Controlling Anger part 2
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2002-06-21
In part two of his talk on anger, Bodhinatha refers back to a trip Gurudeva made to Malaysia in June 2000. Before Gurudeva left he was thinking positively about the practice of agnihotra, home fire worship, which Aboorvass was advocating and selling supplies for. But when Gurudeva got to Malaysia he found that many of the people involved were angry people and concluded that it's not a good idea for angry people to perform such ceremonies. It invokes the asuras. Gurudeva elucidated seven chakras below the main chakras in the torso and head. These chakras in the legs and feet are the realm of the asuras, the instinctive mind, and the second chakra below the muladhara is that anger. Anger in the Nandinatha Sutras and Living with Siva say that those who get angry should refrain from meditation, japa and kundalini yoga practices. These create a certain inner intensity which would only make anger worse. Bodhinatha elaborates on the different ways in which men and women express their anger, as well as the effects of alcohol on the angry person.
There is a very interesting story relates to anger. It has to do with Gurudeva's trip to Malaysia in June of 2000. Remember that? When he went to this event related to what is called 'agnihotra', homa therapy. It was conducted by Aboorvass in Malaysia. Gurudeva was invited to attend and he checked it out and it seemed like a wonderful idea, thus encouraging people to chant mantras and conduct a little fire ceremony in the home. It is a simple fire ceremony, a home fire ceremony that you can do, called agnihotra. You learn a few simple mantras and do this simple fire ceremony in the home and that is it. Sounds great, right? Harmless, a wonderful idea making people more religious.
Well, that is how Gurudeva was looking at it before he went. After he came back, that wasn't how he was looking at it. He got very fiery about it. Why? Because he found that many of the people involved in this practice were very angry people. They did not have anger under control. There was anger right under the surface. It was like you could touch them and they would become angry, so to speak. It was just right there and they might have a smile on their face but there was significant anger going on in many of these people. It made Gurudeva ponder, reflect upon this problem of conducting fire worship, if you are an angry person. So he concluded that it was not a good idea.
If someone is in an angry state of mind and they are worshipping through the use of fire, they could be invoking the asuras, bringing negative beings into the home, bringing beings from the inner worlds. When we worship, we bring beings the inner worlds to where we are worshipping. Usually we bring the devas, we bring beings from the up, down so to speak. Higher beings that can help us. But if we are in an angry state of mood, it is almost like black magic. We are not directing it at someone but it is a similar vibration as if it were black magic. So we can bring lower beings up, asuras up into our presence and these asuras can disturb us. These asuras can go home with us, just as the devas go home with us, from a place of worship. The asuras can also go home with us.
So Gurudeva said, "This is not good. I should say something about this." So he wrote a nice statement in his typical fiery style. "If angry people do puja the invocation calls up the demons, rather than calling down the devas. The asuric beings are invoked into the home by angry people and into the temple by angry priests or by contentious, argumentative sometimes rageful Boards of directors. These asuras take great satisfaction in creating more confusion and escalating simple misunderstandings into arguments leading to angry words, hurt feelings and more. With this in mind, once anger is experienced, 31 days should pass to close the doors on the chakras below the muladhara before puja may again be performed by that individual. Simple waving of incense for the icons is permissible. But not the passing of flame, ringing of bells or the chanting of any mantra other than the simple recitation of Aum."
So, you can see Gurudeva got, kind of, fired up on that. That's a very strong statement. 31 days, imagine that! So, not only does it show us something about performing ceremony, such as the fire ceremony or puja which involves flame and a bell. The bell calls the inner plane beings where incense doesn't call anyone. That is why we always ring the bell when we are burning prayers. We are ringing the bell to make sure someone is there to get the prayer. They are being called by the bell and by the flame, whereas incense doesn't do that.
Besides that knowledge which is very useful, the 31 days gives us an appreciation of the force we release within ourselves when we become angry. 31 days! It takes 31 days to recover inwardly from this action. That is a long time. So we have really caused an upset in our self. We have really released a tremendous force, negative force, if it takes that long to calm down after doing so.
There is another helpful analysis of anger which is looking at it through the framework of the chakras. The normal chakra system just talks about the seven major chakras starting with the muladhara and going up. But Gurudeva and a few others have also elucidated the seven chakras below the main chakras which are asuric areas.
The second one down is the anger chakra called 'vitala' which is described as raging anger, dark red black streaks emblazon the aura when awareness enter this furnace of instinctive fire and then injures others. You can see the color there. It is not just red, it is red with black in it. A bright red is not a negative color. It is the color of physical energy. When you put a lot of black into it, it is a very different vibration. It is energy turning to a negative force. So, red-black.
Gurudeva has a nice statement on that. "The onrush of anger serves to protect man's private interests in critical situations by injecting adrenaline into his blood and thus preparing him for defense.' That is how the instinctive mind works, you can see this in animals. "But as man evolves closer to his real actinic being he discovers that actinic love, understanding, compassion and wisdom are higher qualities than anger."
It is useful too to think of the first chakra below the muladhara which is fear, atala. Because, quite often, people first go into a state of fear and then keep going down in consciousness and end up in a state of anger. So we even want to be careful to avoid fear, fear in ourselves, putting others into fear, like children. We want to keep everyone from being afraid because it is one step down below from where we want to be, it is easy to go the second step.
"The first chakra below the muladhara, fear is passive odic force whereas anger is aggressive odic force." So fear is an introverted negative state of mind, where anger is extroverted negative state of mind. The chakras work like that. It is like reason when you come up. Reason is an introverted state of mind, whereas will power is extroverted. Then cognition is introverted, Divine love is extroverted.
Another perspective on anger comes from our Sutras. We have five verses in the Nandinatha Sutras by Gurudeva, which refer to anger. The first one is very general. "Worshipers of Siva who are a victim to anger or hatred refrain from meditation, japa and kundalini yoga. They confess sins, do penance, engage in bhakti and karma yoga to raise consciousness."
One of the reasons for refraining from meditation, japa and kundalini yoga is that they all intensify one's mental state. So you create an intensity by meditating. If the kundalini goes up, you are more intense. So, if you are prone to anger, that gives your anger more intensity. It makes it worse. You don't want to take the chance of intensifying your anger, making it worse than it normally would be by intensifying your mental state through those practices.
"Each of Siva's married men devotees loves and cares for his wife despite any shortcomings. He is forbidden to strike or speak harshly to her or ignore her needs. If he does, he must seek family and professional help." That one is self evident.
"Siva's women devotees never become angry with a man, malicious, belittle, verbally abuse him or use other emotional controls such as disdain, accusation, crying or prolonged pouting or silence." Of course, a woman's expression of anger tends to be more subtle, more internal than a man's. A man just blurts it out and says something in angry words or raises his fist or something. A woman keeps it in, but it is still anger and should be avoided.
"Siva's followers never govern youth through fear. They are forbidden to spank or hit them, use harsh or angry words, neglect or abuse them. They know you cannot make children do better by making them feel worse."
The last one is, "Even in moderation, Siva's devotees do not drink alcohol in solitude, when depressed, angry or under extreme stress. When one is emotionally unstable, alcohol inhibits the ability to confront and solve problems." So, if one is in an angry mood, partaking of alcohol can make it much worse. You give up the control, the small amount of control you may still have.