“Material desires, when unsatiated, generate anger, and thus the mind, eyes and chest become agitated. Therefore, one must practice to control them before one gives up this material body. One who can do this is understood to be self-realized and is thus happy in the state of self-realization.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 5.23 Purport)
1. Firing the ball into the stands
“It was a moment of frustration. Sick and tired of running around and hitting balls off the frame. This opponent is really annoying, too. They take forever to serve the ball. We have a clock now in place because of them. It really is ridiculous.
“Anyway, the ball I fired into the stands accidentally struck a spectator. They weren’t too happy about it. No serious damage or anything, but it was entirely my fault. I lost my cool. I need to be better. I could get suspended over this.”
2. Yelling at the umpire
“Boy, did I lose it. That umpire had it coming, I tell you. He threw my pitcher out of the game for no good reason. The ball slipped out of his hand. It wasn’t an intentional move to intimidate the opposition. No warning, no nothing. Tossed without any opportunity for appeal.
“Still, I see the video replay of my argument and it isn’t pretty. My face was so red it looks like I was ready to explode. The umpire is no good, but I need to show respect for the game. There are other people watching. I want to set a better example.”
3. Admonishing a child
“It’s not their fault. They are too young to know what is going on. They are so nice to me most of the time. The kindness they show; that is true love. But I was really tired that night. I just wanted them to go to sleep.
“Other parents have it easier; at least that’s what they tell me. Put the child in a separate room, turn out the lights, and pretty soon everything is fine. Not with my child. Screaming and yelling. All occurring after dinner time, when I just want to sit and relax. Anyway, I will find ways to remain calm moving forward.”
“It wasn’t me. I was the passenger. The person driving really lost their mind. Another car was close behind them. They didn’t like being tailgated, as they were driving in accordance with the law. At an acceptable speed, passing the cars in the lane to the side. Then this jerk, the one previously tailgating us, got in front of us and my friend decided payback was in order. He chased that car for miles. Really dangerous, if you ask me. It’s not worth risking an accident in order to teach someone a lesson. Let it go.”
5. Talking back to the teacher
“We were home free. No test. No homework for the weekend. But I had to mouth off. I made an offhand comment about the teacher being lazy. He heard and decided to give everyone a test as retribution. The classmates looked straight in my direction. I deserved it. I don’t know why I found the need to be funny. Just keep quiet. That will help me in so many situations. The teacher got angry and justifiably so.”
The list could go on, in fact. Uncontrolled anger has a direct, visible influence. As His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains, the mind, eyes and chest become agitated. Anger leads to a loss of intelligence, which makes it easy to do something regrettable. The regret comes during a period of sobriety, when the intelligence returns to its normal level.
Intelligence is a way out. The self-realized person has control over desire, kama, which is the root cause of anger. Too many desires, too many wants. Increasing points of failure. Just one desire unmet causes frustration. One failure piled on another and there is a great vulnerability to anger.
Something simple is the solution. Chant the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Mantra meditation. Deliver the mind through dhyana, focused attention. The appropriate object of reference is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Categories: the five