Anger Management & I Am NOT the Doer – Bhagavad Gītā Meaning (28)


Lesson 28 starts out by visually comparing Mind-Intellect-Ego of a samsari (life controlled by desires) – and of a self-actualized person (jīvanmuktaḥ). Then we correct common false notion of limiting Īśvara (God) to space-time. Finally, we discuss what it means to say “I am NOT the doer”. The real doer is Īśvara's laws-orders. This understanding is key to freedom.

Bhagavad Gītā, Chapter 5.


Terms used:

  • sūkṣma-śarīra OR antaḥkaraṇa: SUBTLE BODY. Faculty in which all experiences are known, including Self-Knowledge. Subtle Body consists of: Mind (manas), Intellect (buddhi), Ego or “I-sense” (Ahaṃkāra).
  • Citta: Memory.
  1. Comparing a mind in saṃsarā (taking world to be real) and mind of a Self-Actualized person (jīvanmuktaḥ)


    Let's look at the bottom part (samsaric mind). Let's discus some points of a mind NOT to aspire to have in this lifetime:

    Saṁsāra means: A mind that is entangled in worldly objects.

    Why is it entangled (deeply involved with or invested into)?

    Because such a mind gives VALUE to worldly objects, which are by nature VALUE-NEUTRAL.

    Thus a saṁsārī (meaning: jīva caught in saṁsāra in order to please itself) lives a life of ACTION, constantly DOING in order to: (a) Get rid of things it doesn't like (b) Get things it likes (c) Maintain the things it likes.

    Isn't a-b-c basically where most effort/time/money goes into of one's entire life? Even when popular version of Īśvara (God) comes into the picture, it's still samsara. Why?…

    Because with an incomplete/partial understanding of God, a saṁsārī treats or sees God as something apart from him-her, and God is located in SPECIAL places of worship (temples, churches, meditation room, etc). Such a person imagine God more holy/significant then their own parents or a cockroach or a pelican or a microbe.

    Thus a saṁsārī's mind is STILL dominated by their raga/dveṣa (attractions/repulsions, likes/dislikes). Meaning, saṁsārī's life is guided by their BINDING vāsanās.

    Vāsanās (tendencies) which “bind”, are those which invoke strong desires (Rajas) or cravings or yearnings to perform or experience something. Why? Because there is simultaneous fear (Tamas) of NOT getting what I want, because of ___ (various psychological reasons).

    Therefore, Raja and Tama guṇa are always together.

    And how do these two guṇas operating, cause entanglement in saṁsāra?

    One begins to feel uncomfortable when binding-vāsanās are triggered (eg: cake, smoke, socialize, gossip, wear certain clothes, put on certain perfume), but are not satisfied.

    Fact is, noone likes to feel uncomfortable. Therefore person begins to entertain thoughts how to satisfy his-her binding vāsana.

    Eventually thought is manifested or performed in the world, which is a Karma (meaning action in form of doing).

    Every Karma becomes a CAUSE, which produces a seen/unseen Result (EFFECT).

    This constant DOING (cause) produces constant EFFECTS in life. And every effect needs to be addressed by another DOING (cause).

    Logic is: Action (Cause)  > Consequence/Reaction (Effect)

    Thus, reason saṁsārī mind-intellect is extroverted is because one is busy attending to his-her binding-vāsanās (strong cravings you find nearly impossible to NOT perform because it's so normal to perform them). Which cause one to DO action in the world… in order to address the consequences (effects) of past actions.

    So while life seems like random actions, it's not random at all. Your life is a perfect symphony of Causes-Effects operating every seconds.

    Finally, notice the smiley woman is yellow (Sattva)?

    This is because anytime you are happy or feeling high, it's because Raja/Tama guṇa are minimal quantity in the Intellect (predominantly Sāttvic) in that short time.

    Analogy: it's like cleaning a dusty mirror, and letting the full sunshine (pure Consciousness) reflect on the mirror (Intellect).

    This reflection is called: Ātman.

    Meaning Ātman (pure Consciousness seemingly conditioned by 3 guṇas – and operating in jīva's 3 bodies)… IS Brahman (pure Consciousness).

    So it's in the Intellect (buddhi) where Ātman is known. Or where your sense of Existence is known.

    Therefore, when Intellect (buddhi) is NOT covered by Rajas/Tamas, then you are happy. Why? Because you are experiencing your original Nature (Ātman; full/whole/complete).

    Notice, I didn't say “happy”. Because “happy” is another attribute. Even though we use the word “happy” to communicate our fullness/wholeness/completeness.

    How do we prove above statement? When you are completely happy, do you want anything in that moment? No. Why? Because you're experiencing fullness/wholeness, which does NOT demand anything. Because what is COMPLETE is already COMPLETE, and nothing can add onto it's COMPLETION.

    What about the top  diagram of a Self-Realized person (jīvanmuktaḥ):

    You'll notice proportion of Sāttvic vāsnās are greater then Rajas/Tamas. This is ideal and what a serious aspirant would be aiming for.

    The fact that Rajas/Tamas are small implies a LOT of work was done (in form of Karma Yoga) in order to reduce the constant pull of one's desires (Rajas) and fears (Tamas) controlling one's life.

    Next question is, what does large proportion of sāttvic vasanas imply? That one is CONSTANTLY exposing their thoughts/senses to Śāstra (scriptures), in form of reading, watching video's, listening, bhakti, etc.

    Meaning such a person discovers far greater joy within, then in the external world. Why? Because Self is unchanging. It's nature is whole/full/complete. Thus one seeks refuge in Self. Instead of seeking refuge in ephemeral joys of the changing world which guarantee no lasting fulfillment.

  2. Anger and Īśvara

    We often push anger away, as though something is wrong with it. Anger is an emotion. And it has it's place when necessary. EG: Parent will show anger to unacceptable child  behavior.

    Therefore we can't push it away. Because anger too is part of jagat (world). And world is nothing but form of Īśvara (all-knowledge, all power).

    We're not saying Īśvara is “anger”. But anger is another possibility which makes up a wide spectrum of human experience.

  3. Self is not a doer (“I am not the doer”)

    Explain what it means to say “I am not the doer”?

    If “you” means Body-Mind-Intellect, then yes, you ARE the doer.

    If “you” means Existence/Awareness (sat-chit), only then can we say “I (Self) am not the doer”.

    But we can only say both, after we have TOTAL CLARITY of Satya-Mithyā and their relationship. In other words, must know relationship between: (a) Jīva (b) Jagat; manifest world caused by Īśvara (c) sat-chit (Existence/Awareness).

    Otherwise, saying “I am not the doer”, is superficial knowledge which carries no depth to it.

    Worse yet, in stage of ignorance, the word “I” is associated to ego (doer/enjoyed). Thus for saṁsārī, this statement reads “I (ego) am not the doer”.

    In which case, such person justifies actions of adharma (what is NOT right), using excuse “Īśvara is the real doer”.

    Thus such foolish and dangerous jīva is falls in trap called “jīva-sṛṣti” (state of majority of world today). This is when one projects their own false ideas (because of uneducated Intellect about TOTAL Reality) onto the world. And they don't know they're projecting. So to them, the false projection is the TRUTH of Reality.

    That's why you can't talk such individuals out of their delusion. It's too real and solid. This happens in religions also. Ever heard of priests molesting children? Slaying those who don't believe in your God? Woman are evil? Yoga ‘guru' sleeping with genetic-perfection female attendees. List is endless!

    These irrational/illogical/himsa projections have somehow survived for centuries. Why? Because the religion/philosophy itself is incomplete. IF it was complete, you wouldn't have these mistakes being made.

    Best solution for encountering a jīva-sṛṣti: Politely walk away or change the subject to something more down to earth. Or any other non-injurious (ahimsa) solution of your own. Realize, Īśvara eventually straightens everyone out in course of time.

Download visual mind map of this session.

Recorded 13 Nov, 2018


  1. Too many contradictions in your article. By the way Isvara is part of ignorance. Read some Shankara and Gaudapada.

    Secondly even ignorance is Brahman. There is nothing but Brahman.

    Honestly speaking I could not get your final statement and understanding on anger.

    1. Hi Sir Anurag Jain,

      There is only Brahman

      A teacher never mentions this in early stages. Bhagavad Gita has order to it’s teaching. Students hears the higher teachings unfolded in CH7, CH13+ of B.Gītā.

      Isvara is part of ignorance

      You haven’t understood Īśvara properly.

      What is Īśvara? Everything.

      That includes your intellect (where self-knowledge takes place).

      That includes self-knowledge (which is supposed to free one from ignorance).

      According to this logic, your intellect too is ignorance.

      Then how can self-knowledge ever take place inside an instrument made out of ignorance.

      Read some Shankara and Gaudapada.

      Feels like this statement is unnecessarily coming from subtle superiority.

      Honestly speaking I could not get your final statement and understanding on anger.

      We admit article was quickly written only to support video. Simplified it now.

      Secondly even ignorance is Brahman.

      This is untrue. Show us one place where it says avidyā = Brahman?

      It’s like saying even the snake-projection is the rope.

      The snake is owning to superimposition of the jīva’s ignorance unto rope. Once the ignorance is destroyed, only rope (Brahman) remains.

      If Brahman was ignorance, then it means nature of reality is ignorance.

  2. Hello Andre,

    Thanks for your reply.

    You have segmented my response on Ishvara. I have said that Ishvara is part of ignorance and to understand this read some Shankara and Gaudapada. Ishvara is Brahman conditioned with sattva pradhan. This is what is mentioned by Shankara in all his commentaries.

    The Intellect too is part of ignorance. Knowledge is also part of ignorance. It is the intellect which is in ignorance that requires knowledge, not Self which is never in ignorance. The Self shines equally on knowledge and ignorance. Since the status of intellect changes from ignorance to knowledge, it implies change of status. All changes occur only in Maya, not in Brahman.

  3. I need to extend my last statement on Ignorance being Brahman a bit more. There is only Brahman. This is non-duality. It means even ignorance is Brahman but Brahman is not ignorance. Ignorance is a reality dependent on Brahman and therefore I said ignorance is Brahman. But Brahman is a reality which is not dependent on Ignorance hence I wrote Brahman is not ignorance. Ignorance cannot exist without the substrate of Brahman. The snake on the rope cannot exist without the rope. Even when the snake is perceived on the rope, it is nothing but the rope. There is no real snake existing on the rope. It’s untrue to say that once the ignorance of snake on rope is destroyed, only the rope remains. This is true from the vyavaharik viewpoint of an unenlightened being. From the ultimate viewpoint of an eblightened being, the rope never was the snake even when the snake was perceived on it.

  4. For support of my assertion above please find the following quotes,

    “All this is Brahman. Everything comes from Brahman, everything goes back to Brahman, and everything is sustained by Brahman. ”

    Chandogya Upanishad, verse 3.14.1

    Lastly, to a knower of Brahman, everythig is Brahman

    “Wise people are indeed those who see the same (Brahman) in a brahmana, who is endowed with knowledge and humility, in a cow, in an elephant, in a dog, and even in a dog eater.”

    Bhagavad Gita, Verse 5.18

    So there is no question of me assuming any form of superiority.

    My answer to your post is that Anger too is Brahman because there is nothing but Brahman. (Refer to Chandogya Upanishad and Bhagavad Gita Verses quoted above)

  5. This is a truly valuable exchange to witness for a seeker like me.
    Neither person allows the ahankara to identify with a mental position.
    Both work towards a greater understanding and clarity of the others expression of the truth.
    What started out looking like a conflict became a mutual understanding, recognition and expression of appreciation towards an ‘ apparently other’ Jiva.
    Quite inspiring as I hardly ever see this in daily life.

  6. Hi Andre,

    Greetings !!

    am still confused by Freewill, what is freewill , if everything is given and controlled by Iswarya !
    what is freewill of Jiva ? In which body it come from (CB,SB,GB)


    1. Hi Tarun,

      Isvara supplies capacity for free will. Supplies capacity for body to grow. Supplies capacity for mind to expand. Etc.

      Just as sun supplies us light. Person A can use that light to give a motivational speech. Person B uses it to rob someone in broad day light.

      So person A and Person B both need light to undertake. The light is not responsible for either’s actions. But what is definitive, person A/B will receive consequences according to their actions.

      Similarly, it’s still up to you to exercise your supplied free-will. Hopefully to exercise it intelligently by assessing whether your decisions led to progression or regression.

      1. Thanks Andre for your response!!

        But you told in your session that thought also created or supplied by Isvarya !!
        So person A has thoughts for motivation speech but these thoughts also created by isvara according to past tendencies .and person b has different thought according to his past vasana !! So how freewill help here do person B need
        to break his tendencies of robing by his freewil ? But if past tendencies is so strong how it will break ?

        1. Yes, the whole point is to slowly, slowly pull away from unconscious habits (old vasanas).

          Because unconscious reactions actually strip our free will. Thus it seems like free will is non-existent. That’s the whole point of mindfulness training. To become alert to our words, to the way we greet, way we sit, way we eat, way we walk, etc.

          SUMMARY: The stronger the Vasanas (past habits), the less free will. The weaker Vasanas, the more one is able to make deliberate choices in the present.

          Man can use sunlight to read a book and get educated. Another man uses sunlight to see faces he can curse. 5 years later, the former is enjoying ease and pease. The later, still complaining.

          Similarly, free-will is there for all, just like sunlight. It’s still up to us to EXERCISE IT LIKE A MUSCLE, but being mindful of our thoughts, words and actions.

  7. Hi Andre,
    I hope you are doing well. I have a question. What does it mean by Zero Sum Game. You have used this phrase in this video. Please explain.

    1. Suppose after much hard work, one is finally promoted to president of company. Being president, all media and blame are on him for any misfortune in company. While enjoy president, he’s burdened by responsibilities.

      Suppose one recognizes the reality after years of hard work, inquiry, prayer and spiritual practices. Then has a spontaneous urge to share the knowledge without any agenda. Soon he/she discovers it’s not as rosy as imagined. Most won’t even recognize your brilliance, and project the most nasty nonsense.

      Person wins lotto. Starts spending indiscriminately. Develops low self-esteem complex. Falls into debt. Etc.

      In other words, “zero-sum game” means in the world of relativity, I can neither lose nor win. That’s why dispassion (assessing pleasant or unpleasant situations from different standpoints before reacting) is emphasized in Gita.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *