Chapter 8: You Need Roses, Just Wheat Will Not Do
The king was very willing. He said “I am absolutely ready, I will not disturb you. You can have a part of the palace, and whatever you need will be provided. But please keep the agreement, don’t disturb me. I am a man with a very weak heart, and you seem to be very dangerous.”
Diogenes said, “Don’t be worried. As far as killing is concerned I am absolutely against it; harassing anybody I am absolutely against. You will find in me a great master; you can learn much. You have purchased the only master who has ever been sold, and I have sold myself. In fact I needed some disciples. Now you, your wife, your brothers, your children, all are my disciples - agreed?!”
In the forest the chariot was moving towards the kingdom. Not to agree with this man was very dangerous because there was only the charioteer and the king, and he was enough for both. So whatever he said the king went on saying, “Yes, absolutely agreed.”
And as they were entering the kingdom, Diogenes jumped out of the chariot, said good-bye to the king and said, “I was just joking! For those four poor men I had to play this role. My river has come. If you want sometime some advice you are welcome. Take note of my address: this river, and do you see that dog?”
He had only one dog as a friend. Because of this dog as a friend, his name became “Diogenes the Cynic.”
The friendship with the dog also came in a very special way. One day he was running towards the river with a begging bowl, just as Buddha had a begging bowl. He was thirsty, but just as he was reaching to the water, a dog came running, overtook him and started drinking the water.
He said, “My God! Why am I carrying this bowl? The dog is in a better position!” He threw the begging bowl in the river and learned the way of drinking water like the dog.
The dog certainly became very friendly to the man, so he invited the dog to share with him whatever he got for food. The dog was his only companion, and he would talk to it.
Even when Alexander was standing by his side, he was making a joke of it. Alexander said, “I’m going to conquer the world.”
Rather than answering him, he looked at the dog and said, “Do you hear? This fellow is going to conquer the world!” Then to Alexander: “Before conquering the world you will be finished. If you are as wise as this dog, you would rest here, because what will you do after conquering the world?”
Alexander had to concede: “After conquering the world I will certainly rest and relax.”
Diogenes said, “Look at my dog, how relaxed! You can come on this side, I have no objection; I don’t possess this river. I don’t know who possesses this river, but we both live here and we welcome you. There is no need to take so much trouble to conquer the world and then rest; why not begin rest now?”