Krodha(Anger) means a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Fear and sadness are primary emotions before one gets Anger. It is a strong emotion we experience when we think someone has done wrong. Anger(Krodh) is an excessive mental turmoil on account of the obstacles in the gratification of some desire. It is an unpleasant emotion that does more harm to the giver than to the receiver.
It is one of the six bad vices viz., Kama(desire/passion), Krodha(Anger), Lobha(greed), Moha(bondage), Mada(ego), and Mastsarya(jealousy). Man acquires Kama and Krodha by birth. These are inborn qualities and cannot be wiped off completely because they are necessary for every human being to eke out his livelihood, but can be controlled to a possible extent while leading a pious life.
In Bhagavath Githa Lord Sri Krishna described Anger in Chap. 2 verse 63:-
Krodhad bhavati sammohah – sammohat smrti vibhramaha smrti bhramsad buddhi naso – buddhi nasat pranasyati
From anger delusion arises, and from delusion the loss of memory. When memory is lost, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost, one falls down again into the material pool.
In Hindu puranas, Durvasa was an ancient Rishi, the son of Atri and Anasuya. He is well known for his Anger. Hence wherever he went he was received with great respect by all.
In the Bhagavata Purana, King Ambarisha was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu who was well known for his truthfulness and when he performed a YAJNA with such great devotion, Lord Vishnu was pleased to bless him with his Sudarsana Chakra as a shield of protection over him.
Once, Ambarisha performed Ekadashi vrata, for one year. After observing this practice for a year, he took up a final fast to conclude the rite. At the moment of breaking the fast, sage Durvasa came to Ambarisha, who received him with due respect. Durvasa agreed to the king’s request to be his guest and went to take his bath in the river Yamuna. Durvasa did not return though the auspicious moment has come to break his fast. Ambarisha fell in dilemma, that it was not proper to take food before serving a guest, but on the other hand, the time had come for the fast to be broken. After discussing with his priests, Ambarisha has broken his fast by taking a sip of water and waited for Durvasa’s arrival to offer him food.
Durvasa felt that Ambarisha insulted him by breaking his fast before his arrival and in rage created a demon to kill Ambarisha. Then Lord Vishnu’s Sudarshana chakra appeared to protect Ambarisha, killed the demon and started chasing Durvasa. Durvasa ran with fear to Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva for protection, who pleaded their inability to save him. Durvasa then went to Lord Vishnu, who also expressed His inability to protect, as He was bound by uninterrupted devotion of Ambarisha towards Him and suggested that the sage has to seek the king’s pardon. Durvasa then ran to Ambarisha, who prayed Lord Vishnu to recall the Sudarshana Chakra and save the sage, whereby Sudarsana chakra ceased to harm him. This is the result of getting Anger at pious people, without knowing the consequences.
In Vana Parva of Mahabarath it is stated that Anger is the root cause of the destruction of mankind. The angry man commits sin, insults others with harsh words, cannot distinguish what should be and should not be said by him.
As per medical science Anger causes a physical reaction in the body viz., a rapid heartbeat, faster breathing, tension throughout the body, restlessness, pressing fists and jaw with emotion, sweating, and trembling. When it becomes uncontrollable, the heart rate and also the blood pressure goes up and we tend to respond aggressively. It also generates toxic chemicals in the body and pollutes the immune system and the mind.
Our scriptures strongly encourage us to control our Anger. In Upanishads, it is stated that all cruel words should be banned. None should be treated with disrespect. No Anger should be directed in turn towards one who is Angry. Only soft words should be spoken, even when violently pulled by another.
When involved in a quarrel, it may help to count 1 to 10, go for a short walk, make a contact with a person who is not involved in the quarrel, such as a friend, family member, or an elderly person, to express the thoughts behind the Anger. These can help to defuse the situation and more clearly identify the cause of the intense feelings. Deep slow breathing and doing meditation can help to shift the mind away from Anger. By chanting Shanti Mantras, we can suppress the demon Anger in us as well as in others around us.
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