Thursday, 16 February 2012

Anger and Forbearance

In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna tells to Arjuna that there are three gates leading to hell - " Lust, Anger & Greed." The hell not only refers to suffering on hellish planets after quitting the present body, but it also means our present condition of life will become a misery. The cycle of our misery begins from simple contemplation on the objects of the senses through which we develop attachment for them and then develops lust. Unfulilled lust grows into Anger and the chain continues to finally making us rotate in 8,400,000 species of life.

However, if we analyze our daily life we can find that at every moment we find a provoking situation which will develop into anger finally. I can recall hearing about an incident which happened a few years ago, in which there was a small tiff between a motorbike driver and a pick-up driver. In that anger, the pick-up driver got very furious on the motorbike driver and in a second of anger, he turned his wheel and hit the motorbike. Within seconds, the man on the motorbike was dead and the pick-up driver was punished with imprisonment, ofcourse because he had used his vehicle to kill a person. However, the footnote would be that one moment of anger can ruin a person's life. The motorbike person lost his life, and the pick-up driver was imprisoned and his three children and wife were left to suffer the consequences.

So what is the solution?

Tams titksasva Bharata. Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita advises Arjuna to tolerate all dualities of happiness and distress that arise from sense perception as it is all like the appearance and disappearance of summer and winter seasons and is temporary. All things must pass. It means to practice forbearance, tolerance and restraint in face of provoking situations. Learning to tolerate when someone provokes us. This is a sign of advancement in spiritual life when we step back in provoking situations and forgive. Philosophical understanding that we are not this body and whatever we are getting, good and bad, is coming to us by our karma helps us to be tolerant. Srila Prabhupada commented to one devotee, 'Do not hate the instrument of your karma.'

When we understand that we really have no connection with this body, we can then remain unaffected like a lotus being unaffected although remaining in water. But when we attach ourselves to the happenings, we can sink deep into the whirlpool of false ego and get bound up completely and cannot see our real self. For example; if we do a big project and the person presenting our project to people, passes us by and does not mention our name, we get impatient and disturbed. This is a sign of the false-ego which is holding us. Our false ego says that 'I want my name on it. It is all my hard-work.' Such a mentality can never take us back to our real goal which is connecting with the Supreme Lord as think ourself as the 'doer'. Lord Krishna hints to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita that when one reaches a level, where we are not feeding our false ego, we can perceive the Supersoul. When we live on a level where all our activities are done not to impress ourself, our family, our society, our country but done to impress Krishna, then we can advance.

When we acknowledge that we are servants of Krishna and He owns everything (Bhoktaram yajna tapasam) then we can actually attain peace. When He owns everything, He even owns our problems. Someone might say, if Krishna owns our problems then why do we suffer? The reply is because we identfy with this body and are attached to our false ego of I and Mine.  We suffer when we allow the mind and senses to rule us. We have to therefore learn to practice forbearance and detachment and this comes by hearing from the Dhira (Sober Persons realized in knowledge). The only sober persons are the ones who are realized in knowledge - the pure devotees of Krishna.

As confimred by Lord Krishna - Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyante; Vasudeva sarvam iti sa-mahatma su durlabhah: After many births and deaths, he who is actually 'realized in knowledge' knowing Vasudeva to be the all in all, surrenders unto Me. Such a great soul is very rare.

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