||Om Namo Sainathaya||
What is anger? When do you get angry?
Stop for two minutes, take a piece of paper, and answer these questions.
Some of the answers that I often get to these questions are:
I get angry when I do not get what I want.
I get angry when scolded in public.
I get angry when my colleague blunders.
I get angry when spoken of behind my back
The list is endless.
When we deem ourselves to be inferior, there is a reaction, and it shows up as anger.
When a person calls us ‘donkey’, we retaliate by calling him ‘monkey.’ This is a reaction. When we react, external situations control us. In the management lexicon, the word used more often is ‘proactive’, not reactive.
What is the difference between these two words? The following story from the life of Dasganu Maharaj throws more light on this.
This was in 1894, much before they met Sai Maharaj. Nana Saheb Chandorkar was the Deputy Collector of Kopergaon. Along with his Orderly Ganesh Rao Sahasrabuddhe (who later became a Kirtankar and became famous as Dasganu Maharaj) wanted to meet Gangagiri Maharaj at Punatambe, close to Kopergaon.
On the way, they passed through a forest. In the forest, a monk was deep in meditation. Ganesh Rao bowed and asked him humbly, “O Monk! Which is the way to reach the Ashram of Gangagiri Maharaj?”
The monk did not respond. Ganesh Rao repeated his question a little more loudly. The monk still did not respond. The third time, Ganesh Rao shouted the question so loudly that it shook the very tree under which the monk was meditating. The monk opened his eyes and said sternly, “You stupid fellow! Why did you disturb my meditation?”
Now Ganesh Rao was furious. He immediately pulled out his rifle and raised it to hit the monk. The monk said with a smile, “This is the way please.”
Ganesh Rao immediately realized his folly and his anger abated. ‘The monk called me stupid not to chide me but to give me information to reach Gangagiri Maharaj’s Ashram…’ He gently placed his rifle and bowed to the monk
When the monk rebuked Ganesh Rao, he was angry. ‘How could this monk scold me in front of my boss? It’s so demeaning, the respect for me is gone’ ran his thoughts, lowering his self-esteem, and filling him with regret and sorrow. So, he failed to think and, hence, took out his rifle — this is ‘reaction’. To react — is the gate to hell.
The reason to call Ganesh Rao stupid was not to belittle him but to answer his question. Ganesh Rao was quick to grasp the teaching of the monk. Soon the rifle found its place in the sheath — this is ‘proaction.’ To respond thus – is the gate to heaven.
Hell and heaven are states of mind. When we get angry with others, we lose our balance, our blood pressure rises, and our limbs tremble. By being angry, irrespective of the surrounding situation, punishment is meted out to us in the form of anger. We are responsible for our state. When they reached the Ashram, they were amazed to learn that the monk himself was Gangagiri Maharaj.
Yours Sai Babaly
The Sai Aura Team