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Anger’s Many Faces

In the Mahabharata, there is the story of Krodha (anger) and her nine daughters. The scripture looks at anger in a very dynamic and radical way. It reveals that in each instance of anger there lies very valuable energy which should be seen and transformed. Let us study the nine forms of anger personified as the daughters of Krodha.

  • Mrigi: This is anger which leads to fear or flight. It also means to search, enter the mysteries of life. When we are in pain or suffering, we are very close to the mystery of life. We spend our lives running away from suffering and because of that we cannot enter into the secrets behind life.
  • This means to remain lethargic or lazy.The deeper meaning is to rejoice. When we are lethargic, the energies of life are not overflowing. We remain stagnant and do not have the power to rejoice and enjoy life.
  • To snatch away or steal.We get into a sudden frenzy and steal. If we pause and transform this energy, our whole being becomes attractive with a kind of godliness.
  • Bhadramana: In this form of anger, we are very loud. Bhadra also means to prosper. So by transforming this energy, we gain the power to attract only those events which bring happiness and prosperity.
  • Matangi: Meaning a mad elephant. This is a very dangerous form that can lead to destruction. By transforming this form, we are blessed with immense power and become the leader of our clan.
  • Shardul: In this we want to hurt and injure. By its transformation, our eyes become powerful and we can see beyond the visual causes of events.
  • Shweth: Meaning white. It is characterised by impatience. By working on this, we get dharana shakti - the power to meditate and ponder on a problem.
  • Surabhi (the cow of plenty):A very subtle form which unknowingly hurts or insults. By bringing our awareness to what is happening unknowingly, the energy transforms. This brings us good luck and good fortune.
  • Surasa: This manifests in snakes and is characterised by a hissing sound. Our small oohs and aahs. Also the urge for revenge. By transforming this, we gain the capacity to enjoy the fruits of life.