You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, “Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, “You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
~Jesus, Sermon on the Mount
Acharya Prashant: Here, when Jesus is using anger, he is repeatedly taking the example of anger directed at others. Today, we had a question on anger. We said, “Instead of venting out your anger on external objects, why don’t you figure out the root of your anger?” Why are you expressing your anger on you brother?
Jesus says, “If you express your anger on something external, it only shows that you are hiding the real cause of your anger.” So, he says that, ‘you cannot be angry at your brother, you are not allowed to do that’, which means that all the energy which expresses itself as anger flowing outwards has to go as self-enquiry flowing inwards.
The same energy which turns into fraudulent escape directed outwards must turn inwards. What is it that we do not like? What is all this resentment towards? And then, you reach the root of your discontentment. The moment you are able to look clearly at the root of your discontentment, it vanishes.
Jesus is not giving us a code of conduct, he is not saying, “suppress anger”, Jesus is not giving us a behaviour pattern, he is not saying, “Keep smiling because anger is bad.” He is saying your anger is a deception. There is nothing morally bad with anger. Jesus himself exhibited anger. But his anger was an honest anger, a pure anger.
Our anger is an escape, a cheating, that’s why Jesus is against it.
Don’t you see how calculated our anger is?
If the president of the country humiliates you, you will not express your anger at him. But if some helpless man comes and says even a few things to you, then you will express your anger fully. Two men with guns come and slap you, and they are holding big guns. Will you show your displeasure to them?
Our anger is so impotent and calculated anger. That is why, Jesus is saying, “No, such anger is not allowed.”
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on Jesus: Anger is often just an impotent and deceptive escape The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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