By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
Vimanyavah means that devotee does not generally become angry. But that does not mean that he has lost his power of becoming angry. No. He can become angry at any time, when it is required. krodha bhakta-dvesi jane: He’ll be angry against those who are against God and God’s devotee. As soon as one says and blasphemes that “I am God. There is no God,” the devotee should immediately bcome very angry because the blasphemer is preaching false things. He’s blaspheming against the Supreme Lord and making God very cheap.
Just like our student Govinda dasi in Hawaii. In a meeting she became very angry when the so-called incarnation of God… Perhaps you know this incident. She became very angry, that “These rascals…” and so many things she spoke. So she did right, just like a heroine. I very much liked it. So we should be very much angry when there is anything against God and God’s devotee. But generally, for my personal interest, I should not be angry. “All right, if you like to call me by ill names, I don’t mind. You go on with your business.” I do not become angry. Just like Hanumanji, Bajrangaji, who set fire in the kingdom of Ravana. The kingdom of Ravana was very beautiful, made of gold, but he set fire in that capital of Lanka. He became very angry. But why did he become angry? He did not become angry for his personal interest but for the interest of Lord Rama, Whose wife Sita, the Laksmi, was kidnapped by this man Ravana. And he was very angry that “He has kidnapped my Lord’s spiritual energy, Sita. I shall set fire to his very valuable capital.” So this anger, this demonstration of anger and setting of fire was accepted as service.
KRISHNA SPOKE THE BHAGAVAD-GITA TO AROUSE ANGER IN ARJUNA
So we should know when to be angry. We should not be angry for our personal interest. Generally, those who are devotees, they are not angry. Just see the example of Arjuna, who was so much harassed. All the five brothers were harassed by the opposite party, their cousin-brothers. They insulted their wife Draupadi, whom they wanted to make naked because she was lost in gambling. Therefore gambling is so sinful. The ksatriyas are allowed to gamble. So the bet was… They made a trick: “Now bet your wife.” So if a ksatriya is challenged to bet something, he cannot deny it. “Yes, I am betting my wife.” And they lost in the game. So the wife became the property of the other party. So they wanted to retaliate. So then, in the assembly they said, “Well, Draupadi has now become our property. Whatever we like, we can do. So we want to see her naked beauty.” This was the demand. So one of the brothers of Duryodhana was asked, “Make her naked. Let us see naked.” So she became the property. The others, they did not protest. But Krishna supplied clothing as much as required. So these Pandavas were so much harassed – by trick their kingdom was taken away; they were put into a house which was set onto fire; their wife was insulted; they were driven to the forest for twelve years – so much harassed.
But still when the war was declared and when Arjuna saw that his kin are standing in front of him, he said, “Oh, I will have to fight with these cousin-brothers of mine. Oh Krishna, I am not going to fight.” Just see how much tolerant. Not at all angry. This is the position. In order to make him angry, the whole Bhagavad-gita was taught to him. Just see. This is the position, that for personal interest, a devotee or a mahatma is never angry. Just see the case of Arjuna. But when he understood that Krishna wanted this fight, that it is the desire of Krishna, he immediately became prepared to fight: karisye vacanam tava: [Bg. 18.73] “Yes, I shall fight. That’s all right. I shall fight.” And he fought and killed everyone.
So generally, the devotees are not cruel, angry. But they can be the foremost angry person for Krishna’s sake. So generally, we should not be angry. A mahatma is never angered.
[An excerpt from a lecture delivered on September 14, 1969 in London]