The Great Secret

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“The great secret for keeping matters right in wedlock is never to quarrel with your wives for trifles; for we are but babies at best and must have our playthings, our longings, our frights, our monkeys, our china, our fashions, our washes, our patches, our waters, our tattle, and impertinence; therefore I say ‘tis better to let a woman play the fool than provoke her to play the devil,” thus said a woman character in ‘Sir Harry Wildair’,  a play by George Farquhar, one among the famous Restoration Playwrights. Well said! There is a lot of meaning in what the playwright had said more than three centuries before. Surely out of experience, for it is experience that makes a man perfect.

Be it Love marriage or arranged marriage, it takes time for a man to understand a woman. How much time? Maybe a lifetime. By the time he understands her he feels it is too late. As per the original version of the Bible, it did not take much time for Adam to understand his companion Lilith, a woman created along with him. When she asked her husband, “Why you on top? Why not me?” a tiff cropped up. Had he thought, “What does it matter?” he would have lied back and enjoyed her in a passive mode. Adam always wanted to be an active partner and so his audacity ended in Lilith turning into a devil. What man would like to live with a devil? Socrates was an exception.

Adam was right in his decision and was ready to forego a rib for having a bonded woman. Eve was created. She never questioned her husband and the history of Man began. In the Hindu pantheon, the first ever tiff between husband and wife began with Lord Siva and his consort Parvathi. “Who is more powerful? Man or woman?” That was their million-dollar question. All over the world with little or no exception, in every house dwell Siva and Parvathi, and not the peaceful couple, Adam and Eve.

It is a question of Ego. Ego dies a very slow death as if drunk with slow poison. By the time, the married couple realizes that they are cleared of their ego, and then it is time for “sans eyes, sans taste and sans everything”. A very precious time in one’s life is lost and it is lost once and for all. A late realization. Again, it all started with Eve. A careful study of the Bible will unravel to us this fact. Had she been a little careful and gave importance to the Creator’s words rather than the Devil’s, things would have been different. She mistook Adam’s luxuriousness for his weakness and so misguided him, as inspired by the Devil. Hence man’s fall.

The whole world is against individuality. Be it Lilith or Eve, they wanted Adam to be a sort of robot. Once man agrees to be a puppet on a string, then all his troubles start. Man is Adam and every Adam wants an Eve, only to realize that it is neither easy to live with her nor without her. That triggers a question: Why then the couples fight, nag, and harass each other in their own way? Osho, a remarkable blend of wisdom and wit, has an answer: “The simple reason is that they are not getting what they were thinking they will get”.

Man and woman, apart from being different in their bodies, are different in their mindset too. But every woman is a gifted being, created with the greater purpose of helping man in all possible ways. If she ever asks, “Why should I?” then the very purpose of God’s second mistake will be mistaken for ever.

Gowthama, the Buddha speaks of seven types of women, men can have for their wives. The very first one is the most troublesome. She is wicked, bad tempered, pitiless and not faithful to her husband. The second one is like a thief and she wastes her husband’s hard-earned money. The third one is cruel, lazy, lacking in compassion, abuses her husband, and thinks only about herself. The fourth one is like a mother. She loves her husband and is careful with his money. The fifth one is like a sister. She respects her husband, obeys all her husband’s wishes, and is modest all through her life as a wife. The sixth one is virtuous, faithful and rejoices at the very sight of her husband like a good friend who has not seen her friend for a long time. The seventh one is like a handmaid, and is an understanding wife. Obedient to her husband’s wishes, She remains calm and shows no anger even when her husband uses harsh words while pointing out her shortcomings.

Blessed is he who has the seventh one for his wife and cursed is he who has any one of the first six for his life partner. And the best remedy to all domestic problems is to have the guts to rule over her or allow her to rule over you.

About the author: P. Raja
P. Raja
P.Raja (October 07, 1952) a son of this divine soil, Pondicherry, India famed for its spiritual heritage, writes in his chosen language, English, and also in his mother tongue, Tamil. More than 5000 of his works – poems, short stories, interviews, articles, book reviews, plays, skits, features and novellas – have seen the light through newspapers and magazines that number to 350 in both India and elsewhere. He has 30 books for adults and 8 books for children in English and 14 books in Tamil. Apart from contributing special articles to Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literature in English (London), Encyclopedia of Tamil Literature in English, and to several other edited volumes, he has also written scripts for Television (Delhi). He broadcasts his short stories and poems from All India Radio, Pondicherry. He was General Council Member of Central Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi (English Advisory Board - 2008-2012) representing the Pondicherry University. He is Editor of TRANSFIRE, a literary quarterly devoted to translations from various languages into English. His website: www.professorraja.comAuthor can be reached at [email protected]

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