Redirect anger against untruth
We have to think about anger; understand what it does to us and observe the states of the angry and peaceful mind.
Anger is a universal problem. People the world over suffer because of it — children, youngsters, adults, the worldly-minded and even spiritual seekers. Instead of asking about how to overcome anger, we should ask, 'what is anger?' Do not expect any ready-made answers. We have to think about anger; understand what it does to us and observe the states of the angry and peaceful mind. Why do we get angry? Why do we want to overcome anger? And so on.
On inquiring, we understand that anger is dangerous; it harms us and others also. It makes us say and do things which we later regret. It makes us suffer. It reduces our efficiency and effectiveness. It gives us a bad name.
Is this knowledge not sufficient to want us to get rid of it? Why should we carry with us something that is harmful and makes us suffer? Drop it, why keep it? Maybe we have not suffered enough because of it. If we did, we would get rid of it immediately. Superficially we say, 'Anger is bad, it makes one suffer, it does not help' and so on. We do not mean it, truly. We can get rid of it only when our understanding is deep and intense.
When we understand deeply, the harm that anger does, and also realise the value of a peaceful mind, we will drop anger immediately.Supposing, as you are about to drink a glass of milk, someone tells you, it has poison. What will you do? Will you not instantly get rid of the milk? Even if there is no poison, a doubt created in the mind is enough. You will not drink it. Why? You have understood totally that drinking poison will cause death, and also, you value your life.
Why do we get angry? It is either when our ego is hurt, desires are obstructed, or expectations are not fulfilled. When our ego is pricked, we should, in fact, be thankful to the person for showing us our place in the world. Think, why should the world fulfil all our expectations? We have expectations even from ourselves, which we are unable to live up to. When we are unable to fulfil our own expectations of ourselves, how can we expect the same from others?
No emotion is good or bad by itself. Anger is bad when it is for selfish reasons, when it is uncontrolled and when it enslaves us. What we should do is to elevate and divinise our emotions. Anger, when elevated, cannot harm us; it can be of use to us. Instead of being angry when selfish wishes are not fulfilled, if we direct our anger against injustice done towards others or against unrighteousness or untruth, it will serve a purpose.
Lakshmana got angry only when someone insulted Rama. His anger was well under his control and at a gesture from Rama, he would immediately calm down. Also, when we redirect our anger from the world towards the Lord, we divinise our anger. The angry devotee says to the Lord, "Why do you not give me darshan? If you do not, I shall never speak with You again." Negative emotions when directed towards the Lord, get divinised.
— Swami Tejomayananda
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