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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 6
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Chapter 3: A Slave in Your Own House

Man is born unconsciously, although he has the potential to become conscious. But the potential will remain only a potential unless you work hard to actualize it. One is born with an intrinsic capacity to conquer oneself, but your whole energy becomes extrovert. Living with people who are extrovert, ambitious, desiring this and that, a child also starts imitating. He learns from others, his parents, teachers, priests, politicians, and they are all in the same boat. Someone is after money, someone is after power, someone is after fame, but no one seems to be interested in one’s own self. No one seems to be ready to go on that great pilgrimage of self-discovery.

Buddha says: Master yourself. If you are at all interested in mastery - and who is not interested? - then become interested in self-mastery. Don’t waste your time in trying to dominate others. The effort to dominate others creates political conflict; the whole world is full of it. Politics even enters personal relationships and destroys them. Even when you love a woman or a man, the mind starts its cunning ways to dominate, to possess, to destroy the freedom of the other, because you are afraid. You are afraid that if you don’t dominate, the other is going to dominate you.

For all those who want to dominate others, Machiavelli is the teacher. In India a similar type of man existed; his name was Chanakya. He preceded Machiavelli by thousands of years. Both men are the foundations of the extrovert mind. They laid the foundations, and their first foundation is that the best way to defend yourself is to attack; hence, before the other attacks you, attack the other. Before your wife starts dominating you, dominate her, or before your husband starts dominating you, dominate him.

A young man was going to get married. He asked his father, “Do you have any advice for me?” And his father whispered something into his ear. The young man laughed and said, “I will take care of it.”

He went to the town to get married. As the couple was coming back to the village, the horse who was carrying them from the town stopped. The young man was very angry. He said to the horse, “This is the first time - I can forgive you, but remember, I can forgive you only two times.”

The horse moved, but again he stopped at another place and wouldn’t budge. The young man said, “This is the second time - now be alert!”

And when the horse stopped for the third time, the young man got down, took his pistol and shot the horse immediately then and there. The horse fell down.

The wife could not believe her eyes - what cruelty! She said, “What are you doing?”

He said, “This is the first time. Remember, you have only two more chances.”

And from that day, it is said, his wife always followed him. What else to do?

This has been the way down the ages: either the husband dominates or the wife. In ninety-nine percent of the cases the wife dominates, because the husband is trying to dominate in the outside world, in the marketplace. He comes home so tired, so frustrated that he has no desire, will or power to fight with the woman. And the woman has been waiting the whole day, accumulating. Her energies are fresh and she has nowhere to go to dominate anybody else; only the husband is her dominion.

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