Sri Sri's QnA on 'Anger'

Botheration > QnA on Anger

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Q: Do you get angry? If so, how often?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I can but it's very expensive. Usually, you give your anger freely and smile rarely as though a smile is costly. In ignorance, anger is cheaper and a smile is costly. In Knowledge, a smile is free like sun, air, and water and anger is extremely expensive like a diamond.

Conclusion: Make your Smile cheaper and anger expensive.
Q: Should one never get angry?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t think you should all be without anger all the time. You should use anger as a tool when it is necessary. I tried to do it but I was not too successful. Often sometimes I try to show anger but it doesn’t work because very soon I start laughing and everybody else will start laughing along, also people don’t believe me getting angry. But sometimes anger is good. You know, especially in a world when there is corruption, when there is injustice and when there are all sorts of people who do all sorts of wrong things, who take advantage of you in all situations, it is necessary that you raise your eyebrows or sometime show anger, it would be good. But see that you show anger and it doesn’t affect you or get into your heart and make you upset.

Look, that doesn’t happen in a day and that is where all these practices can be of help. Yeah, I’m not saying be like a vegetable all the time or like a mentally retarded person, smiling or not getting upset at all, you should get angry when things don’t go well, right! But don’t ever let that anger ferment in your mind and turn into hatred. It could be momentary.

You know what is a healthy anger?

When you draw a line on the surface of water, how long does it stay for? Only that much time anger should stay, then it is healthy anger. If your anger stays only for that much time and when you have a control over it then it is healthy and you are okay. You can get angry but anger should not get you. What happens usually, anger comes and gets you, and then we are in trouble. Knowledge and wisdom is the reverse of it. Got it! You can use the knife but the knife doesn’t use you.
Q: What causes anger?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Your desire for perfection is the cause of anger. Leave room for imperfection. Perfection in action is almost impossible. Only 95 percent perfection is possible in action. Though, perfection in speech and mind is 100 percent possible.
Q: How can I control my anger?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Anger comes out of your love for perfection. Create some space for imperfection around you. Make a list of all the things you consider to be wrong. Then have people around you do everything on that list! When you get angry, just observe that sensation. Observe how your teeth are clenching and how the mind becomes. Take a few long deep breaths and see if it changes. However, I have no experience, since I myself have never had this problem. So my advice may not be authentic. You should ask others. There are many here who will tell you. After regular practice of Sudarshan Kriya, anger tends to settle down.
Q: How intelligent is it to be angry on the past?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Is there any profit of being angry at the past? A business minded person would never do that!

There is a story of Mullah Nassurudin. His son was about to hold an expensive electronic equipment and he slapped his son. When asked, he said what the fun would be to slap after it has broken! It is a sign of foolishness to be angry at something that had happened in the past. People ask me if I don’t get angry.

But at what should I be angry at? Past that has already gone!

You get angry at something which is happening in the present. But reacting to anger with anger! What foolishness! If somebody does mistake again and again, you can show anger but don’t get swayed away with that. Arogya vardhak gussa – Healthy anger is that which stays only for that much time as a line drawn on water stays.

It doesn’t mean not to show anger when someone is wrong but it is unintelligent to flow away with that.

Sadhana is to protect mind from any vikara (Distortion that takes one away from the self)
Q: Is anger related to ego? Several Rishis in the Hindu tradition have been known to be very short-tempered. How did this affect their peace?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Not several. One of the Rishis is known for his anger. But always good happened through his anger. That’s why I say, even the anger of a wise man does so much good, and love of an ignorant person causes more problems.

See, an illiterate mother, an uneducated mother, she doesn’t like her children going to school because the young ones cry while going to school. Then she says, ‘No, no. Ok, don’t go to school.’ They say they don’t want to study, and she says, ‘Ok, don’t study.’ Her love for her children has spoiled their whole life. Isn’t it? So, even the love of an ignorant person does harm. And even anger of a saint always does good.

There are so many stories about one sage, his name was Durvasa. In India, if someone is very angry, they say ‘Oh, he is a Durvasa!’ means he is someone who gets angry at the drop of a hat. But he would come back to normal state immediately. This is to say, don’t feel bad about yourself if you have anger.

Even a Rishi had some anger. So, you don’t have to be too hard on yourself by blaming yourself. That is just to give you self confidence. To make you feel, you are ok, inspite of your little bit anger. That is only one rare case. That is to say that enlightenment is unconditional. It is what? It is unconditional. You can’t put any condition on that freedom. Just to tell you, there is no conditioning. So it’s possible to get angry also. And, sometimes anger can also do good.
Q: It is difficult to control anger. What should one do so that I don’t get angry?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First, anger is to be tamed. Know this: when the mind is so joyful and contented, when you are in meditation and leave room for imperfections and mistakes, you don’t get angry in the first place. Know that no mistake can be corrected with anger. Only with awareness can anything be corrected.
Q: How to deal with anger?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Anger is ok. I have a technique for you. Whenever you get angry,
sing. If you get angry on your husband/wife, scold them by singing. Opera singing is even better. See if you can do it. (He sings a couple of lines... You stupid, what did you do to me and everyone breaks into laughter)

If possible take a guitar and sing with it. It must be very interesting. Some people will become musician like this. Anger comes when you go out of certain rhythm. And, music is bringing that rhythm back. Antidote for anger is music, exercise, karate, martial arts.... You know martial arts have to be done without anger.

In Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna says to Arjun, "Arjun, fight but not with anger or hatred." Now, anger does not take permission before coming. Dont regret anger. Its ok to be angry with children. If you don't get angry at them, they become so weak in the world.

They cannot take criticism. They become weak. You should know the limitation though. You
know how much salt should be put in the food. How cold or warm, your finger will tell you. As parents, dont feel guilty for scolding your children. Thinking that way you become stressed and are preparing yourself to get more upset or angry.
Q: How do I control my anger? I get angry over very, very small things.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you have to get angry, get angry at bigger things, not the small usual mundane stuff. Get angry at corruption in the system and injustice happening around you. Give a bigger dimension to your anger and see all the small things become simply insignificant. I want you to go and talk to every youth in this country and in the world. Talk to them. Tell them to take action against corruption. If the head of the government is shielding corrupt people, what can you do? People have to wake up. That’s what we all have to do. Everyone should speak out against corruption.
Q: How intelligent is it to be angry on the past?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Is there any profit of being angry at the past? A business minded person would never do that!

There is a story of Mullah Nassurudin. His son was about to hold an expensive electronic equipment and he slapped his son. When asked, he said what the fun would be to slap after it has broken! It is a sign of foolishness to be angry at something that had happened in the past. People ask me if I don’t get angry. But at what should I be angry at? Past that has already gone!

You get angry at something which is happening in the present. But reacting to anger with anger! What foolishness! If somebody does mistake again and again, you can show anger but don’t get swayed away with that. Arogya vardhak gussa – Healthy anger is that which stays only for that much time as a line drawn on water stays.

It doesn’t mean not to show anger when someone is wrong but it is unintelligent to flow away with that. Sadhana is to protect mind from any vikara( Distortion that takes one away from the self).
Q: It is difficult to control anger. What should one do so that I don’t get angry?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First, anger is to be tamed. Know this: when the mind is so joyful and contented, when you are in meditation and leave room for imperfections and mistakes, you don’t get angry in the first place. Know that no mistake can be corrected with anger. Only with awareness can anything be corrected.
Q: But how to have people to get out from their anger because sometimes it is so difficult to be with them because of their anger?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yeah, how to help people come out of anger? Only through WISDOM! Knowledge, wisdom and meditation.
Q: Guruji, I have anger and arrogance in me. In anger, I lose awareness. Please tell me some remedy.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you are angry at yourself, you get angry with others also.When you are angry at others you get angry at yourself for getting angry.This is like a pendulum. We have to stop this.It’s ok if you get angry. Don’t get angry because you got angry. Sometimes you feel good, sometimes you feel bad. Life is like a jungle. Thorns are also there, flowers are also there, fruits, peacocks, deer, lions, tigers everything is there. Have a holistic approach.

Just be natural, easy and relax. Take things as they come and move forward. Don’t get stuck in a place. The mind plays so many tricks to keep you miserable. Sing, meditate, serve. Be part of service. We have to save our mind.
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