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Anger arises from fear?

🌺 Peace, Love, Harmony

Anger arises from fear?
by Atman Nityananda

Fear is the cause of anger is one of the most widely accepted concepts in spiritual teachings. Is this true? No, desire, identification and attachment are the cause of anger, as they are also the cause of fear.

Out of desire comes suffering, out of desire fear. For one who is free from desire, there is neither suffering nor fear.”

Desire, attachment and identification is the cause of fear. The same applies to anger. Both anger and fear have as their origin or common cause the desire and the illusory needs of the Ego, attachment and identification.

Fear as a secondary factor can activate anger when we think or believe that some person, event (or whatever) may prevent us from satisfying a desire (need, want) or cause us to lose an object of desire that we already possess and to which we are attached.

The foundation of desire, identification and attachment and all egoic tendencies is the ignorance of our divine nature and identification with our physical body.

 Desire, fear and anger coexist.  If there is anger, you can safely infer that there is also desire and fear.  Anger is a modification of desire.  Fear is an old companion to desire.
– Swami Sivananda

Desire is the root cause of identifications and attachments (primarily to the physical body). Desire, attachments and identifications are strongly related to pleasures, pride, reputation (fame, prestige, status), low self-esteem, inferiority and false self-image.

Desire and especially in its form of lust, is the root cause of fear and anger and all other egoic tendencies and characrteristics such as, gluttony, lasciviousness, greed, jealousy, impatience, guilt, pride, avarice, vanity, etc.


Although many things can be related to anger, the primary or root cause of anger is desire. When a desire or what we want is hindered or not fulfilled, the desire transforms (like milk into yogurt) into anger. Desire and anger are the same energy, both children of rajas guna (quality).

Desire is the root of all sorrow, disappointment, affliction.

Sri Aurobindo

The desire mechanism also works in relation to all other psychological tendencies and needs, such as pride, self-image, self-worth, the need to be recognized or accepted, etc. Thus, anger is always expressed against someone or something (including ourselves) that prevents us from satisfying a desire, a longing, a need (for example, the need to feel worthy, sufficient, special, recognized, safe, accepted, respected, etc.).

Anger is an attack against others to vehemently say them that we do not like them and that we do not want them to obstruct our plans, our desires or to reduce our self-esteem, self-image, etc.. Moreover, that we will prevent them (him/her) from doing so (if we can), and depending on the circumstances we may also threaten them that we will create problems for them as they did to us and also that we will make them suffer as they did to us.

Anger is a primitive emotion that negatively affects our health, vital energy, feelings, our mental clarity, discernment and reason, causes conflict, enmity and separation and causes us to act destructively and lose our ability to do our best in the situation in which we are engaged.

Anger is one of the strongest psychological tendencies that destroys relationships, harmony, peace, unity, happiness.

Swami Sivananda, to show how important the element of anger is in our psyche, said that by dissolving anger we have done half the work of dissolving the ego.

With desire all other egoistic tendencies develop that are nothing more than modifications and extensions of desire itself.

In fact, since desire and rajas guna are the basis and origin of anger, fear and all other egoic tendencies, their dissolution (of anger and all other egoic tendencies) depends on the dissolution of desire and elimination of rajas guna. Practically we work with both the dissolution of desire and the elimination of anger and all other egoic tendencies.

The ego finally dissolves totally and forever in deep Nircikalpa Samadhi by the grace of God.

Since desire is the basis and origin of anger, fear and all other egoic tendencies, their dissolution (of anger and all other egoic tendencies) depends on the dissolution of desire.

🌺 Peace, Love, Harmony

Read also: Cause of Fear -Swami Sivananda