Which power? Definitely not that power which comes from wealth, position, scriptures or borrowed knowledge. Long for that power which is not dependent on anything but is born from within you, which cannot be obtained but is inborn, which cannot be bought from the market but which is the flowering of your soul. And it flows outward, from the inner, not to the inner from the outer.
Now you will be able to understand the connection between desire and power in this sutra.
Longing means a desire for the inner. And power is also hidden within, that too is born there. Only through this kind of power will you really become strong. That is why we have called Vardhman, “Mahavira” – the great warrior. It is not as though Mahavira would have won if he had fought the wrestling champion, Gama. It is nothing like that. Still, we cannot call a man like Gama, “Mahavira” – because although his physical body is strong, the soul within is very weak. And how long will the body last? Gama died of tuberculosis and his last days were very painful.
You will be surprised to know that in the end, all wrestlers die from very dangerous diseases and that their last days are very painful – because whatever strength they had was in their bodies. They mistake the strength of their bodies for their own, and when their bodies start to wilt away they feel they have been cheated. And the body will wither away. The wrestler’s body loses its strength much faster because he has misused it. All forms of wrestling are a misuse of the body. What happens in the name of exercise is not exercising, but pressurizing.
So a wrestler is pressurizing his body. By doing so, by exerting so much pressure on his muscles, he is forcing the blood to circulate so that his muscles bulge. That is why no wrestler lives to be old; he dies early. A body which could have been of service for sixty years will now last for only forty years. You have used up twenty years of energy violently.
Bodybuilders die early, and the last days of these “strong men” are very sad and painful. As old age dawns they begin to realize that they were actually weak people and the illusion of power that was coming to them was coming through the body.
We have called Vardhman, “Mahavira” – the great warrior. We have called him that because his life energy is arising from such a place that it can never be snatched away: it is arising from within. It is not dependent on any means – neither wealth, nor position, nor the body. It is not at all dependent: it is ours, it is free. This we have called the power of the self. That which is ours is the power of the self. Whatsoever we get from someone else in any way, whatsoever is dependent on another’s help, is a false power.