Alexander never used to go alone anywhere. It was risky, it was a question of security. His bodyguards, his security people, his advisers, they were always all around him. But he did not want anybody to go with him on this adventure, he did not want anybody to know the place. So he ordered that nobody should follow him and the army should stay there. He would go alone and soon he would be back.
He reached it quickly – he had the fastest horse of those days. And you can imagine his joy that his desire, the deepest desire, to be immortal…who wants to die? It is everybody’s desire not to die. But have you ever thought about what it means?
Neither had Alexander ever thought about it. He jumped from the horse, rushed towards the cave from where the small stream was coming out, crystal clear water, and just as he was going to make a cup of his hands and take the water into the hands and drink it, a crow who was sitting on the rocks said, “Wait a minute.” He could not believe it. He had never even dreamed that a crow could speak, but now everything was possible when you were standing before a stream which could make you immortal.
He asked, “Why you are stopping me?”
The crow said, “Just a minute, so that I can tell my story to you. I have also drunk from the same source, millions of years before, and since then I have tried to kill myself in every possible way. I am tired, I want to die and go to eternal rest. But no poison works, no effort succeeds. Fire does not burn me, and just the idea that I have to remain eternally bored with life…
“I have seen everything, I have lived everything, it is all repetition, repetition, repetition. I have been searching for someone to tell me where I can find the antidote to this nectar that you are going to drink. I wanted to say it to you so that you don’t drink it unconsciously. Don’t commit the same mistake that I have committed. But still, if you want to drink, you are free.”
Alexander had never thought about this side of things – that immortality would be unbearable. All your friends will be gone, all your contemporaries will be gone, all those you have loved and all those who have loved you will be gone. New generations will go on passing; the gap between you and the people will go on becoming greater and greater. Nobody will understand you, neither will you be able to understand the new people who will inhabit the earth. And your life will be just a repetition, a wheel revolving eternally; the same route every morning, every evening, and there is no way to escape, no exit.
A great fear…he dropped the water from his hands and he thanked the crow. He said, “I will remain grateful to you forever, and I pray that you please remain here to prevent anybody else from committing the same mistake. Because anybody, without exception, would like to commit it.”