According to legend, one man was so upset with the Buddha that he spat on him when he saw him. The Buddha said to Ananda that the man wanted to say something, but he was so angry that he lost control over his speech and carried out the karma of spitting on him. That same man met the Buddha the next day; he regretted his action and fell at the Buddha’s feet. The Buddha turned to Ananda and said that once again, the man had no control over his speech; he could not use language effectively, because he could not choose his words properly.
When a person is angry, his intellect is not able to select words that can constructively convey his feelings. He speaks from a place of anger. Consequently, his ‘language becomes weak’ and whatever he says carries bitterness. In such scenarios, people tend to quarrel, abuse, and try to hurt the other person. Their scattered mind spurs them to act and create broken karmic imprints, so it’s best to be patient with them. When someone is angry with you, don’t try to correct them. Also, don’t latch on to what they say, the real cause of their anger lies deep inside them.
When you feel angry, look for ways to calm yourself, for actions resulting from anger are like smoke arising from fire.
To extinguish fire, you have to throw water on it, and not on the smoke that arises from it. Often, when someone is angry, those around him work towards containing the impact of his harsh words. Hence, the problem stays unresolved. To resolve the problem, focus on its root cause. So it’s a good idea to not only calm an angry person but also to address the cause of his anger.
As spiritual practitioners, our sadhana is to work towards not getting angry as anger destroys peace, focus, patience and jnana. The Bhagwad Gita says that anger creates ignorance, which in turn, leads to smriti bhram, confusion, and eventual loss of jnana. When a person loses jnana, his fall is imminent; he stoops to a lower level of existence. ■