When Should Devotees Become Angry?

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Nrisimhadeva has appeared to give protection to Prahlada Maharaja and to kill his demon father, and He was very much angry. Now, some nonsensical people may inquire: “Why should God be angry?” But why should He not be angry? Where from does the anger come? If God is the source of everything, then where from does this anger come? It comes from God. How can you deny it?

 Krishna says, aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8], “I am the source of everything.” So is anger not within the category of “everything”? So why should God not be angry? He must be angry. But He is angry on the non-devotee, not on His devotee.

So anger has got some utilization. Not that – “I should not be angry”. But I should use my anger on some particular occasion. It is not that I cut off anger. To become impotent is not good. You should have full potency, but you can have sex life when it is required. To become impotent is not required. You should be fully potent but you should not misuse it. That is required. Similarly, there is no misuse by God and His devotees. God and His devotees know how to use anger. That is the difference. As God knows where to use anger, similarly, the devotee should also know where to use anger.

It is not very devotional to say, “I am not angry. You can beat me with shoes. I will not be angry.” That is not devotional. You see? But, the thing is that a devotee is not angry on his personal account. Just like God also does not become angry on His personal account. Suppose Hiranyakasipu wants to hurt Krishna. What can he do to Krishna? So where is the cause of anger? He was angry not that Hiranyakasipu was a demon or non-devotee. He was angry because that demon was teasing the devotee. For His personal account, God cannot be angry. What harm can anyone cause to Krishna? He is so powerful. Suppose a small ant comes and bites me. So is that the cause of my anger? No. What is that? That is nothing. Similarly, what can Hiranyakasipu do so that the Lord should be angry? But then why was He angry? He was angry for His devotee.

Similarly, if we are devotees, then we shall be angry when God is insulted. When a devotee is insulted, we should be very much angry. But if somebody insults me, then I should not be angry – “All right, he insulted me. I will tolerate.” But when you speak against God and when you say, “I am God,” then I shall beat you with shoes. I shall be so much angry. You see. That should be attitude of the devotee also. As God is angry for his devotee, similarly, our anger should be also utilized for God.

Just try to understand. It is not that we shall not be angry. Yes, we shall be angry, but in a suitable place – where God is insulted. When a rascal is claiming that he is God and deceiving others, you must be very much angry, “You rascal, what are you doing?” Somebody may say, “Oh, you are devotee? Why are you becoming so angry?” Why not? It is the question of God and His devotee. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught us that,“You should become more tolerant than the tree and more humble than the grass.” But when Jagai-Madhai insulted Lord Nityananda, He immediately became very angry, “Oh, bring My chakra. I shall kill these persons.” Did He become a tolerant like the tree, “All right, Nityananda is insulted. Let Me become tolerant”? (laughter)

We should not be impotent. Arjuna, who was declining to fight, was not impotent. It was not that he could not fight. He was a great warrior. But he was refusing, “Oh, what for should I kill them for my personal interest.” But when he saw that Krishna wants this fight,he showed his potency.

So to become a devotee is not to become impotent. But everything has its proper use. Just like if you are lusty, that lust should be utilized for Krishna. “I am lusty to accumulate money.” Yes, you bring money, but utilize it for Krishna. We don’t say that you should not be lusty. If you have got capacity to earn money, then earn money, as much as you can, but utilize it for Krishna. If you are very angry, then yes, you remain angry, but utilize it for Krishna. “I am very greedy.” Yes, you become greedy for Krishna. How to become greedy? “Oh, I must have good association. Where is Krishna consciousness being preached? I must be very greedy for that.”

That greediness is not there, but I am very greedy for wine and women: Where is wine? Where is woman? Where is club? Where is naked dance? I am greedy. You see? I am not greedy for Krishna consciousness. So that greediness should be turned like that. So these are the things to be learnt by the devotee. We should not be impotent. We should not be null and void. We should possess everything, but for Krishna. This is Krishna consciousness.

[The above is an excerpt from a Srimad Bhagavatam Lecture (7.9.8) delivered on March 21, 1969 in Hawaii]

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