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What triggers violence

By Khem Jokhoo

 The root cause of any type of violence is the five vices of anger, greed, ego, lust and attachment. Anger and lust are most influential and possibly your greatest enemy.

Root Causes of Anger

The three main root causes of anger are dissatisfaction, ego and arrogance of body consciousness as well as unfulfilled desires and expectations. Many times, anger begins with innocence and folly and ends in pain and repentance. Anger can be classified into three types. The first is the gross form of anger, which is demonstrated by the feet and hands in terms of action and sometimes leads to physical altercation. 

The second type is through words. This ends with trading insults and abuses and may include high-pitched expletives instead of your usual well-articulated expressions. 

The third type is expressed through the eyes and face and in general annoying body language. 

This third type includes a troubled or distressed mind that imbibes anger in numerous subtle forms that are most dangerous as such actions are often premeditated. This is well documented in the Gita C2V62-63 as follows: “The man dwelling on sense objects develops attachment for them; from attachment springs up desire, and from desire ensues anger. From anger arises infatuation; from infatuation confusion of memory; from confusion of memory, loss of reason; and from loss of reason one goes to complete ruin”.

Subtle Domestic Violence

There are two types of domestic violence. The first type is non-physical or subtle which is the psychological battering (nagging) of each other through vicious thoughts, hurtful words or unkind body language, especially the eyes and face. Violence through thoughts is when there are negative feelings and ill wishes for others such as hate, envy and jealousy.  Here both feel the effects, but the generator of these feelings receives the worst. This is because “hate is like an acid, it does more damage to the vessel in which it is stored that the object on which it is poured”. When these negative feelings can no longer be contained, physical aggression is the next step.

Physical Domestic Violence. 

The second type of violence is but the consequence of subtle violence and this often manifests itself in physical abuse. Physical abuse therefore is the product of subtle violence. Whatever the form of violence, the root cause stems from getting angry, or from expectations when some desire is not fulfilled, or from hurting someone’s pride or ego resulting mainly from infidelity, or from unrequited love, or from being possessive as a result of attachment. The macabre and heinous violent acts manifested today are the product of a society that sidelined spirituality for promiscuity and has redefined the true meaning of morality for its own selfish means.

Triggers of Domestic Violence

Some of the factors that trigger anger and arrogance are unfulfilled desires and expectations, obsessions as well as addictions to lust, greed and power. Unfulfilled desires and obsessions are generally temporary in nature, but addictions to lust and greed for power are more permanent in nature and very often end in casualties. 

An addiction to infidelity or debauchery is possibly your worst enemy as this can lead to separation, divorce or death that includes murder and suicide... When bitten by lustful infidelity, a person loses all reasoning powers, neglects all responsibilities as well as respectability and will commit the most heinous crime if his addiction is unrequited and scorned. 

They become wrong and strong and practice might is right. Death is almost certain if a restraining order is applied, especially in the case of unrequited love. Lust for political power is no different and anyone who wishes to challenge that power is risking political suicide and personal defamation.

Spiritual Solutions 

The spiritual solution to minimise domestic violence is to take control of the mind the moment anger is sensed in a forced or spontaneous altercation. The method to quickly adopt is to become peacefully silent and quietly retreat, managing a smile if it is possible. Use that time in silent prayer, deep introspection and continuous remembrance of God. This is but the spiritual power of the soul to “withdraw” that the wise see as “strength”, but the egoists perceive as a “weakness”. 

When that moment of anger is controlled and you are in a better frame of mind, honestly see if you are part of the problem. If yes, then reconciliation can start by invoking the power of humility, the strength to say sorry and the wisdom to seek forgiveness.

 If however you have a clear conscience and the problem lies with others, then summon true love in your heart and exercise mercy, compassion and forgiveness. You can then re-assess the situation for a more permanent solution.


In many of the situations that lead to domestic violence, it is very difficult to break off bad habits especially when the cause is unfaithfulness or substance abuse. Therefore, some form of spiritual or psychiatric counselling and guidance is essential. There are no easy solutions and sometimes it may mean walking away, sometimes exercising unshakable tolerance until such time you are in a position to do better, but whatever you do, do it with great tact and humility. Do not try and test the other party’s ego and arrogance. The important thing to remember is that there is always a solution however painful it may be. Trust in yourself and have unshakable faith in God, but do not take the law into your hands.


—Yogi BK Khem Jokhoo is a physicist/engineer/Yogi by profession. In the last 20 years, he has done extensive studies in moral values and spirituality. He is a student and teacher of Yoga and Meditation. He also teaches positive thinking, stress-free living and self-management leadership. 

Rajyogi.khem@gmail.com

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