Chapter 26: The Essence of Surrender
There came a time when Poras attacked Alexander, and Alexander fell from his horse. Poras was on his elephant - Indian armies fought on elephants - and he was just going to Alexander when he saw the thread on his own wrist. The spear that was going to kill within a second turned back, and Poras said to Alexander, “I cannot kill you. I have promised your wife that I will not do anything that harms her, that I will protect her.”
This was the reason that Poras lost the war. And Alexander still could not understand because he could not understand the way of the East, that Eastern people have been thinking in totally different terms. It was really a spiritual victory, a great victory for Poras.
Poras was brought within chains, handcuffed, into the court of Alexander, and he came there like a lion - of course encaged.
And this is the sentence that I want you to understand. Alexander said to him.remembering that this man Poras is certainly rare: his spear had reached just near Alexander’s heart; one second more and he would have been dead. And Poras pulled it back because of a promise given to an unknown woman.
Alexander asked Poras, “How do you want to be treated?”
Poras laughed, and he said, “I should be treated as an emperor is treated by another emperor.”
There was silence in the hall. In Alexander’s court they had never heard such a thing - that a king who has been enslaved should laugh and say, “This is not a question. You should have learned manners. An emperor should be treated as an emperor.”
For a moment Alexander was indecisive, but then his better self came over him. He remembered seeing on the wrist of Poras the same thread was still there; it is not removed until it falls off by itself.
He told the people, “Make him free. Give his kingdom back to him. And we cannot go deeper into India - it is dangerous. If on the frontier this episode has happened, what will happen in the interior parts? We don’t know; we are going back. It is enough that we have conquered.”
Surrender comes from defeating someone in a fight. It still keeps the violence in it. It is obscene. But there is no other word to express the experience you are feeling now - particularly in English there is no word.
The experience is tremendously important. Nobody is conquering you, nobody is defeating you. You are not being submissive to anybody. Nothing is lost. Your self-respect is not touched. In fact, everything becomes enhanced, more strengthened. You are better for it than you were before. It is a subtle meeting and merger of the non-material presences.
So what you are feeling here is really the meaning of what I was talking about as “surrender.” I was trying to explain to you through that word, this experience, and now you know that that word is not adequate - not only not adequate, it is something ugly.