05 Oct Who Do We Get Angry?
Anger is a universal problem. All over the world people – children, youngsters, adults, and even spiritual seekers – suffer from it. What is anger? Why do we get angry? Why do we want to overcome anger? Anger is dangerous and harmful for ourselves as well as others. It makes us say and do things, which we later regret. It reduces our efficiency and effectiveness.
Superficially we say, “Anger is bad, it makes one suffer, it does not help”. We are not committed to its removal. We can get rid of it only when our understanding is deep and intense. Why should we carry something with us that is destructive and causes misery? Drop it, why keep it? Supposing as you are about to drink a glass of milk, someone tells you it has poison. Will you not instantly get rid of the milk? When we understand deeply the harm anger does, and also develop value for a peaceful mind, we will instantly drop it.
Why do we get angry? When the ego is hurt, desires are obstructed, or expectations are not fulfilled we become angry. In fact, when our ego is pricked, we should be thankful to that person for showing us our place in the world. When we are often unable to fulfill the expectations from 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 or it enslaves us. In such situations we should elevate and divinize our emotions. Instead of being angry when our selfish wishes are not fulfilled, if our anger is directed against injustices in society, unrighteousness or untruth, it will serve a greater purpose. Take the case of Lakshmana. He got angry only when someone insulted Sri Rama. At other times his anger was well under control, and a single gesture from Sri Rama was enough for him to immediately calm down. If at all we have to be angry then we should redirect our anger from the world towards the Lord. By this we divinize the anger and gain peace of mind.