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The Dangers and Expressions of Anger

Apr 2, 2008
At a Christmas party, a provoked brother stabbed his junior one to death. He was arrested, tried and sentenced to life imprisonment for manslaughter. In the prison, he regrets his erratic behavior due to anger. The family is grieving for the double tragedy that struck the family.

The modern media with its vivid depiction of violence portrays anger as a heroic quality, as the quintessential psyche of the macho man. But is it really? Most people recognize that in real life anger is not a pleasant emotion, yet they savor the violent scenes in the movies. And then, strangely enough, they wonder why they themselves, in fits of anger, speak such words and do such deeds which break the hearts of their loved ones and which they themselves bitterly regret later.

Anger breaks hearts and wrecks homes. When enslaved by anger, people violently attack, wound and kill others ' sometimes their loved ones. Violent heroism in the media thus breeds violent crime in society. Anger is also a known cause of a large variety of ailments ranging from high blood pressure to heart attacks. Anger can lead to all forms of conflicts ranging from petty quarrels to world wars.

Moreover depression, a rampant modern mental health challenge, originates in anger. When one is unable to vent out anger on the perceived cause of frustration, one vents it out on oneself by going into a self-pity and self-martyrdom mentality, which is typical of depression.

Thus anger destroys reputations, careers, families and lives. No wonder the Bhagavad-gita (16.21) describes anger as "one of the gates that leads hell."

The Bhagavad-gita (2.62) describes the psychological genesis of anger. When our desires, plans and expectations for control and enjoyment are thwarted, the resentment and frustration expresses itself through harsh words and / or violent actions.

One tries to satisfy his lust, and when he cannot, anger and greed arise. A sane man who does not want to glide down to the degraded species of life must try to give up the three enemies, lust, greed and anger, which can kill the self to such an extent that there will be no possibility of liberation from this material entanglement.

How can we deal with anger? Thomas Jefferson suggests, "When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, count hundred." Consciously delaying action is useful in checking angry outbursts. It said that one should not speak when one is angry, one should also immediately drink a glass of water.

Anger, being fiery, can be cooled by a sip of water. And a spiritual transmutation of our emotions can completely uproot anger. We are all souls, spiritual and eternal children of God. Our heart finds fulfillment only when we make God our first love in life and we can at once be free from contamination of this terrible of sin and constant disagreement, and gradually rise to the state of transcendence and go back to Godhead.

By the process of calling on the holy names and also propagating the chanting of the holy names of the Lord can we be immune from all effects of this dangerous age. Moreover knowledge that no material upheaval or upstart can threaten our inner wealth of devotion gives us an unshakeable inner security, which anger cannot shake. Even before we attain that tranquil state, devotion engenders spiritual maturity and stability within us. Forewarned is forearmed.

Often we indulge in anger because we do not recognize the danger of anger. When we awaken our dormant spiritual devotion by chanting the holy names of God, especially the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, this devotion will make us strong at heart and wise at head.

We develop the discrimination to pre-empt provocative situations, the open-mindedness to see the other person's viewpoint and the assertiveness to present our viewpoint without becoming aggressive. The Vedic scriptures describe the story of an violent sadistic hunter Mrigari who would half-kill animals and enjoy seeing them suffering till death. But when he was enlightened by the great sage Narada Muni and empowered by chanting of the names of Rama, he became so self-controlled that he carefully avoided stepping even on an ant.

Will our world not be a better place if more people were similarly transformed? Charity begins at home. Why not we begin with ourselves? Why not begin this process of transformation today, the sooner the better. Life is short and precious, and more precious if it is used in the service of the Lord. Time and tide waits for no man!
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for Krishna art, religious gifts from India, and Hare Krishna books. You can find the best marketplace for Krishna art, religious gifts from India, and Hare Krishna books at these sites for Krishna art, yoga gifts, controlling anger, and Hare Krishna books.
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