Chapter 1: An Individual Revolution
Waiting for death cannot be a joyful act. Life, which your religions teach to renounce, is available. And joy and cheerfulness and blissfulness are part of life. They are living qualities, they are fragrances of intense living. Your religions teach you to renounce life, then what do you expect? You renounce life, and with it you have renounced every possibility of being blissful.
Sadness, misery, suffering: you have created them by your accepting a wrong kind of ideology. You have been cheated by your priests, you have been cheated by your politicians. You have been exploited by all the vested interests for the simple reason that they want miserable people. The miserable person is easily enslaved; the cheerful person, the blissful person, cannot be enslaved.
I am reminded of Diogenes, one of the most beautiful men who has walked on this earth. He lived naked - he had a beautiful body. And those were the days when people were sold in the markets as slaves.
So a few merchants who used to deal in selling slaves saw Diogenes lying down by the side of the river. They were overjoyed; this man would fetch a good price. They had sold many slaves, but never such a healthy and such a proportionate body and such a beautiful man. But the problem was how to catch him. They were only four, and he was more than enough for four; he would kill all of them. But something had to be done.
They were hiding behind a bush and thinking of a plan - perhaps when he was asleep then they could manage it.
Diogenes was listening. He said, “Don’t be stupid. What do you want? Just tell me. I am not a man to be enslaved, but you look so miserable that I am ready to go with you.”
They could not believe it!
Diogenes stood up and said, “Where do we go? You follow me!”
They went to the market. It was a strange scene. He looked like a master, and they looked like slaves following him. And the whole marketplace suddenly turned towards Diogenes. It was a breathtaking scene. They had never seen such a slave - “He should be an emperor!”
He stood on the platform where each slave had to stand before he was auctioned. Standing on the platform he looked at the crowd and declared, “A master is ready to be sold. If any slave amongst you wants to purchase a master, he should come forward.”
There was great silence. Even in such a situation Diogenes was not sad, he was not miserable; on the contrary he was enjoying the whole scene!
One king came up and asked the price. Diogenes said, “I am a priceless being, but you can give whatever you want to give to these poor fellows, these four persons. They have brought me here out of compassion, so you can give them as much as you like.”