“Why didn’t Bheeshma help me in the sabha even when he saw how much I suffered?”
“Bheeshma thought too deeply about the laws of men. It paralyzed him. He wasn’t sure whether you were already Duryodhan’s property – in which case he had no right to intervene. But sometimes one has to drop logic and go with the instinct of the heart, even if it contradicts law.” [Conversation between Krishna and Draupadi, from the book ‘Palace of Illusions’]
Posts on anger are doing rounds [Courtesy: Priya Krishnan Das & Chandu Vijay. Priya talked about a groping case that resulted in an outrage, and as a spiritualist herself, she is looking to see beyond her anger, and if beating up was the right thing to do. Chandu talked about anger itself, and how channeling it, would help us go where we need to.]
When C mentioned about these posts on anger to me, I immediately thought of the above passage from ‘Palace of Illusions’. Like Draupadi all of us have questions. Almost all of us have this innate urge to know. That urge is enough for us to realise what must be realised.
As someone tempered, here is my learning, with this emotional tryst:
Is anger a necessary evil?
My Guru had said, if a situation arises that demands anger, be angry at the situation and not the person. Once the demand is met, let it go. Put simply, when my dog needs discipline, and nothing works, I need to feign anger, and draw a line.
If you come to think about it, our anger is almost always directed at the party and not the act itself. We do not say, “This happened”, we say “He/She did this.” That means FEIGNing anger is the key here, else our mind would fixate on the sentiments with the party every other time.
Does it mean we need to stop all the real anger?
Let’s get to that with two interesting conversations. The first one is between Uddhava and Radha:
Uddhava asked, “I trust Krishna. But everybody in Bharat wonders one thing. If Krishna had so much knowledge and so much power, why didn’t he stop the Mahabharata war?”
“And how would that be better?” was Radha’s reply.
“Well, obviously there would be no destruction, no death. All the people who died would be still with us. Things would be much more happy than gloomy.”
“Uddhava, had Mahabharata war been avoided, by today may be there were less deaths. But there would be a lot more desire to kill. May be today less destruction, but there would be still violent minds.”
“Krishna did exactly what he should have done. “Radha continued. “He separated people who wanted war from people who wanted peace. So warriors could express themselves, and so could Rishis and peasants. Had it not been this way, everybody would be miserable today.”
As if this poignant conversation wouldn’t have been enough to explain my point here, I came across a beautiful conversation between Sathya Sai Baba and Johnima/Kalassu Wintergate of Lightstorm Group, while looking for another reference (added later in the post).
Lovely, wasn’t it? So to answer our question – yes, of course we need to stop getting angry, but suppressing isn’t going to help either. We should come to a place wherein, we do not feel the emotion at all. ❤
Till then what?
Let me tell you that with a story.
I had gone for a Summer Retreat last May. As someone who stands up for what I believe, I have managed to not let any system deter me (or maybe anger knows no system?) Anyway, I was having issues with the spicy food, and learnt few others did too. With another week to go, I asked the one who oversaw the food division, if they could lessen the spice quotient. Verbal and non-verbal cues of the lad in-charge pointed rather clearly he didn’t approve of what I just said. Apparently, he had already spoken to the cooks, and no questions were to be raised.
To be honest, I couldn’t understand why requesting the cooks again would be an issue. I mean, didn’t we employ them? Even if that was not possible, being considerate of others would have sufficed. As I saw it: abdicating control of a division that falls under you, being impolite, cannot be a status quo anywhere, and that too in a pilgrimage. I was reaching my threshold, as a spiritual retreat had no sign of spirituality in it.
Perhaps people never usually asked him these questions. I believe, a request, no matter how insignificant, needs to be addressed if it’s for the best interest of all. Seeing the way the conversation was heading, I asked him, “Why do you have to be so critical about this request?”
I do not know if he even understood our stance later, but as soon as I ended that question, I understood my Guru’s stance. Swami told me, “…but you are angry.” I said no further, zoned out from the rest of the conversation, and turned front.
That lesson was very important for me. My guru didn’t say, ‘stop questioning the system’, He only said ‘you are doing it out of anger, not out of love’. I thanked Him. Rest of the trip was little awkward, at-least for me, and I looked to steer clear from the brother who oversaw our food schedules. I communicated that to Swami, and said I am unable to give him my love. [If he gets to read this – Brother, I want to say, I am truly sorry. I know I didn’t show my anger in words, but I felt it. I hope if we meet again, we can let His love speak through us.]
At the end of the trip, I was down with jaundice, and I got to know that liver is the seat for anger. I smiled, because I knew His healing had begun. He is working on my anger. I should just let it be.
Even as I was thinking how my love was not as expansive as His, He compassionately reminded me of an incident from Phyllis Krystal’s life. Gist: On the way back from India, her plane was hijacked. She had asked Swami to guide her through the tensed hours. Swami asked her to send the terrorists love. Phyllis admitted that she couldn’t feel love for the terrorists, and channeled Swami’s love towards them. Within minutes, the terrorist who had a gun in his hand, started to shiver and threw his gun down. Everybody went home safe that night.
That was my answer. It’s okay if my frail human mind fails to send love, I shall still send His love to me and to others.
So where do we stand now?
- Feign anger.
- Get rid of your furious side for real. (Well, one could TRY)
- Deal with love.
- If we cannot love unconditionally. Let Cosmic unconditional love do our bidding till then.
Where does that take us next?
Is the world perfect?
I remember having these very same questions on rapes, war, violence, etc. Here it is for our assimilating pleasure, all over again 🙂
In Phyllis Krystal’s book “Cutting the Ties that Bind”, she says how during her meditative session with Hi C, she was able to experience true freedom, and how everything from up above looked like a wonderful tapestry. Though a moment ago, in the limited conscience, it looked all messy – with murders, rapes, wars, etc. From that plane she was free of the world, and could observe it in full perspective, knowing how everything was inevitable for the very essential learning.
There, she nails it. How all that is very much for our ESSENTIAL LEARNING.
Okay. Okay. I do very much understand how much of a trauma it must be for someone who got groped, molested, raped, etc., Maybe we cannot sell these philosophies to them, or maybe we can. I do not know. If I was the victim, would I still be able to be so spiritual about it? I do not know. I do not even understand why learning has to take this format, when it could break somebody so badly. But hey, I didn’t design the universal laws. All I know is that even this seeming dystopian world is perfect. Because it is 🙂
Over to Light storm’s point:
He further says, if we are at a place at a particular time, there are only 2 probabilities – a) you need to learn something from that experience, or b) the universe wants you to allow your learning to unfold in front of others, and that we should simply do what is right, without any feeling of hate, say stop the act from being committed, and act with the feeling of oneness and LOVE.
Listen to them talk about LOVE and more:
What does it tell us?
I remember Brother Natesh Shetty, talking to me about a beta stage for the souls to experience everything. To understand, make sense of the world, and thereby learn from it. As I come to see of it, I have come to a place where I understand LEARNING is the sum and substratum of it all.
Listen to Lightstorm talk more about this learning aspect:
Till now, we spoke about outward influences that trigger us, about cosmic rules that could be deciphered any which way, but what about us? Do we have any say? Can we do something? Are we consciously or sub-consciously causing all this?
Our tastes are those that test us:
One night, few of us friends were hanging out for a birthday party, and ghost stories became pick of the day. I am someone who tends to avoid genres on horror, gory violence, etc., as it affects me deeply. Not just them, I was surprised how watching a YouTube video of this short film made me cry.
Though I have stuck to this decision for few years now, I wanted to understand on a deeper level, and asked Natesh’s take. That is perhaps another story, but post chatting with him, I decided to do this:
- I would not watch it myself,
- If I am coerced, it means, I need to get the learning done. Finish my karmic equation with it.
That conversation however took me one step further, I wanted to know why people watch it. They say it’s the rush, yada yada, but I couldn’t get how bellowing noises, streams of blood, harrowing tales of people dreading things, well, could be entertaining. I just didn’t get it.
That aside, my manni (a Tamil term for elder brother’s wife) mentioned something that fascinated me. My cousin and manni had been to a theater to watch an action flick. She commented how she didn’t prefer to see even the bad guys beaten up. Her words, made me reflect if the Code of Hammurabi has indeed become the norm of the day, which says, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” Kurt Vonnegut, an American writer has commented that this means heroes of every cowboy show and gangster show you ever saw is this: Every injury, real or imagined, shall be avenged. Somebody’s going to be really sorry.
It made perfect sense. Even if we watch a simple movie like ‘The Karate Kid‘, a story of courage, you know we expect the rough kid to get beaten up. Why? Don’t we all want young Dre to win the title? Does it mean Kurt was right, do we all really think like the code of Hammurabi: ‘Kill them, Dad, and all their friends and relatives, and make their deaths slow and painful.’”?
Do we then enjoy violence? Do I? When The Transporter kicks somebody’s ass, and we all enjoy it, does that really correlate to the violence in the world?
Why should we stop with mere questioning? Lets research and find answers.
More questions and more insights:
If world is in fact a reflection of ourselves/our thoughts on a societal level, is that why violence is ruling the world? Are we unconsciously setting the wrong setting?
If newspaper is all about killings, rapes and corruption; online social media has all sorts of backlashes; and all free speeches are mostly about injustice – what do they subtly remind us? While you ponder over this, here is what IMDB says about our movie interests: Would you be surprised to know, of the top 250 movies, majority are from the genre of violence, action, murder, crime, war, superhero and such? They say brain doesn’t really differentiate if something is real or imagined. When we feel all those emotions as we watch or read these mediums, are we giving power to those thoughts and emotions more than we need to? Is universe simply reflecting back our needless, but predominant patterns?
That is why when there was a rage on the ban of India’s daughter, or when people say castrate all the guys who rape, I am not sure if those solutions are truly SOLUTIONS. Maybe, Utopia need not be a myth. Maybe you, I, all of us in the society could aspire for a shift in our consciousness. Do every deed, think every thought, make each
seeming insignificant choices – by consciously being aware of the bigger picture.
It is not going to be easy, but we will be inspired, we will be learning. We will know we’re love. If there is negativity out there in the world, it’s because somehow subconsciously we all give it power through what we say, what we see, what we think and do collectively. We could apply this rule to any negativity in the world, and try to find out how we, or the ones in our circle are contributing to it.
So What do we now?
Well, I guess we all know. Will we do it? Isn’t that the question? 🙂
Much love folks,