The three rings of love
I REMEMBER YOU SAYING, "DON'T SURRENDER TO A PERSON, SURRENDER TO LOVE."
I'M IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH A BEAUTIFUL AND POWERFUL WOMAN AND WE BOTH DEFINITELY DON'T WANT TO SURRENDER TO EACH OTHER. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SURRENDER TO LOVE WHILE BEING IN RELATIONSHIP? I'M QUITE IN A MESS.
Prem Avida, I can understand; you are really in a mess and there is no way out.
I have heard that there are three rings of love: the engagement ring, the wedding ring and the suffering ring.
Your question makes it clear that you have not understood what I mean when I say, "Don't surrender to a person, surrender to love." And love is never a relationship; this is your problem. Relationship is bound to be a bondage. In relationship either you have to surrender or the other has to surrender.
And you yourself are recognizing that you are in relationship with a beautiful and powerful woman, "and we both definitely DON'T want to surrender to each other."
Then just live in coexistence. Live the way all poor husbands are living. Show to the world that your wife is so surrendered to you... who is preventing? You just have to tell a lie and there is no mess - and surrender to the powerful and beautiful woman. But remember, the moment a man surrenders to a woman he loses dignity in her eyes. She starts looking here and there for someone who has the guts not to surrender.
You don't seem to have guts. There is no need to surrender to each other. Surrender to love means:
enjoy in the happiness of the other, rejoice in the being of the other; be in tune with each other, dance in harmony.
The question of surrender is political, it is not a question of love. And relationship is not love at all; it means love has ended and relationship has begun. It begins very soon after the honeymoon - mostly in the middle of the honeymoon. It is not easy to live with another person whose life-style is different, whose likings are different, whose education and culture is different, and above all the other happens to be a woman - even their biology is different.
But one thing you have to understand clearly, Avida, is that it is the man who longs for domination, and it is the woman who dominates. This is what I call coexistence: live and let live. More than that is all imagination. If you really had known what love is... The basic thing is not to create a relationship.
Stand aloof as the pillars of a temple stand aloof, but support the same roof. Don't destroy the individuality of the other, enhance it if you can; otherwise, at least leave it as it is, uninterfered with.
Freedom is not to be destroyed in the name of love.
Freedom is a far higher value than your so-called love.
The moment you create a relationship you are entering into a contract, a business deal. Love disappears, it becomes law. Now you are not very far away from the divorce court. Unless you are a person who loves to be dominated, who likes to be henpecked - then you have got a perfect woman.
Then don't make any fuss, simply surrender, declare, "I am a henpecked husband. I am your poor servant; you are my master. You order and I will follow."
Actually that is what is happening all over the world but nobody says it. There are many things which are not asserted in the society.
A small child was asked by the teacher, "Can you name an animal which changes color?"
The small boy stood up and said, "What colors do you mean? I have not only known, but I live with such an animal who even changes his whole being."
Even the teacher could not understand. She said, "What is that animal?"
He said, "He is my dad. When he goes out he is a lion - just look at his chest and his mustache - and when he comes back to the house he is just a rat!"
It has a long history which persists in humanity's unconscious. The man is always afraid of a few things. Somebody may disturb their relationship, he wants to make a prison cell for his wife, but it doesn't matter. Even in that prison there are people: the chauffeur... You cannot make it a hundred percent foolproof, because then even you cannot enter into it.
The fear, the jealousy that your object of love - and remember when I use the word 'object', I use it very emphatically. Man has treated woman as a sexual object, not as a human, an equal spiritual being - just a commodity!
For thousands of years women were sold in the marketplace, auctioned. And even today - although the form has changed the reality remains the same - you prevent your wife from having any kind of friendship with any other man. It is an ugly way. In this vast universe you are not alone. There are so many unique people and your wife is just a human being and it is a human frailty that sometimes she may see somebody and a great love may arise in her.
It may be casual, but your fear is very strange, it arises out of your financial mind, your greed. You are afraid - your son has to be your son; the empire that you are creating should not go into the hands of somebody else. You will die one day - your son should receive as a heritage your desires, your ambitions, your riches. All that you have achieved and all that you wanted to achieve, your son has to fulfill it.
Your son is a projection of yourself. In a certain way it is true. Your son is nothing but a miniature cell of your being. You will die, but you will live in your children, they will be your blood and your bones.
The fear is that if the wife is allowed freedom then it will be very difficult to know whether your son is actually yours or somebody else's.
A man was consulting an astrologer. He was very skeptical of the whole thing. Just out of curiosity and to prove the astrologer wrong, he said, "You are talking about faraway things, past lives, future lives... I want to ask you a simple question. This is your test piece: can you tell me where my father is at this very moment?"
The man closed his eyes and said, "Your father has gone fishing."
He said, "I knew already that you are cheating people. My father is dead; he has been dead for four years. How can he go fishing?"
The astrologer said, "The man you think is dead was not your father. Your father has gone fishing, just go and ask your mother."
To make it a certainty and a guarantee that your son is your son the whole problem of bondage and contract and relationship, and doubts and jealousies, and fights and fears... the whole mess has descended on humanity for this stupid reason. It does not matter who owns what, when you are in your grave. Your palace and your money... what difference does it make? Just an ego trip, a very deep ego trip.... When I say surrender to love I am saying that loving is enough, don't make it a relationship. I am absolutely against marriage. Marriage is one of the causes of human misery, one of the most fundamental causes. And unless man drops this whole idea of marriage he cannot drop jealousy, he cannot drop fighting; the wife cannot drop nagging and questioning and inquiring.
A man was tired because the wife would somehow always find out that he has been with a woman.
Women have a very intuitive approach towards life. The man may deny, "I have not been..." but the fragrance from his coat shows that he has been with a woman; it is not the fragrance that he uses or is used in his house. Or just a hair on his coat will be enough proof....
So the man consulted a psychiatrist, "What should I do? Every day it is a problem and she finds something somehow and humiliates me, tortures me. Her way of torture is very simple. Whenever I say that I want to make love to her, she turns to the other side and says, 'I'm suffering from a headache.'"
This headache has been so much of a problem to the husbands. The wife is suffering from a headache, but the real headache is happening to the husband.
The psychiatrist said, "How does she find out?"
The man said, "She has thousands of ways to find out. There is a time limit and if I don't come home within that time limit, then 'Where have you been?' is the first question on entering the house.
I have to think continuously where I have been! That question has to be answered and I know that she is not going to believe it, because I myself don't believe it. There is no authority in saying it, no sincerity. I cannot look her in the eyes and say that I have been with friends or I have been at the Lions Club.
"The moment I see her, my mind starts getting confused about which answer to give, because she is going to find out. I said one day that I had been playing cards with a friend. She immediately phoned the friend and he said, 'I have not seen your husband for months.' I never thought that she would do this! One day she found a hair, a long hair - and that was enough!"
The shrink suggested to him, "Shave your hair completely, and before you go into the house, take care that there are no hairs on your coat, on your shirt."
He said, "My God! I have to shave my head?"
The shrink said, "Even your own hair may create trouble - and you have long hair."
He said, "First I will try to clean my clothes. First I should go to the cleaners to be certain that there are no hairs."
And he reached home and the wife looked at him, searched about for some clue... not even a single hair around? She started crying, "This is the end of our relationship. You have started moving with bald women. There is a limit! There is not even a hair on your coat. Where have you been?"
Husbands and wives are continuously fighting, fighting unnecessarily and destroying their lives miserably. To be a husband or to be a wife is such a misery that looking around the world one cannot imagine that man is a rational being as defined by Aristotle. If he was rational, at least marriage would have been dropped long ago. But Aristotle himself married two women and they used to beat him. And he is the father of Western logic...!
Just a few days ago there was a survey in America showing that women have started to confess for the first time that their husbands beat them. Previously it was thought that it is an ugly tradition of the poor countries of the East where women are beaten by their husbands.
In countries like India it is prescribed in the scriptures that if you want to live in peace, once in a while, a good beating of your wife is an absolute necessity. But nobody has ever thought that the same is the situation in Europe, in America. The only difference is that in the East it has been a very long tradition, and even religious scriptures give it sanction.
In the West people used to think that husbands didn't beat their wives, but the reality is surfacing.
Because of the women's liberation movement, women are confessing that they are being beaten by their husbands. They have not told it to anybody because of the prestige of the family, but the truth is that it is not only women who are beaten by men, men are also being beaten by women, although there is no scripture that says that every wife should beat the husband once in a while just to bring him to his senses.
In reality it happens every night all over the world, wives are throwing things at husbands. A pillow fight is almost a religious thing: every day it has to be done - anyway it is good exercise and nobody is harmed. Wives go on breaking things, but they always break things which are worthless. They are wiser than men. Even in their anger they keep an alert eye not to destroy something valuable, not to destroy the TV...! Old dishes...? Break them. They make a good noise also, a language which is understood in the whole neighborhood.
They throw things at their husbands, but they make certain that they don't hurt the poor fellows; otherwise they will have to take care of them. They never make them a real target. They throw things here and there avoiding the poor fellows.
But it goes on and after all this fight - as happens in every war - some kind of peace, some kind of treaty and the husband goes out to buy ice cream. And people are living together in this misery without any analysis of where it is coming from. It is coming from private property and the desire to keep the property in the hands of our own children.
Karl Marx used to think that when communism comes, marriage would automatically disappear. He was logically right, but life is strange; it never follows logic. It always goes surprisingly, shockingly, illogically, irrationally... Karl Marx's theories were tried in the Soviet Union just in the beginning years of communism. For three years they tried to dissolve marriage, but then finally they found that if marriage is dissolved, misery is dissolved. Then to keep people enslaved is impossible. They are enslaved because they are in such suffering they cannot think of freedom. They cannot be free from their wives - what kind of freedom can they think of? And where is the time?
One man was packing his suitcases and his wife said, "Where are you going?"
He said, "I am going to Paris. I have heard that there you make love to a woman and the woman gives you ten dollars."
The wife said, "Wait, I am coming with you."
The man said, "But what are you going to do? What is your purpose?"
She said, "My purpose is to see how you manage to live on twenty dollars for the whole month."
After three years of effort the Soviet government understood that marriage is absolutely necessary to keep the nation. If marriage disappears the nation cannot remain any longer. It will follow, because marriage is certainly the unit of the nation. Once there is no marriage, thousands of things will change. And the government became afraid: Who is going to take care of the children? What will happen to the ancient prejudice of morality? It will disturb the whole structure...
They dropped the idea, thinking that Marx was only a theoretician, he was not a man of practicality.
He had not taken into consideration the consequences of his idea. The idea is still great, but just as an idea it cannot be practiced. But the strange fact is that Marx himself never practiced it. He was a married man with children and he lived the same miserable life as every husband and every wife lives.
A world which accepts individuals and their freedom of love has certainly to take care that unless your society, your community wants children, you cannot produce children. When the society wants children, the children will belong to society and will be brought up by the society.
You can meet your children, you can love your children and it will be far better that children grow away from you; otherwise seeing the mother and father continuously fighting, do you think the children are getting a right direction for their lives? They are being conditioned to repeat the same thing! They will fight with their husbands, they will fight with their wives, because that is how things are; that is how things have always been!
An ancient story says that whenever Adam used to go to sleep, Eve used to count his ribs. She was created out of one of the ribs of Adam; one rib was missing. That's okay, but if another rib goes missing then there is danger; there is some other woman in the bushes.
Jealousy is perhaps the ugliest attitude in life. But the way life has been managed up to now you cannot avoid jealousy. About everything there is jealousy. The wife is worried that the husband goes out; one never knows where he is going, what he is doing. She takes every care in her own way.
Every month on the first day she takes all the money that he earns, so he cannot go anywhere.
One man rushed into his general manager's office and said, "You are such an idiot, and I used to think you were my friend..."
They worked in the same office and had the same status. But the first man got a pay raise and just to make his friend's wife jealous, his friend phoned to say, "Your husband has got a raise this month."
The wife waited the whole month....
The husband was feeling very happy that she accepted the old salary and she did not know that now he was getting more: "That much I can use for my own purposes."
But the moment the wife took the money she said, "Bring out the rest; you got a raise."
Now he was caught red-handed deceiving his own wife. She took all of the money and she was crying and weeping. The husband had to console her and he was feeling guilty: "I am sorry that I did it, but how did you manage to know?"
She said, "Your friend phoned so I was waiting for the whole month to see... You talk so much about trust and faith. What happened to the trust and faith? You were being faithless and what were you going to do with the money? You tell me in detail what was in your mind! There must be some woman... I have always suspected! The way you enter the house always looks as if you are hiding something. Your very face gives the idea of a suspicious, faithless man. Now you are caught red-handed."
And this goes for every point....
I was traveling to Kashmir, and in my air-conditioned coupe there were only two seats. I was there and there was one other person, a woman. On every station a man would come and would bring fruits and sweets.
I asked the woman, "I think your husband loves you very much?"
She said, "Yes, we have been married for seven years."
I said, "Don't lie to me."
She became angry saying, "Why are you saying that?"
I said, "No husband will bring sweets and flowers and whatever is available at every station. I can say with guarantee that the man is not your husband." She looked at me.
She said, "Strange, but I have to confess he is my husband's friend."
I said, "If he was your husband, once he had put you in the compartment he would have disappeared.
If he had to travel in another compartment he would not have missed that great opportunity. You would have been fortunate enough if he had met you at the destination where you were going!"
Whenever you see people, if the husband and wife are together you can immediately see that they are married because the husband does not look to this side or to that side, but keeps looking straight down. The wife keeps an eye on the husband, and both look sad.
We have made such a sad world unnecessarily, when the same people could be so happy. I sometimes think that just a twenty-four hour experiment is enough to prove what I am saying.
Exchange your wives and there will be such joy and such great laughter and singing and dancing.
Life will become aflame. Just those twenty-four hours will prove what I am saying that marriage is a very subtle, psychological imprisonment.
If you really love the woman you say you love, then give her freedom, and in that freedom it is implied that she can have weekends and you cannot interfere. You also can have weekends. It is strange; simple things can make this world very beautiful - just weekends.
But you say that you want a relationship and you also don't want to surrender, neither of you. Then why drag me into the trouble? Just fight it out. Sooner or later one starts cooling - the hot affair dies down.
Two small kids were sitting on the steps of a school. The smaller one said, "Every boy has a girlfriend, but I can't find a girlfriend."
The other said, "You are too small to have that much trouble. Just grow up, enjoy your freedom.
Once you are grown up you cannot enjoy your freedom. You will find a woman. The real problem is not how to find a woman, the real problem is how to get rid of her."
Getting is very easy - you can ask Niskriya! Now he is trying to get rid of the witch that he has found, avoiding in every way... and that was so joyous. He confessed to the witch in the middle of the night - under the influence of booze - "This is my greatest life experience." And in the morning all was finished - he is back to his camera. And now other women are torturing him. He himself has invited the trouble; otherwise nobody was bothering him. Looking at him everybody thought that he is a very meditative person.
Just looking at him any woman would bypass him, but now women know that he is a great lover, he has just got the face of a meditator. That does not mean anything. He waited long and finally he blurted out. How long can one wait just because he has got a face which appears to be that of a meditator? It is not his fault.
Sally Goldberg goes to the doctor to ask for some help in losing weight before her wedding day. He prescribes a course of pills for her.
A few days later she returns to his office, "These pills have awful side effects," she says worriedly.
"They make me feel terribly passionate and I get carried away. Last night I actually bit off my boyfriend's ear."
"Don't worry," says the doctor, "an ear is only about sixty calories."
WOULD YOU PLEASE SPEAK ABOUT THE THREE RINGS OF LOVE? - THE ENGAGEMENT RING, THE WEDDING RING AND THE SUFFERING?
Pragyana, you seem to be in the same trouble. I have already described those three rings. Just the first two rings are okay. The real problem is the third ring which comes without fail. If you want to avoid the third ring, avoid the first.
Little Ernie is looking through the family photo album when he comes across a photo of his parents' wedding day.
Ernie calls his father over, and pointing to his mother's wedding dress says, "Was that the day that Mum came to work for us?"
Little Ernie is dragged by his mother into the doctor's office. She sits down and says, "Doctor, is it possible for a nine-year-old boy to remove his own liver?"
The doctor roars with laughter. "Of course not," he replies, wiping the tears from his eyes.
Ernie's mother turns round and cuffs Ernie on the ear, "What did I tell you?" she shouts. "Now go straight home and put it back in again!"
Hymie Goldberg loses a lot of money on the stock market and is in a terrible state. He goes to visit his doctor and says, "Doctor, doctor, my hands won't stop shaking."
"Tell me," says the doctor, "do you drink a lot?"
"I can't," says Hymie, "I spill most of it."
"I see," says the doctor and then proceeds to give Hymie a thorough examination. When he has finished he says, "Tell me, do you get a tingling in your arms, aches in your knees and sudden dizzy spells?"
"Yes," replies Hymie, "that's exactly what I get."
"That's funny," says the doctor, "so do I... I wonder what it is!"
Then the doctor refers to his notes for several minutes before looking up and saying, "Tell me, have you had this before?"
"Yes," says Hymie, "I have."
"Well, there you are then," replies the doctor, pressing the buzzer for the next patient. "You have got it again!"
Things are so clear. You can see all around: rings and wedding rings and sufferings. There is not even an exception to find - there is no question... But because everybody is in the same boat, and everybody grows with the same kind of people, one starts accepting it as the only reality possible for human beings. It is not so.
Man can grow in many different directions, in many different ways. The way he grows is just imitation.
Because other people are doing it you go on doing it. Do you hear these bands? These are leading a few idiots towards the same imprisonment I am talking about. You should go and see! The idiots will be sitting on the horses almost looking like kings, not knowing where they are going.
In India this wedding ceremony has a very strange history. There was a time when people used to go to snatch a girl from other tribes - hence the horse! It is a remnant of all those old days when marriage was the beginning of a war. One tribe would invade the other tribe, steal as many young girls as possible.... And even today a sword hangs symbolically by the side of the man who is sitting on the horse going to the girl's house to get married. And the crowd that follows is a reminder that marriage was once an attack by a crowd on another tribe.
No idiot even asks why the sword, and what is its purpose? There is not going to be any fight; the marriages are prearranged...
But remnants go on for centuries, and if you go into a deep research you will be surprised. The horse, the sword, the crowd, the marriage party... it used to be the army. And the band was a declaration: "We are coming. Be ready." It is a war symbol.
And those women stolen forcibly, violently, naturally became slaves. Times changed, now anybody can sit on a horse with a sword and go into the street with a bogus crown...! If he is alone people will start throwing stones at him shouting, "Where are you going? Who are you? What is the purpose?
Whose horse have you got?" But in a marriage party the same man is respectfully garlanded.
History is a very beautiful study if you go deep into it. The father of the girl touches the feet of the father of the boy. That is symbolic of defeat: "We are defeated" - otherwise there is no reason for it.
And there is no reason for all these fireworks; these are the remnants of bombs and shots. It was a violent affair and it was expected that the woman should love and respect the husband so much that if he died, the woman had to jump in the funeral pyre with her dead husband. She also had to burn, alive. By committing suicide she was very much respected. Memorials were raised because she proved to be a true lover. How can she live when her beloved has died...!
I can understand it is possible, but I cannot understand one thing: no man ever jumped into any woman's funeral pyre, and nobody ever bothered that only the women were expected to love men.
In fact while the funeral pyre was still hot and burning, people started thinking about the marriage of the man whose wife had died. Rather than jumping in the funeral pyre, he starts thinking about riding another horse - strange and stupid behavior.
In this century, when we think humanity has become a little civilized, still things go on - and we allow them to go on, although we are also the victims.
Just something for the marriage ceremony....
Wu, the Chinaman has a bad case of constipation. He goes to his doctor who prescribes a course of pills and asks Wu to come back and see him next week.
Wu takes the pills and duly shows up at the doctor's office the next week.
"Did you move yet?" asked the doctor.
"No move yet." replies Wu.
So the doctor prescribes a stronger dose.
Wu comes back the following week and the doctor asks, "Did you move yet?"
"No move yet," replies Wu.
So the doctor gives him a huge dose of pills and a box of suppositories.
Next week Wu comes back and the doctor asks, "Did you move yet?"
"Yes," replies Wu. "Had to move. House full of shit!"
Yes, Beloved Master.