Vikaar - Negative Psychology

The Sikh Gurus identify the nature of our minds, and how our minds are conditioned into fearing loss and pain. This generates a personality that seeks to escape from our authentic experiences and always seeking ways to distracting ourselves with amusements.

The Sikh Gurus have identified 5 specific mental and emotional qualities which are destructive both to oneself and to others too. These are Ahankar (I-maker or ego), Moh (attachment), Lobh (greed), Koardh (anger) and Kam (craving or lust), also known as the 5 Vikaars. These five qualities inevitably lead to suffering and break an individual from identifying with their innate spiritual essence (Gurmukh) to identifying with the content of their minds and emotions (Manmukh).

Modern psychological science and consciousness studies have confirmed the findings of the Sikh Gurus, namely a direct association between personality, health and longevity, although the causal inter-connections between personality traits and health have not yet been fully explored by modern science, unlike Sikhism.

Findings such as five minutes of anger disrupting the body’s immune system for upto 6 hours, or the inability to forgive has been shown to give rise to physiological changes in the body have long been known within Sikh thought, as has detailed knowledge of emotional intelligence and other positive qualities such as contentment, acceptance, forgiveness, compassion, gratitude and optimism to mention but a few.

The practical aspects of Sikh’s way of life has been shown to transform destructive qualities, 5 Vikaars, into qualities associated with positive psychology.

Substantial evidence now exist to demonstrate that individual differences in stress reactivity, chronic stress, coping, cognitive styles, emotionality etc are directly associated with a host of physiological responses and homeostatic (Sahej) including a variety of immunity-related states.