This question has been asked hundreds of times, so should I be angry with that person? Should I keep on answering the same thing? Question yourself, why are you angry? Because the other guy did not act the way you wanted.  You. You wanted something, and you didn’t get it, so you are angry.

The cause for your anger is your wanting something. If you accept people as they are, there is no point in getting angry: you won’t get angry. If he is a fool, he is a fool. There is nothing to get angry about. You were a fool one time.  He is still growing. Accept people as they are; they are all at different levels of growth.  One day, slowly, they will grow. You are the cause for your anger.  Does that anger help you? No. It affects your health. An angry person’s blood often boils the face becomes red.  If you keep on getting angry, you will become nervous.  On the other hand, your anger may not do anything to the other guy. Suppose you are angry with somebody, she may say, “Oh, he is a crazy guy: he gets angry about everything. Forget it.” He ignores your anger and he leaves, so your anger becomes useless. But at the same time, it has affected you.

It’s as though you take a gun and shoot it. Before the bullet goes and hits something, the bullet heats up the barrel itself.  That’s why soon after you shoot, you can feel the gun is hot. Why? The charge first heats the barrel, and then goes out.  The same way, you heat your own barrel with anger, and then it goes out.  And it may be useful or not.  When you analyze that, it’s not worth getting angry. But why should God create anger then?

God didn’t create anything without a purpose.  If you know how to use it, it’s all for good.  If you don’t know how to use it, it’s all for bad. So, instead of getting angry, keep the anger in your pocket and use it when it’s needed.  For example, a child will be constantly playing, not studying its lessons. The mother says, “Please, take the book and read it.” If the child does not bother to listen, the mother should show some anger.  She should not get angry, but she should show some anger.  So anger is useful, if you use it properly.

Telling a lie, is it good or bad? In certain situations to withhold the truth can bring a good effect. Do you understand me? I will give you an example of how telling the truth in a situation can bring a horrible effect.

Once upon a time, a person just wanted to practice Yoga, and he thought that the outside world is not a place to practice, so he wanted seclusion. He went and built a small hut somewhere in a jungle area, like the hippies who went to make their teepees, getting rid of their home, college, school, church, everything. So, like that, this guy went into a quite secluded place and was sitting there practicing his asana (postures,) pranayama (breathing exercises,) and meditation. One fine evening a pretty young girl wearing a lot of jewels came running towards him, saying, “Please, please, please, allow me to hide somewhere in your hut. Some guy is chasing me to kill me and take all my jewels.” And without even waiting for his permission, she went and hid herself in the hermitage. Within a few minutes, a wild looking guy with a dagger in his hand came there and asked the Yogi, “Hey, did you see a girl coming here?” Yogis should not tell lies, right? One of the Yama-Niyamas is Satyam, Truth.  Should he say, “Yes, I saw her, she is hiding in there.” Maybe he should say, “What do you mean by that, what are young girls going to do here?  I am all alone here.  This is no place for young girls.”  See, he didn’t deny it completely, it is a diplomatic lie. “So, that means you didn’t see anybody?”  “That’s what I am telling you.”  “OK.”  And he went away.  So it’s a lie, but by his telling a lie, the Yogi saved the life of the girl, he saved himself, and he saved the other man also. If not, the wild man would have gone there, killed the girl, collected all the jewels and come out. Since he wouldn’t want a witness to the crime, he would kill the Yogi also, and then the police would catch him and hang him. So all three would die because a Yogi told the truth!

That’s why there are certain situations, where you might have to withhold the truth. In the Thirukkural, Thiruvalluvar says “Even a lie is to be accepted as a golden truth if it is not going to hurt anybody, and if it’s going to bring some benefit to somebody.” That’s a golden rule.  In your life, do anything you want, but you have to fulfill these two conditions: it should not hurt anybody, and it should bring at least some benefit to somebody. If those conditions are fulfilled, that is a perfect act.  But to do that, you have to have control of your own mind. You must be the master of your mind. Self –mastery is what is needed, and that’s what Yoga is all about. Yogis should have control in their own lives always. They should not be slaves to their minds. On the other hand, they should use the mind as their tool. God created the soul and gave it a mind and a body to be instruments to function in the world.  It should not become a slave to the body and mind.  How often are we slaves to our own tongue? You might have sumptuous meal; you can’t take another bite, but then somebody brings a nice cake.  You are salivating immediately, and you find an excuse. “Oh, my sister lovingly brought this cake.   If I say “No” she will be hurt.” So, not to hurt your sister, you eat.  And then that evening comes a stomachache. Learn to control your senses and control your mind, then you can use anything, not only your anger, for a good cause.

Swami Satchidananda

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