The power of desire is the power you are using to suppress it

Acharya Prashant
3 min readMar 18, 2023

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

Question (Q): My question is about anger. A few days back I got angry over the behavior of another woman on the road and bashed her, without thinking anything. I then got this feeling that it should not have been done. I don’t know what I was doing. Inside I was feeling like, “How could I do that?” At the same time what was happening was intolerable.

Acharya Prashant (AP): If it was really not tolerable, why do you blame yourself for getting angry?

Listener (L): No, I am not blaming the anger but this doesn’t usually happen.

AP: Why is the incident still sitting in your mind? Surely there is guilt. Surely you are blaming yourself. Do you remember everything that has happened over the last five days? Then why do you remember this one in particular? Because you do not like that you got angry. It violates the image that your teachers and parents and all the nice books provided you. “The nice lady does not get angry”. Why does the nice lady not get angry?

Everything has its place in existence. Why must you not get angry? Why?

L: Maybe it is morality which makes me think that I should be nice-nice to others.

AP: When we do not know the essence of something, then the subtle is crudely modified into the gross. And the gross is taken as the Truth. So, a Great One comes and he talks of non-violence. We do not really understand violence. So, what do we do? We take the apparent characteristics of non-violence and label all of them as essential because it is easy to follow that kind of behavior.

Do not ask, “Why did I get angry?” Ask, “Why does guilt arise? Why this divided mind? Why can’t my anger be complete?” And if there is completeness, would not the anger be transformed? Does not resistance to anger give fuel to the anger? In trying to control yourself, are you not giving yourself the energy to act the same way?

That’s the basic principle of duality.

What you try to control you give energy to that.

“I do not want to get angry. I do not want to get angry. I do not want to get angry.” And you…