The Place of Anger ~ Swami Muktananda

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Post by Sarveswara on Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:45 am



The Place of Anger

Q: What is the place of anger in an evolved person’s life?

SM: An evolved person has very little anger left. His anger is like a child’s. It stays with him only for a short time. It does not stay with him until he dies, like the anger of a snake or a camel.

The scriptures say that the best kind of person holds onto his anger only for a second, that the average person holds onto his anger for half an hour, and that an inferior person holds onto his anger for a day and a night. But a soul who is full of sins remembers his anger until he dies. When a person becomes angry, he should forget his anger quickly, because the longer he remembers it the more it will burn his heart. Anger, jealousy, and other emotions cause great restlessness inside.

Suppose that you decide to use a term of abuse against someone or to speak ill of someone. That person may or may not be affected, but you will be immediately affected, because the vibrations of your abusive words will be recorded on your internal tape. It is not good to become angry or emotionally upset. You should be aware that such emotions are your enemies. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that desire and anger arise from rajoguna, the force of passion, and that you should consider them your worst enemies. They will do you terrible harm. They work against your inner peace, bliss, and fulfilment. Krishna says, “O Arjuna, give yo thinking of your external enemies. Instead, conquer your internal enemies.”

Once a holy man was sitting on the bank of a river, repeating his mantra. On the same riverbank was a washerman. After the washerman had finished washing his clothes, he approached the holy man and said to him, “Oh Babaji, I want to go and have my food and also take a small nap. Please look after my donkeys for a while.” The sadhu pretended not to hear. He just sat there repeating his mantra. After a couple of hours the washerman returned and saw that one of his donkeys was missing. He looked for the donkey but could not find it anywhere. The washerman was furious with the sadhu. He began to pull at his matted hair, shouting, “Where is my donkey?”

The sadhu replied, “what makes you think that I was sitting here to look after your donkey?”

The washerman said, “Even if you are a devotee of God, you could have done a little social work. You could have helped me.”

The two began to argue with each other, and as the argument grew more heated both of them rolled up their sleeves and began to fight. The washerman was very healthy and strong because he got so much exercise washing clothes, but the sadhu, who never got any exercise, was grail and emaciated. Very easily, the washerman threw the sadhu to the ground and pummelled him. Just as the person who takes a beating gets tired, the person who gives it also gets tired. Soon both of them were sitting exhausted on the bank. After a couple of minutes, the sadhu got up and cleaned himself. He folded his hands and began to speak to God, saying, “O God, I have been praying to You for the past thirty years. For Your sake I have given up eating good food, I have lived in a forest and subsisted on roots. Nonetheless, when I was in trouble You did not come to help me.”

Immediately a voice from heaven said, “O sadhu, I wanted to help you, but both of you were punching each other and I couldn’t tell which was the washerman and which was the sadhu!”

This is the effect of anger. It completely changes your heart. You control your anger, it turns into its opposite, love.

Once the great saint Rabi’a was asked, “Do you ever feel anger?” “Yes,” she replied, “but only when I forget God,” If you fill your heart with devotion and love for God, there will be no room for anger.
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