Anger Management – Part-I: Introduction to the Vice of Anger


Anger is the second of the six infamous vices that inflict the mind of human beings, the other five being desire, greed, attachment, pride and jealousy. Swami has spoken at length about the ill effects of anger and the intense need to control one’s anger. He says, “In our daily lives, we know that when we become angry, our nerves become weak and feeble and we lose grip over ourselves. Even a moment of anger takes away our strength that we gather by eating good food for three months. Anger not only debilitates us and takes away the merit of our good deeds, but also enfeebles our condition.” (Summer Showers – 1972). Swami says, “Anger is the fuel for all varieties of sin. Just look at yourself in a mirror, when you are attacked by anger, and you will discover that you are then akin to Soorpanakha (sister of king Ravana and granddaughter of the demoness Thataki) or Lankini (a powerful demoness who guarded the city of Lanka) of ancient times. The Rajo guna that is over-powering you then is the Raakshasa (demon) trait you must learn to avoid” (23 November 1966). Spiritual aspirants, specifically, need to control anger.
This post presents a compilation of various aspects of “Anger” expounded by Bhagawan in His Discourses. For ease of reading and understanding, it is presented in four parts. Part-I of the post starts with an introduction to anger and other related vices. It presents the need to eliminate anger from oneself. Part-II covers the various tips given by Bhagawan to control one’s anger. Part-III deals with anger in connection to the relationship between children and parents. The post ends with Part-IV that explains how God is beyond anger. Swami gives His own example to illustrate the need for patience and equanimity. He jokingly states that He does express anger at times, but it is nothing more than a modulation of voice with the pure intention of saving His devotees. The five audio excerpts in Part-I of this posting have been taken from the Discourses delivered by Bhagawan during the years 1998, 2000 and 2009. 
Clip-1 talks of desire, anger and greed as the worst enemies of man. Clip-2 presents the case of the tragic end of King Ravana, who became the victim of anger and attachment. Clip-3 elaborates on anger and jealousy as vices that put man to great harm. Clip-4 distinguishes between man and animal, stating that man must live up to his identity by controlling the vices in him. Finally Clip-5 stresses that removal of anger and hatred is the only way to establish Love for God, Fear of Sin and Morality in Society.  
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Desire-Anger-Greed-The three worst enemies of man-3.42-1998 September 27
Three Worst Enemies – Desire-Anger-Greed

For the spiritual pursuit of human beings, desire, anger and greed are the greatest enemies. Ravana symbolizes “Desire” in the Ramayana. Ravana was a great person indeed. He had no shortage of wealth, comforts and luxuries. He was well versed in the 64 forms of knowledge. He performed a variety of penance and earned the Grace of God. Such a great person lost everything on account of falling prey to desire or lust. In the sacred and Divine Ramayana, Ravana stood out as an example of foolishness. The reason was desire. Because of his desire he lost all the power acquired through penance.

In Bhagavatham, Hiranyakasipu symbolizes anger. Hiranyakasipu had gained mastery over all the five elements. He was a great scientist. He made an attempt to even stop the rotation of the earth. Today’s scientists have been able to travel only to the moon. But the demons like Hiranyakasipu, in those days, were able to travel to the sun also. In spite of being such a great scientist, he could not control his anger.
What can the people who get angry, achieve in life? The one who is full of anger, can never be successful in any endevaour. He will have problems. He will commit many sins. Everybody will scorn at him. He will lose his property and his respect. He will get separated from his kith and kin. Finally, he will lose everything on account of anger. In the epic of Bhagavatham, Hiranyakasipu assumed the form of anger.
Next, in the Mahabharatha, Duryodhana symbolizes greed. To kill a miser you do not need to beat him or accuse him. Just ask him for money and there he will die on the spot! He is so greedy! What did Duryodhana achieve by being such a greedy person? What did Hiranyakasipu achieve by being such an angry person? Ravana, though being a great devotee, and one of penance, what did he achieve with all his desire? Therefore, desire, anger and greed are the greatest enemies for a spiritual aspirant. One may have performed penance for a number of years, but if he gets angry even for a moment, everything is lost. Thus, we need to control these three.  

02-Ravana-Victim of Anger and Attachment-2.08-2000 May 18
Ravana – Victim of Anger and Attachment
Image Source

The history of noble souls sets an ideal for the entire nation. This is what Ravana too said. “O people of this world, not being able to control desire and anger, I have lost my very own son. Not being able to win over hatred and jealousy, I have lost all my relations and friends. Without understanding the fundamental truth of the world, I got my very own kingdom destroyed”. Cautioning others, Ravana said, “I request you not to follow the same path”.

All noble souls, who were so powerful, realized this truth and acted accordingly. Ravana is so mighty, one of great penance. He had acquired the strength of body mind and spirit. But what is the use of all these? He could not win over attachment and hatred. Therefore, he became a victim to so many diseases. There was not an iota of love in him. If we are able to manifest that Love in our heart, we will be successful in any situation.

03-Anger and Jealousy put man to great harm-They are greatest enemies-3.18-2009 February 25
Anger and Jealousy Ruin Our Lives
Image Source

Anger and jealousy are great enemies of man. With these qualities, one can never be a true human being and can never attain Divinity. One who gets angry every second and for every matter, has no humanness at all. It is only animal quality. The Upanishad and the Gita preach that one must primarily control one’s anger. What one needs to control is anger and jealousy. These two demons are always waiting at the doorstep. When these are at the doorstep, even a lion would not be able to get in. These are more powerful than a lion. A lion may get angry for just five minutes. But within that time, it is able to do so much work. Man remains angry for months and years and is unable to accomplish anything. Therefore, anger and jealousy are the greatest enemies of man. It will never promote unity and the quality of forbearance. Forbearance is the quality that adds beauty to the sacred land of Bharath. Forbearance is the real beauty. Without it, nothing will come to your help and you will not be able to bear any challenges in life.

04-Difference between animal and man-Man should control Anger-Lust-Desire-1.58-2009 February 25
Man should control the vices

An animal has the qualities of hunger, desire and arrogance. It lives a fearless life, full of freedom, with no care and compassion. (On the other hand) man has the quality of kindness and compassion. Enquire within yourself, “Am I a human, am I an animal, or am I a beast?”  The six vices of desire, anger, greed, attachment, pride and jealousy are common to these three. But man, though having these vices, should be able to exercise control over desire and anger. The four virtues of truth, compassion, love and peace are most essential. When you come across anybody you must be able to express compassion and kindness.

05-Develop love and give up anger-Love for God- Fear of Sin-Morality in Society-2.46-2009 February 25
Love for God-Fear of Sin-Morality in Society

To start with, love must manifest within oneself. Love leads us to peace. Peace and love confers happiness on us. We should not hate or harm anybody. If we hurt anybody, it is a reflection of our anger, a reflection of our inner sorrow. Therefore, develop love. We must exercise control over hatred and anger that may arise in us. That is the quality of a human being. Therefore, Love for God (Daiva Preeti), Fear of sin (Paapa Bheeti) and Morality in society (Sangha Neeti). If we wish to develop morality in society, we must first of all have fear of sin. And to avoid sin, we must develop Love for God. Once we develop Love for God, our sins will be burnt into ashes. The three main qualities in mankind must be: Love for God, Fear of sin and Morality in society.

Thus if we wish to promote morality in society, we need to have fear of sin. To have fear of sin, we need to have Love for God. Hence, the most important thing is to have Love for God.

A Short Quiz
01-What are the four worst enemies of man?
02-Who are the three infamous personalities who depict the vices of desire, anger and greed in the great epics of Ramayana, Bhagavatham and Mahabharatha respectively? Briefly explain the symbolism.
03- List some of the unique achievements of the king Hiranyakasipu.
04-What are the ill effects that afflict the people with anger?
05-Having become a victim of hatred and jealousy that destroyed his whole life, what advise does king Ravana give to the people, towards the end of his life?

06-What should be the essential difference between man and animal?

Part-I of this post has given an introduction to one of the great vices in mankind, i.e. anger. It also explains why we need to give up anger. Next, watch out for Part-II of this post, wherein Bhagawan gives us wonderful, yet very simple tips to exercise control over our anger. Read Part-II.

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Pleasure is an Interval between two Pains – Part-I – Underlying Philosophy


Pleasure is an interval between two pains. This is a phrase Bhagawan has used so often in His Discourses to drive home the fact that we live in world that is dual. It is impossible to get joy without sorrow or profits without loss. Duality is the very nature of this creation. It is not without reason that Bhagawan states, “Pleasure is an interval between two pains” and not “Pain is an interval between two pleasures”. This conveys the truth that life is essentially full of difficulties and challenges. That is why Lord Buddha too, after all his spiritual investigations, came to the conclusion that – Sarvam Dukham Dukham, Sarvam Kshanikam Kshanikam – Everything is sorrow and ephemeral. But then, what is life all about? The goal of life is to transcend these opposites and acquire bliss which is permanent and everlasting. Bhagawan gives us several prescriptions about how to lead our life in this world of duality and how to go beyond the opposites. 

This blogpost is presented in two parts. Part-I with seven audio clips deals with the Underlying Philosophy and explanation of the context in which Bhagawan uses the statement, “Pleasure is an Interval between two Pains”. In the six audio clips of Part-II, Bhagawan gives simple prescriptions of how human beings can transcend the duality of life and go beyond joy and sorrow to experience everlasting bliss. In all the thirteen audio extracts in this blog post, spanning across Discourses delivered in the last 2 decades, Bhagawan refers to the phrase, “Pleasure is an interval between two pains”, and highlights different aspects about the same. The seven audio excerpts in Part-I have been taken from the Discourses delivered by Bhagawan during the years 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2007. 

Clip-1 lists the 12 worries which engulf the life of human beings. Clip-2 talks about the true purpose of life and the need for equanimity. Clip-3 explains how duality is inevitable in this world. There cannot be light without shadow. In Clip-4 Bhagawan gives the example of Prahalada and explains how he was able to overcome all difficulties to which he was subjected, by immersing his mind and body in the thoughts of God. In Clip-5 Bhagawan presents two powerful analogies to explain the predicament of man today. One is that of the sugarcane and the other is that of the goldsmith. Clip-6 reminds us that the human body has been given for the very purpose of facing difficulties. Clip-7 consoles us stating that all sorrows and pains in life are like passing clouds. 

Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts. 

Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.


01-There cannot be Happiness without Worries in life-1.43-2002 September 10    
No Worries – No Happiness

Sometimes bad things do happen to man. There is no time when man is free from worry. We have to worry for every task. Human life is filled with twelve types of worries. Birth, life on earth, family life, death, childhood, old age, living, failure, all actions, difficulties, happiness and worry itself (Birth-Death, Childhood-Old age, Life on earth-family life-living, Happiness-Failure-Difficulties-Worry, and All actions). The root cause of all these is worry itself. Without Chinta (worry), there cannot be Santasa (happiness). Man is able to derive happiness through these difficulties only. It is said, “Pleasure is an interval between two pains”. You get happiness only between two difficulties. It is impossible to get happiness without going through difficulties.


02-Pleasure and pain go hand in hand in life-Life is quest for Truth-1.47-2002 December 25
Pleasure and Pain go Hand in Hand
Gradually, as we grow, none can escape the difficulties related to the world (made up of five elements). Some difficulties, sorrow and worry will keep coming our way. Man cannot live without these in this world. Happiness and difficulties go hand in hand in human life. One who is born cannot escape death. Happiness cannot come without sorrow.
Sukhaduhkhe Same Kritva Labhalabhau Jayajayu (Bhagavad Gita, 2.38)
Treat pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat with equanimity.    
Therefore, pleasure is an interval between two pains. Man cannot live without this (duality).
Human life has been given for the pursuit of Truth. It has not been given merely for roaming around, drinking, and just living. These are worldly principles that come in between. But the human being who has come must realize his own truth. He must understand his true form. Life does not end with just being born, growing, moving around, (eating and) drinking and dying.

03-One can never escape duality in this world-No pleasure without pain-3.13-1996 February 17
Na Sukhaat Labhyate Sukham

God is present in both good and bad, in truth and falsehood and in sin and merit. In these circumstances, how can we ascertain what is truth, what is sin and what is adharma?

The Bhagavad Gita preaches: Mamaatma Sarva Bhootaatma – My Atma (soul) is the same that is in every being. The one who understands this truth will derive the happiness of equanimity. However, the one who lives this physical, ephemeral and worldly life can never escape the differences of truth and untruth, dharma and adharma, good and bad, sin and merit. Therefore, as long as we lead a worldly life, we cannot leave this path of duality.
Peace and security is stationed in the midst of happiness and sorrow. Happiness is embedded in sorrow. Pleasure is an interval between two pains. Happiness lies between two difficulties.
What is life? Life is a combination of light and shadow. We cannot experience happiness without sorrow. Only when we return from extreme heat, can we understand the value of the other aspect (of coolness or of shadow). Human life assumes the form of a combination of happiness and sorrow. You cannot desire for exclusive happiness in such a life. There is no happiness in happiness.
Na Sukhaat Labhyate Sukham  – One cannot get happiness from happiness.
You cannot derive happiness out of happiness. We can derive happiness only out of sorrow.

04-Body is bound to face difficulties-Never forget God-Story of Prahalada-3.52-1996 May 20
Prahalada immersed his mind in God
Image Source

Whatever difficulties, loss or sorrow we may face at any point of time, we must never distance ourselves from God. Today, on account of worldly reasons, we are distancing ourselves from God who is eternal, who is the Truth. This is not true devotion. Let anything happen; once we have donned this physical body, several difficulties, losses and sorrows may come our way. This body is never permanent. We must safely protect our Love that is eternal and true.    

You know the history of many devotees. Whatever difficulties came their way, they were able to face them and move forward, and thus were able to set a brilliant ideal to the whole world. They forget their own body. You know the history of Prahalada in Bhagavatha. The very father of Prahalada subjected him to so much suffering. Why? Because Prahalada cherished that which the father did not cherish. Hiranyakasipu hated God. Prahalada loved God. Because of that love (for God), Prahalada was able to forbear all the suffering. The teachers too came and pleaded in front of Hiranyakasipu, “When he was attacked by all the demons, the son of (your majesty) Hiranyakasipu, started singing in praise of God and extolling God. O King, he never had any fear, nor did he shed any tear”. 
Such a young boy; can he bear all these difficulties? No, but he immersed his mind and body in the thought of God. He became oblivious to all the suffering that his body was subjected to. When you are operated after administering chloroform, you would not know whether it is a 5” cut or a 50” cut. Similarly, a mind that is merged in God, is not concerned about any difficulty or suffering. This is what brings success.
That is why, the pleasure is an interval between two pains. We can get that happiness only between two difficulties. However, today our education, our devotion and faith is such that if difficulties come, we keep changing the photos (of God) and if happiness comes we add a couple of more photos! This is not true devotion. Whatever difficulties come, it is to be taken as (God’s) Prasadam. It is all Your (God’s) gift. Happiness is Your gift, sorrow is also Your gift. Without happiness, where is the value for sorrow and without sorrow, where is the value for happiness? We must see the unity in the two. That is culture.      


05-Unless the sugarcane of the body is refined with difficulties-Sweetness cannot be experienced-5.39-1996 July 17


The Gold has to be Hammered to make an Ornament
Image Source

There is oil in the sesame (til) seeds; but we need to know the method by which the oil can be extracted from the seeds. The sugarcane will not give you jaggery merely by asking for it; it has to be thrashed and squeezed to get the sweet juice. There is juice in the sugarcane. But by merely saying, “O sugarcane, please give me jaggery”, will it give jaggery? Only if we crush it well, remove the juice, put it on fire and heat it well, it will get transformed into the long lasting jaggery. Thinking that “Oh! Why should we subject this sugarcane to difficulties”, if we keep it aside in the corner, within three days it will get dried. The juice of compassion and love in it will also get dried. It will become useless.

Similarly, our physical body is like sugarcane. Only when the body is subjected to lot of difficulties, losses and sorrows; the sweetness within it, in the form of the juice of compassion, love and sympathy becomes available. This (process) is called Sanskaara (refinement). Only when it is refined, we can get the sweetness from within it. Therefore, right from the ancient times, our country of Bharath has set an excellent ideal for Sanskaara (refinement).
If we go to a goldsmith with some gold and ask him to make a chain, what will he do? He will put it into fire and heat it. He will beat it with a hammer. He will extend it by placing it in a machine. When it gets transformed into a thin wire, he will bend it, shape it and prepare beautiful ornaments from it. Instead, if you give the gold into the hands of the goldsmith and tell him, “Sir, you must not put my gold into the fire, you must not beat it with the hammer, you must not draw it into a wire, but you must get my ornaments ready”; how can it be made ready?
In the same manner, if we say, “Oh God, I am giving You my heart with all twists and turns, it is highly disfigured”.
Chanchalam Hi Manah Krishna Pramathi Balavad Drdham
(Bhagavad Gita, 6.34)
This mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krishna.
“I am giving You such a mind. Kindly prepare a beautiful ornament and give me”. When we offer our heart / mind thus, what He does with it, is His wish.    
But on account of the influence of the Kali age, when we say, “O God, I am offering this mind to You. Without subjecting it to any difficulties or any challenges, please purify it nicely and give it to me”, no God will be able to do that.
Therefore, “Kashte Phali” – Difficulties alone lead to fructification. Happiness is gained only in difficulties. Unless it is hot, you would not put on the fan or buy an air-conditioner. If you do not have hunger, you will never desire for food. Thus, it is difficulties only which give us happiness.
Sukhamunandu Nannu Koraru Manavul
Kashtasamayamulandu Kaavalayu Nenu
In times of pleasure and happiness, people do not desire for Me, but they want Me in difficult times. When difficulties transform into happiness, the ego increases. Therefore, the true nature of the life of man is that the pleasure is an interval between two pains. First of all, we must forbear these difficulties, bear these pains and sorrows. Only then courage and happiness will manifest from within us.  

06-Human body is given to face challenges-Welcome difficulties in life-1.13-2007 February 16   
The Human Body is given to face Challenges

The one’s who face challenges with the human body and emerge victorious are ever ready for further challenges. The human body has been given to exert and undertake challenges (difficulties). If there are no difficulties, we must actually draw them towards us. Without troubles, we will never get happiness. The pleasure is an interval between two pains. Therefore, we will get some happiness only between two difficulties. Wherever we meet difficulties, we will get happiness. The troubles last only for some time and not for long. Therefore, in order to have long lasting happiness, we must be ready to face some difficulties.  


07-Good and bad come and go like passing clouds-1.04-2000 January 01

All Difficulties are like Passing Clouds
Image Source


Many are anxious as to what consequences and what happiness the new year will bring with it. There are no difficulties in the New Year. But some things will come and go. It is not possible to live in this world without happiness and sorrow. But nothing is bad for the world. The pleasure is an interval between two pains. If there are no two difficulties, where can you get happiness? It comes and goes. All are like passing clouds. We do not need to worry about this. We must face these challenges. We must develop and transform them with love. We must become the embodiment of Love. Then the whole world will be peaceful. 


A Short Quiz
01-What are the 12 types of worries in human life?
02- Sukhaduhkhe Same Kritva Labhalabhau Jayajayu – Where is this phrase sourced from and what does it mean?
03-What is the way to escape the path of duality?
04-What is the meaning of the phrase – Na Sukhaat Labhyate Sukham?
05-What was the secret behind Prahalada being able to bear all the suffering that he was subjected to by his own father Hiranyakasipu?
06-What is the analogy that Bhagawan gives using the example of operating a person after administering chloroform?
07- Explain the analogy between the sugarcane and the human body. What is the equivalent of crushing the cane and what is the equivalent of the sugarcane juice?
08- Explain the analogy between the goldsmith making ornaments and God purifying our minds/hearts.
09- Chanchalam Hi Manah Krishna Pramathi Balavad Drdham – Where is this phrase sourced from and what does it mean?
10-What is the meaning of the phrase – Kashte Phali?


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