Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Anger and Its Impact

One day the Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. "You have no right teaching others," he shouted. "You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake!"
The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man, "Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?"
The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, "It would belong to me, because I bought the gift."
The Buddha smiled and said, "That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself." ………… Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara
“you will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” ……………A Sufi story
In Greek mythology, Lyssa was a figure of Athenian tragedy. In Aeschylus she is portrayed as the agent of Dionysos sent to drive the Minyades mad; and in Euripides she is sent by Hera to inflict Herakles. Greek vase-paintings of the period also confirm her appearance in plays about Actaeon, the hunter torn apart by his maddened hounds. In this scene she appears a women dressed in a short skirt, and crowned with a dog's-head cap to represent the madness of rabies.
Anger is equated to raging madness or the infliction of rabies.
The story of Actaeon clearly symbolizes a personal transformation susceptible to rabid attack when one desires the impractical.
Anger results from the following:
Emotional reasoning:
when we think through our emotions, we tend to start from a platform of bias due to some preconceived and fixed ideas. This results in unwanted desire and attachment and the ego is strengthened to fight at all cost to get it and when it is denied, one becomes all the more charged up in the emotional plane and reason completely looses out.
Low frustration tolerance limit:
We will be denied a lot of things in our social and interpersonal interactions. Having a low tolerance to denial plays up on the ego to fight at all cost to fulfil our unreasonable desires.
Unreasonable expectations:
This is a very highly ego driven initiative where we become blind to reality and
This anger-causing trigger leads one to categorize other people as those whose response in any transaction is preconceived to be low in worth to take cognition of. It becomes a one way street and any obstacle is demolish through anger demonstrated through verbal abuse or violence.
The story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis was given to demonstrate the immense harm one can beget through anger. While Abel’s sacrifice was accepted by God Cain’s sacrifice was rejected.
When God rejects Cain’s offering he says: ““Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” ……………..Genesis 4: 6-7
Through this episode, we are admonished to rule over anger and frustrations from our expectations.
When we are faced with situations that leads to an emotional response of frustration and resulting anger, practice constantly to follow these steps:
 Never respond instantly
 Practice deep breathing
 If possible change your environment
 reason out the source of your anger
 Let go of what is beyond your control
 Express yourself after carefully considering all options
 Be cautious
 Be pleasantly assertive, not aggressive, in expressing yourself

Love to you all


  1. Excellent consolidation from various Scriptures about the illness of anger. I always used to wonder why all our Scriptures mention that the Rishes were shown anger in one time or other. I think it happens in the process of evolution.

  2. My sister Sr. Sabina sent me this comment by email. For the benefit of everyone I am attaching it to the comments:
    "Anger falls back to the one who expressed it. There is no use of getting angry for anything. But in life we get angry for nothing at all. With ourselves, with others or even with the environment. In the incident Buddha is very reasonable in handling the situation. The fact is he handled the situation and not overcome by it. Because we make many rules for ourselves and others we become unhappy when things go in a different way than what we expected. Handle situations and do not get drowned by them. God be with us!"