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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 3
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Chapter 6: Existence Is Perfection

Now, how are you going to decide who is higher? This chaotic society of man? In three thousand years man has fought five thousand wars - constantly killing each other, murdering, butchering, in the name of politics, in the name of religion. And this man you think is the highest evolved being on the earth? There are people like Arthur Koestler who think that something in the very beginning has gone wrong in the human mind, some nuts and bolts are missing - man is born crazy.

If you watch man, it appears so. His whole life seems to be that of violence, struggle, destruction. No other animal is so destructive. No other animal kills its own species; the tigers don’t kill other tigers and the dogs don’t kill other dogs. Even if they fight, their fights are mock fights; they fight only to decide who is powerful. Once it is decided, the fight stops - because to attack somebody who is weaker than you is not only wrong, it is utterly destructive and stupid too.

Two dogs will fight: they will show their teeth, they will bark, they will jump at each other, but they are simply watching who is more powerful. Once they have taken note who is more powerful, one dog will stop barking, will put his tail between his legs, and it is finished! He has given the sign: “I am weaker and you are stronger.” And there is no shame, he is not ashamed - what can he do if he is weaker and the other is stronger? How is he responsible for that? One tree is taller, another tree is not taller. Do you think the rosebushes are feeling ashamed because the mango trees and the neem trees and other trees are going so high? The roses are not worried at all: “So what? You are taller and we are not taller - that’s the way you are, this is the way we are.”

See the sanity of the point: except human beings nobody is so insane as to fight with someone who is weaker. Once it is decided. And you don’t have even that much consciousness as dogs and tigers have: they can see, it is so apparent that the other is stronger. Then what is the point of fighting at all? The game is finished - the other is the winner. Hence no destruction happens, hence no killing happens. And animals don’t kill even other animals unless they are hungry - except man. Only man goes hunting.

And Digvijay is a former prince: he must know what hunting is, he must have animal heads in his palace, trophies. The more tigers and lions you have killed, the greater you are. And for what? Just to exhibit! Whenever I have visited the palace of a king, I have felt very sorry for the king. He seems to be utterly insensitive; showing these dead heads and dead bodies and skins of animals, he thinks he is exhibiting his power, his vitality. He is simply exhibiting his utter stupidity, inhumanity.

Animals kill only when they are hungry; then it can be forgiven. No animal ever kills without hunger; no animal ever kills as a play. Killing somebody as a game, can you think this hunter is more evolved than other beings? Just destroying a life for sheer play - and the play is also unjust, because you are sitting in a treetop and the animal is on the ground; and from high on the top, where the animal cannot reach, you shoot him. The animal has no weapons to protect himself, and you think you are being very brave? You are simply showing your cowardliness.

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