One more thing ! ......

Walking away !! - a difficult task !

Sub-text of Ramayana

- the other stories !!

As we journey through Sundarakanda , we have seen Valmiki stating a number of “ important social truths “ through Hanuman !!

In chapter 55 of Sundarakanda we hear some more from Valmiki. This time it is about “anger”.

This is what is stated:

“ What is it an angry man will not do? ... . He may be insolent enough to insult people who should not be insulted. He will stop at nothing etc. Only 'he' is a man, who overcomes his anger.”

Hanuman blaming himself for the possibility that Sita might have perished in the fire engulfing the city of Lanka, moves into his familiar mode of thinking and analyzing !! He feels that he set fire to Lanka in anger !! Then he talks about the anger. As told by Hanuman ‘there is nothing an angry man cannot do! – ... “. He can be insulting and behaving insolently to a good person ! Then concludes that only 'he' is a man who is able to overcome his anger ( or others anger too!!!)

That is where our lesson starts.

When you come across a man already lost in anger there are two people.

One who has already lost the battle with anger and is blaring away and the other namely the man facing the barrage!! For the moment we will not worry about the angry man who already lost his battle! We will think of the other one facing that anger!!

An intelligent man who is able to know this ‘problem of anger' is better off leaving the angry man to his fate ! Unintelligent man who tries to join the discussion hands an undeserved victory to the man who is already lost in the world of anger. The message seems to be that do not respond to that "anger" of the 'angry man' ! Respond to that 'angry' man only after 'anger ' left him.

Does it mean that such people get away by wounding “pride” of others without any damage to them selves? Should the other not get an apology?

Actually there are two questions in this . One is about the “bad” angry man who is seemingly getting away with nothing and the other is about the good person whose “ pride “has been wounded without compensation and probably 'wanting an apology" !!

The answers are clear

First is about the “bad - angry ” man !!

Such ( the bad- angry man type) people may feel vindicated at that moment because he was not told to shut up!! But their retribution comes through their own realization that what they did is wrong and corresponding guilt and correction !! Some may pick on the word retribution but here it is a positive result. If that (regret) does not happen then their retribution comes through eventual annihilation of their world!! Because they will drive the good people away from themselves !!

What about the second – the “ wounded pride ” of the other man ?!?

It may sound difficult but if “ pride ” is part of the kit of the other man or the good man, then it only means that " that man" is yet to travel the distance of really being a "good man" . The good man we are talking is about is a ‘ Sthitapragnya' who is not affected by anything including others anger etc . And he has no ego problems ( “ wounded pride ” etc) requiring a apology !!

So in reality the “ wounded pride” should not be a matter for consideration. Still the question may remain as to ‘what should he do' – simply walk away?

The answer “ walk away' does not sound as very satisfactory. If it is between equals walk away is the still the best with retribution or regret happening for a closure. If it is between a boss and subordinate you should still walk away; even here retribution or regret happening for a closure . As a Sthitapragnya you will strive manfully on the right path and help the other to see reason eventually. This one can accomplish if one does not join the battle.

Being a "Sthitapragnya" , or one who is unaffected by anything( negative) is the real answer !

This is also partly answered in Gita !

In a different context – in Bhagavad Gita with Krishna while elaborating on “ Karma yoga” - we hear almost the same thought!

Krishna says do your duty, but if you see somebody not doing their duty do not correct them. Krishna literally says do not wake him up!!

Krishna elaborates the same and says you do your duty so that you set an example. The man wallowing in a different world not performing his duty will eventually understand and follow your example.

This inaction about correction would be troubling to many and is to be read in that context – not when you are in a teaching mode or any such or similar context . If it is a person who is being taught correction is perfectly normal !!

More about that later!!

PS : There is always this troubling question people bring up. What if you are genuinely upset with a wrong and then you are shouting in anger !?! is that not in a different class ? The answer is a big NO !. If you are genuinely upset at a wrong thing the best way is to correct it "patiently" . Patience is the key word that supports correction!! Anger creates opposition to the ease of correction !! All behavioral scientists tell us that !!

Om Tat Sat !!