Faith

Seven sins

In his Deivamani Malai, Saint Vallalar says that there are seven qualities that keep us from reaching God. Kama, or desire is the first of these. Desire can lead us down the wrong paths. Anger is the next sin that Vallalar talks of. The mean man, who cannot bring himself to give to others, is also a sinner. Laziness, ego and envy come next in the list. He who does not hesitate to harm others is a great sinner, says Vallalar, and prays that those with such qualities should not approach him. Allied to these seven categories of sinners are those who lack sympathy for others, those who are vengeful and those who indulge in self pity.

Vallalar’s thoughts are similar to those expressed by Thiruvalluvar, said M.A. Manickavelu, in a discourse. Thiruvalluvar says that envy, desires, anger and harsh words are to be avoided and that avoidance of these constitutes dharma. Vallalar speaks strongly against miserliness, and Thiruvalluvar says that he who does not give generously to others, will lose his carefully guarded wealth. Does he not know the joy that lies in giving, asks Thiruvalluvar. Laziness, which Vallalar lists as one of the seven great sins, is condemned by Thiruvalluvar too. Thiruvalluvar says that the family of the lazy man will perish because of his sloth. Another verse in the Thirukkural says that the reputation of the family of a lazy man will be tarnished by his lazy ways. Regarding envy, Thiruvalluvar says that being free of envy is the biggest blessing a man can have. He further says that the Goddess of wealth turns away from the envious man. Envious feelings are like poisonous weeds. If we do not uproot such thoughts from our mind, they will drive out pure thoughts.


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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 8:19:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/Seven-sins/article14497679.ece

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