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What should we do when we become angry?

by Laxmimoni dasi

Anger is generally generated from contact with the three modes of material nature - goodness, ignorance and especially the mode of passion. It is described in the Gita that anger comes from contemplating some desire for sense pleasure. After not having that desire fulfilled we become angry. Also we become angry, and/or frustrated when we try to control that which is beyond our the behavior of another person, or some situation that we want to go one way, however it goes another way...then we become angry.

Rarely, although it happens, we become angry because we hear the Lord or His devotees blasphemed and this anger is not created by the modes of nature.

This anger is what Lord Nrsimhadeva felt when He saw that His devotee was being harassed and hurt. It caused the Lord to feel such great anger that He appeared as half lion and half man to kill the great atheist, Hiranyakasipu. Of course we cannot kill anyone but we can try to defend the truth and protect the devotees, if this type of righteous anger ever arises.

When we become angry as described in the first paragraph of this letter it is best not to say or do anything. Best thing is to go away, if possible, from the source of anger and just chant and contemplate what is the root cause of our feelings. So many times we become very angry and then when a small amount of time passes we can see that our perception of what we thought was a very great thing, actually changes with the passing of time and we can see that it was not very significant after all. This helps to reduce our anger and puts the reason for becoming angry in proper prospective.

When we act pushed by anger, krodha vegam, then we are bound to do something we will regret later. We will say or do something that will cause us to be sorry, or experience sadness and grief in the long run. So it is always best to avoid acting or speaking out of anger.

Looking deeply within the heart to see why we are being affected in this way is often helpful. Trying to find our own attachment and material desire that is causing this anger is helpful...and stops us from blaming someone else, even Krishna, or some other circumstance, for the anger which we are feeling.

I hope these tips are helpful. Ultimately if we can chant

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

then that will help to purify the heart and give us relief from the pushing of passion and anger by bringing things into a more transcendental perspective.