Do Enlightened/Self Realized People Get Angry?

People have so many different ideas about how an enlightened person must behave. Some have an image of an ascetic begging in the streets; Some may think that enlightened person should always behave like a Buddha, warm and kind. People have different opinions, ideas and measuring scales and they think that they can recognize an enlightened person using these ideas that they have in mind.

Before I jump into the discussion about enlightened people getting angry, let me give you an excerpt from one of the talks from Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev regarding what I said:

“When you sit in front of a living Guru, you have many problems, judgments, likes and dislikes, because invariably you end up looking at his personality. People have left their Gurus for all kinds of frivolous things. This happened with J. Krishnamurti, a realized being and very wonderful man. There was a certain lady who was very close to him and deeply involved with his work. She was always around him and traveled to many places with him. Once when he was in Amsterdam, Holland, he went into a shop to buy a tie for himself. He was so meticulous about choosing a tie, because he was very conscious about everything and also what he wore. He could throw the tie away if he wanted to, but when he wears it, he wants it to be in a certain way. So he went into the shop and spent nearly four hours picking out one tie. He pulled out every tie in the shop, looked at it, put it on, and then said, “No.” It took him four hours to select just one tie. This woman watched and watched and watched, and as minutes passed, in her mind his enlightenment receded. She thought a man who could be so concerned about what kind of tie he wears couldn’t be enlightened, and she left him. Many such stupid things are done because of your judgments.”

– From http://www.dhyanalinga.org/difference_qa.htm

The above example from J.Krishnamurti’s life has also been said by Osho. In this post, I have also included the talk where Osho quotes this incident. Osho says that the lady then came to him to take sannyas but Osho refused to give her sannyas because of this.

Now, let us move on to the question “Do Enlightened/Self Realized People Get Angry?”

The answer is “Yes”..

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has talked about Sadhguru Sri Brahma who he was in his previous lifetime. He was not nice to people at all.

“Sadhguru Sri Brahma was not a nice guy. He never called anyone by name – he only said, “Eh!” “Eh” was the one name for everyone. People were terrified of him, just because of the way he was. But at the same time, they loved him immensely. That is the beauty of contradictions.”

“People saw him as godlike, but they were terrified of him, because he seemed to be always angry. He was not angry with anyone – he was simply ferociously intense. Sadhguru Sri Brahma was like fire – simply on.”

From http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/yoga-meditation/history-of-yoga/sadhguru-sri-brahma-seventh-hill/

Another example would be none other than J.Krishnamurti. Here is the excerpt from ‘The Book of Wisdom’, a collection of talks given by Osho between 11/02/79 to 10/03/79. As I said, Osho also talks about the same incident, Krishnamurti buying a tie in a mall:

“Seeker:  You have said that Krishnamurti can get angry. How is that possible, as in enlightenment there is no one there to be angry?

Osho:   Henk Faassen, in enlightenment there is nobody there to get angry, and there is nobody there not to get angry either. So whatsoever happens, happens. Krishnamurti does not get angry the way you get angry. Everything with an enlightened person happens on a totally different plane. His anger comes out of his compassion. Your anger comes out of hate, aggression, cruelty. He becomes angry — sometimes he starts pulling his hair out, he hits his own forehead — but out of compassion.
Just think, for fifty years or more he has been teaching a certain kind of truth to the world, and nobody understands him. The same people gather each year to listen to him — the same people.

Once he was talking in Bombay… somebody reported this to me, and the person who reported it to me is an old lady, older than Krishnamurti. She saw Krishnamurti when he was a child, she has seen him and listened to him for fifty years. And because she is a little deaf, very old, she sits in the front on a chair. And for fifty years Krishnamurti has been saying that there are no methods for meditation, that meditation is not needed at all. Just be in the present and live your life, that’s enough meditation, no other technique is needed….

For one and a half hours he poured his heart out, and at the end the lady stood up and asked, “How to meditate?” Now, what do you suppose he should do? He hit his head.

This is not your anger. This is so unbelievable! He is tired of this lady, but this lady is not tired of him. She comes to every talk to listen to him, and asks the same stupid questions.

When I say Krishnamurti can get angry, I don’t mean, Henk, that he can get angry like you get angry. His anger is out of compassion. This situation is unbelievable! He wants to help this lady and he feels so helpless. He tries this way and that. His message is very simple, singular, one-dimensional. For fifty years he has been saying only a single word. In essence his whole teaching can be printed on one side of a postcard. He has been saying it in as many possible ways as one can invent, but it is the same citadel that he attacks from the north, from the south, from the west, from the east. And still people go on listening to him and go on asking the same old foolish questions.

He certainly gets angry. And when a man like Krishnamurti gets angry, he is pure anger. Many in India have felt very disappointed with Krishnamurti because he gets angry. They have a certain concept that a buddha should not get angry. They go with a prejudice. And when they see that Krishnamurti can get angry, they are disillusioned, “So this man is not a buddha, he has not become enlightened yet.”

I say to you that he is one of the most enlightened persons who has ever walked on this earth. Still he can get angry, but his anger comes out of compassion; it is condensed compassion. He cares about you, so much so that he becomes angry. This is a totally different quality of anger.

And when he becomes angry he is real anger. Your anger is partial, lukewarm. Your anger is like a dog who is not certain how to behave with a stranger. He may be a friend of the master, so he wags his tail; he may be an enemy, so he barks. He does both together. On one hand he goes on barking, on the other hand he goes on wagging his tail. He is playing the diplomat, so whatsoever the case turns out to be, he can always feel right. If the master comes and he sees that the master is friendly, the barking will stop and his whole energy will go into the tail. If the master is angry with the intruder, then the tail will stop completely, and his whole energy will go into barking.

Your anger is also like that. You are weighing up how far to go, how much will pay; don’t go beyond the limit, don’t provoke the other person too much.
But when a man like Krishnamurti becomes angry he is pure anger. And pure anger has a beauty because it has totality. He is just anger. He is like a small child, redfaced, just anger all over, ready to destroy the whole world.

That’s what happened to Jesus. When he went into the great temple and saw the moneychangers and their tables inside the temple, he was in a rage. He became angry — the same anger that comes out of compassion and love. Singlehanded, he drove all the moneychangers out of the temple and overturned their boards. He must have been really very angry, because driving all the moneychangers out of the temple singlehanded is not an easy thing.

And reports say — I don’t know how far they are right, but reports say that he was not a very strong man. Reports say that he was not even a very tall man; you will be surprised, he was only four feet six inches. And not only that — on top of it he was a hunchback. I don’t know how far those reports are true, because I don’t want to go to court! But it is there in the books, ancient books, very ancient books.

So how did this hunchback, four feet six inches high, drive out all the moneychangers singlehanded? He must have been pure rage!
Indians are angry about that. They cannot trust that Jesus is enlightened — just because of this incident.

People have their prejudices, their ideas. Rather than seeing into reality, rather than looking into an enlightened man, they come ready with so many concepts, and unless he fits them he is not enlightened. And let me tell you, no enlightened person is going to fit with your unenlightened prejudices; it is impossible.

It happened, a lady came to me. She had been a follower of Krishnamurti for many years, then a small thing disturbed the whole thing and the whole applecart was upturned. The thing was so small that I was surprised. There was a camp in Holland where Krishnamurti holds a camp every year, and the woman had gone there from India. Nearabout two thousand people had gathered from all over the world to listen to him. The next morning the lectures were going to start, and the woman had gone shopping. And she was surprised, Krishnamurti was also shopping. An enlightened person shopping? Can you believe it? Buddha in a supermarket? And not only that — he was purchasing a necktie. Enlightened people need neckties? And not only that — the whole counter was full of neckties and he was throwing them this way and that, and he was not satisfied with any.

The woman watched, looked at the whole scene, and fell from the sky. She thought, “I have come from India for this ordinary man who is purchasing neckties. And even then, of thousands of neckties of all colors and all kinds of material, nothing is satisfying to him. Is this detachment? Is this awareness?”
She turned away. She didn’t attend the camp, she came back immediately. And the first thing she did was to come running to me, and she said, “You are right.”
I said, “What do you mean?”
She said, “You are right that it was useless wasting my time with Krishnamurti. Now I want to become a sannyasin of yours.”
I said, “Please excuse me, I cannot accept you. If you cannot accept Krishnamurti, how can I accept you? Get lost! … Because here you will see far more disappointing things. What are you going to do with my Mercedes Benz? So before it happens, why bother? What are you going to do with my air-conditioned room? Before it happens, it is better that you go and find some Muktananda, etcetera. You have not been able to understand Krishnamurti, you will not be able to understand me.”

People like Krishnamurti live on a totally different plane. Their anger is not your anger. And who knows that he was not just playing with those ties for this stupid old woman? Masters are known to devise things like that. He got rid of this stupid old woman very easily.”

– From “The Book of Wisdom” by Osho

To conclude, it is not possible to find if somebody is enlightened based on their outward behavior. Some of their behavior may come from their genetics, as they still live with the same body after enlightenment.

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Author: Shanmugam

I am a blogger and a spiritual seeker. I had a tremendous awakening experience in July 12, 2014 on a Gurupurnima day in the presence of Sadhguru but I wouldn’t call that as spiritual enlightenment. But it did free me from many things and changed many things.

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