Hints for Control of Anger

Swami Sivananda Saraswati

1. Be alert. Pray. Do more japa. Practise vichara. Keep a watch over your mind. Be silent. Observe mouna daily for an hour. Forget and forgive. Bear insult and injury. Ob serve Brahmacharya.

2. See God in all. Submit to God’s will. Then you cannot get angry.

3.In the morning meditate on the virtue of patience. Manifest it during the day. Take a vow ‘I will practise endurance and kshama, forgiveness, during the day’.

4. Speak sweetly. Speak little.

5. Mix little. Have congenial company. Have satsanga. Read spiritual books.

6. Remember the lives of saints like Eknath, the Avanti Brahmin of the eleventh Skandha of the Bhagavata. You will derive inspiration. You will develop love and kshama.

7. Give up intoxicating liquors, meat and tobacco.

8. Remember the Gita slokas (3:37 and 16:21) describing anger as a monster and gate to hell.

9. If you find it difficult to control anger, leave the place at once. Take a long walk. Drink cold water. Repeat Om Shanti ten times. Do japa of your Ishta mantra or count from 1 to 30. Anger will subside.

10. Stand as a witness of the vritti of anger. Be indifferent to it. Do not identify yourself with it. Identify yourself with the Atman. Fill the mind with ideas of love, joy, etc.

11. Develop patience to a considerable extent. People lose their temper when they become impatient. Allow the mind to dwell constantly on the opposite of anger, the virtue of patience. This is the pratipaksha bhavana, method of raja yogins.

12. Do not give vent to anger. Control the body first. Have physical control. Practise this again and again. Be regular in your japa and meditation and kirtan. This will give you great inner spiritual strength.

13. Food has a great deal to do with irritability. Take milk, fruits, moong-ki-dal, curd, spinach, barley, groundnuts, butter milk. Do not take carrots, onion, garlic, cauliflower, massoor-ki-dal and drumstick.

14. Observe mouna for two hours daily. Occasionally observe mouna for a whole day. This will put a check on the impulse of speech. When a man gets excited, he speaks anything and everything. He has no control over the organ of speech.

15. Prana entwines the mind like a creeper. Pranayama leads to the control of mind. Pranayama will put a break on the impulse of speech. It will give you abundant energy to check anger.

16. Do not argue much. Do not retort. Speak sweetly always. Do not use abusive words. Become a man of measured words. If a man abuses or insults you, keep quiet. Identify yourself with Atman. Atman is the same in all. It can never be hurt or insulted.

17. A Vedantin denies the body and mind as illusory sheaths. He does vichara, enquires, ‘who am I’ and practises neti-neti – ‘not this, not this’. ‘I am not the body’. ‘I am not the mind’, Chidanandaroopa Shivoham – ‘I am blissful Shiva or Atman’. He identifies himself with Brahman or Atman, the Eternal. The world is unreal for him. He chants Om, sings Om and does japa of Om and meditates on Om and derives soul-power and spiritual strength.

18. If you entertain mithya drishti and dosha drishti, if you look into the defects of anger and the benefits of patience, you will never become angry.

19. The combined method is more effective. If one method fails, take recourse to the combined method. Do japa, pranayama. Sometimes do vichara.