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Can anger be spiritually useful?
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
9 min
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Questioner: Acharya Ji, we use anger as a weapon and it's a weakness too. How to stop anger from becoming a weakness and why do we get angry?

Acharya Prashant: When desire is not fulfilled Parul (Questioner) then one gets angry, you know that. So, it's not about anger. It's about the quality of the desire. What is your desire about? What's the object of your desire? So, anger is related to desire and desire is always about an object.

Tell me what do you want?

If you want the right thing; wonderful. If you don't want the right thing; awful.

It's not about anger at all. Anger is a misplaced subject of discussion and so much has been said about anger. People keep talking of therapies related to anger. People keep talking of anger as some kind of affliction. Somebody gets angry, he is called psychotic.

Is it about anger or is it about what you want? Yes? What do you want Parul (Questioner)?

And remember that there is such a thing which if wanted, leads to a total freedom from all desires and therefore anger.

There are things that you want and do not get. There are things that you want and you get. Usually, both these things lead to more wants. You wanted, you got. Now, you want more. You wanted, you did not get. You still want the same thing or more or something different. You keep wanting. You keep wanting, you keep getting angry.

And there does exist a thing which if seriously wanted, is fully obtained. If it is fully obtained, it leads to the evaporation of anger. Even if it's not obtained and one is moving towards it, anger starts getting subsided.

Want the right thing and if you're wanting the right thing, you have all the freedom to be angry. Because, if you are wanting the right thing then your anger would not last long. Such anger is auspicious.

So, I am not against anger. I am against the wrong centre of anger. The wrong object of desire. Keep wanting the wrong things and your anger would be perpetual.

Want the right thing and you will have an explosion of anger. Your anger would be real and slowly, gradually you will find that you are becoming more and more peaceful. That anger has ceased appealing to you. But that cannot happen through renunciation of anger.

There are so many people asking how do we drop anger? Anger cannot be dropped. Instead, you need to have a great and burning desire for the right object. It is not about dropping. It is about desiring. Desire the right things and feel angry when you do not get them.

Nevertheless, keep desiring, keep desiring and keep desiring the right one. Anger would rise and then anger would keep getting feebler and feebler and feebler. The right anger will not continue for too long. It will show a peak, an intense peak and then will keep dissipating.

The wrong kind of anger remains with you like a constant companion. It will never dare to show its full face. But you will just keep simmering.

What is better to simmer or to explode?

You will keep simmering all your life that is the permanent condition of mankind. Everybody is angry and if you do not believe, go to Twitter. Everybody is angry on Twitter. Is that not so?

Everybody is polite on LinkedIn and everybody is angry on Twitter. it's strange. We are very-very angry people. It is because we do not desire the right objects.

Desire the right thing and don't worry about anger at all. If it comes, let it come. It can't keep coming for long.

In fact, I want that more people should have the right anger. If you have the right anger then it's an anger that would change the world for the better.


Q2: Many places are there where they used the phrase ‘Satvik Krodh’?

AP: Yes, when you have anger for the right object then you can call it ‘Satvik Anger’. You see, all things that are felt, experienced, the entire universe is moving by the three Gunas , the three properties of Prakriti: Sat, Raj, Tam . At times, I've used that to talk about the right kind of anger.

Q2: Acharya Ji, is it the case that anger is also a certain heaviness of the head all the times?

AP: Simmering anger. Latent anger. Anger expressing itself as daily routine. Anger that dares not disclosed itself. You don't have the guts to explicitly show your anger.

So, what do you do then?

You cultivate your anger. You paint it. You decorate it. You express it in a cultured way but it will be there. It will be there in your eyesight. It will be there in your gait. It will be there in your countenance. It will be there in your breath, you will be breathing fire.

Q2: Means an unexpressed latent load?

AP: Don't even call it unexpressed. It's expressed in a different way. It's not expressed in the conventional way. Anger would express itself. You need to be wise enough to see all expressions of anger as anger, not merely the few popular expressions where one shouts or stamps his feet or hits or blows stop.

Even sleeping can be a manifestation of anger. One can smile very angrily. One can kiss very angrily. One can walk angrily and as we said one can even sleep very angrily. Even meditation can be a great expression of anger.

Q3: Acharya Ji, how to know that you are saying is understood by me? I fear that I might be interpreting wrongly with my mind. Thank you!

AP: There is no need to doubt Prashant (Q3). There is no scope. You don't need to suspect that you are interpreting me wrongly. Rest assured that you are obviously interpreting me wrongly. Why are you so doubtful? Remain fully certain. Not only you but everybody who tries to interpret, will get it wrong.

I have said this so many times but you seem a newcomer, so I'll say that again. You see mine as a different kind of universities. Here the new ones are welcomed and the old ones are raked. If you want to know what it means to be an old one and what it means to be raked? Then you must speak to Parmeshwari (another listener). Recently I have heard she applied even for a TC (Ticket Conductor) but you are a freshman, so welcome and don't worry about interpretations.

Just listen.

The mind will keep interpreting. That's the mind's job. You just listen (Emphasizing). If you could sit silently with me for two hours, I wouldn’t need to speak at all. I speak just because otherwise you wouldn't sit with me. You are so very purpose oriented, action-oriented that you will start feeling bored, irritated in five or ten minutes. You will say what nonsense is this? The man is sitting there, we are sitting here and nothing is happening.

You are sold out to happenings. So, I make something happen. What do I make happen? I sing a song or I create some noise or I tell a joke or I welcome somebody or I rake somebody, whatever. All that is just a device, a trope. You could even call it a red herring.

The real thing is happening elsewhere and it will keep happening. It is not dependent on your interpretations. So, I don't even bother whether you are interpreting rightly or wrongly, just listen.

How you interpret me, it depends on your language, your culture, your upbringing, your renovation, your past. So, interpretations are frivolous and interpretations are so very accidental. I may use a word that may have different meanings for a layman and a student of psychology, let's say. And so many of the words that I use, comes from the field of psychology or rather have been borrowed by the field of psychology as well. So, if I use those words and a student of psychology is listening to me he will take them in his own particular way but that's not what I am saying.

What am i saying then? I am saying nothing. I'm just saying something to keep you engaged. I play the music while your house is being robbed. You must be kept involved you see. Otherwise you will come to know that something is happening there. No, I will not say that because you will become even more afraid. Today is the day of fear it seems.

So, I play music while bounties and grace is being silently showered upon your house. If you were present in the house, you would prevent grace from doing what it must. So, I take you away. I take you, kids away and engage you in a magic show and now you are entertained.

Now, you feel something important is going on where you are. It's wrong. You're misplaced.

The important thing is happening in your home. Grace is showering its riches in your home but for grace to fill up your home, you have to be firstly taken away from your home. I take you away. That's the function of my words, to take you away.

Just keep listening.

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