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Chapter 16: It Is Already the Best

And Alexander looked at Diogenes and felt the beauty of the man, the grace of the man. He was lying naked on the bank of a small river, taking a morning sunbath. The place was absolutely silent, and Diogenes looked so beautiful that Alexander felt jealous for the first time in his life. Alexander had everything, he had almost conquered the whole world. Just India was left out, so he was coming towards India and was certain that he will conquer India too. But he felt jealous of Diogenes, a naked fakir with nothing, not even a begging bowl. Buddha at least used to carry a begging bowl, but Diogenes has thrown the begging bowl also because one day he saw a dog drinking water from the river, and he immediately threw the begging bowl in the river, saying to the dog, “master, you have taught me a great lesson! If you can manage without a begging bowl, why cannot I?”

He had nothing, and yet he had something which was missing in Alexander. Alexander immediately said that, “If next time God will ask me to come back to the world, I would like to be Diogenes rather than Alexander.” But, mind you, he said “next time” - postponing for the next life.

Alexander laughed because he has said something great. He thought Diogenes will appreciate - but Diogenes said, “Don’t be a fool! Don’t try to deceive me! What do you mean, ‘next time’? If you are so much interested in being Diogenes, why not now? Now or never! And who is preventing you? God is not preventing you. This bank is big enough for both of us. Throw the clothes in the river, lie down, take the sunbath! And you need not even bother about food, because I go to beg, and I will bring enough for you too. You simply rest here, forget all about the world. Be Diogenes right now!”

Alexander said, “That is difficult. Right now I cannot do it, but I will come one day. First I have to finish my conquest - I have to conquer the whole world!”

And Diogenes said, “Two things I have to say. One: remember, if you have conquered the whole world, then what you will do?” And Alexander was only thirty-two at that time. “What you will do when you have conquered the whole world? Do you know? There is no other world! You will be at a loss! At least right now you are occupied, busy, without business, but if you conquer the whole world then the real problem will arise: what to do next? - because there is no other world.”

And it is said, Alexander felt sad even listening to the idea that there is no other world. He was shocked. He felt immediately a great sadness descend on him and he said, “Don’t talk such sad things to me. First let me conquer this and then I will see. And I will come to see you when I have conquered the whole world.”

Diogenes said, “Nobody comes back - you will not be able to come back. Don’t be so certain about the future. One can be certain only about this moment.”

And actually it happened that way: Alexander died on the way; he never reached back home. He was only thirty-three when he died, and he really died for the same reason that Diogenes has pointed to him. The moment he conquered India he became very much depressed, so much so that he became an alcoholic; he started drinking too much. What to do now? He died of too much drinking, he died as an alcoholic. He killed himself - it was suicide. Otherwise he was perfectly healthy, but he was continuously drinking day and night.

Your name is Alexander - be a little aware! Don’t do the same foolishness again. You have come the next time, and still you don’t want to become a sannyasin! And I am nobody else but Diogenes asking you: Take the jump, become a sannyasin! Nothing will change, but everything will become beautiful. Thank you!

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