688 – Which comes first?

Which comes first? Desire or anger? Desire is an intense feeling of wanting, possessing. Anger is rage, fury, wrath. Desire can be converted into anger.

Arjuna asked Krishna, how have desire and anger come into existence? What makes them grow? What is their nature and what is their role? How are they born? What is the cause of their growth? What is their nature? What is their effect, when they are full blown?

Krishna explains the root of this query. He said that Kama (desire) and Krodha (anger) are subtle and are the greatest enemies of human beings along with the sensory organs. They reside in the mind and one thinks that they will make one ecstatic. The truth is that they delude one. Both desire and anger are Sukshma (subtle) and one is oblivious of them when they enter one’s mind. They make one imagine that they will increase one’s happiness.

However, they are products of suffering and delusion and are the children of tamas. They appear as satisfaction and gloating because the individual is born in a good family. This results in arrogance and the birth of egoism. It is further compounded by aggression and fury. Thus, happiness is destroyed and misery results.

Kama and kosha increase because of pride, and this is the nature of arrogance, which is embedded in the egotism. They are born from the feeling of satisfaction (Sukha buddhi). These shameful enemies are always in search of loopholes. It is the nature of delusion emerging from Rajas and it is the severest problem for man. They are looking for ways to corrode man and destroy his hopes in this world and the next.

Arjuna added that all efforts of an angry person are destroyed by the God of Death. This because anger originates in rajas and ends in tamas.

Anger burns

Krishna further corroborated that the characteristics of desire and anger are revealed. It is very difficult to be rid of Kama and Krodha. Both of them propel one to perform wrong activities and make one critical and they hide in a shameful place. Anger is described as kamarupa (possessing the form of desire), because it lives and flourishes in desire. Anger is like a fire that one can never satisfy because it burns one’s happiness forever.

One’s sensory organs are the seat of anger. The eyes perceive the enemy. This perception then enters the mind in the form of desire, then it enters the intellect, where judgement has to be made about the response to the perceived enemy. Now anger has created confusion and ignorance.

Krishna elaborated on how one can remove anger. One should not accept the anger through sensory perception. Anger destroys the right knowledge and right action. Even if one senses anger, one must not let it enter the mind through doubt and distrust.

It is summed up thus one who approaches one’s wealth, wife or even one’s body with a sense of difference from his real nature, what kind of harm could be done to such a person by changing the nature of his mind.

Overcome anger and desire

My dear ones, let us once more look at what Krishna said to Arjuna about desire and anger. It is always about the intrusive thoughts in our mind, which then influence our intellect. It is only through the Yogic Sadhana we can overcome anger and desire. It means that we must practice breath awareness, be a witness of our inhalation, pause exhalation, pause. It is the correct way to breathe and when we do this, it becomes automatic, then we count our breaths and lastly add a mantra like So Ham. This is the first step and believe me it will transform you.

How wonderful to be free of anger?

Reference: Abhinava Gupta’s commentary on the Bhagwad Gita. Gitarth Samgraha. Translated by Boris Marjanovic.

Aim Hrim Klim

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