“ ‘क्रोध’ हमारा शत्रु है …”

Swami ji said…

Let us visualise, just for an instant, what the word ‘enemy’ describes. It is someone who has ill-intent towards us, attacks us when we are at our weakest and in the end leaves us for the worse. And while unfortunately there are enemies like this around us who we are mostly aware of and avoid; there are some that are unseen and are to be found within us. One such enemy is ‘anger’ – क्रोध – a vice – within nearly each one of us.

‘ To see red ‘ ; ‘ to seethe with anger ‘ – these are discomforting descriptions of an emotion through which we transit – rather easily. In no way can they be good for us. And yet, we often find ourselves in the clutches of anger. Sometimes while driving through a busy road or traffic ; sometimes while waiting in a queue. It takes over our being at any moment. A slight incident, the smallest of nudges is all it takes for us to lose our cool ; to make our blood boil. If we were to introspect honestly, we will realise that quite often, it might not be the actions of others, but , anger fuelled actions with which we retaliate – that truly hurt us.

Yes, anger is sometimes justified, but , what should not be acceptable is losing our control due to it. Anger rises within us when we feel wronged, when we feel that an injustice has been carried out … ‘जब हमारी कामना पूरी नहीं होती …’ But , like everything , patience is the key. We must always pause and let the swell of this strong emotion within us subside, and, then reflect on our anger. During such moments it would hold us in good stead to understand the situation in which we find ourselves poised and – giving ourselves some time to breathe easy – could help us avoid taking actions that we will only later regret. A little more reflection helps us identify what exactly made us angry and whether we were justified in expressing it vocally or otherwise.

This process of reflection over time will help us understand ourselves better. Do we have an inflated ego that keeps getting hurt ? Or are we being taken advantage of for our decency ?While the former will make us learn the importance of humility for our mental peace, the latter will make us learn to be stern with those who seek to harm us.

Impatience as a characteristic also leads to anger. Our inability to accept things not happening the way we want them to should not be a cause of anger. Venting – whenever a situation is unfavourable for us – only shows a weak spirit and an inability to adapt to unpredictable, unexpected actions and responses of others.

While anger is often portrayed as a sign of strength and aggression, in reality, it means that we are mentally so weak that anyone’s words or actions, any situation can turn our state of mind for the worse. Being angry only portrays a lack of control over our own actions when under duress. We should ask ourselves – would we like to be such a person? Would we be able to trust such a person who cannot control himself ?

Anger leads to bad ‘karma’ – and bad ‘karma’ leads to an even worse future. We must draw comparisons from the stories of Shri Krishna and ‘Karna’. Circumstances led both to be separated and abandoned by their parents as babies. Despite being born into royalty, they were recognised as a cowherd and charioteer respectively. Despite being mighty and having the greatest of skills and knowledge, neither was given the respect of a ‘Kshatriya’. While Shri Krishna was never made King, Karna had to be awarded a Kingdom and could gain none through his right. Yet, their reactions towards their circumstances defined their legacies. ‘Karna’ was forever bitter towards his life and circumstances, always believing he had been wronged and betrayed. His anger led him to pick arms against his brothers and be slain at the hands of one. On the other hand, Shri Krishna became a king maker instead. Not once did he complain about what life had to offer , and , instead, with a serene smile on his face ensured that society would be ruled by a lineage of just and principled kings who upheld ‘dharma’. In doing so, he rose beyond the heights of any other that walked this Earth and is even today worshipped by millions.

This is why it is important for us to be wary of anger – ‘क्रोध’ – that sits impatiently within us – waiting for just about anything to trigger it – for, we do not even realise when it takes control of us, feeds our ego and takes us away from the path of God. It is important to remember that one blinded by anger cannot see the light of God. We need to remember – ‘ ‘क्रोध’ हमारी कमज़ोरी का बयान करती है …’

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