Kám (lust), Krodh (anger), Lobh (greed), Moh (attachment) , Ahankár (ego). These are the five vices or the five ‘thieves’ of the South Asian spiritual traditions. These vices are all based on natural inclinations.
My understanding is that we should not suppress these, but that we should recognise them and give them a positive direction.
The vices should not rule us, we should rule the vices.
Kám (lust). Sikhs are to live a natural life and having a sexual relationship with husband/wife is part of such a life. But a relation that is only based on sexual attraction will not last. A sexual relationship should be embedded in the mutual respect and true love between wife and husband. We often use the word love when we mean sexual attraction !
Krodh (anger). Anger damages you more than it does those you are angry with. Anger turns against you. But when a Sikh sees injustice she/he should feel anger and use the energy of the anger to take action against the injustice.
Lobh (greed). Greed is like human needs that get out hand. We need food, we need clothes, we need housing and we need a life partner. But we should not eat huge rich meals all the time, we should wear practical, modest clothing, no need to pay over the top for ‘branded’ stuff or for products of the Paris fashion houses, and one life partner is more than enough for us.
Moh (attachment). I think this is a key teaching of the Dharmic religions. To fully understand this we have to start from the notion that both being too wealthy and being too poor leads to an obsession with ‘maya’, with worldly goods.
I think the right way is the middle way. Have enough for a comfortable life. Be not attached to your worldly goods or to your family and friends. You cannot take these with you to your next life or to the All-Soul when you merge with our Mother/Father.
We should also be able to live on when relatives or friends die or when we have to spend less because of the economic malaise that has been with us since the 2008 banking crisis hit us.
I live a simple life and even with that I have to be careful because I should not be attached to my simple life or to my blue chola and big kacchera.
Ahankár (ego). Ego and pride are close companions. I am Harjinder Singh, I am a product of the culture and family I come from. I have good qualities but also not such good ones. Learning to understand myself and accepting both my good and bad qualities was part of my spiritual path.
But being egoistic, only living for me, me, me is not spiritual. Feeling satisfaction when you achieve something is fine, as long as you realise that we cannot achieve anything without God’s blessings. Where there is ME, God is not !