Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Power that is Kind Stems not from cruel Mind

(Power is derived from Latin 'posse' which means to be able. Grace takes its roots from Latin 'gratia' that means pleasing, kind. French grace means forgiving.)

The notion of power has often been linked to physical force. Power and its use and abuse are associated with control, confinement and conformity. This kind of use of power has at different points of history seen the rise of dictators and tyrants. Power that verges on senseless massacre of minorities and those considered 'rebellious' and 'deviant', is, not surprisingly, devoid of grace. This kind of power functions not just at the dominant levels of hierarchy. It is prevalent in almost every strata of social structure, as Michel Foucault, the French historian of ideas, had pointed out. It seeks to control and legitimize ideas and belief systems that are in harmony with the ideologies that are considered 'normal'. Foucault's analysis of 'madness' in this context is relevant here. He describes how 'madness' has been 'used' for conveniently muting voices of dissent and disobedience in an age of reason.

Power is all these examples has been used to mean something that restrains, something that contains. But there is another kind of power which is completely free of brutality. It is a strength sages derive from self-control and disciplining of the senses. It is a virtue that calms turbulent minds and stormy hearts. 

Remember the story of Buddha taming the wild elephant. 

When Buddha's cousin Devdutta unleashed his jealousy on the great sage by letting loose an elephant that was drunk and enraged by the cruel treatment he had been subjected to, Buddha remained unperturbed. A woman cried for help as she felt that the mad elephant would trample her child. Buddha did not succumb to any fear. Nor did he administer cruelty on the animal. He reciprocated with love. He touched the elephant. There was magic in his touch, a magic that stemmed from love that was powerful yet graceful. It was an affectionate caress that understood the pain of the mad elephant. The touch did not desire to defend. Rather it wanted to help.

This kind of power that Buddha possessed was power that was ‘able’ to ‘please’ rather than condemn or demean.

‘Graceful power’ or ‘powerful grace’ are not oxymoronic phrases. They define an attitude. They exemplify a state of mind that is free from bias, jealousy and barbarity. They define a mindset that aims not to curb but set free.

Power that pleases
stems from a heart
that is kind
not a mind that is cruel....
It is grace 
that pleases.....
Calm and serene
Like the ocean's water
Placid and balmy....
Powerful yet graceful.....

Do spare some time to read my other Blog-a-Rythm entries by clicking the links below:

Silly Stillies

Footprints That Changed My Life


  1. An interesting and different take on the prompt! Thanks for sharing: I really like it! :) A powerful graceful post! ;) <3

  2. Thanks for sharing a well written article of power and the misuse of it.

    Power doesn't flow from the barrel of the gun but from a loving touch and sympathetic words.

    1. Thanks Kalpana....I am happy you liked it,....

  3. Very well written post on power and grace. You have very beautifully brought out the importance of 'grace' .

  4. Power not necessarily always come with possession, it is a myth. The power of knowledge comes with sharing not hoarding. The power of giving back to the society.
    A very insightful and thought provoking post.

    1. Thanks Nrpin. Your words are thoughtful indeed.