Such stories Alexander had heard about him. So when he was coming to India, and he heard, on the way that Diogenes was very close by, he was living there by the side of a river, Alexander stopped and said, “I would like to see the man. I don’t want to miss this opportunity, I have heard so much about him.”
It was morning, a winter morning, and the sun was rising. Diogenes was lying on the beach of the river, taking a sunbath. He did not even get up when Alexander reached there. Alexander said, “I have heard much about you and I have loved all those small anecdotes about your life. I wanted to see you, and just seeing you, I can understand that you are a beautiful man.”
He had such a beautiful body, almost like a statue, and was so joyous that Alexander said, “I would like to give some present to you. You just ask – anything! Don’t feel embarrassed. Whatever you ask for – even if you ask for my whole empire – I will give it to you.”
Diogenes laughed. He said, “That is not the thing that I am feeling embarrassed about. I am going to ask something else…that’s why I am feeling embarrassed.”
Alexander said, “You just say it.”
He said, “Just stand a little to the side, because you are blocking the sun and I am taking my sunbath, and this is not my meeting time.” And he closed his eyes.
That’s the only thing he asked from the man who was the world conqueror. Alexander must have felt a poor beggar in comparison to Diogenes. He did not care at all about his empire, and yet he was feeling embarrassed to ask such a small thing: “Just stand to the side. I am taking my sunbath.”
These people have known the beauty of aloneness. They are unburdened by anything. I am not telling you that you have to be naked, that you have to throw away all your possessions. Once in a while, one Diogenes is good – but I am certainly telling you, you should not be possessive. Possessions don’t matter; you should not be possessive. You can use all that is made available to you by existence – but don’t become attached to it.
I have been condemned all over the world because of my ninety-three Rolls Royces – but nobody has bothered to notice that I have not looked back: what happened to those ninety-three Rolls Royces? You can have the whole world in your hands; the real issue is: don’t be attached. I have never looked back.
A few sannyasins have even purchased those Rolls Royces thinking that if I need them, they can present them again to me. They have written letters to me, they have phoned me: “We have got one of the cars and we are not using it. We are keeping it; if you want it back….”
I said, “What is gone, is gone. You use it; you enjoy it. Just remember that your master never looked back at anything.”