Sunday, March 11, 2012

Restraining anger

Do you get angry frequently? It could be for a variety of reasons due to perceived injustice or unfair treatment. There is nothing to worry. It is a natural human trait and you are in good company. Even gods and sages from the mythology are known to exhibit this attribute and some of the incarnations (avatars) are manifestations of God’s deep displeasure and anger with some wicked individuals harassing the innocent. He was fiercest in Narasimhavatar when He appeared in part lion part man form out of a stone pillar to tear Hiranyakasibu for tormenting his son Prahlad, a devotee of the Lord. As Rama He came down to earth to kill various demons harassing His devotees and to slay the mighty Ravana when his misdeeds became intolerable. He even got infuriated and took the bow against the Sealord when he proved a hurdle.Krishnavatar is replete with His destroying evil men in anger including his own uncle Kamsa. Bhagavan says in the Gita verse IV 8 Paritranaya sadhunam that He will come, in every yuga (age) for the upliftment of the good and virtuous, for the destruction of evil and for the reestablishment of the natural law. Don’t you remember Ma Kali with her garland of skulls protruding tongue and angry eyes out to kill the bad and evil?

Unless you are an evolved soul, anger for legitimate reason is a normal response accompanied with a desire to react and if possible punish with words or violence. So long as one is within confines of law, anger does not put one at risk with law enforcing authorities. Excessive anger like grinding one’s teeth, eyes becoming bloodshot, shivering, increased heart beats would mean losing control of oneself and may lead to unhappy situations. Suppressing anger by putting a lid over it is also dangerous. What do we do then?

One must always examine why a man is unjust to you and what actions of yours cause his anger. Without this introspection one can turn blind in rage as the other party. Having done this when someone unfairly hurts by word or action, you must express your disapproval and that you are not happy with his action in unmistakable words without raising your voice or employing harsh words. Your disappointment can be made clear without a thought of revenge. The desire to pay back in the same coin may be tempting but best eschewed. Even this expression of disapproval should be done keeping the surroundings and the possible effect in mind. The response to hurtful words or acts should be on your terms and time and not as expected by other party. There is however no place for cowardice.

All said we cannot control people’s reaction. They will tend to meddle in your affairs and say/do unreasonable things. Where they are minor in nature, it is best to ignore them. Unless, the offense is repetitive and intentional, one should stay away from such people where possible. If you treat their actions with contempt they deserve, much room for anger would not be there. Sharing the instances with very near and dear will bring out a dispassionate feedback and can help in removing angularities in your own personality.

Tantrums hardly help but can make one a laughing stock. By sheer practice one can control anger without submitting oneself to insults. A person in control of his emotions in a dignified way is much sought after and becomes popular.The famous Thirukkural has a few guidelines on restraining anger. Some of them are given below.
1.Anger against the weak is wrong/It is futile against the strong.

2.Off with wrath with anyone/It is the source of sin and pain

3.Is there a foe like harmful ire/Which kills the smile and joyful cheer?

4Thyself to save, from wrath away/If not thyself the wrath will slay

5..Wishes he gains as he wishes/If man refrains from rage vicious

6.Dead are they who are anger-fed/Saints are they from whom wrath has fled.


  1. that is a wonderful post after such a long gap. The guidelines from Thirukkural restraining anger sums it all up.
    Hoping to see lot more action in this blog.

  2. Your post after ages:) Good that you are back here. Being in public service i find controlling anger impossible, most of my colleagues around 40 suffer from high BP. That was some wonderful translation of tirukural:)

  3. Very nice post on anger. :)I guess it is verses of the saint poet "Thirukkural" whose statue is placed in Kanyakumari.. Nice ones and enlightening..:)