Saturday, March 03, 2007


krodhad bhavati sammohah
sammohat smrti-vibhramah
smrti-bhramsad buddhi-naso
buddhi-nasat pranasyati

From the Bhagavad Gita, this translates into something like this:

From anger arises delusion, from delusion arises loss of reason, from loss of reason arises destruction of the mind and the destruction of the mind leads to the self-destruction of the individual.

I was trying to find a way to connect this profound philosophy with something from Aristotle's writings on anger in his Nicomachean Ethics:

Anyone can become angry - that is easy. But to be angry at the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way - this is not easy

Whew!! Whew!! Whew!! One for the Gita, one for Aristotle and one for the fact that these are timeless thoughts that illustrate the greatness of ancient philosophies.

For me, the verse from the Gita gives the process of how anger leads to ruin! Aristotle's ethics talks to the control or channeling anger for maximum personal gain.
Aristotle is probably looking at it from a material gain perspective whereas the Gita is looking at spiritual gain. The Greek philosopher doesn't seem to say that you should not get angry, rather do so, but do it in a way that can provide benefit to oneself. So, does that mean that the right anger controlled the right way does not lead to ruin? Is controlling anger this way eventually lead to completing overcoming anger? What is the definition of anger? Why does it arise? My take is that suppressed desire leads to anger. Think of the various things that make you angry? Can you trace each of these things down to some desire of yours that was prevented? I think so.

The teachings of the Gita as well as Aristotle's words have given me much fodder for thought. I am starting to believe that if you start analyzing anger (each time you get angry) in the fashion of the words from the 'Nicomachean Ethics', you will in due course of time arrive to a state where it doesn't make sense to get angry at all! However, as Aristotle rightly says, that is not easy and to completely get rid of anger, near impossible.
But, then an interesting question. Is a rationalized well-thought out expression of anger, anger at all, or something completely different? Is planned anger an oxymoron?

Am I way off? Please feel free to tear apart my thoughts. I'm just thinking out loud and would love to hear your opinions and ideas. I've not even touched the tip of the iceberg here but hope to some day understand at some minuscule level, the root of anger, and as a lofty goal, how we can make the world a less angry place for us and our future generations to live in.


Unknown said...

I am not angry...but curious. What happened to you? Was the RPO experience so traumatic that you were recouping all these day?s or Did the anger at the way things Indian were waiting to come up with this study on anger?
Missed you.

Triv said...

Hehehe! No, there is no relation between any of my posts! It justs shows how my mind is actively thinking of various things all the time, most of these being vague and unformed thoughts!

And, btw, I was never angry with my RPO experience, just a lot amused.

Damayanti said...

Makes sense, definitely makes sense when u r really anger :)

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