Krodh is derived from the Sanskrit word krodha, which means wrath or Rage. This is an emotion recognized in the Sikh system as a spring of conation and is as such counted as one of the Five Evils.
It expresses itself in several forms from silent sullenness to hysterical tantrums and violence. In Sikh Scripture krodh usually appears in combination with kam — as “kam krodh”. The coalescence is not simply for the sake of alliterative effect. Krodh (ire) is the direct progeny of kam (desire). The latter when thwarted or jilted produces the former. The Scripture also counts krodh (or its synonym kop) among the four rivers of fire.
Violence, attachment, covetousness and wrath,” says Guru Nanak “are like four rivers of fire; those who fall in them burn, and can swim across, O Nanak, only through God’s grace” (GG, 147). Elsewhere he says, “Kam and krodh dissolve the body as borax melts gold” (GG, 932). Guru Arjan, Nanak V, censures krodh in these words: “O krodh, thou enslavest sinful men and then caperest around them like an ape.”
In thy company men become base and are punished variously by Death’s messengers. The Merciful God, the Eradicator of the sufferings of the humble, O Nanak, alone saveth all” (GG, 1358). Guru Ram Das, Nanak IV, warns: “Do not go near those who are possessed by wrath uncontrollable” (GG, 40). Krodh is to be vanquished and eradicated. This is done through humility and firm faith in the Divine.
Guru Arjan’s prescription: “Do not be angry with any one; search your own self and live in the world with humility. Thus, O Nanak, you may go across (the ocean of existence) under God’s grace” (GG, 259). Shaikh Farid, a thirteenth-century Muslim saint whose compositions are preserved in the Sikh Scripture, says in one of his couplets: “O Farid, do good to him who hath done thee evil and do not nurse anger in thy heart; no disease will then afflict thy body and all felicities shall be thine” (GG, 1381-82). Righteous indignation against evil, injustice and tyranny is, however, not to be equated with krodh as an undesirable passion. Several hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib, particularly those by Guru Nanak and Kabir, express in strong terms their disapproval of the corruption of their day.
1. Kam (Lust) 2. Krodh (Rage) 3. Lobh (Greed) 4. Moh (Attachment) 5. Ahankar (Ego)
Sabadarth Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Amritsar, 1964
Jodh Singh, Bhai, Gurmat Nirnaya. Ludhiana, 1932
Sher Singh, The Philosophy of Sikhism. Lahore, 1944
Avtar Singh, Ethics of the Sikhs. Patiala, 1970
Nirbhai Singh, Philosophy of Sikhism. Delhi, 1990
Above adapted from article By L. M. Joshi
Concepts In Sikhism – Edited by Dr. Surinder Singh Sodhi
Lecture on Krodh #1 by Veer Bhupinder Singh
Lecture on Krodh #2 by Veer Bhupinder Singh
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