What is anger..? When do we get angry..?
Stop for two minutes, take a piece of paper and write the answer to these questions..!!
Let me give you some of the answers that normally people would say..
'I get angry, when children do not obey me.
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. Let us stop here and focus at anger and understand what it is.
When we deem ourselves to be inferior, there is a reaction and it shows up as anger.
When a person calls us by using strong offensive word, we retaliate by calling him/her with another stronger word that is meant to hurt back. This is 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 is a Zen story throws more light on this.
There was a Samurai. After winning a war, he was returning home with his army. On the way, he passed through a forest. In the forest, a monk was deep in meditation. The Samurai bowed and asked humbly, 'Oh! Monk! Which is the way to heaven which is to hell..?'
The monk did not respond. Now the Samurai repeated his question a little more loudly. the monk still did not respond. the third time, the Samurai roared the question in a thunderous voice that shook the very tree under which the monk was meditating. Now the monk opened his eyes and said sternly,
'You stupid fellow! Why did you disturb my meditation..?'
Now the Samurai was really furious. He immediately pulled out his sword and raised it to kill the monk. The monk said with a smile, 'This is the way to hell..!'
The Samurai realised his folly. The truth dawned on him and his anger abated. ‘The monk called me “stupid’ not to chide me but to teach me the truth…’ He gently placed his sword in the sheath. And the monk said, 'This is the way to heaven..!!'
When the monk rebuked the Samurai in front of his soldiers, he was angry. ‘How could this monk rebuke me in front of my soldiers? I have been demeaned; the respect for me is gone! Now how will these fellows show me any regard in the future?’ ran his thoughts, lowering his self-esteem, filling him with regret and sorrow. So, he failed to think and hence, drew out his sword - this is ‘reaction.’ To react - is the gate to hell..
'The reason to call the Samurai stupid was not to belittle him; but to answer his question in an indirect way. The Samurai was quick to grasp the teaching of the monk. Soon the sword found its place in the sheath this is 'pro-action.' To respond -is the gate to heaven.
Hell and Heaven are the states-of-mind.
When we get angry with others, we lose our balance, our blood pressure rises and limbs tremble. By being angry, irrespective of the situation around us, punishment is meted out to us in the form of anger. We are responsible for our state.
Reactive mind is Hell; Responsive mind is Heaven
The Ability to Respond is Responsibility
There was a very rich man. After visiting many countries for trade, he was returning home. As the ship reached the mid ocean, there was a storm. The wind was blowing very strong and the mighty waves rocked the ship. The man was terrified! He prayed in desperation.
'Oh, God! If I reach home safe, I shall sell mu place and offer the proceeds to the needy!' after a while, to everyone’s astonishment, the storm abated and all was calm. The ship now floated on smooth sea and reached the harbour safely.
Now the rich man regretted his hasty offer to God. 'Why was I in such a stupid haste? Now, how can I escape from the promise of offering?' he pondered.
Once back in his hometown, the rich man announced that he was going to sell his palace. Most of the rich people thronged to buy it, competing with one another.
He addressed a large gathering and declared the price of his palace as just $1.
All those who gathered, were stunned. 'Had the sea voyage turned him mad?' they wondered in confusion. And the rich man had something more to add..
'I will sell my place only to a person who is willing to buy my cat! - Only then my palace is available for $1. But the cat has a price.' People thought what a deal - Palace for $1 and a cat with it. Why not?
'What is price of the cat' a bidder asked.
The buyers were now totally bemused. However, as the palace was worth more than a million dollars, one of the bidders bought the cat for $1 million and the palace for $1.
The rich man declared ‘Lord, now as I promised, I donate $1 from the sale proceeds of my palace to the poor. Since the cat is mine. I keep $1 million.. So my promise is kept.’
We are so manipulative that we ourselves are not aware of our manipulation. This is the height of manipulation.
Does God ask us for this and that? We are the ones who offer all kinds of things to Him in the name of our prayers and vows. We pester Him constantly, saying ‘I shall give you this and you give me that!’ as if we are trading with him.
Some even stoop so low to bargain with God, ‘If you get me $2 million, I shall donate $20,000 to your temple’ as though offering Him a commission.
One cannot call it a ‘prayer’ when one gets entangled into vows and rituals without fully understanding their meaning. Prayer means fully understanding ourselves with sacredness.
The words of Jesus Christ may provide us with some clarity at this point.
'I was hungry, you offered food; I was thirsty you offered water; I was sick, you gave me clothing. So, today I say unto you, whatever you do unto the last of your brethren, you do that for me!'
Prayers is not a Demand Note.
The Divine honours no drafts where there are no deposits. Let there be a deposits of Gratitude in your Prayer.