On Anger

It is not people, circumstances, or situations that anger us – as much as we believe. It is our own thoughts.

Try this – the next time you feel angry – or even afraid for that matter. Forget all that counting from one to ten. What really made you angry? What were your thoughts about that situation that made you angry? You may notice that it eventually comes back to yourself – in a way. It is always a thought in our mind – based on something that we have known and not liked. We do not like those bad things to recur – so it makes us angry. Our thoughts are only derivatives of what we have experienced and our ability to build concepts from the knowledge that we have. It is a useful thing that our mind does; we don’t put it to very good use, however.

And the anger is only, in a way, an expression of helplessness. When we encounter a problem – we tend to solve it – when we can’t – we get angry and afraid. We imagine bad things will befall us – which obviously is not a pleasant thought.

It was Sinhagad Express from Mumbai to Pune in the early days of my career. I met a bohemian gentleman on the train. We talked of Hindi Film Songs, soon after Karjat, a few hours from Mumbai, because he heard me humming to an old favourite Mukesh song. He asked if I knew that Mukesh was one troubled singer because he was often asked to do a retake on his songs more than once. I said I didn’t know that. He told me, that it was not because he sang wrong. It was because people in the studio loved to listen to what more he could bring to the song.

It was a beautiful conversation.

That person with the long hair and funny clothes is a distant memory. We talked of life after that – about what we do. I don’t recall now, what he did for a living.

As we approached Pune, the man said to me, “Do not celebrate your success too much; do not shed too many tears on failure.” It probably should have meant a lot for a young person who had just taken the train on the entrepreneurship track. I felt good about that learning. I somehow forgot about it on the longer journey that I have embarked upon.

I randomly look for answers where they may be. Here is what I find.

From the Bhagvad Geeta, Chapter 6, Verse 7

जितात्मनः प्रशांतस्य परमात्मा समाहितः।
शीतोष्णसुखदुःखेषु तथा मानापमानयोः ॥७॥

The Supreme Soul of him, who is self-controlled and peaceful, is balanced in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, as also in honour and dishonour.

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10 thoughts on “On Anger

  1. I have found this told enough and many times. Find a balance, detachment from consequences et al. Anger is a secondary emotion, which rises to help certain feelings that are too hard to handle . Some sadness, a hurt- perhaps of circumstances and situations and people that cannot be changed. Healing starts from identifying what exists underneath the anger. I want to put it here that -Anger is a good thing. How I react while I might be angry is what needs to be discussed. More so, after having acknowledged that you are working through what truly you are feeling (the underlying emotion) is what will stop from the pattern of anger repeating itself. 🙂

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    • Sab maya hai! 😀 Desire is the root of all (including anger). I’ve always been intrigued by anger – whatever lies beneath the anger usually turns to ashes after anger has finished flaming. Bitterness is, usually, the only residue.

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