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Thursday, July 31, 2014



This is the Kutir of the famous Santananda. See the colourful board proclaims: THIS IS
ANGER. “Come, let us have the Darshan of such a Mahatma,” said a pious man to his friend.
“Oh, no, it is not so easy to control anger. Don’t be deceived. What will you gain by the
Darshan of this proud man who advertises his angerlessness? If you wish, you can go in and have
the Darshan of the great soul! But, please stay there till the evening; and then tell me if you would
still admire the divine soul. I am off.” And he went away.
When the pious soul entered the Kutir, little did he know that his friend had set out to collect
Instigators of Irritation.
“Maharaj,” said the pious man prostrating himself to the Mahatma, “what a great and divine
soul you are to have acquired mastery over this formidable foe of man, Anger. There is no one in the
three worlds equal to you.”
“Even so it is, my friend. The man who has conquered anger is greater than Brahma, Rudra
and Indra; for even they were often overpowered by anger.”
“Maharaj, will you kindly tell me the way to control anger?”
“O yes, gladly. Kindly remain with me and serve me. Even by such service of Mahatmas,
you will get over anger.”
And, the pious man became the Mahatma’s disciple.
Another young man entered: “Maharaj, you are the Mahatma who has controlled anger?”
“O yes, did you not see the board outside?”
“Yes, yes, please tell me how you managed to do that.”
“By my strong will-power. There is nothing that a man of strong will-power will not be able
to do.
“Wonderful. Thank you.” The young man leaves the cottage.
Almost instantly another young man enters. “Maharaj, have you controlled anger?”
“O yes, did you not see the board outside?”

“Yes, yes, please tell me how you managed to do that.”
“By meditation on the all-pervading Immortal Santa Atman that dwells in all beings. When
one Self alone pervades all, how can one be angered against another, how can one abuse another,
and how can one harm or injure another? Through protracted meditation on this great truth I have
got over this anger which destroys the peace of man.”
“Wonderful. Thank you.” The young man leaves the cottage.
Instantly another young man appears.
“Maharaj, have you completely annihilated anger?”
“O yes, did you not see the board outside?”
“Yes, yes, Maharaj. But how did you manage to do that?”
“Come, sit down. I will tell you. You see passion and anger are the twin children of Rajo
Guna. Now if you persistently and diligently cultivate Sattva in you, you can completely eradicate
these Rajasic qualities! I ate Sattvic food. I always entertained Sattvic thoughts. I uttered Sattvic
words, full of love, truth, solicitude and kindness. I practised Sattvic Tapas. I performed Sattvic
charity. I always studied scriptural texts which increased the Sattva in the mind. I live and move
constantly in Sattvic atmosphere. Through Pranayama also I have increased the Sattvic content of
my mind. Friend, it is a long and hard struggle. But at last I have achieved the goal. I have attained
success in my Sadhana. I am an embodiment of Sattva now. I am full of love; anger has vanished.”

“Wonderful, Thank you.” The young man leaves the cottage.
At once another man enters.
“Maharaj, have you controlled anger?”
“O yes, did you not see the board outside?”
“Yes, yes, but I want to know how you achieved it.”

“I wish to go out to answer calls of nature. But never mind, my duty towards you, my own
Self, is more important. I will tell you the secret. You see; anger has various forms. You are fully
aware of the grossest form. The blood boils; the eyes are blood shot! There is great heat in the body;
limbs tremble; lips quiver; fists are clenched; and the man stammers and fumbles for words in great

The subtler form of irritability you know about. In a milder form all the symptoms I have
just described exist here also. Still subtler is displeasure. It is pride mixed with anger. With a sharp
word or a grunt, you dismiss the ‘nuisance’. These are all forms of anger. In extremely subtle forms,
anger becomes righteous indignation and pity. The man who thinks that he is always in the right,
gives vent to what he calls righteous indignation in order to protect Dharma. If he does not, he, in
the lordly style pities the person who has offended him. “Now I have got over and beyond all these
forms of anger. Even the Sattvic righteous indignation and pity do not trouble me now. I first
controlled the gross forms of anger. The anger arose in mind and it subsided there itself. Then by
meditation I controlled these subtle ripples of irritability. By the diligent cultivation of a feeling of
oneness I got over the displeasure—form of anger. I cultivated indifference towards wicked people
and thereby got over the out-bursts of righteous indignation and pity. Now I shine as Santananda
radiating peace and happiness to all.”

“Thank you, Maharaj, wonderful.” The young man leaves, crossing the next at the
threshold. Santanandaji rose from his seat and once more attempted to leave the hall when the next
young man accosted him. “Maharaj, just a minute. Have you controlled anger?”
In a slightly raised voice Santanandaji said: “Yes, why do you ask that question? Have you
not seen the board outside?”
“Yes, Maharaj. But I want to know how I can do that.”
“I will tell you. Drink a glass of cold water when you find your temper rising. Or count from
one to twenty. Or, leave the place at once.”
And Santanandaji tried to leave the hall along with the young man when the next one rushed

“Maharaj, have you controlled anger, and how?”
Visibly affected by this annoyance. “Only to avoid this constant repetition of the truth, I
have announced it on the board outside. I have told the methods also to a number of people.”
“But I want to hear from your holy lips.”
“All right. Observe Mouna: You will be able to control anger."
“Thank you, Maharaj.”
“Look here,” said Santanandaji addressing the pious man who came first and who had been
watching all these proceedings, “see that no one enters the Kutir for some time till I answer calls of
nature, bathe and have my food and rest.”
“Maharaj, if I begin to prevent them, they will quarrel with me and I will lose my temper. I
won’t do that. I want to be your true disciple.”
At once another young man rushed inside, “Maharaj, you have completely eradicated anger:
And how?”

Santanandaji, addressing the first disciple; “Please ask him to go away. I have to answer
calls of nature urgently.”
“But won’t you share your secrets with me, Maharaj?” pleaded the latest arrival.
“I won’t drive him out. Why should I lose my temper?” said the first disciple.
“I will kick both of you out of my house,” roared Santananda. “Good-for-nothing young
man troubling me the whole day, without letting me have a few moments respite. What do you think
I am? A gramophone-box or a radio-receiving set? I have told you once and more than once that I
have got over anger. And these people come again and again to trouble me. Get out all of you and
see me no more. If you stay here for a minute more I will murder you. Here take this and get out if
you don’t believe that I have the strength to handle you.” He slaps the two young men, drives them
out and locks the door.

Outside, the pious man’s friend was waiting. “Have you had the Darshan of the great
Mahatma who has controlled anger? Are you satisfied?" said he to the pious man who went in to
have the Mahatma’s Darshan. “It is not so easy to control anger. It can be controlled only through
God’s Grace. Continuous practice of humility is necessary. Ego must be crushed. Cosmic love must
be cultivated. Selfless service must be ceaselessly and untiringly practised. Even then the seed of
anger will be there hidden in the bosom. You don’t know where it hides itself. By Japa, meditation
and ceaseless Sadhana with Isvarapranidhana or self-surrender to the Lord; by constant prayer ”O
Lord! I am nothing; Thy Will be done" and “Lord, grant me freedom from all vice,” you will be able
to invite His Grace.

 Then, when the all-pervading Self is realised and Jnana is obtained, then and
then alone will this greatest enemy of man, anger, be totally annihilated. Well, well; in any case this
Santananda had a little bit of success in his Sadhana. He had also given us valuable hints on how to
control anger. We are all benefited. He had failed only because while he had controlled anger to a
certain extent, he had allowed vanity to grow in him to the same extent. Anger only had taken the
form of vanity in him. Ego assumes various forms. All these forms are different in name only. He
who finds out the hiding places of this formidable ego and through ruthless enquiry into the nature
of the Ego and the nature of the Self, which is the Reality behind this false ego, he and he alone can
be said to have controlled anger. He will not only have annihilated anger, but he would have
destroyed all vices. He will be humble, simple, and divine, an embodiment of love and compassion.
Come, we shall continue our search for such a divine personality. His Darshan will purify us. His
service will elevate us to divine heights."

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