Akrodha

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Akrodha (Sanskrit: अक्रोध) means 'absence' or 'suppression of anger'.[1] Akrodha is absence of anger, it is the capacity to check at the right time the waves of anger lest they manifest in actions; akrodha means 'keeping an even temper'.[2]

Krodha ('anger') is excessive mental turmoil on account of the obstacles in the path of desire gratification; it is based on immature mental state and manifestation of the quality of tamas, that which is contrary to Krodha is Akrodha.[3]

Anger is morally and pragmatically a bad feeling. Manu has listed Akrodha ('absence of anger') among the ten primary virtues. The Apastambhadharmasutra (I.iii.22) rules that a student be not given to anger, and that a house-holder is required to abstain from anger and whatever would provoke someone to anger (II.xviii.2). The Baudhayanadharmasutra (I.xv.30) requires a house-holder never to be angry, and the Gautamdharmasutra (II.13) advises that he must not feel angry. The Vashisthadharmasutra (IV.4) avers that refraining from anger is a virtue like truthfulness, charity etc. Yudhisthira while pleading before Draupadi for the view that forgiveness is an unconditional virtue, narrates the evils which anger can cause.[4]

Akrodha is a human value. To control anger and the non-existence of anger are two different things. When there is cause of getting angry but even then there is absence of anger, it is non-anger or akrodha, which is the most difficult thing to achieve.[5] Absence of anger (akrodha) means being calm even when insulted, rebuked or even after great provocation. Akrodha does not mean without anger, it means - keeping an even temper.[6]

The Shaivite doctrine considers four yamas for the Pashupata ascetic who smears on his body bhasam; the four yamas are – non-injury, celibacy, truthfulness and non-stealing; the niyamas consist of non-irritability (akrodha), attendance on the teachers, purity, lightness of diet and carefulness (apramada). Akrodha is a virtue.[7]

The Bhagavad Gita (Slokas XVI.1-3) gives a list of twenty-six Divine attributes beginning with abhayam ('fearlessness') and sattva sansuddhih ('purity of mind') and ending with adroha ('bearing enmity to none') and naatimaanita ('absence of self-esteem'):

अभयं सत्त्वसंशुध्दिर्ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः|
दानं दमश्च यज्ञश्च स्वाध्यायस्तप आर्जवम् ||
अहिंसा सत्यमक्रोधस्त्यागः शान्तिरपैशुनम् |
दया भूतेष्वलोलुप्त्वं मार्दवं ह्रीरचापलाम् ||
तेजः क्षमा धृतिः शौचमद्रोहो नातिमानिता |
भवन्ति सम्पदं दैवीमभिजातस्य भारत ||

and Akrodha is one of them. Krishna has characterized Akrodha as a mere negation of anger. Anger is internal feeling of indignation that seeks outer expression – the internal and the external expression of anger burns the angry man and also the object of anger; these stages are covered by the term Krodha, the absence of anger in all these forms is referred to as Akrodha.[8]

Satya is the highest Dharma; the world is supported by it because it is the basis of purusharthas and the source of happiness and bliss and all laws of nature are expression of truth. Dharma rests on Akrodha, serenity, the rational principle of life, a moral virtue controlled by love.[9]

Hinduism and Buddhism have contributed to universalism by offering spiritual aims and values for mankind; Manu and Buddha propounded a code of ten essential freedoms and controls or virtues of good life. The five tenets of social assurances were – Ahimsa ('freedom from violence'), Asteya ('freedom from want'), Aparigraha ('freedom from exploitation'), Amritava ('freedom from early death') and Arogya ('freedom from disease'), and corresponding five controls or virtues – Akrodha ('absence of intolerance'), Bhutadaya or Adroha ('compassion'), Jnana or Vidya ('knowledge), Pravrtti ('freedom of conscience'), Abhaya ('freedom from fear') and Dhrti ('freedom from frustration and despair'). [10]

According to the Vedic sages when work is performed as yajna, the effect of that work is transformed into an invisible power called apurva; apurva is the spiritual power that helps one to attain supreme good in life. The philosophy of Hindu ethics emphasizes on ten Dharma Lakshanas, akrodha is one such lakshana. Anger clouds reason, which results in the loss of discrimination between right and wrong and virtue and vice. When the discriminating faculty is ruined, the person loses self-identity and perishes.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ V.S.Apte. The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Digital Dictionaries of South Asia. 
  2. ^ Holi Gita Ready Reference. Chinmaya Mission. p. 370. 
  3. ^ Pushpa Anand. Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. Arpana publications. pp. 874–875. 
  4. ^ Rajendra Prasad. A Conceptual-analytic Study of Classical Indian Philosophy of Morals. Concept Publishing. p. 319. 
  5. ^ Shanti Swarup Gupta. Integrated Development Plan for India. Concept Publishing. p. 72. 
  6. ^ Dharmdeo Singh. Bhagavad Gita. Llumina Press. p. 69. 
  7. ^ Surendranath Dasgupta. A History of Indian Philosophy Vol.5. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 134. 
  8. ^ Jayadayal Goyandaka. Srimadbhagavadgita Tattvavivecani. Gita Press, Gorakhpur. pp. 621–623. ":Absolute fearlessness, perfect purity of mind, constant fixity in the yoga of meditation for the sake of Self-Realization, and even so charity in its Sattavika form, control of the senses, worship of God and other deities as well as one’s elders including the performance of Agnihotra (pouring oblations into the sacred fire) and other sacred duties, study and teaching of the Vedas and other sacred books as well as the chanting of God’s names and praises, suffering hardships for the discharge of one’s sacred obligations and straightness of mind as well as of the body and senses; (XVI.1)
    Non-violence in thought, word and deed, truthfulness and geniality of speech, absence of anger even on provocation, disclaiming doership in respect of actions, quietude or composure of mind, abstaining from malicious gossip compassion towards all creatures, absence of attachment to the objects of senses even during their contact with the senses, mildness, a sense of shame in transgressing against the scriptures or usage, and abstaining from frivolous pursuits; (XVI.2)
    Sublimity, forbearance, fortitude, external purity, bearing enmity to none and absence of self-esteem – these are the marks of him, who is born with the divine gifts, Arjuna. (XVI.3)" 
  9. ^ Amulya Mohapatra. Hinduism: Analytical Study. Mittal Publications. pp. 40–41. 
  10. ^ Micheline Ishay. The History of Human Rights. University of California Press. p. 20. 
  11. ^ Bansi Pandit. The Hindu Mind. New Age Books. p. 142.