From the Puranic literature, we learn of Durvasa Muni. Though a great mystic yogi, he was unfortunately, given to getting angry frequently.
One day, Durvasa Muni was visiting the kingdom of Ambrish Maharaj. The day was Dvadasi, that is the day after Ekadasi. On Ekadasi, people who desist from grains and beans break their fasts between a designated time period on Dvadasi.
Durvasa Muni had reached the palace of king Ambrish during this period. Almost, ready to break his fast, Ambrish invited the respectable Muni to join him. The latter begged leave to take bath first. However, the Muni was delayed in returning. Anxious to break his fast within the appointed time, the king consulted the Brahmins, who advised him to drink a little water.
The Muni by his mystic power could understand what had transpired and became very angry by the fact that the king did not wait for him. Coming back he pulled a hair out from his head and created a demon whom he ordered to kill the king. However, the king being a great devotee of Lord Krishna was well protected by the Lord.
As soon as the demon was created by Durvasa, the ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ of Lord Krishna appeared there and cut off the demon’s head. Next, it went after Durvasi Muni himself. The Muni, by his mystic powers, looked for help everywhere but no one came to his rescue. Ultimately, he approached Lord Krishna who advised the Muni to beg forgiveness from the king. The latter being very merciful readily forgave Durvasa Muni.
Undesirable anger can cause havoc, as can be seen by this example. There are five other similar forces - of speech, taste, mind, stomach and sex-organs. If not controlled immediately, these cause all types of miseries, as in the case of anger.
Unnecessary or wrong speech gets one in difficulty more than any other act. Due to excessive attachment to taste, we ignore the welfare of the rest of the body. Mind, if uncontrolled, causes all types of mental diseases. Obesity is caused by being unable to resist the urges of the stomach. Sex organs, if not controlled, can also bring about the worst possible punishment – AIDS.
How can we control these potentially very harmful forces of the body ? For speech, one can use the option of remaining silent (which we seldom use). It is far better to withhold comments than giving bad ones ; good comments though are always welcome. But antidote for wrong speech is the habit of appreciation that counters the tendency of wrong speech very effectively.
The force of taste can be controlled by developing taste for natural foods, like fruits and vegetables. All tastes are in any case acquired ; one should, therefore, practice eating and drinking healthy foods. For anger, one should always meditate on the likely consequences before letting oneself loose. One would find that there are safer alternatives than getting angry.
Mind occupies a lower position than intelligence ( Bhagavad-Geeta 3.42 ), therefore, intelligence should be used to control the mind. Faith in God helps greatly in the control of one’s mind. For stomach, by eating at appointed times only helps to regulate its urge. One needs to remember that one cuts down one’s life-span by overeating. Habit of drinking water when hungry between meals also helps greatly. For effective control of the sex organs, one wife norm is very useful, as well as having many hobbies.
In short, we have two options : Either, we control these urges and become happy (5.23) or live a life full of misery (16.21). Succumbing to the bodily urges gives level three and four enjoyments, whereas controlling them qualifies us for level one and two enjoyments – the higher ones.
Let us, therefore, identify which of the six urges is pronounced in us and try to control it to begin with, even if one needs to seek professional and spiritual help in this regard.