Kanjoos are those people who love to collect wealth but hate to spend it. In English they are called misers or penny-pinchers or simply cheap people. In Gurbani they have been called Kirpn and Shoom.
A Kanjoos person is probably such person who in previous lives was a very poor person or one who starved to death in a famine. This life he holds his wealth very dearly because subconsciously he may be insecure about losing it.
A Gurmukh is not supposed to be Kanjoos because to be Kanjoos one has to love Maya and a Gurmukh does not love Maya. While a Gurmukh does not do Fazool-Kharchi (spending for no reason) and is reasonably prudent but he is not a Kanjoos either. If need be, a Gursikh can sacrifice all his possessions for Panth and for benefit of others.
Kanjoos in Folk Tales
A Kanjoos person hates to spend even a penny. He does not give money to charity, even in his dreams. There are many tales of Kanjoos in Punjabi literature. Presented here is one of them. Once there were 3 Kanjoos friends in a village. They were bragging about their Kanjoosi.
The first one said,"I bought 100ml of gheo and it took me 6 months to use up all of it. I used to put just a drop of it in my daal/sabzee. I get satisfied with just a drop of gheo."
The second Kanjoos was disappointed and said, "this is a disgrace my friend. How could you part from precious gheo and consume full drop every time you ate? I bought one bottle of 100ml about 5 years ago, and it is still pretty much full. Every time, I sit down to eat, I just open the bottle and take smell of it. Just the smell alone satisfies me and I don't consume even a drop of it."
The first Kanjoos was a bit embarrassed and promised to follow his friend's advice in the future. At this the third Kanjoos spoke out, "You both have failed the test of Kanjoosi. My father gave me a bottle of 100mls of gheo and even after 30 years, it is intact. I don't even open the bottle to take smell because every time you open it, some of the gheo must be evaporating. I just let my Roti touch the bottle of gheo and I get satisfied. I feel the taste of chopri roti."
The other two Kanjoos friends lowered their heads in embarrassment and both promised to follow their superior friend in the path of Kanjoosi.
What is a Makhi-choos Kanjoos
There is a Kanjoos and then there is a Makhi-choos Kanjoos. Kanjoos is your ordinary miser but Makhi-choos is a step above that. Once a housefly fell in the glasses of hot milk that two Kanjoos were going to drink (at someone's house of course). A normal person would refuse to drink such milk but the Kanjoos person could not bear the sight of wasting milk. He took out the dead fly and drank rest of the milk. But when the Makhi-choos Kanjoos was faced with this dilemma, he not only took out the fly but sucked it to ensure that the milk sticking on the housefly's body is not wasted. He sucked the fly and then threw it away and of course drank the whole milk in the glass as well.
These are not just tales but there are actually persons out there who are Kanjoos at this ridiculous level. They have all the wealth but their wealth is of no use to them because they don't spend it. Gurbani too declares that the Daam (money) of a Kirpn (kanjoos) are Niraarath (waste). Why, because what good is the wealth, if it is not to be used?
How a Gurmukh should be a Kanjoos or even a Makhi-choos Kanjoos
When it comes to worldy wealth, Gurmukhs are not Kanjoos at all and if some person is a Kanjoos then we can safely assume that he is not a Chardi Kala Gurmukh but when it comes to the spiritual wealth or Naam-Laaha or Naam-Dhan, Gurmukhs are surely Kanjoos. They not only love to earn and collect Naam Dhan but they also love to not spend it and take all of it along with them to Dargah of Guru Sahib.
How to collect Naam Dhan:
1. Seek refuge of Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee Maharaj and obtain Naam from Guru Sahib (by Amrit Chhak).
2. Keep Rehit of Siri Dasmesh jee.
3. Chant the True Naam Gurmantr obtained at the time of Amrit Sinchaar, at Amritvela and all times.
4. Do Paath of Gurbani; tonnes and tonnes of it, not just 7 Nitnemi Baanis.
5. Do Kirtan of Gurbani at home and attend Kirtan Samagams. Do Satsangat everyday.
6. Write Gurbani and Naam. This method is rarely employed but is a very efficient way of earning Naam Dhan.
7. Do Seva of Gursikhs and Panth. Great way to get Khushi of Guru Sahib.
8. Strive to obey all Hukams enshrined in Gurbani and Gurmat literature.
How to not waste Naam Dhan
1. By being weak in Rehit a lot of Kamaaee (earning) of Naam Dhan is lost.
2. By doing Bajjar Kurehits (4 of them) a great deal of Kamaaee is lost.
3. By sinning or doing Paap (anti-Gurmat Karma) Kamaaee is lost.
4. By being a giver (daata) Kamaaee is lost. A Gursikh gives in the name of Guru Sahib. When he gives in his name or when he feels he has given someone something as opposed to Vaheguru, then he loses Kamaaee.
5. When doing Ardaas for someone in distress, always first do some Gurbani Paath or Naam Abhyaas. Then designate this Paath and Simran for the Gursikh and beg Guru Sahib for Kirpa. If the Ardaas is fulfilled, the Gursikh should consider it Kirpa of Guru Sahib not his own Shakti. If he thinks it was his doing, then he loses Kamaaee.
6. Do not fight with other Gursikhs. When we fight or have conflict with other Gursikhs, then it's like iron hitting iron and there is damage on both sides. Avoid conflict with Gursikhs like plague. If there is high chance of getting into conflict with certain Gursikhs, stay away from that venue. It's not worth fighting Gursikhs.
7. In youth time, there is potential of earning massive Laaha but there is also potential of losing Kamaaee of many last lives because most Kamaaee is lost when the Jeev is under the influence of Kaam and Krodh. Just by looking at a woman in lustful manner causes great deal of Kamaaee to get lost, what to talk about indulging in Kaamic activities. Even Kaamic thoughts cause Kamaaee to be lost. Acting under Krodh in a violent manner also causes massive Kamaaee to be lost. In Krodh we hurt other people and this causes Kamaaee to be lost.
8. Hankaar causes a lot of Kamaaee to be lost. In Hankaar, a person thinks himself to be superior to others and this causes him to be disrespectful to other Gursikhs, resulting in losing Kamaaee.
9. In Lobh and Moh, one does many Paaps causing Kamaaee to be lost.
Yes, a Gursikh is not only a Kanjoos but a Makhi-choos Kanjoos (extreme Kanjoos) when it comes to not spending Naam Kamaaee. Being such Makhi-choos Kanjoos is totally in accordance to Gurmat.
May Guru Sahib enable us to not only earn Naam Kamaaee but also preserve it. Far too many Gursikhs earn decent Naam Laaha but they lose it in a much bigger way.
In case of a worldly corporation, what's the point in having a revenue of $20 billions if the expenditure is going to be $25 billion? It's probably better to have a revenue of $1 million and save half a million. The main thing is not the revenue but the profit or the net-earnings.
Many Gursikhs do realize that they need to increase their Revenue of Paath, Simran and Rehit but they don't realize that the spiritual expenses of Kurehits, Paaps, weakness in Rehit and Vikaars also need to be controlled and eventually eliminated.
A Gursikh should have zero tolerance for the spiritual expenses and should strive to increase the Revenue of Naam, Gurbani, Rehit and Seva.
Guru Sahib Kirpa Karan.