Channeling Desire, Anger and Fear the Right Way

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‘Sound mind in a sound body’- This is a partial truth. If the body is sound, it will have its invigorating effects upon the mind. But the mind has its drives. tendencies and ailments which need to be taken care of, failing which we shall not be able to live happily. Mental disorder adversely affects the physical system. A number of diseases, such as ulcer, blood pressure, heart attack, insomnia, neurasthenia and cancer are mental in origin. Man is a psych0-physical complex. As physical disorder tells upon mental happiness, so also mental disorder tells upon physical health. Hence there is necessity for exercise, control and regulation of the drives and tendencies of mind.

Desire -


Desire is the spur to all human actions. Desire is born of the urge for pleasure. Men have desires for different kinds of things, such as money, power, sex, social recognition, food, etc, Without desire human existence is inconceivable. But if we do do not learn how to control and regulate our desires, and run after desired objects like and unbridled horse, we invite troubles for ourselves. A greedy man, instead of seizing the object of his desire, is seized by the object itself. Because of his greediness for getting more and more, he deprives himself of the true end of getting i.e the pleasure of enjoying the desired object. He heaps up riches to possess but not to enjoy; “he starves himself in the midst of plenty”. A greedy man is a selfish and immoral man. He is like “barren sandy ground of desert which sucks in all the rain and dew with greediness, but yields no fruitful herbs or plants for the benefit of others” (Zeno). For the fulfillment of our greed, we have to be dependent on others. By our greed we make our position vulnerable before those favour we seek for the attainment of our desired objects. By our greed and ambition we rouse others’ hostility. No desired object can give us abiding pleasure after we have attained it. There is pleasure in anticipation of getting an object. But after the attainment of the object pleasure ceases. The principles regarding the regulation of desire :

1. For the fulfilment of desire we should not lose mental balance or patience.

2. We should not run after a number of objects at a time.

3. We should not broadcast the desire before others because that would make our position vulnerable.

4.  We should have worthy desires. Excess of sensual desires weakens us physically and mentally. Hence they should be reduced by regular practice and drill.

5. If our aim is worthy, we should strive to achieve it in a worthy manner. The means are as important as the end. There is real pleasure in the worthy manner of attaining an object rather than the object itself. In our eagerness to grab food, we should not miss its taste by hasty swallowing.

Anger -


Desire, when thwarted, turns into anger. When our ego is hurt by “the grasping rapacity” of another ego, we get angry. Anger is immensely corrosive to the body, mind and intellect. The Bhagwad Gita thus narrates the causes and consequences of anger :

“As a result of constant thinking on sense objects, attachment develops. Attachment gives rise to desire. Desire is the cause of anger. Anger causes delusion. Delusion causes loss of memory. Loss of memory leads to the loss of intellect. When intellect is lot, one is doomed.”

In England a doctor, named John Hunter, remarked after his recovery from heart attack: “My life is in the hands of any rascal who chooses to annoy and tease me!” One day he could not control his temper, and dropped dead. An angry man cannot dispassionately analyse any situation. An angry man opens his mouth and closes his eyes (Cato the Elder). By getting angry we lose our cause rather than uphold it. “We injure our own cause in the opinion of the world when we too passionately defend it” (Charles Caleb Colton). Anger does more harm than the injury which provokes it. An angry man avenges upon himself the faults of others. Anger burns the angry man more than it target. After everything is said about the harmful results of anger, the fact remains that anger is inevitable in some circumstances. A self-effacing man who is consciously and consistently practising humility may overcome irritability on many occasions. Those who practise silence may overcome anger to a considerable extent. Those who have less Vasanas or desires may be less liable to anger. But anger cannot be completely got rid of. About the control of anger one may follow the following rules :

1. We should practise patience on trivial matters instead of getting angry.

2. We should avoid contact with such persons who always raise our hackles.

3. Silence should be observed as far as possible.

4. When waves of anger arise in our minds, we should think of its consequences.

5. Certain degree of anger may be necessary as a catharsis of emotions. Complete suppression of anger may lead to physical maladies like increase of blood pressure and cancer. When there is an outburst of anger, one should try to control it instead of being carried away by it.

6. Anger should be treated as a transient outburst. It should not be allowed to “take the shape and consistency of enudring hatred”. Life is “too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”

7. One should not decide any course of action in anger. Delay is an effective remedy for anger.



Fear is born of man’s sense of insecurity. Fear plays some useful roles in our lives. It acts as  a “preservative from evil”! It is the mother of “prudential caution” and “foresight”. But in its perverted from, fear clouds our vision, overbears reason and damages our personality. Sometimees the anticipation of a danger which is likely to happen in future grips and paralyses us. Physiologically speaking, fear may cause fatigue, result in the rise of heart rate and blood pressure, inhibition of digestive process and release of sugar into blood. Th destructive and negative sort of fear must be overcome at any cost. Fear can be overcomed with the help of the following steps :

1. Ignorance is the  root of fear, and must, therefore, be dispelled, “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood” – Marie Curie.

2. Do not die in anticipation of troubles in the future. Tale care of the present. The future will take care of itself.

3. Do not regret for the past, because it is beyond recall and do not fear the unknown future. Some people imagine some dangers which have no basis in reality.

4. One may fear an anticipated future trouble to a degree, but when the trouble actually occurs, one should be bold enough to face it. Thus runs the Sanskrit saying : “Danger is to be feared before its occurence. But if it occurs, one should adopt the proper course of action to face it.”