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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.