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Chapter 1: Beyond Enlightenment Is Only Beyondness

Because of the whole conditioning of society, the method of awareness has to be chosen, because awareness appears to be very logical, rational. But if you can love, then there is no need to go on a long, arduous route unnecessarily. Love is the most shortcut way, the most natural - so easy that it is possible even for a small child. It needs no training. You are born with the quality of it, if it is not corrupted by others.

But love should be pure. It should not be impure.

You will 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 continually 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.

I have heard a story:

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-councilors, 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 councilors.

One of the councilors, 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, and those were the most beautiful horses.

Birbal said, “It is useless, but if you say, I will go.”

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