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Dr K K Aggarwal

The Skill of Controlling Anger

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Cynicism is a recognized major risk factor for coronary artery disease (blockages in the channels supplying blood to the heart). And, anger, jealousy and irritability form the triad responsible for this.

Anger is the enemy of peace, knowledge and devotion. According to Ayurveda, anger is a manifestation of Pitta (metabolism) imbalance and is a predisposing risk factor for causation of heart attack, paralysis, gall bladder stone, kidney stone, acidity, ulcer and cancer.

In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna describes the pathway of anger leading to destruction in Chapter 2 Sloka 62 and 63. According to Lord Krishna, when a man’s desires are not fulfilled or expectations are not met, then he/she becomes angry. When one is under the influence of anger, he does all types of sinful activities. One loses the distinction between good and bad, loses one’s memory, understanding becomes clouded and the intellect gets perverted. Loss of intellect leads to animal-like behavior, and ultimately to destruction of oneself.

Many kinds of repercussions can occur with anger, such as injustice, rashness, persecution, jealousy, taking possession of other’s property, killing, speaking harsh words and cruelty. The degree of anger may vary from irritation, frowning, resentment, indignation, rage, fury and wrath.

Anger is not always bad. It is only when the anger is an outcome of greed or selfish motives, is it bad.

Righteous or spiritual anger is a type of anger caused with good intentions. This anger passes off the next moment as a wave subsides in the sea. The classical example of righteous anger is when you become angry in a situation where you see a person doing something wrong to check that person.

The root cause of anger is ignorance, egoism, and passion (strong desires), with passion being the root cause. To control anger, therefore, passion should be controlled first.

In Vedic language, both anger and passion are Rajo-Vriti disorders and get exaggerated with any Rajas-increasing lifestyle. Living a life with less of Rajas characteristics will reduce the chances of getting into passion and anger.

Rajas-increasing foods are eggs, fish, onion, garlic, fermented foods, etc. Modern fashion, night clubs, reading novels with stories of violence, living in the company of bad people, indulging in sexual talks, use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs are all Rajas-increasing lifestyles. A typical Rajasik person is one who indulges in eating, drinking and procreating.

Controlling anger and passion is a procedure involving effort. As a fish swims upstream against the current in a river to breathe, a person has to work against the disturbing thoughts. To balance and stabilize the mind, consuming ‘satvik’ foods like fresh food, vegetables, milk, and barley bread will help. Many exercises can also help to control anger. For example, observing silence for 20 to 30 minutes in a day, walking regularly, practicing speaking kind words, doing regular meditation, practicing non-violent communication daily and learning to think differently.

During an episode of anger, one can try left nostril pranayama, a short deep breathing exercise, taking a walk, drinking cold or simple water or chanting AUM or I AM. With inspiration, one chants “I” and with expiration “AM” reminding one who I AM. That I am the expression of pure spirit and my purpose of life is not to become angry. Remember the person who gets angry will have high blood pressure. The person who you are angry with may not have any change in the blood pressure.

One should realize that during anger, the power of discrimination is lost along with intellectual impairment. Therefore, anger has to be controlled much before it becomes full blown. The initial stage of anger is irritability, and therefore, with the onset of irritability, one should try to control it at the earliest.

One should never judge an individual with his own level of perception. One should realize that if a servant starts working with your level of expectations, he or she will not be working with you as a servant.

One should also make sure that one is not hungry at the time of feeling angry or irritable. Regular meals prevent development of anger.

Anger can be expressive or suppressive. Expressive anger presents with aggressive behavior and the outbursts of anger can cause social unhealthiness. It can cause sudden rise in upper blood pressure or cause rupture of a plaque in the artery supplying blood to the heart, precipitating a heart attack.

Suppressive anger can lead to acidity, asthma, formation of plaques in the heart arteries, etc. In the long run, suppressed anger, if not expressed, may end up with depression, despondency, guilt, etc.

Therefore, anger should neither be passed on to others (expressive) nor taken within (suppressed or repressed). Anger, therefore, should be altered, neutralized, or modified. This can be done by temporarily holding it for some time and then taking timely action. Temporary holding can be achieved by using the above exercises. Remember both passion and anger are energies which should be conserved and not wasted.

The mythological explanation of Shiva, the Neelkanth, is also the same. One should neither throw the poison (anger), nor drink it, but keep it in the throat for some time and take the right action after the anger manifestations are over.

From Vedic text point of view, every thought arises from the silent potential web of energized information or consciousness. This thought from the mind is then analyzed by the intellect and modified by the ego. At this stage, it leads to an action. An action leads to memory and memory leads to desire for the action again.

If this desire is fulfilled, it leads to action again and then desire again. Repeated fulfilment of desires leads to habit formation, addictions and development of a particular personality.

If the desire is not fulfilled, it leads to irritability and irritability leads to anger which then can be expressive or suppressive.

The answer, therefore, lies in changing the perception at the level of the thought or controlling the desires and/or the expectation.

Science behind Ganesha worship

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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While mythological studies knit stories of the Almighty’s existence, the fact remains that human being is bestowed with the untainted potential of recognizing heavenly facets in his own self.

Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is likewise the name given to the harmonious Aacharan or characteristic disposition of man. Remembered and ritually worshiped before starting a new venture, the entity of Ganesha has in store the facets of a complete man.

The magnanimous head of the Ganesha, which is that of an elephant, represents wisdom, intelligence and a healthy mind capable of making sound decisions. Not in vain is it said that ‘think before you speak’, which implies Ganesha’s huge head, that is identified with the need for a thoughtful and retrospective attitude.

The big ears of this elephant deity instill among the earthly man the patient channel of lending ears to the echo produced by others’ deeds and speech. It is said that half the dispute is resolved when an ear is lend most patiently.

Ganesha’s extremely small mouth characteristically represents the need for a limited dialogue and the vanity of chattering. Overexpression through words triggers unsought problems many a times which otherwise could be avoided by a tight–lip.

Ganesha also represents the guru of stress affected individuals. Shiva’s most promising son, Ganesha, by virtue of his small eyes, highlights the need of a focused outlook in life. Such an outlook not only redefines and foresees the right goals, but also relieves one from the stress-manifested episodes from the various chapters of life.

The long trunk identifies with the power of discrimination. The sensitivity of Ganesha’s long nose has the strength to uproot a tree and the competency of picking up a pin from the ground. Such should be the approach of an individual who should be capable enough to perceive the good and the bad for himself besides the undaunted strength of overcoming all odds.

The tusks and the small teeth of Ganesha should however, be recollected with the loss and gains in the life of a man. Man similarly ought to engrave his mental stature in such a manner that the ups and downs may not deter him from his honest endeavor and the balance of inevitable bliss and sorrow is maintained to add spice in the earthly existences. This stable healthy mental stature is only possible if the physical, social, spiritual and environmental requirements of the body are fulfilled. For the needful, individuals need to be bestowed upon a complete mental and physical health.

Further the big tummy of Ganapati Deva preaches the need for retaining information. Acquiring knowledge, utilizing it and retaining it for years to come, becomes the crux of ‘big–belly commandment’.

The Char–Bhuja Dhari Ganesha, further represents strength by virtue of the four hands in which the Lord entraps his attachments, desires and greed. Two of the arms of Ganesha, which hold rope, symbolize control over the attachments. The laddoo or sweet in the other two shows command over the desires and earthly delusion. The mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha represents greed and gluttony upon which the Almighty rides, propagating a control over the evils.

Ganesha’s physical traits are an assembly of the characteristics most required in an individual of substance. Disposition incarnated with the goodness of such features will result in success in life and will positively procure an ailment–free survival.

Specifically for executives, Ganesha’s characteristic principles may be incorporated in a time–table format which will help in the dawn of a conformable work–atmosphere along with congenial relationship between the management and the union of workers. Deciding the first day of the week to hear all grievance and woes of the workers, the second for thinking and planning strategies to work upon and finally setting targets to be achieved may utilize three days of the week very constructively. Then a day devoted to evaluating losses and gains (Ganesha’s teeth principle) may help additionally in business management. Retaining the information and filing all the pending work can affirmatively call upon the fifth day of the week, which works entirely on the principle of Ganesha’s tummy, which is massive by the virtue of holding tremendous loads of information. Contemplation, discrimination and judging the good and the bad for the entire unit may take another day, leaving the Sunday for self–retrospection through meditation and yoga. One should strive and adopt Ganpati Bappa Maurya’s principles of life management rather than worshiping him with vanity. Life has much in store besides bothering about unnecessary qualms. Giving into a disciplined attitude may assuredly dawn upon a peaceful life. Heaven is where you are, it’s only a matter of perception which makes life as difficult as hell.