How to get rid of aggressiveness?

Acharya Prashant
6 min readDec 19, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Acharya Prashant (AP): I was asked how to get out of aggressiveness. First of all, you have to totally forget that aggressiveness is the issue. All problems arise from ignorance, all problems including aggressiveness. And it is a part of ignorance to assume that aggression is an important problem or is a central problem.

If you are aggressive, then surely you are not seeing something. I could as well say that if you are aggressive, then watch your aggression. But that will be difficult for you because, in the moment of anger, it is just too theoretical to say — ‘watch.’ It is extremely difficult to watch yourself right in the moment of anger. Later on, you can go into memories and conduct the post-mortem but not at the moment. So, I will not say watch anger; I am saying see what you are ignoring. Seeing what is in front of you is sometimes more difficult than seeing what you are ignoring. Seeing what you are ignoring is easier, so have a look at that.

What are you ignoring? Is aggression the central problem? Where there is aggression, there are bound to be a hundred problems related to aggression, but not caused by aggression, just related. All are caused by a central evil, which we will take up a little later. When somebody says, “My problem is jealousy.” I ask him, “Is ambition not your problem? Is spitefulness not your problem? Is competitiveness not your problem? Is worrying not your problem?”

All of these are problems but they are somehow evading you. You have somehow convinced yourself that your central and important problem is jealousy. Whereas the fact is, that there can be no jealousy without a set of accompanying issues. These accompanying issues are what we ignore. So, I am not saying, ‘Have a deep look at jealousy,’ because probably you are incapable of that. I am saying, ‘Ask yourself whether there are not many other related problems in your life!’

When someone says that lovelessness is my problem, then I ask him, ‘Is ignorance not your problem? Is internal gossip not your problem? Is the need for excitement, not your problem?’ All of these are your problems. But you don’t even recognize that these problems are there. When you do not recognize that there is an entire…