Sringeri Acharya’s Advice on Anger Management!

shiva abhinava bharati



Compiled  by London swaminathan

Date: 22 September 2015

Post No: 2181

Time uploaded in London :– 20-08

(Thanks  for the pictures) 

A Forest Officer who was camping a few miles off Sringeri came there and paid respects to His Holiness Sri Sachidananda Siva Abhinava Narasimha Bharati Svaminah (33rd Acharya of Sarada Mutt between 1879 and 1912).

F.O: I am in the forest department and, as happened to camp in the hills about ten miles from here and learnt that Sringeri was so neat it struck me that I might worship Sri Sarada Devi and pay my respects to you, my hereditary Guru, though I cannot claim to have any orthodox leanings and habits.

HH: I am glad you have come. It is past ten o’clock. You may take your breakfast in the mutt and then go.

F.O: I have to return to my camp forthwith. I pray for your gracious blessings and for any practical advice which even I can follow in spite of my drawbacks.

HH: There is no occasion at all for despair in anybody born of a respectable family. Are you the top most officer in your department?


F.O: Not so. But I am fairly high in the ladder.

HH: I suppose you get frequent occasions which make you angry in the course of your employment.

F.O: Very often.

HH: That is, you have occasion to get angry with your subordinates?

FO: Yes.

HH:  Suppose your anger is not quite justifiable, will your subordinate point it out to you?

FO: He will not have the courage to do so.

HH: If your anger is not justified and if he cannot say it to you, will he not have a sense of resentment?

FO: He may have.

HH: But he cannot show it to you?

FO: If he does show it, his job will be in danger.

HH: How is he then to give vent to his resentment?

F.O: If he chooses, he may visit it on his subordinates.

HH: Will it be proper to direct the resentment against the subordinate when the latter is quite innocent and does not in the least merit it? Will not that subordinate resent such treatment and how is he to give vent to his resentment?

F.O: He must pass it on to a lower official.

HH: It appears therefore that if you unnecessarily get angry, it gives rise to a chain f unnecessary angers and you are primarily responsible for it.

F.O: It may be so. But what can I do?

anger book

HH: People who get angry may be classified under three categories: 1. those that know they are GOING to get angry, 2.those that know that they ARE angry and 3those that they know they WERE angry. Ordinarily the majority belong to the third category. To which category do you belong?

F.O: I think I can feel the anger coming on.

HH: I am very glad to hear it. There must be an interval ever so short between your feeling like that and the actual anger. You may just utilise that interval to think for a moment whether you really need to get angry. If you find that anger is not really so urgent, you may prevent the anger coming on. If the person KNOWS that he is in angry mood, even he may stop for a moment to think whether it is necessary to persist in that mood any longer; if he does so, the anger will lose its momentum. A person who gives way to anger and is aware of it only AFTER he has given vent to it may in his calm moments consider whether the anger he gave vent to was justified; he will be then more careful when he gets angry next time. Thus in all three cases a kind of self-enquiry at the time or later on will easily blunt the edge of anger and he may ultimately get rid of it altogether. It will be very useful if you bear that in mind.


Then the officer took leave of His Holiness and rode his horse back to his tent. It was past one o’clock and the ride for twenty miles had been a tiring one especially in the hot sun so much so that he felt very hungry. As soon as he entered the tent, the cook hastened to place before him a silver plate with a small rice cake in it and also a cup of water. Having missed a sumptuous breakfast at the Mutt and being faced with such a scanty fare before him, he naturally felt a surge of anger coming up with him, he naturally felt a surge of anger coming up with him but before he gave vent to it, he remembered the advice of His Holiness, put a check on his temper and began to question the cook.

F.O: You know I shall be coming late and hungry. How is that you have not prepared the regular meal yet? Is it proper to offer me now this small cake?

Cook: I certainly know. The servant who went down the hills to purchase the provisions has not yet turned up and, as I felt that you must have something to sustain you till he comes and till I prepare the meal, I got together what rice flour I had here and prepared the cake.

F.O: If you have used up all the available flour and if you are to have your meal after preparing the meal and serving me, what will you do then?

Cook: It does not matter. I am accustomed to late meals. But you are not. Hence I prepared this.

The forest officer realised that he was about to get angry with a faithful servant who had so affectionately cared for him and he insisted upon the cook sharing that cake with himself. It need hardly be said that, in course of time, he completely got rid of his anger and, with deep devotion and gratitude to His Holiness for His Gracious blessings and advice, began to resume his traditional habits and earned the status of an earnest devotee.


N.B: There are few more anecdotes which I will post separately: swaminathan

Source: GOLDEN SAYINGS, Compiled by Shri Jnanananda Bharati Svaminah, year of publication 1969,  Shri Jnananda Grantha Prakasana Samiti, Thenkarai, Madura District