How to handle anger?

Let go of anger” says Lord KrishnaHe who is without anger shall reach me!
If you go by the literal understanding of this verse in Bhagavad Gita, none of us can reach Lord Krishna because all of us at some point in life, would have expressed anger. What is anger?

The truth is anger is neither positive nor negative. Anger is an energy, just like money, it depends on how you handle it. For example, if somebody does a $10 job, you will not pay him $1000. If you are paying him $1000, you will become bankrupt very soon! Same way, if somebody does $10 worth of mistake, don’t pay him with $1000 worth of anger! For any negative emotion, whether it is anger, lust, greed, fear, when you pay more than the situation requires, you will be depleted.
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Judging Life is Violence

Do you know that the more judgments you carry about life, the more you will suffer with unnecessary violence and anger?

We are always so quick to pass judgment on a particular person based on one experience or even on a particular race based on one person. The judgment you pass about a particular race, the judgments you pass about a religion, the judgment you pass about a state, the prejudices and biases you carry, are all related to this wrong knowledge – we use the past experience to judge the present situation.

Here starts the problem because not only do we throw the emotions of anger or violence on others, we start internalising them which make us suffer with unnecessary emotions. For example, you read some news about a country’s President and you say “This guy is destroying the citizens of that country! So you start to carry a strong anger against him. But you won’t be able to directly interfere in his life as you have neither the right nor power to do it. So you are just sitting with that anger and later, if you hear some misfortune has happened in that President, you are happy because your anger is fulfilled, your violence is fulfilled. This is called excess anger or unnecessary anger which is in no way directly related to your life. It is just a judgment you are carrying about life.

In the 8th Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, he tells us not to carry strong words or judgments about life based on our narrow logic from the past conditioning. All these things are based on wrong knowledge. He says “Interpreting based on past incompletions leads to misconception or wrong understanding.” We never have compassion towards the present moment, we are always violent with the present moment, that is why we kill the present with the past. We destroy the present moment with the incompletions carried forward from our past. Be very clear – abusing the present moment with the incompletions from the past is hell.

All our fears, greed, worries, whatever we think of as misfortune in life, whatever we think of as our identity, can be sorted out with this one understanding. Eternity presents itself to you in the present moment, you can touch Eternity only by touching the present moment. You can’t directly touch the past nor future, the present moment is the only way you can directly connect with Eternity. However, if you are constantly torturing it with your past, you are creating incompletion, misconception and wrong understanding. All the suffering is just with this one problem – carrying the past into the present, leading to wrong understanding. You go on interpreting life based on the past and creating problems for yourself. This is how wrong understanding leads to wrong decisions which leads to suffering.

In any situation, if you are open, fresh and alive, without the past conditioning and words, you can handle the situation directly, you can live and experience that situation completely. But when you carry a preconceived idea about the situation. You never directly face that situation, you jump to a certain conclusion and start taking actions based on that. See how many time you create a whole problem in your imagination and are ready to attack with all the weapons and arguments. One important truth is we think in a generalised way i.e. the mind always carries the incompletions from one situation from one experience and extends it to all people, all situations and all experiences. Each situation is different, but your mind always generalizes.

My Guru, Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji) gives this ONE amazing key, he said ‘Have compassion towards the present moment’. If you look towards the present moment with a little sympathy and compassion, it will completely open a new door, you will have a new understanding about life. When you don’t have compassion towards the present moment, you always judge this moment with your past experience. This is a powerful key to unlock all your suffering from the past and see every moment as new!

In essence, stop judging life based on your past, have a little compassion towards the present moment so that you can allow yourself to fully experience life and eventually touch Eternity. Namaste 😀

  • Source – 108 truths from the Yoga of Enlightenment by Paramahamsa Nithyananda

Giving care from the pure space of completion

Yesterday I had the fortune of conducting a special 3-hour workshop on Self-care for a group of caregivers which turned out to be an excellent learning experience for me.

Caregiving is catching on in a big way since Singapore is an increasing ageing population and a developed nation with a staggering health care cost. As such many of caregiving responsibilities fall on the family members such as the spouse, sibling or children. More than 50% of caregivers are women. In USA, although 75% of the current caregivers feel they are capable of giving care, 49% feel overwhelmed, 36% report experiencing depression, and 65% have not had a vacation for the past one year. This statistics showed that caregiving can be a challenging responsibility which is not for the faint-hearted.

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