26th January, 1946
Yesterday a newly arrived Andhra youth told Bhagavan about the vagaries of his senses to which Bhagavan said, “All that is due to the mind. Set it right.” “That is all right, Swami, but however much I try to reduce this anger, it comes on again and again. What shall I do?” said the poor boy.
“Oh! Is that so, then get angry with that anger; it will be all right” said Bhagavan. All people in the hall burst out laughing. A person who gets angry with everything in the world, if only he introspects, and enquires why he does not get angry with his anger itself, will he not really overcome all anger? Two or three years back a devotee who could freely approach Bhagavan came and told him five or six times that somebody had been abusing him. Bhagavan listened but said nothing. As there was no response from Bhagavan in spite of repeated and varied complaints and in a number of ways, this devotee could not contain himself any longer and so said, “When I am abused so much unnecessarily, I also get angry. However much I try to restrain my anger I am not able to do so. What shall I do?” Bhagavan laughingly said, “What should you do? You too join him and abuse yourself; then it will be all right.” All laughed.
That devotee, unable to understand anything, said “That is very good! Should I abuse myself?” “Yes indeed! What they are abusing is your body, isn’t it? What greater enemy is there than this body which is the abode of anger and similar feelings? It is necessary that we ourselves should hate it. Instead of that, when we are unguarded, if anybody abuses us, we should know that they are waking us up. We should realise at least then, and join them in abusing the body, and crying it down. What is the use of counter-abuse? Those who abuse us that way should be looked upon as our friends. It is good for us to be among such people. If you are among people who praise you, you get deceived,” said Bhagavan.
In June 1924, thieves entered the Ashram and not only belaboured the devotees, but also beat Bhagavan on his thigh.
Subsequently, while relating amongst themselves the thrashing they had received, the devotees said, “Bad fellows, they beat even Bhagavan.” Bhagavan is reported to have said, “Oh, you all worship me with flowers and they worshipped me with a stick. That is also a form of worship.
If I accept yours, should I not accept theirs as well?” What he teaches is by practical illustration. Is not this such an instance?