[If you have not read the previous 15 little stories of Amma under this topic, you can read them here: Amma’s stories on managing anger and other emotions – Part 1 ]
1. Insignificant victory
An young man received call for a prestigious job interview, which he was eagerly waiting to receive for months. He had to travel to a distant city where his interview was scheduled. For that, he had to travel by air and the travel plan involved changing a plane at an intermediate station. Once his first flight descended in the intermediate airport, the next plane was scheduled to depart after a gap of half an hour. As he was waiting at the departure lounge for the flight, he felt hungry; he decided to utilize the time gap to have a quick bite.
He went to the Restaurant there and ate some fast food. When the bill came, he was shocked as the amount was Rs 500, which was too hefty for him. He went to the cashier and argued with him: “Hey! This is very unfair. I have not eaten anything heavy to demand such a high payment”. After arguing for a while, the cashier decided to pacify the customer and offered a 100 Rupees reduction. But the young man was not happy. He kept on insisting that the bill was still unfair. He was very particular not to spend more than Rs 300. After lots of arguments, finally, the cashier agreed for Rs 300.-
The young man was very happy. He felt very proud of himself for arguing so strongly and smartly saving Rs 200.- in the bargain. He walked proudly towards the departure gate. There he came to know that the flight had departed about 5 minute ago!
Forgetting the very significance of his journey for which he had indeed been waiting for months, the young man had wasted his precious time in arguing, just for saving a small amount of money!
[Amma: “Some people tend to complain that time was not favorable to them. The fact is, time is always favorable. Only we are not in tune with the time.”]
(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)
2. Why so excited?
A middle aged person and a young man were walking around a flower garden.
The young man asked his father excitedly in a loud voice, “Daddy! Isn’t this the flower called rose? Ah how beautiful it is!”
The father too spoke in an equally excited voice, “Yes my dear son! This indeed is the rose!’
“Is n’t its color known as pink, daddy?”
“Yes! Indeed!” said the father. The son pointed his hand towards the lawn and said, again loudly full of excitement, “Is it not the grass daddy? Isn’t its color called green?”
“Yes! My son. You are absolutely right!” The fathers voice too was equally loud and excited.
The young man continued to point one after other and they talked excitedly about each. In a nearby bench, an old man was seated. He had come to the garden seeking silence and mental peace. He felt irritated by the loud-mouthed talking by the father and his grown up son. With obvious expression of his irritation and disapproval, the old man said, “I came to this garden in search of some mental peace. Many people who visit this garden too are like me. When you two people talk so loudly oblivious of your surrounding, people like me have lost peace. Your dull headed son keeps on asking insignificant things and you are so excitedly replaying “yes my son!” to all his questions! Why don’t you go to some doctor and find a cure for your son’s retarded behavior instead of coming here?”
Hearing this, both the father and son stood there, stupefied for a while. Then the father said, “I am sorry. My son is not mentally retarded. He had been blind right from birth. Only two days ago his eyes were operated in order to bring eyesight to him. After the operation, at the time of removing his bandage, I had this desire to show him some really beautiful and heart-warming sights for the first time as he sees this world. That’s why I brought him here. This is the first time in his life that he is seeing all these beautiful things around here. That’s why he was talking so excitedly about them. I too was overwhelmed with joy when I my son has got his eyesight and naturally, when he asked the questions, I was equally excited and spoke so loudly. Suppose we got back the wealth that we had lost long back, how much excited we would become! In the same way, we totally forgot our surroundings; kindly excuse us”.
Hearing this, the old man felt extremely bad and ashamed about his hasty judgment and the way he had let out very hurting words against them. He immediately sought their pardon. He took a resolve that, in future, he would not get angry at others by framing his own preconceived judgements.
(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)
3. Revenge – Is it worth?
Once a person heavily drunk drove his car that ended up in an accident. A young man on the road got killed in the accident.
The mother of the young man who died started crying uncontrollably when she heard the news. He was her only son and his loss at his prime youth was unbearable to her. Despite the passage of several days and months, her sorrow did not reduce. It soon turned to anger — anger against the person who killed her son in the accident. She want to take revenge on him. She wanted to kill him; her heart started boiling with such a desire.
A few days passed this way. Gradually her mind cooled down; she was able to think more logically into the idea of avenging her son’s death. She thought, ‘What will I really gain by killing the drunkard? Will I ever get back my son? If my son’s accidental death could cause so much grief in me, then it will be natural that if I kill the drunkard, his mother and family too will grieve the same way. What will I gain by causing those innocent people to suffer mentally by my act of vengeance? Let them not face the same fate as I had faced’. Now her mind became calm.
She thought further: ‘What was the cause of my son’s death? Was it not the drinking habit of the person who drove the car? If he were to be a sober person, he would have driven the car carefully and my son would not have died. So the real problem is drinking and driving. If I could do something to make a few people aware of the evil consequences of drinking, to that extent the society would get benefited.’
She discussed the matter with some of her friends and wellwishers. They too came forward to support her enthusiastically. Soon she started a small Social service group through which she conducted sessions with people to propagate the evils of drinking. She dedicated her time considerably for this mission. Within a few years she was running a large organization dedicated to propagate the evils of drinking across the nation.
(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)
4. A shift in mindset
[NOTE: This is actually a real life story — from the life of young Ramakrishnan (now Swami Ramakrishnananda Puri, one of Amma’s seniormost sanyasis) during the early days of his association with Amma.]
As a college student Ramakrishnan had a goal of studying medicine and becoming a doctor. Unfortunately, he lost the opportunity to join MBBS by scoring just one mark below the selection cutoff level in the entrance examination. He became dejected and depressed because of it. He had no interest in joining any other course. After few days, due to compulsion from his family, he applied for bank job. He got the job.
Even after joining duty, the frustration about not becoming a doctor as per his dreams continued to affect him. He could not deal with his bank clients with courtesy or friendliness; he could not smile at others. He understood that such a behavior was not right.
He went to his beloved Guru (Amma) and confessed about his mental turmoil. He said, “Amma, my mind is not in my control; even on petty matters, I get angry. I am not able to behave respectfully with the bank’s clients. With this mental state, I don’t think I will be able to continue in my job for long. Amma. what should I do?”
Amma listened to him patiently. Then consoling him, she said, “My son. Suppose I send a person who is close to me, to you to the bank seeking some assistance from the bank, how will you deal with him?”
Ramakrishnan said, “Of course I will receive him warmly and offer all possible help to him”.
“If so, you must do one thing. Think of every customer who comes to you seeking Bank’s help as though he is a person sent personally by me. If you develop such an attitude, you will be able to behave friendly and nicely with every person approaching you”.
From that day onwards, there was a sea of change in Ramakrishnan’s behavior. He was able to see every person coming to him for banking help as though he was sent by God (his guru) and was able to serve them with courtesy. Anger and frustration left him once for all.
(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)
5. The King gripped in fear
Once there was a King, who was extremely afraid of his enemies. He built a fort for him and lived inside a high security palace. His living room was surrounded by thick walls on all sides with just one small window opening, through which he would communicate with others. Once a Sadhu visited the palace and he wanted to personally meet the king to get some alms. As he looked harmless, he was allowed to see the king after he was put through all the security tests by the king’s guards.
When the king was informed of the arrival of the sadhu, the king agreed to see the visitor through the small window opening.
The sadhu said, “O king! I came to meet you to get some alms. But I am really surprised to see you living here in this room, so secluded and alone. May I know what your problem is?”
The king said, “My enemies are extremely powerful. If I live like any other king, I am afraid that they will attack and kill me . So I am staying securely in this fully protected room.”
The sadhu laughed and said, “O king, you are already dead”.
“What do you mean?”
“You are virtually inside a tomb, except that your tomb has just one small opening!” — so saying the sadhu left the palace laughing aloud.
(Source: Amma’s satsang dt 18/12/21)
6. Mother’s valuable advice
Once a person asked a famous social worker, “Sir, I have been observing you since long; I have never seen you getting angry with anybody. You are composed and pleasant in all circumstances. May I know how it is possible for you”.
The social worker said, “In my young age, I too was a very short tempered person. Once I had an angry fight with my friends and I came back home fretting and fuming. Noticing my agitation, my mother asked me what happened. After I explained to her, she said, “If you get angry simply triggered by the words of someone and if you express it, it means you have become an underdog in front of that person. If you get angry again, it only means the other person has defeated you. Dear son, you must remember this always”.
“After that Incident, whenever I am in a situation where I could get angry, my mother’s words will flash in my memory. Her face and words will appear right in front of me. If I get angry again, it only means I lack patience. Otherwise, I would contemplate on what the other person uttered that infuriated me. I will think: “Why did he say so? What is the reason for him to get angry with me? Why did he use such harsh words against me? Is it because of his ignorance? Is it an intentional display of his ego?”
“By thinking so, I would refrain from retaliating. As I stand unperturbed, it is he who gets defeated and not I. Now he would start thinking, “Despite my getting angry, this fellow has remained unmoved, I have become a fool now. My true color has been exposed”. It is this way that I learned a valuable lesson from my mother’s advice. That’s how I am able to face any situation with even mindedness” .
[Amma: “Children, we too should face every situation in life like this.“]
(Source: Amrita Ganga – Satsang)
7. The secret technique!
Once a husband and wife who stopped talking to each other on account of a fight between them. They slept separately in two bedrooms. The wife stopped doing any service to her husband and kept away from him as much as possible.
One day, the wife came running to her husband shrieking in fear and embraced him. The husband consoled her, spoke soothing words to her to drive away her fear. As the wife was afraid to go and sleep in her bed, she opted to sleep in her husband’s room.
After a couple of days, the same thing repeated. Again the husband showered his affection on her and allowed her to sleep with him in his bed.
This way, their mutual bitterness melted away. Soon they were on talking terms. The wife started serving food to her husband and taking due care of his needs. Their relationship returned to normalcy and joy and intimacy returned in their life.
Watching these happenings, their daughter asked her father with wonder, “What has happened papa? You were not talking with each other for long, and suddenly mother is back to normal and you have become a happy couple once again. What magic did you do?”
The father said, “If you promise me not to reveal anything to your mother, I will tell you the secret”. The little girl promised so.
“You know your mother is not afraid of anything in this world, except for cockroaches. Last week, as I was coming home, I was pondering how to end the cold war between us, and suddenly I noticed a cockroach near our house. I caught it and brought it home and placed it on her bed that night without her knowledge. When your mother came to sleep, she noticed it and started shrieking out of fear and came to my room. She had no courage to sleep alone in her room and hence slept in my room. I repeated the same exercise after a couple of days and it worked!”