So he went to see Diogenes. Diogenes was having a sunbath by the side of the river, on the sand in the early morning sun – a cool breeze, birds singing all around, his lamp by his side. Alexander had seen many beautiful women, many beautiful men, but nothing could be compared with the beauty, the radiance of this naked fakir. He could not believe his eyes that a man could be such pure gold that he need not be hidden behind clothes.
What is of importance, in reference to Daikaku, is the question that Diogenes asked Alexander: “Where are you going? – because I hear armies going by my side, day and night, thousands of soldiers. Where are you going?”
Alexander said, “I want to conquer the world.”
Diogenes said, “That’s good. What will you do after that?”
Nobody had ever asked that. For a moment there was silence.
Alexander said, “After that I will relax.”
Diogenes said, “You must be stupid, because I am relaxing already without conquering the whole world. If you want to relax afterward, why take the trouble? Why not relax now? This river bank is big enough – we can both share it. Just throw your clothes away and lie down. And we can even share the lamp.”
Alexander said, “Logically you are right.” He understood logic because he was a student of Aristotle, the father of Western logic.
He said, “I can understand the logic. It looks stupid after taking so much trouble to kill and massacre, and then afterwards just to relax. Why not relax now? You are right. But I have gone too far. It is just a question of a few months more and my conquest of the world will be over. Otherwise, even relaxing by your side, I will go on remembering that it was only a question of a few months more. I will not be able to relax. I can relax only after I conquer the whole world.”
Diogenes said, “It is up to you. I was even ready to share my riverside. I was even ready to share my lamp, my only property.”
Alexander was continuously watching the lamp. In the day? – what was the point of keeping the lamp burning?
He asked, “Forgive me, I have no right to ask, but why do you carry this lamp even in the full daylight? The sunlight is there, and you go on carrying this lamp, naked.”
Diogenes said, “I am searching for an authentic man. Who knows at what time he will meet me? I want to see his face, the original face. This lamp is just symbolic.”
It is said that when Diogenes was dying, somebody from the crowd asked, “What happened to your great search for the original man?”
He said, “I could not find him. But this much I must say in favor of humanity: that my lamp has not been stolen, it is still with me. More than that I cannot say.”
History should teach more about these people. And there have been thousands around the world; they will provoke a longing in the people’s minds.