It is said about Diogenes, one of the contemporaries of Alexander the Great, that even Alexander became jealous of Diogenes. He was just a naked sage. He had nothing. He had renounced everything. He was searching his own inner world.
It is said about him that when he renounced the world, he used to carry a small begging bowl. Then one day he saw a dog drinking water from a river. He threw that begging bowl. He said, “If the dog can do without it, then am I worse than the dog?” He discarded everything and remained naked.
Many stories, rumors, were reaching Alexander that this man had something in him. Finally, fascinated Alexander went to see him and he could see that the man had something that he didn't have. He was just lying down, it was a winter morning, it was cool and the sun was rising. He was lying by the riverside, bathing himself in the early sun, naked.
Alexander said, “Can I do something for you, Sir? I have much, and whatsoever you desire, I will be happy to do it for you.”
Diogenes laughed and said, “The only thing that you can do is to please stand by the side. Do not prevent the sun from coming to me. Nothing else do I need. In addition, remember, do not disturb anybody else’s life. That’s enough. Nothing else do I want from you because all that I want is within me.”
And Alexander could feel that the man was true, literally true. The solidity, the crystallized being, the ‘vibe’ of one who has attained, the surround, the climate of the person who is filled with inner light, inner realization, inner riches. He could see it. He bowed down and he said, “If next time I am to come into the world, I would ask God not to make me Alexander, but Diogenes.”
Diogenes laughed and said, “There is no need to wait that long. You can become a Diogenes just now! For what are you struggling and conquering people, and moving continuously and warring? For what?”
Alexander said, “First I want to conquer Middle Asia, then India, then the far east…”
Diogenes went on asking, “Then what? Then what?” Finally, when Alexander said he had conquered the whole world, he said he would then like to rest.
And Diogenes said, “You look to me almost stupid, because I am resting without conquering the world. You can rest by my side. See, the bank is so big; we can share it. And nobody comes here. You can rest to your heart’s desire. Who is preventing you? And I don’t see the point, that one needs to conquer the world first just to rest in the end. You can rest any moment.”
In that moment, Alexander must have felt his poverty. He said, “You are right. I am mad, but now it is difficult for me to come back. I have to conquer, only then I can come.”
And when he was leaving, Diogenes said, “Remember, nobody can come back unless one is aware. And if you are aware right this moment, the journey stops. If you are not aware, you will never come back.”
And Alexander never could go back.
- Live without any regrets, without any prejudices.
- Live happily and truly enjoy what you do.
- Don't keep any worries of the past or anxieties for the future. Since both the times are not in your control.
- Develop passion and hobbies.
- Living and cherishing each moment of life is the most important thing.
- Life is very short after all. You do not know if you will get up tomorrow or not, or you will meet that person ever again in your life or not.