By Barbara Briggs
As damaging as anger is, it can be conquered when established in the stability of our true nature, says Barbara Briggs
What is it that compels a man to
Commit sin, even involuntarily,
As if driven by force, O Varshneya?”
The Blessed Lord said:
It is desire; it is anger, born of
Rajo-guna, all-consuming and most evil.
Know this to be the enemy here on earth.
-Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 3,v36,37
(transl. by Maharishi)
Anger is an enemy because it disturbs, confuses and destroys one’s mental equilibrium and causes one to commit sin, involuntarily, against one’s will. It veils the true nature of the Self, which is eternal bliss consciousness and makes one lose one’s proper sense of values and act against one’s normal code of behavior. Anger is like a wildfire which burns everything in its path, or like a whirlpool which drags the mind downward toward a lower state of awareness. In Chap 16 of the Gita, Lord Krishna describes to Arjuna the nature of the asuras, the demon-like negative forces which oppose righteousness. “Ostentation, arrogance and self-conceit, anger as also harshness and ignorance, belong to one who is born, O Partha, for an Asurika state.”
The only way to free oneself completely from anger is to gain permanent union with the Self, the source of perfect balance and infinite bliss. When that happens, nothing in the outer environment, either pleasant or adverse, can throw us off balance, and cause us to act in a manner which we regret later.
Anger over-excites the mind. When one succumbs to anger, one is thwarting the very purpose of creation which is the expansion of happiness. Anger obscures the true nature of the Self. There is an expression: “blind with rage.” This shows that anger is a state of mind in which the dense darkness of ignorance prevails. One can no longer see what ought to be done or said, and what ought not to be done or said. In the darkness, one inevitably stumbles and falls into still deeper darkness. When in darkness, the only solution is to bring in the light, the light of pure knowledge. Knowledge is a great purifier. One should first understand the nature of the enemy, its origin and effects on one’s life and how to overcome it. Furthermore, one should
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