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Suppose a very good man is harshly rebuking an immoral person for having insulted him. Is that unfair? No, no, it is not unfair. It is called sentient anger. Anger is static; but sometimes it may be sáttvika, it may be sentient. And that type of anger is sentient anger – sáttvika krodha in Sanskrit.” – 24 September 1978, Patna, Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 2, Pratyáhára Yoga and Paramágati

Later, it was discovered that tenderness, love, affection, and benevolent thought are inherent qualities of the mind. When they are predominant in the mind people produce sound in a particular way; but where there is no benevolent thought, no love and affection, people produce a different sound. Suppose you are a little ill and do not feel like eating. Naturally you will inform the members of your family, saying “I won’t eat anything today as I’m not feeling very well.” But when you decide not to eat because you are angry with your family, you will not express your reluctance in the same way. You will say rather abruptly, “I won’t eat anything today!” There is an expression of anger in your tone. So these two expressions of “I won’t eat anything today” are not the same. There is a marked difference in intonation.” – 13 January 1979, Kalikata, Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 8, The Attainment of Permanent Composure

The fourth bad habit is krodha or anger. What is the nature of anger? When there is too much agitation in the nerve cells and nerve fibres, perhaps after thinking or hearing something, one is affected by krodha. When someone vexes you or humiliates you too much, your nerve cells become agitated. It may also be that no one has insulted or disturbed you, nor have they done anything to provoke you; yet simply thinking about a certain person your nerve cells get tremendously excited. Perhaps someone said something insulting to you as long as fifteen years ago. Even now, when you suddenly remember those words, your nerve cells get excited, your nerve fibres become restless, and you grow angry. As a result of anger, the whole body trembles, and the skin changes colour: one with a fair complexion becomes reddish, one with a black complexion becomes violet. (The Bengali word for anger is “rága”: rańj + ghaiṋ = rágá. In Saḿskrta, rága means to colour something. In Oria it is also “rága”). This is the effect of anger on the human body. Anger is the same everywhere. It occurs when the nerve cells fail to control the nerve fibres.

Let me give another example of what happens when one loses control over the nerve fibres. Some people are so crazy about football that they dream of the game while sleeping. What is a dream? When we think during the wakeful state our conscious mind operates and we understand that we are thinking inwardly. But when we think during the state of sleep, the conscious mind does not work and we wrongly think the objects thought of are real. So a football fan who dreams about the game while sleeping may shout, “Gooaal! Gooaal!” and start kicking left and right with his legs. Clearly, his nerve cells have lost control of the nerve fibres.

When one gets angry, one is easily defeated. That is why Lord Buddha said,

Akkodhena jine kodhaḿ asádhuḿ sádhuná jine;
Jine kadariiyaḿ dánena saccena aliikavádinam.

To fight anger you must be established in the state of non-anger. When angry, one loses control over the nerve cells and fibres – one trembles all over and says things which would not otherwise have been said. If you remain free from anger, you will easily overpower an angry person because you have absolute control over your nerve-cells and fibres. The angry person will fall down with the slightest push. Thus Buddha’s advice is, “To fight anger you must be established in the state of non-anger.”

“Asádhuḿ sádhuná jine”. To fight against a dishonest person, you will have to become even more honest yourself. To fight against a miser, you will have to become more charitable. These mental tendencies, that is, anger, dishonesty, miserliness, etc., are the expressions of mental disease. If you want to fight against them you must be totally free from mental disease. If you are not, you will have to keep aloof from them at least at the time of battle.” – 16 January 1979, Uluberia, Howrah, Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 8, Bad Habits Which Should Be Given Up

The tenth and final characteristic is akrodha or non-anger, a very subtle propensity. You should not be misguided or swayed away or unduly influenced by krodha or anger. Anger means to remain under the influence of the nerve cells and fibres instead of under the influence of the subtler layers of mind. It is therefore very dangerous. You may show anger to stop the unholy activities of the sinful people in society. This is called “sentient anger”. But you should not allow the instinct of anger to take control of you. If this happens it is called “static anger”.

These are the ten characteristics of dharma: dhrti (patience), kśama (forgiveness), dhamah (self control), asteya (non stealing), shaoca (cleanliness), indriyanigraha (control of organs), dhii (benevolent intellect), vidyá (spiritual knowledge), satyaḿ (love of truth) and akrodha (non-anger).” – 18 February 1979, Bangalore, Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 8, The Ten Characteristics of Dharma

If you hurt someone’s inner feelings arising from his or her innate tendencies, that is, if you inflict a blow on a person, then the reaction that is emitted from those wounded feelings is known as anger. (The Sanskrit equivalent of “anger” is krodha. Krudh + al = krodha. Some people mistakenly use the suffix ghaiṋ instead of al.)

When this anger creates its own vibrations in the mind, it exerts a tremendous influence on the nerve cells in a very short time, and causes disarray in the thinking process. The restlessness of the nerve cells causes a violent vibrational agitation in the nerve fibres, and as a result, the whole body starts trembling; the flow of blood to some parts of the body increases, and the functioning of the heart is disturbed. There is a tremendous deterioration of health. Such a person is easily defeated in any fight. Anger leads to premature death.

This is not all. During anger the power of one’s thinking is impaired. Even long after the anger subsides, this state continues, and the constant brooding of the mind disturbs one’s spiritual sádhaná.

So we see that the vrtti [propensity] of anger harms the body and stuns the mind and creates obstacles for spiritual progress. Shiva, the great yogi, was well aware of this truth, and thus He clearly stated, Krodha eva mahán shatruh [“Anger is a great enemy”].- 6 June 1982, Patna, Namah Shiváya Shántáya, Shiva’s Teachings – 1 (Discourse 9), SHIVOKTI 4

If a person becomes agitated, causing his respiration to speed up, and his fists to close tightly the propensity (vrtti) of anger can easily get expressed. If this situation continues for long [[, what will happen? Among the propensities of lust, anger, greed, vanity, attachment and jealousy,]] anger will easily dominate the other propensities, and the hand indriya (in Saḿskrta the palm is called páńi and its action is called shilpana) will become active resulting in him angrily slapping or punching another person. It often happens that a person will be able to control all the ripus (psychic enemies) except one, say the ripu of anger. This is also the same in the case of the indriyas – all the indriyas may be under one’s control except one, say the hand. Or conversely, a particular ripu or indriya may be perfectly controlled while the others are not.” – 7 June 1981, Calcutta, Ananda Marga Philosophy in a Nutshell Part 6, Ekendriya – 6

Meanwhile, the different bodily organs and glands of those who have an excess blood supply and whose hearts are under too much pressure, become over-active, and it generates anger or sexual passion in them. So in people with this type of high blood pressure, sexual desire and anger grow along with the disease. Sometimes this extreme anger or desire causes death due to bursting of the blood vessels.“…

…”Those who suffer from high blood pressure due to too much fat should drink curd-water or coconut milk instead of milk. Patients should carefully abstain from using intoxicants and should be careful to avoid eating constipating or fattening foods. They should also stay away from anger and sex.” – 1958, Blood Pressure Diseases, Yogic Treatments and Natural Remedies

So jiṋánamátmani mahati. [The mahattattva] is almost free from bondage, but there is still bondage. Suppose a very good man is harshly rebuking an immoral person for having insulted him. Is that unfair? No, no, it is not unfair. It is called sentient anger. Anger is static; but sometimes it may be sáttvika, it may be sentient. And that type of anger is sentient anger – sáttvika krodha in Sanskrit.
24 September 1978, Patna, Pratyáhára Yoga and Paramágati, Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 2

“Akrodha”. Krodha means anger. Akrodha means “free from anger”. A dhármik person – and indeed an intelligent person – must be free from anger. The great devotee Narottama Das Thákur once said:
Krśńa nám Hari nám barai madhur
Jei jan Krśńa bhaje se bara catur.

Suppose you are free from anger, but your opponent is quite angry with you; so angry that his or her hands and feet are trembling and his or her faculty of judgment is paralysed. If you say something rational, he or she will be defeated because the mind has become restless and fails in any logical argument. He or she is sure to be defeated in argumentation. Even if it comes to a physical fight, he or she will surely be defeated because, with hands and feet trembling, he or she will fall down at the slightest push. So if you are clever you will avoid anger. Rather, you should make your opponent angry – that will surely make you victorious in the fight. Many experienced lawyers succeed in making the [[witnesses]] of the opposing party angry, and thus manage to extract much valuable information. So one of the criteria for a dhármika person is to be free from anger.

These ten characteristics are clearly manifested in a dhármik person.“    10 November 1978 evening, Kalikata , Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 4, The Ten Characteristics of a Dhármika

When someone shoots a bullet at you from the north, you will certainly not shoot back from north to south. On the contrary, you will shoot from the opposite direction, from south to north. Similarly if one thrusts one’s sword at you from north to south, you will certainly thrust back from south to north: this is the accepted principle of battle. When you must struggle against impenetrable darkness, you will certainly carry a torchlight in your pocket. So you must always remember this golden truth, which is as applicable to the psychic and spiritual spheres as to the physical sphere. It is also equally applicable in individual, social, economic and political life as well. Neglecting it is suicidal.

Regarding the psychic sphere it is said,

Akkodhena jine kodhaḿ asádhuḿ sádhuná jine
Jine kadariiyaḿ dánena sattyena aliikavádinam.

[Overcome anger by patience, overcome dishonesty by honesty, overcome greed by generosity, overcome falsehood by truth.]

Akkodhena jine kodhaḿ: Suppose someone has come to you in anger and challenges you to a fight. In that case your strategy should be that you must not be angry at all, for those who are angry have already lost control over their rational judgement. They lose control over their hands and feet and other limbs, and their whole bodies tremble with rage. No one can work rationally in such a state. If at that time you remain free from anger and keep your brain cool, you can easily vanquish that angry person in battle with your calm judgement. But if you, too, become as angry as your opponent, this will be foolishness on your part. Hence you must never become angry at an angry person; this is the strategy of battle. It is not only the policy of a decent person, it is also an effective strategy of war.

Asádhuḿ sádhuná jine: The strategy of struggle against dishonest people is to be more honest. When all the people around them come to know about their dishonesty, they will support you, and victory will be yours.

Jine kadariiyaḿ dánena: If you want to struggle against a miser, start by doing charity to others, and that miser will surely be defeated. If someone does not offer you even a betel leaf, offer him a full meal, and he will be put to shame.” – 29 November 1970 DMC, Calcutta, Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 10, Taking the Opposite Stance in Battle

“The people who have an over-active Mańipura Cakra (psychic energy centre located at the navel) also show a dominance of the lust and anger vrttis (mental propensities). Such a type of person, though always found to be energetic, generally suffers from constipation owing to excessive anger and over-activity. If these pitta-dominated persons do not find a high ideal in their lives, they become weak in their lower bodies due to over-indulgence in sex and anger. Often the nerve-fibres of their lower bodies degenerate, and paralysis sets in there. If these pitta-dominated persons do have a high ideal in their lives and develop paralysis, it will afflict the upper portion of their bodies because of the over activeness of those parts.” – 1958, Jamalpur, Yogic Treatments and Natural Remedies, Paralysis

If you hurt someone’s inner feelings arising from his or her innate tendencies, that is, if you inflict a blow on a person, then the reaction that is emitted from those wounded feelings is known as anger.

When this anger creates its own vibrations in the mind, it exerts a tremendous influence on the nerve cells in a very short time, and causes disarray in the thinking process. The restlessness of the nerve cells causes a violent vibrational agitation in the nerve fibres, and as a result, the whole body starts trembling; the flow of blood to some parts of the body increases, and the functioning of the heart is disturbed. There is a tremendous deterioration of health. Such a person is easily defeated in any fight. Anger leads to premature death.

This is not all. During anger the power of one’s thinking is impaired. Even long after the anger subsides, this state continues, and the constant brooding of the mind disturbs one’s spiritual sádhaná.

So we see that the vrtti [tendency] of anger harms the body and stuns the mind and creates obstacles for spiritual progress. Shiva, the great yogi, was well aware of this truth, and thus He clearly stated, Krodha eva mahán shatruh – “Anger is a great enemy.”“    (Namah Shiváya Shántáya, 117)

7. Ill-tempered persons also run the risk of heart disease, because in anger the flow of blood to the head and face becomes suddenly accelerated (which makes these people turn red). To supply this extra blood, the heart has suddenly to work very hard. That is why persons who are habitually ill-tempered suffer from weakness of the heart. For the same reason, extreme shyness may make the heart weak.“…

…”Heart patients should sleep at least nine hours a night. The mind should always be held back from anger and lust. Physical and mental exertion, garrulousness and sex should all be strictly avoided.” – 1958, Yogic Treatments and Natural Remedies, Heart Disease

It is possible for a person who lacks mental straightforwardness, though [[that person]] may be a good person, to commit a crime due to any of these factors. But not all crimes are committed in a moment of anger. Even a cool-headed person may be influenced and overwhelmed by any of the factors listed above except the first, and these factors may have disturbed his or her mind for so long that the crime cannot be classified as a crime committed in anger. A cool-headed person with no criminal background may even plan a serious crime as much as six months in advance. The causes of these types of crime, as I mentioned above, lie in the weaknesses of the human mind. The manifestation of malevolent propensities depends on the environment and is subject to differences in time, place or person; sometimes it occurs after a few years and sometimes after a few minutes.
When a crime is committed within five or ten minutes of provocation, the offence is generally viewed with leniency because it was committed in a moment of anger. However, where the thought of committing a crime gradually develops over a long period of time, where the offender deliberately becomes intoxicated in the hope of committing the crime with calm nerves, or where the offender gets others intoxicated in order for them to commit a crime with calm nerves, it is rare for the offender to receive clemency. In reality, of course, the crimes of both groups are equal in magnitude, and from the psychological point of view there is only a slight difference between them.
” – Prout in a Nutshell Part 2, Justice, Crimes Involving Cruelty

Although the system of capital punishment is unacceptable from the moral viewpoint, people do sometimes resort to this custom under specific circumstances. It does not contain any corrective measures and has no purpose other than to instil fear into people’s minds. Therefore the practice of taking a life for a life out of anger cannot be accepted in a ci`    vilized social system.” – Prout in a Nutshell Part 2, Justice, The Judicial System

12. Even while dealing with a person of inimical nature, one must keep oneself free from hatred, anger and vanity.” – c. 1975, Jamalpur, Paiṋcadasha Shiila, Ananda Marga Caryácarya Part 2

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A great person is one who has complete control over the externalization of thoughts. A thought will not always be expressed physically. One may have a desire to hit someone or a desire to steal, but never actually does it due to one’s self control. A person who has such control over the mind can externalize internal ideas more vigorously than a normal person can. You may have met people who never lose their temper unnecessarily, but utilize anger with the utmost control for benevolent reasons. This is because they have control over their minds.” – Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 8, Sádhaná, Abhidhyána and Kiirtana

The style of a person’s speech represents a particular rhythm of his or her own. The way the person eats represents the rhythm of his/her own eating. Every person is thus special on account of these specialities. The rhythms of two individuals cannot be identical. An individual rhythm is the particular property of a particular person. It has been said in Ánanda Sútram:(4) Vaecitryaḿ prákrtadharmah samánaḿ na bhaviśyati [“Diversity, not identity, is the law of nature”]. In this universe every person in every action possesses a particular rhythm of his own. If someone wants to obstruct or strike that rhythm through disciplinary measures or expressions of anger, the person will not tolerate it. Personal liberty – individual liberty – really means the unobstructed expression of individual rhythmic vibrations.” – Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, Ananda Marga Ideology and Way of Life in a Nutshell Part 11, Mantra Caetanya

I will give you a good example of vibration in human body. Take, for instance, the case of anger. A great impact of a shocking provocation has taken place in your mind, as the result of which a great vibration or agitation has seized a particular portion of your brain. The next moment that agitation runs from your brain to your whole body through your nervous system with lightning speed. Then it can be understood that a paroxysm of rage has taken possession of your mind. As the result of this violent vibration in your nervous system, your face gets red and hot and your hands and feet tremble. None of your sensory or motor organs, particularly your motor organs, can function properly and your words become jumbled. Those who stammer a little in their speech, become conspicuously more stammering. People’s judgment and intelligence with which they keep mean propensities in check, become dulled by the impact of these violent vibrations. A furious man, regardless of place, time and person, resorts to wilful and indiscriminate vituperation. As an aftermath of this excessive physical and cerebral excitement, his brain becomes hot. He cannot think whether for right or wrong. His body and his internal glands begin to feel limp and depressed. His appetite forsakes him. Does it not happen like this?” – Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 3, Vibration, Form and Colour, Vibration

People may ask, “We are ordinary people. If we always keep ourselves absorbed in the thought of Brahma, can we properly attend to our worldly duties?” To this my reply is, of course you can, and you will do them still more beautifully. In the worship of Brahma there is a method by which easily and perfectly every worldly duty can be performed. For the ideation on Brahma a person does not have to become a hermit in the forest. Only go on behaving rightly and properly with every manifestation of Brahma in this universe – remove or rectify the mental disease of the criminals and reform their characters, cure the sick of their sickness, and arrange for their medicines and their diet. Just remember only this: that you have to behave properly and reasonably with every entity of this world. Pay special attention to the word “properly”. By “proper behaviour”, I mean that in which there is neither anger or jealously, neither attraction nor aversion.” – Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 3, Vibration, Form and Colour, Colour

Once Lord Buddha was camping in a mango orchard at Baishali. A large number of people used always to [come and] accept the path shown by the Lord. But a particular individual and his group were very much opposed to Lord Buddha. It so happened that the group, without the individual himself, came to the mango orchard where Lord Buddha was camping, and were influenced by the Lord and accepted Buddhism.
This news greatly agitated this man, and in anger he came to the orchard and started abusing Lord Buddha in all sorts of ways. Lord Buddha maintained his usual equipoise towards all this. One feels happy and encouraged in abusing someone only if he or she finds that person affected by the acts of abuse. This man found Lord Buddha undisturbed and was greatly disappointed, finding all his hard labour gone to waste. When he had done all the abusing [he could] for quite some time and his stock of bad words might have been coming to an end, the Lord urged the man to listen to him.
” – Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 30, He Is Everywhere

Lord Buddha said: Win falsehood by truth, win the miserly with generosity, win anger by non-anger. The intelligent thing for you to do would be never to get angry. Be moral in the midst of immorality and falsehood. If you have this skill, you will triumph in any battle. You will remain unassailed.” (Ánanda Vacanámrtam, 48)

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