​The perpetual fight for domination in marriage


One would be surprised to know that the English word `love’ comes from a very ugly root in Sanskrit. It comes from lobh. Lobh means greed. And as far as ordinary love is concerned, it is a kind of greed. That’s why there are people who love money, there are people who love houses, there are people who love this, who love that. Even if they love a woman or a man, it is simply their greed; they want to possess everything beautiful. It is a power trip. Hence, you will find lovers continuously fighting, fighting about such trivia that they both feel ashamed, “About what things we go on fighting!” In their silent moments when they are alone, they feel, “Do I become possessed by some evil spirit?—such trivia, so meaningless.” But it is not a question of trivia; it is a question of who has power, who is more dominant, whose voice is heard. Love cannot exist in such circumstances.

In the life of one of the great emperors of India, Akbar, there is a small story. He was very much interested in all kinds of talented people, and from all over India he had collected nine people, the most talented geniuses, who were known as the “nine jewels of Akbar’s court.”

One day, just gossiping with his vice-chancellors, he said, “Last night I was discussing with my wife. She is very insistent that every husband is henpecked. I tried hard, but she says, `I know many families, but I have never found any husband who is not henpecked.’ What do you think?” he asked the chancellors. One of the chancellors, Birbal said, “Perhaps she is right, because you could not prove it. You yourself are a henpecked husband; otherwise, you could have given her a good beating, then and there proving that, `Look, here is a husband!'” He said, “That I cannot do, because I have to live with her. It is easy to advise somebody else to beat his wife. Can you beat your wife?”

Birbal said, “No, I cannot. I simply accept that I am a henpecked husband, and your wife is right.” But Akbar said, “It has to be found…. In the capital there must be at least one husband who is not henpecked. There is no rule in the world which has no exception, and this is not a rule at all.” So he said to Birbal, “You take my two beautiful Arabian horses” — one was black, one was white — “and go around the capital. And if you can find a man who is not henpecked, you can give him the choice: whichever horse he wants is a present from me.” They were valuable. In those days horses were very valuable —equivalent to modern day’s Lamborghini, and those were the most beautiful horses. Birbal said, “It is useless, but if you say, I will go.”

He went, and everybody was found to be henpecked. It was very ordinary: He would just call the person and call his wife, and ask, “Are you henpecked or not?” The man would look at the wife and say, “You should have asked when I was alone. This is not right. You will create unnecessary trouble. Just for a horse I am not going to destroy my life. You take your horses, I don’t want any.” But one man was sitting in front of his house and two persons were massaging him. He was a wrestler, a champion wrestler, a very strong man, what we would term James Bond in the modern world. Birbal thought, “Perhaps this man… he can kill anybody without any weapons. If he can hold your neck, you are finished!” Birbal said, “Can I ask you a question?” He said, “Question? What question?” Birbal said, “Are you henpecked?”

That man said, “First, let us greet each other, a handshake.” And he crushed Birbal’s hand and said, “Unless you start crying and tears start coming from your eyes, I will not leave your hand. Your hand is finished. You dared to ask me such a question?” And Birbal was dying — he was almost a man of steel— and tears started coming, and he said, “Just leave me. You are not henpecked. I have just come to a wrong place. But where is your wife?” He said, “Look, she is there, cooking my breakfast.” A very small woman was cooking his breakfast. The woman was so small and the man was so big that Birbal said, “There is a possibility that perhaps this man is not henpecked. He will kill this woman.” So he said, “Now there is no need to go further into investigation. You can choose either horse from these two, black and white, a reward from the king for the one who is not henpecked.

And at that time that small woman said, “Don’t choose the black! Otherwise I will make your life a living hell!” The man said, “No, no, I will choose the white. You just keep quiet.” Birbal said, “You don’t get either, neither white nor black. It is all finished, you lost the game. You are a henpecked husband.”

There is a continuous fight for domination in the ordinary marriage as we know it. Love cannot blossom in such an atmosphere. The man is fighting in the world for all kinds of ambitions. The woman is fighting the man because she is afraid: he is out of the house the whole day — “Who knows? He may be having affairs with other women.” She is jealous, suspicious; she wants to be sure that this man remains controlled. So in the house he is fighting with the wife, in the outside he is fighting with the world. Where do you think the flower of love can blossom? Hence, the flower of love can blossom only when there is no ego, when there is no effort to dominate someone else, when one is humble, when one is trying not to be somebody but is ready to be nobody. Naturally, in the ordinary world it cannot happen.

4 thoughts on “​The perpetual fight for domination in marriage

  1. To me marriage is a non forced compromise .you do compromise willingly once you love and respect your other half until you don’t even have to compromise anymore because the little differences and weakness become virtues you love too and learn to accept and laugh about.In Love there is no space for possession or for arguing about who is right or wrong.
    Have a good day my friend❤️

    Liked by 2 people

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