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Desire and anger cannot be destroyed but they can be transmuted


When can desire and hatred, the enemies of man be destroyed? Sri Ramakrishna Answers

These propensities of the mind prove themselves enemies when directed to worldly affairs. They become allies when directed towards God.

Desires for worldly things must be converted into the desire for God. Let man be annoyed with God and angry with Him for not revealing Himself.

Desire and anger cannot be totally destroyed, but they can be transmuted; then they become harmless.

One may enter the world after attaining discrimination and dispassion. In the ocean of the world there are six alligators: lust, anger, and so forth. But you need not fear the alligators if you smear your body with turmeric before you go into the water. Discrimination and dispassion are the turmeric.

The traits of a worldly man endowed with tamas are sleep, lust, anger, egotism, and the like.

Darkness is needed too. It reveals all the more the glory of light. There is no doubt that anger, lust, and greed are evils. Why, then, has God created them? In order to create saints. A man becomes a saint by conquering the senses. Is there anything impossible for a man who has subdued his passions? He can even realize God, through His grace.

Sri Ramakrishna



On the same topic

Human beings are tormented by desire, doubt, disease, death, passion, jealousy, hatred, anger, and so many other things. This is truly hell. The word of the Lord alone rescues us from this awful situation. The gospel of the Lord carries solace and succour for suffering humanity. It soothes our nerves and brings us peace and joy. Just as water extinguishes fire, the words of the Lord extinguish the burning misery caused by worldly desires and our enjoyment of them. Krishna said in the Gita: ‘Having come into this transitory, joyless world, worship me.

The words of God ‘destroy all kinds of sins and their results.’ God’s name purifies our bodies and minds. Try to visualize the world as a room freshly painted with black paint. You are there, dressed in white clothes. You may be extremely cautious, but you cannot be alert all the time. In one moment of forgetfulness, you will spoil your clothes. So it happens in this world: Desire, doubt, pride, anger, jealousy, greed, and lust are continually polluting our minds. Human beings stumble and fall, overcome by temptations. But they should not yield helplessly; they must fight. The Atman manifests in a human being through three powers:
  • jnana-shakti — wisdom,
  • ichha-shakti — will, and
  • kriya-shakti — action.
Life is a struggle. Only two groups of people do not have to struggle: the illumined and the dead. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna helps us develop a strong discriminative faculty and protects us from weakness and temptation.

In the Gita, Sri Krishna explains the process by which one goes to ruin by thinking of the sense-objects. He says: ‘For a person thinking of the sense-objects, there grows attachment for them; from attachment arises desire; from desire results anger; from anger results delusion; from delusion results confusion of memory; from confusion of memory results destruction of intelligence; and from destruction of intelligence he perishes.’