by Harnaak Singh
Throughout Gurbani there is emphasis that we must discard the 5 evils. These leads us astray from our spiritual uplifting. Besides this they also cause many illnesses.
As an example we will look at a Gurbani stanza which talks about this.
We will look at Kachi Banee ਕਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ. Kachi Banee is addressed in Paurdi 24 of the Anand Sahib (SGGS 920).
ਸਿਤਗੁਰੂ ਬਿਨਾ ਹੋਰ ਕਚੀ ਹੈ ਬਾਣੀ ॥ ਬਾਣੀ ਤ ਕਚੀ ਸਿਤਗੁਰੂ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਹੋਰ ਕਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥
Without the True Guru, other songs are false. The songs are false without the True Guru; all other songs are false.
ਕਹਦੇ ਕਚੇ ਸੁਣਦੇ ਕਚੇ ਕਚੀ ਆਖਿ ਵਖਾਣੀ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਤ ਕਰਹਿ ਰਸਨਾ ਕਹਿਆ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਜਾਣੀ ॥
The speakers are false, and the listeners are false; those who speak and recite are false. They may continually chant, ‘Har, Har’ with their tongues, but they do not know what they
ਚਿਤੁ ਜਿਨ ਕਾ ਹਿਰਿ ਲਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਬੋਲਨਿ ਪਏ ਰਵਾਣੀ ॥ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਹੋਰ ਕਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥੨੪॥
Their consciousness is lured by Maya; they are just reciting mechanically. Says Nanak, without the True Guru, other songs are false. ||24||
Figure 1: Professor Sahib Singh’s explanation of the this stanza (Punjabi)
Professor Sahib Singh’s explanation of the this stanza (see Figure 1) is (translated into English):
Speech or utterances (ਬਾਣੀ – including spiritual writings) that are against our Guru’s teachings (ਸਿਤਗੁਰੂ ਬਿਨਾ, ਸਿਤਗੁਰੂ ਬਾਝਹੁ) that makes us weak and drive us towards Maya (the 5 evils) is Kachee Banee (ਕਚੀ ਹੈ ਬਾਣੀ, ਬਾਣੀ ਤ ਕਚੀ). The mind of those who regularly preach (ਕਹਦੇ ਕਚੇ, ਕਚੀ ਆਖਿ ਵਖਾਣੀ), merely paying lip service (ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਤ ਕਰਹਿ ਰਸਨਾ ਕਹਿਆ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਜਾਣੀ) as well as those regularly listen (ਸੁਣਦੇ ਕਚੇ) to these utterances will become weak (easily taken over by 5 evils), and easily waiver (from virtuous path). They do not experience the internal bliss (internal happiness, satisfaction) but will consistently be succumbing to attachment to Maya i.e. the 5 evils.
NOTE: From the modern scientific perspective, the problem is we let our MAN ਮਨ (internal self) to be controlled by the five evils (in the process getting satisfaction/happiness/pleasure through MAYA) which usually leads us to external physical situations which inevitably affects our mind and thoughts (internal) and creates stress. Stress as you know is the causative agent for almost all the illness one can be subject to. By remembering God we can control the five evils and gain the five treasures. This state does not create stress and hence we are not subject to illness or illness will have minimal effect on us due to our state of mind which has attained the five treasures.
ILLNESSES CAUSED BY STRESS
Have you ever heard of illnesses caused by stress?
You may think that health problems are the result of bacteria or viruses. What many people do not realize is that stress can also disable the body’s immune system to make you more susceptible to germs in the environment.
Many kinds of infirmities result from your immune system’s inability to function properly. Stress, especially the unrelenting kind for which there is no relief, can play havoc with your body’s ability to fight off microscopic invaders or to operate the way it is supposed to.
ILLNESSES CAUSED BY STRESS
There are many kinds of illnesses caused by stress involving both the body and the mind.
Here are some of the health problems and diseases that may be related to your body’s battle with stress.
Stress keeps people awake at night due to worry, anxiety, or uncertainty about the future. Some people worry about their jobs, while others are concerned over family issues or health problems. Many things in life can be stressful and stress, if left unmanaged, can interrupt or delay sleep.
2. Eating disorders
Thousands of people react to stress by feeding an eating pattern that typically reaches for sweets or carbohydrate-laden foods for a quick sugar rush. While your blood sugar may skyrocket briefly, it is sure to plummet afterward, often leaving you feeling worse than before.
Excess fat in the belly seems to pose greater health risks than fat on the legs or hips — and unfortunately, that’s just where people with high stress seem to store it. “Stress causes higher levels of the hormone cortisol,” says Winner, “and that seems to increase the amount of fat that’s deposited in the abdomen.”
4. Back, neck and shoulder pain
Many people spend their days hunched over computer screens and mobile phones, so it’s no surprise that neck, shoulder and back pain are among the most common health complaints. The combination of physical inactivity and mental strain does not in itself create the disk tears, spinal stenosis and scoliosis that plague people as they age, but once the pain kicks in, stress can intensify both its severity and its duration. Musculoskeletal pain seems particularly sensitive to workplace stress. Researchers aren’t sure why people with stressful jobs have more back, neck and shoulder pain, but have theorized that stress-induced inflammation prevents the full healing that would make the pain recede.
Unresolved stress can make a person feel angry or hopeless, both of which can lead to depression.
If you feel chronically sad, have trouble thinking clearly, feel alone or unloved, struggle with guilt or shame, chances are you are battling a serious case of depression related to stress.
Stress is considered one of the most common triggers for headaches – not just tension headaches, but migraines as well.
7. Anxiety and panic attacks
Like depression, anxiety disorders and panic attacks frequently have a stress-related connection.
People who struggle with ongoing situations that make them feel uneasy may experience high levels of stress that can manifest in nervousness and fear, seemingly for an unknown cause.
9. Peptic Ulcer
10. Colds and viruses
Physical illnesses caused by stress may be as common as the garden variety cold or a seasonal virus. People who are stressed often have immune systems that are not functioning properly. Consequently, they can get sick faster and easier than they otherwise might.
11. Circulatory problems
Stress can make your body’s arteries and veins tighten up in response to the fight-or-flight complex. This compression can reduce blood flow throughout the body and create problems like blood clots, poor circulation, or even strokes.
Many studies have shown that stress can worsen asthma. Some evidence suggests that a parent’s chronic stress might even increase the risk of developing asthma in their children.
13. Compromised immune system
14. Systemic or local infections
Ironically, mental or emotional stress can even delay physical healing of local infections, like a bug bite, or systemic infections, like food poisoning.
Stress drains the body of positive energy as it strives to cope with the demanding worry of the stress-related issues. This leaves inadequate energy to sustain bodily immune functions that heal infectious illnesses and injuries.
One of the common illnesses caused by stress is out-of-control blood sugar for diabetes patients. People with diabetes have to follow a lifestyle that keeps their blood sugar within acceptable limits. Stress can throw off the body, sending sugar levels skyrocketing or plummeting.
16. Heart problems
Stress can make anyone’s heart palpitate wildly and increase pulse rate as well as blood pressure. Over time, serious stress can damage the heart with increased wear and tear for the reasons just mentioned.
Elevated stress levels can even raise your blood cholesterol.
18. Heart disease
Researchers have long suspected that the stressed-out, type A personality has a higher risk of high blood pressure and heart problems. We don’t know why, exactly. Stress can directly increase heart rate and blood flow, and causes the release of cholesterol and triglycerides into the blood stream. It’s also possible that stress is related to other problems — an increased likelihood of smoking or obesity — that indirectly increase the heart risks.
Doctors do know that sudden emotional stress can be a trigger for serious cardiac problems, including heart attacks. People who have chronic heart problems need to avoid acute stress — and learn how to successfully manage life’s unavoidable stresses — as much as they can.
More and more studies are showing links between stress and various types of cancer. Since stress is known to depress the body’s immune system, someone who is struggling with ongoing stress may be ill equipped to battle a major illness such as cancer.
20. Alzheimer’s disease
One animal study found that stress might worsen Alzheimer’s disease, causing its brain lesions to form more quickly. Some researchers speculate that reducing stress has the potential to slow down the progression of the disease.
21. Accelerated aging
There’s actually evidence that stress can affect how you age. One study compared the DNA of mothers who were under high stress — they were caring for a chronically ill child — with women who were not. Researchers found that a particular region of the chromosomes showed the effects of accelerated aging. Stress seemed to accelerate aging about 9 to 17 additional years
22. Premature death
A study looked at the health effects of stress by studying elderly caregivers looking after their spouses — people who are naturally under a great deal of stress. It found that caregivers had a 63% higher rate of death than people their age who were not caregivers.
We confidently believed that our Guru Ji was aware of the ill-impact of the 5 EVILS on the health of the body and mind besides affecting our spiritual development.
There is every reason for us to now take our Gurus’ teachings seriously also from our heath perspective. We must heed the advice of Gurbani on acquiring the 5 virtues and discarding the 5 evils.