“Every sincere seeker wants to get rid of anger and reach a state of perfection but is often swept by his or her emotions,” says Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, highly revered spiritual teacher, global humanitarian and the Founder of International Association For Human Values, known for his ways to simplify deep and practical wisdom which resonates with the audiences effortlessly, “What can you do when anger rises in you? You may remind yourself a hundred times that you shouldn’t get angry, but when it comes, you are unable to control it. It comes like a thunderstorm. Emotions are much more powerful than your thoughts and promises you make.”
Here is a de-mystifying commentary by Gurudev, as he is lovingly called, on what causes anger, its purpose, how to deal with it and how to go beyond it.
“Anger is a distortion of your true nature and it doesn’t allow the Self to shine forth fully. The structure of human consciousness or mind is very similar to that of an atom. The positively charged protons and neutrons are in the center of the atom while the negatively charged particles are only on the circumference. Similarly, in human consciousness, mind, and life also, all the negativities and vices are only in the periphery.
Showing anger itself is not wrong, but being unaware of your anger only hurts you. Sometimes you can show anger purposefully. For example, a mother gets angry at her children. She can act tough or shout at them if they put themselves in danger. There is a place for showing anger, but when you get angry yourself, what happens to you? You are shaken completely. Look at the consequences of getting angry. Are you ever happy with the decisions you have made or the words you have spoken when you are angry? No, because you lose your total awareness. If you are completely aware and you are acting angry, that is fine.
All anger is about something which has already happened. Is it of any use getting angry about something which you cannot alter? The mind always vacillates between the past and the future. When the mind is in the past, it’s angry about something that has already happened; but anger is meaningless as we can’t alter the past. And when the mind is in the future, it’s anxious about something that may or may not happen. When the mind is in the present moment, anxiousness and anger appear so meaningless.
Spiritual practices help you maintain your centeredness and not be shaken by small events. This is where a little knowledge about yourselves, about your mind, your consciousness, and the root of distortion in our nature will help. It is when you are exhausted and stressed that you lose your nature and get angry. Every individual is bestowed with all the virtues in the world. They simply get covered by the lack of understanding and stress. All that is needed is just to uncover the virtues that are already there.
Breathing techniques and meditation are very effective in calming the mind. Learning something about our breath is very important. Our breath has a great lesson to teach us, which we have forgotten. For every rhythm in the mind, there is a corresponding rhythm in the breath and for every rhythm in the breath, there is a corresponding emotion. So, when you cannot handle your mind directly, through breath you can handle it better. Meditation is letting go of anger from the past and the events of the past. It’s accepting this moment and living every moment totally with depth. Often anger comes because you don’t accept the present moment. Anger comes when one seeks too much of perfection. When you are joyful, you don’t look for perfection. If you are looking for perfection then you are not at the source of joy.
The world appears imperfect on the surface but, underneath, all is perfect. Perfection hides; imperfection shows off.The wise will not stay on the surface but will probe into the depth. Things are not blurred; your vision is blurred. Infinite actions prevail in the wholeness of consciousness, and yet the consciousness remains perfect, untouched.
The wise will not stay on the surface but will probe into the depth. Things are not blurred; your vision is blurred. Infinite actions prevail in the wholeness of consciousness, and yet the consciousness remains perfect, untouched. Realize this now and be natural.”
About The Author
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an international humanitarian leader and a spiritual master who is the global rallying voice of this generation’s collective call for peace.
Named one of the “Seven Most Powerful People in India,” by Forbes, his world-renowned meditation techniques helped end the 60-year conflict in Colombia. He has been credited with bringing opposing parties together to facilitate meditation and peace talks in Iraq, Cote d’Ivoire and India.
Founder of the Art of Living Foundation and International Association for Human Values, Sri Sri is leading the way toward peace and tolerance through meditation and humanitarian efforts. Over 35 years, his programs and initiatives have touched the lives of over 370 million people in over 150 countries.
“Sudarshan Kriya,” the meditation technique introduced by Sri Sri is backed by research and implemented in schools, corporations, prisons, refugee camps and retreat centers around the world. As a spiritual teacher, Sri Sri rekindled traditions of yoga and meditation that have helped millions of people achieve personal and social transformation by relieving stress and discovering inner peace in daily life.
Sri Sri’s mission is to show the world that through achieving inner peace, we will be able to see our human interconnectedness and become a One World Family.