Friday, April 16, 2010

And mine is...

A few days ago, I thought I would right a short piece on all the five sins: Kaama, Krodh, Lobh, Moha, Ahankaar. In that order. But being the capricious person that I am, I decided that I only wanted to write about mine. Yes, the one in the above list over which I have very little (make that minuscule) control: Krodh.
That's true: Anger is my greatest enemy. My downfall.

It has been said that of all the sins, anger is the only one that hurts the doer more than the receiver. Its true. Anger can burn you make you unhappy keep you smoldering resentful fuming-and exploding, but still- you are the epicenter of the explosion. You are the one who holds all that negativity and pain inside you which is regurgitated as anger.

Yes, I get angry very easily. And when I get angry, I get really angry. I scream and shout and cry- all at the same time. I hurt. And most of all, I hurt myself.
For as soon as it comes, it goes away. After a bout of screaming and shouting, I'm fine. And then I really regret my words. But as some wise person said "Words are like arrows shot from a bow. Once they leave, they can never be recalled"

Anger is really the most destructive emotion. Not because it hurts the person you are angry at; it destroys you.
I was reading CBD a few days ago. And in her book, she talks about how Draupadi held on to her anger for thirteen long years. How this single woman's anger brought about the Mahabharata. How she never let go of her anger, how she used it as a weapon. CBD then narrates the following scenario between Krishna and Draupadi :

"Krishna visits the Pandavas at their forest dwelling. Draupadi is cooking for him, when he suddenly pulls out a smoldering wooden log from the choolha and thrusts it at Draupadi. She lunges back, and then asks him, what is this?
He replies- this is what anger is. The fire smoldering inside this log. It smolders inside you and reduces you to nothing. "
(The Palace of Illusions, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni)


Richa said...

I agree that anger is quite hard to control and on personal level, it can be a challenge especially because we usually hurt the people we are closest to when we are angry.

However, anger is not always bad. Anger towards a social injustice can be fruitful. You see, unless we get angry, we don't protest or fight the injustice. And unless we do that, we can't dream about changing anything in the society. So at some level, being angry is good...

For Draupdi's example: I don't think that her anger was unjustified. She was dragged to the court and then in front of all of her extended family, she was insulted. One of her family member tried to derobe her while none of them stood up for her!! How was that fair? Isn't it equivalent to say that a rape victim shouldn't be angry?

Yes, I agree it's not healthy to cling on to one incident and we should move on but is it that easy to do?

And if we are talking about anger issues, then why do we blame Draupdi, who had a reason to be angry, instead of Duryodhan and his anger issues, who was responsible for all the mess? Why do we always find a woman to blame? Sita was responsible for the was in Ramayan (as she crossed the laxman rekha) and Draupdi for Mahabharta? Isn't it blaming the victim instead of the real culprits?

Shivani said...

I agree with Richa.. Draupadi had a right to be indignant! The very legal and justice system even in today's world talks about punishing the wrongdoer, not letting them off scot-free.
When men avenge, they turn heroes but poor Draupadi through centuries has been chastened by men and women alike for her spirit of not walking away silently into the night.

Rachna said...

@Richa, Shivani - Oh Yes, I do agree with you. Anger is not always bad- and especially against social injustice.
I was talking about everyday personal anger- over which I really have no control.
Secondly, I also think that anger is insidious and festering- if you keep it and hold on to it, it will grow and corrode you from within.

As far as Draupadi is concerend, of course she had every right to be angry. And I also think it is only right that she was angry MORE with her husbands (not one of whom raised even a finger to stop her public humiliation). But this anger was there constantly in her relationship with them. She used her tongue viciously with all her husbands -for THIRTEEN YEARS- never letting them forget for even a moment that they had let her down.
So there is this question here? Holding on to her anger, she soured her relations with her husbands and children, she was always continously Obsessed with revenge. Holding on to hate ALL the time, She became a vicious bitter hurtful person. Oh yes, she was right all the time.

Thats my point. Anger harms us because it spews forth hate and Dvesha in our heart. it tkaes away our happiness and peace of mind.

And you know what, I have learned the hard way- in my life- that its not important to be always right. Especially in a marriage. Especially in my realtionships with my friends. I am not talking about social ills here- since I agree with you there- but everyday mundane things that annoy us. If my friend/ the other peroson/ ther relationship is important to me, I'll forgive. And soemtimes (very rarely, I agree) ;) even forget.