One of the greatest enemies of mankind happens to be anger. All of us succumb to this emotion at one time or another. We experience bouts of anger for a range of reasons.
Sometimes the irritation is short lived and there are other times when it takes quite a while to simmer down and then there is the deadly variety — a deep-rooted anger which metamorphoses into hate. Nonetheless, the resentment takes a toll on our mind and body and renders us helpless while we are in its grip. Time and again, science and spirituality have impressed upon us, the vain nature of this sensation which drains us of our peace of mind.
Mythology, history, folktales and fairy tales are replete with stories of angry or angered characters who have lost their sense of judgment and have perpetrated or have been party to heinous crimes. More often than not, we see around us the results of unrestrained anger translate into hurting people inadvertently, mouthing filthy language, indulging in unimaginable violence and sometimes even murder. Irate people usually act in haste and repent in leisure.
An episode from the Mahabharata elucidates this point ever so well. The Pandavas and Krishna came to Hastinapura after the Great War to meet the blind king Dhritarashtra. The latter was constrained to extend civility to his nephews despite his personal sorrow and reservations about their victory. The furious king hid his seething thoughts and hugged them one by one.
When it was Bheema’s turn to be embraced, Krishna sensed the rage of the old man and quickly placed an iron image of Bheema in front of the fuming king. The bereaved father gave the image a bear hug and unconsciously vented his latent feelings.
He crushed the ferrous figure to powder all the while mourning over his dead sons who were killed by Bheema. Almost immediately, the enraged soul realised his blunder and broke down with remorse and shame. It took a while for Krishna and the Pandavas to console the king and help him see the truth.
Not everybody can be lucky like the livid sovereign. We have to recognise the folly of fury in us and work on it for the sake of self and society. This cannot be achieved in a day. Inculcating virtues like patience and tolerance and the courage to follow the path of truth along with regular practice of deep breathing will help one overcome all-consuming passion which can be self- destructive!