nanak, was "the bridal procession of sin." In fact, Indian literature of that period records no more virile protest against the invading hordes than do Guru Nanak's four hymns of Babarvani in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Babar died on 26 December 1530 at Agra. Several years later his body was moved to its present grave in one of the gardens of Kabul.

Babar's ivasion and occupation of India impacted the life in India in all aspects. His generals forced people to be converted to Islam, his Zamindar's and other influential people bestowed lands and property on the newly converted Muslims. Babar himself became a Ghazi which in Islamic terminology is a positive epitecht and it means "a muslim who has killed a non-muslim", such a person is guaranteed heaven with "beautiful women, wine and rivers of honey." Another thing to note is that Babar destroyed several Hindu temples all over Punjab, and UP. Reason being is because founder of islam, Mohammad had done the same thing when he attacked Meeca and destroyed its temple and idolized Kaba. He made a pathway to kaaba using destroyed debree of the old temple, this tradition was continued by all the Mughal kings who invaded Indian, including Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurungzeb, they destroyed temples and converted them to mosques, even though it is not allowed in islam as muslims claim but Mohammad himself had done it so they followed their leader.

The clash between Sikh and Islamic culture was inevitable and resulted in first small hostilities between Guru's followers starting with the Sixth Guru Hargobind Singh and later into full scale with Tenth Guru Gobind Singh.

In the following essay Khuswant Sngh talks on how to live and die, and be happy.




Death is rarely spoken about in our homes. I wonder why. Especially when each one of us knows that death has to come, has to strike. It’s inevitable. This line from Yas Yagana Changezi says it best: Khuda mein shak ho to ho, maut mein nahin koi shak (You may or may not doubt the existence of God, you can’t doubt the certainty of death). And one must prepare oneself to face it.

At 95, I do think of death. I think of death very often but I don’t lose sleep over it. I think of those gone; keep wondering where they are. Where have they gone? Where will they be? I don’t know the answers: where you go, what happens next. To quote Omar Khayyam,

Into this Universe, and Why not knowing
Nor Whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing...
and,

“There was a Door to which I found no Key
There was a Veil through which I could not see
Some little Talk awhile of Me and Thee
There seemed—and then no more of Thee and Me.”

I once asked the Dalai Lama how one should face death and he had advised meditation. I’m not scared of death; I do not fear it. Death is inevitable. While I have thought about it a lot, I don’t brood about it. I’m prepared for it. As Asadullah Khan Ghalib has so aptly put it,

“Rau mein hai raksh-e-umar kahaan dekhiye thhamey
Nai haath baag par hai na pa hai rakaab mein

(Age travels at galloping pace; who knows where it will stop
We do not have the reins in our hands nor our feet in the stirrups).”

All my contemporaries—whether here or in England or in Pakistan—they’re all gone. I don’t know where I’ll be in a year or two. I don’t fear death. What I dread is the day I go blind or am incapacitated because of old age—that’s what I fear—I’d rather die than live in that condition. I’m a burden enough on my daughter Mala and don’t want to be an extra burden on her.

All that I hope for is that when death comes to me, it comes swiftly, without much pain, like fading away in sound slumber. Till then I’ll keep working and living each day as it comes. There’s so much left to do. I have to content myself by saying these lines of Iqbal:

“Baagh-e-bahisht se mujhe hukm-e-safar diya tha kyon?
Kaar-e-Jahaan daraaz hai, ab mera intezaar kar

(Why did you order me out of the garden of paradise? 
I have a lot left to do; now you wait for me).”

So I often tell Bade Mian, as I refer to him, from time to time, that he’s got to wait for me as I still have work to complete.

I believe in these lines of Tennyson:

“Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea...
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness or farewell,
When I embark.”

I believe in the Jain philosophy that death ought to be celebrated. Earlier, whenever I was upset or low, I used to go to the cremation grounds. It has a cleansing effect, and worked like a therapy for me. In fact, I’d written my own epitaph years ago:

“Here lies one who spared neither man nor God
Waste not your tears on him, he was a sod
Writing nasty things he regarded as great fun
Thank the Lord he is dead, this son of a gun.”

‘We regret to announce the sudden death of Sardar Khushwant Singh at 6 pm last evening. He leaves behind a young widow, two infant children and a large number of friends and admirers. Amongst those who called at the late sardar’s residence were the PA to the chief justice, several ministers, and judges of the high court.’I had even written my own obit in 1943 when I was still in my twenties. It later appeared in a collection of short stories, titled ‘Posthumous’. In the piece, I had imagined The Tribune announcing the news of my death on its front page with a small photograph. The headline would read: ‘Sardar Khushwant Singh Dead’. And then, in somewhat smaller print:

I had to cope with death when I lost my wife. Being an agnostic, I could not find solace in religious rituals. Being essentially a loner, I discouraged friends and relatives from coming to condole with me. I spent the first night alone sitting in my chair in the dark. At times, I broke down, but soon recovered my composure. A couple of days later, I resumed my usual routine, working from dawn to dusk. That took my mind off the stark reality of having to live alone in an empty home for the rest of my days. When friends persisted in calling and upsetting my equilibrium, I packed myself off to Goa to be by myself.

I used to be keen on a burial because with a burial you give back to the earth what you have taken. Now, it will be the electric crematorium. I had requested the management of the Bahai faith if I could be buried. Initially, they had agreed, but then they came up with all sorts of conditions and rules. I had wanted to be buried in one corner with just a peepal tree next to my grave. After okaying this, the management later said that that wouldn’t be possible and that my grave would be in the middle of a row and not in a corner. I wasn’t okay with that—even though I know that once you are dead it makes no difference. But I was keen to be buried in one corner. They also told me later that they would chant some prayers, which again I couldn’t agree with, because I don’t believe in religion or in religious rituals of any kind.

Though I’m quite fit, I know I don’t have much time left. I’m coming to terms with death, preparing myself. And since I have no faith in God, nor in the day of judgement, nor in the theory of reincarnation, I have to come to terms with the complete full stop. I have been criticised for not sparing even the dead, but then death does not sanctify a person, and if I find the person had been corrupt, I write about it even when he’s gone.

I don’t believe in rebirth or in reincarnation, in the day of judgement or in heaven or hell. I accept the finality of death. We do not know what happens to us after we die but one should help a person go in peace—at peace with himself and with the world.

I’ve lived a reasonably contented life. I’ve often thought about what it is that makes people happy—what one has to do in order to achieve happiness.

First and foremost is good health. If you do not enjoy good health, you can never be happy. Any ailment, however trivial, will deduct something from your happiness.

Second, a healthy bank balance. It need not run into crores, but it should be enough to provide for comforts, and there should be something to spare for recreation—eating out, going to the movies, travel and holidays in the hills or by the sea. Shortage of money can be demoralising. Living on credit or borrowing is demeaning and lowers one in one’s own eyes.

Third, your own home. Rented places can never give you the comfort or security of a home that is yours for keeps. If it has garden space, all the better. Plant your own trees and flowers, see them grow and blossom, and cultivate a sense of kinship with them.

Fourth, an understanding companion, be it your spouse or a friend. If you have too many misunderstandings, it robs you of your peace of mind. It is better to be divorced than to be quarrelling all the time.
Fifth, stop envying those who have done better than you in life—risen higher, made more money, or earned more fame. Envy can be corroding; avoid comparing yourself with others.

Sixth, do not allow people to descend on you for gup-shup. By the time you get rid of them, you will feel exhausted and poisoned by their gossip-mongering.

Seventh, cultivate a hobby or two that will fulfil you—gardening, reading, writing, painting, playing or listening to music. Going to clubs or parties to get free drinks, or to meet celebrities, is a criminal waste of time. It’s important to concentrate on something that keeps you occupied meaningfully. I have family members and friends who spend their entire day caring for stray dogs, giving them food and medicines. There are others who run mobile clinics, treating sick people and animals free of charge.

Eighth, every morning and evening devote 15 minutes to introspection. In the mornings, 10 minutes should be spent in keeping the mind absolutely still, and five listing the things you have to do that day. In the evenings, five minutes should be set aside to keep the mind still and 10 to go over the tasks you had intended to do.

Ninth, don’t lose your temper. Try not to be short-tempered, or vengeful. Even when a friend has been rude, just move on.

Above all, when the time comes to go, one should go like a man without any regret or grievance against anyone. Iqbal said it beautifully in a couplet in Persian: “You ask me about the signs of a man of faith? When death comes to him, he has a smile on his lips.”
This morning I am reading a poem on archeologists:

"They hunt all summer long the long interred, "
- Ernest Hilbert

And I thought what's the point of doing what we do? What's the purpose of our toiling. (more…)

The object of our kindness is generally our own kind. And in this myopia of lost oneness, our kindness is compromised.

Here is what Mark Twain had to say on religiosity and kindness. Religion has not helped (more…)

Guru Amardas Ji and the Langar

Before meeting Guru Angad, Baba Amar Das was a vaishnava and was ever in search of a competent Guru. At the age of 62 he adopted Guru Angad as his spiritual guide and (more…)

Bracelets

each one made of gold
but each one
beautiful like no other

songs are beautiful
when they are made
with love

but their elegance
touches something
inside the chest
when they are unique

without any hesitation
sing (more…)

Because of my wall street background, I continue to read the Wall street journal everyday. Once in a while, the truth about money and happiness comes in that journal too.  This article is currently the (more…)
0

Are we giving them too much credit calling them terrorists?

Bill Maher ended Friday’s episode of “Real Time” with a rant on America’s reaction to the Tsarnaev brothers, the suspects in the Boston Marathon (more…)

1

The following post is from a BBC article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/happiness_formula/4783836.stm

According to psychologist Professor Ed Diener there is no one key to happiness but a set of (more…)

Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonYouTube IconSubscribe on YouTubeTwitter Icontwitter follow buttoniTunes