Written by Sri Swami Chandrashekarendra
Often we find ourselves angry with some person or other. Anger is
provoked in two ways. When we see a man guilty of an offence we lose
our temper. But we do not pause to think whether we too are not like
him. Even if we have not been guilty of sinful deeds we must have had
sinful thoughts. Perhaps we have reason to think that we have sinned
than others. This must be because we are a little more mature. Even so,
how difficult do we find it to correct ourselves. Would it not be more
difficult for a habitual sinner to retrieve himself? We need not
ourselves with him. The sastras proclaim that the first step towards
improvement is to sever ourselves from evil people and to seek the
company of virtuous men. But there is no point in looking upon sinners
with hatred or anger. All we can and must do is to pray that they turn
the path of virtue. If, by the grace of the Lord, we acquire a little
ourselves we must use it to take them to the right path.
Our opponent is not likely to change his attitude towards us simply
because we are angry with him. Instead, he might turn against us with
greater venom. Hatred thus will be kept fuelled on either side. One must
realise one's mistakes and try to reform oneself. We cannot congratulate
ourselves if a person corrects himself fearing our anger. Also the
thus brought about in him will not be enduring. If we think that there
something wrong with a man we must try to correct him with love.
Why do people sin? The reason must be their mental condition and the
circumstances in which they are placed. If we happen to be free from any
guilt, it must be because we are more favoured by circumstances. When
you see a sinner you must pray: "O Ambika, I too might have sinned like
him. But in your mercy you do not give me the occasion to do so. Be
merciful to him in the same way."
We must not be angry with a man even if he bears ill-will against us.
innermost mind knows how far we deserve to be spoken ill of. It may be
that the man who nurses bad feelings against us is doing so not because
of any wrong done by us. We know, however, in our heart of hearts that
the sins we have committed are indeed great. Such is our predicament
that we must shed tears before Amba, atone for our sins and pray that
they are washed away. In that way are we qualified to point accusing
finger at others?
The question arises: may we direct our anger against others when we are
free from all sin? Were we truly sinless, we would be all love and
affection. Where is then the question of our being angry with anyone?
Even towards a sinner we should have then no feeling other than that of
love. On the other hand, if we are guilty of wrongs ourselves we have no
right to be angry with those we think are sinners. In the state of utter
sinlessness we realise it all to be the sport of Amba. In her sport who
merits praise, who deserves blame? Anger, in any case has no place in
As I said earlier, according to Krsna Paramatman the two great forces
inciting man to sin are desire and anger. In other words we hurt
with our anger. Our opponent may ignore our anger but then we hurt
ourselves with it-both our body and mind suffer. The natural dharma of
man is to be loving and affectionate. And to be loving and affectionate
to be ever in bliss. Love is Sivam, it is said. We must always learn to
the condition of love that is Sivam.