Who is superior: husband or wife?

This story is about a husband and wife. As usual, they were on ‘wonderful’ terms! Each one tried to exercise his superiority. Day in and day out they would quarrel and fight, quarrel and fight. The husband always used to say that he had made the most deplorable mistake of his life by marrying his wife. And the wife said the same. Then she used to add that if she had not made this kind of mistake, by this time she would have married somebody who was richer than the richest. So it went on for years and years.

One day a very great and wise scholar came to their house. He felt sorry for this couple because they were constantly quarrelling and fighting. They appealed to him, “Can you not solve our problem?”

The scholar said, “How can I solve your problem? Both of you are so good to me. True, you fight like cats and dogs between yourselves, but to me you have been extremely kind. So whose side can I take? But I can tell you about a dream I had many years ago. That dream is applicable to you both. In the dream I saw that a husband and wife were going to a distant place. It was the home of one of their relatives. They were walking and walking. On the way, they became very tired, especially the wife. The husband also needed some rest. The countryside through which they were walking was full of banyan trees. They decided to take rest at the foot of a banyan tree. On this day, for some reason, the wife became very kind and generous. While her husband was sleeping on the ground at the foot of the tree, she raised his head and put it on her lap. Then she, too, started dozing.

“All of a sudden she woke up and saw that a branch was shaking. It was about to fall on her husband’s head. She raised her hand and said, ‘Stop, stop, stop!’ and because of her command, the branch did not fall onto her husband. It did not even bend. So that is my story. Now you decide who was superior — the husband or the wife.”

The wife immediately said, “Here is the proof! The wife was definitely superior. She was able to stop the branch from falling down. Otherwise, her husband would have been killed or seriously hurt. Inwardly, she was the stronger of the two. She was superior in every way.”

Then her husband said, “Stop, stop! You are absolutely wrong. It was because the wife knew that her husband was her master that she did this. A wife has to be loyal to her husband. To save him is her duty. It is not that she was superior. It was her duty to save her master. He is her lord.”

Both of them interpreted the dream in their own way. Thus the great scholar made both of them happy.

Sri Chinmoy, Life’s bleeding tears and flying smiles, part 8.First published by Agni Press in 2001.

This is the 1387th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.


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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Life’s bleeding tears and flying smiles, part 8, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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