Meekness is powerful, but the power has a totally different connotation now. Meekness is powerful because now there is nobody against you. Meekness is powerful because you are no more separate from the whole – and the whole is powerful. Meekness is powerful because you are no more fighting, and there is no way of your being defeated. Meekness is powerful, because with the whole you have already conquered. All victory is with the whole. Meekness is powerful because you are riding on the wave of the whole. Now there is no possibility of your ever being defeated.
It looks paradoxical, because the meek person is one who does not want to conquer. The meek person is one who is ready to be defeated. Lao Tzu says, “Nobody can defeat me because I have accepted defeat already.” Now how can you defeat a defeated person? Lao Tzu says, “Nobody can defeat me because I am standing as the last person in the world. You cannot push me any further back – there is no ‘further back.’ I am the last person.” Jesus also says, “Those who are last in this world will be first in my kingdom of God.”
Those who are the last will be the first? It does not seem possible in this world. In this world, aggressive people, violent people, tend to power, tend to be victorious. You will find the most mad people in the most powerful places, because to reach to that point one has almost to be crazy for power, the competition is such. The competition is so violent that how can a meek person reach to a state of power? No…but that is not the meaning.
When Buddha says, Meekness is most powerful… he is saying you cannot defeat a meek person because he has no desire to conquer. You cannot force a meek person to be a failure because he never wanted to succeed. You cannot enforce a meek person to be poor, because he has no desire for riches. Poverty is his richness. Not to be anybody in particular is his way of life. To be a nobody is his very style.
What can you take away from him? He has nothing. He cannot be cheated, he cannot be robbed. In fact, he cannot be destroyed because he has already surrendered that which can be destroyed. He has no self, no ego of his own.
It happened when Alexander was going back from India, he wanted to take a sannyasin with him. When he was coming to conquer India, his teacher, the great philosopher Aristotle, had told him, “When you are coming back, bring a gift to me. I would like to see a sannyasin from India.” That is something very original to the East. That contribution belongs to the East. The West has given great warriors, the East has given great sannyasins. Aristotle was intrigued with the very idea of sannyas, what it is.
Alexander, going back, remembered. He inquired. The people of that village where he was staying told him, “Yes, there is a sannyasin, but we don’t think you will be able to take him back.” He laughed at the foolishness of the villagers, because who can prevent Alexander? He said, “If I want to take the Himalayas, even they will follow me. So you don’t be worried, just tell me where he is.” They told him.