But Greeks don’t talk about him because he is not talking about Greek philosophy; he is bringing foreign ideas, strange ideas from Alexandria, from Nalanda, from Takshila – he is almost not a Greek. They are not interested in what he is bringing, although what he is bringing has nothing to do with Greeks or Indians or Egyptians. But he is ignored – one of the most significant men, utterly ignored.
The same has happened to Diogenes. He is ignored because he looks embarrassing to the Greeks. And he is very original – not only in thoughts, but in life. In everything that he does he is original and very sincere – a man of tremendous courage, who could say to Alexander the Great, “You are behaving like a fool. The very idea of conquering the world is nonsense. For what do you want to conquer the world? What will you do after it?”
He said, “After it? I am going to relax and enjoy.” And Diogenes looked at his dog – they were friends, they used to live together – and he told the dog, “Did you hear? He is planning to relax and enjoy after conquering the world, and we are enjoying right now, without conquering anything! Why take so much trouble?” A naked man who can say to Alexander, “You are behaving like a fool,” must have guts – and Alexander had to recognize it. He was a man of tremendous power himself, of great intelligence. He had to recognize it – that he has never met a man of the quality of Diogenes.
But Greeks go on avoiding, the same way they have done with Epicurus. It is very strange, but perhaps this is the way of humanity to behave with its own greatest sons – to ignore them, not to take any note of them.
Amongst all these, Pythagoras has created a complete system to create a Buddha. He himself became an enlightened man – it was not only theoretical. When he came back to Greece, he was not the same Pythagoras who had left; he was a new man. And that was one of the greatest difficulties – his own country could not recognize him. In fact they had no category of enlightenment, awakening, buddhahood – so where to put Pythagoras? The category just does not exist in their mind, so he remains uncategorized, and for two thousand years nobody has commented upon him.
I am the first man to have commented on the great genius and realization of this unique individual. He has a more perfect way of presentation than you will find in Indian scriptures, because Indian scriptures are more poetic, and he is, after all, a Greek! He is very logical and very scientific.
You are famous for your contradictions. But it seems that one of the most powerful confirmations that you are who you are – for the world in general and posterity – is that, in all those millions and millions of words spoken spontaneously over several decades, you really never ever contradicted yourself at all.
That’s true! I have never contradicted myself. I cannot do it.