He took that dog for his master, and invited the dog to be with him because he was so intelligent. He had not been aware that to carry the bowl was an unnecessary a burden. Thereafter that dog remained with him. They used to sleep together, to take their food together. The dog was his only companion.
Somebody asked Diogenes, “Why do you keep company with a dog?”
He said, “He is more intelligent than so-called human beings. I was not so intelligent before. Looking at him, watching him, has made me more alert. He lives in the here and now, not bothered about anything, not possessing anything. And he is so happy – having nothing, he has everything. I am not yet so content, some uneasiness remains inside, within me. When I have also become just like him, then I will have reached the goal.”
Alexander had heard about Diogenes, his ecstatic bliss, his silent, mirrorlike eyes, just like the blue sky without any clouds. And this man lived naked, even clothes were not needed. Somebody said, “He’s just bv the river, and we are passing, he’s not very far away.” Alexander wanted to see him, so he went.
It was morning, a winter morning, and Diogenes was taking his sunbath, lying on the sand naked, enjoying the morning, the sun showering on him, everything so beautiful, silent, the river flowing by…
Alexander thought, “What should I say?” A man like Alexander cannot think except about things and possessions. So he looked at Diogenes, and said, “I am Alexander the Great. If you need something, tell me. I can be of much help and I would like to help you.”
Diogenes laughed, and said, “I don’t need anything. Just stand aside a little because you are blocking the sun. That’s all you can do for me. And remember, don’t block anybody’s sun, that’s all one can do. Don’t stand in my way and nothing else is needed.
Alexander looked at this man. He must have felt like a beggar before him: “He needs nothing, and I need the whole world, and even then I will not be satisfied, even this world is not enough.” Alexander said, “I’m happy to see you, I have never seen such a contented man.”
Diogenes said, “There is no problem! If you want to be as contented as I, come and lie down by my side, have a sunbath. Forget the future, and drop the past. Nobody is hindering you.”
Alexander laughed, a superficial laugh of course, and said, “You are right – but the time is not yet ripe. One day I would also like to relax like you.”
Diogenes said, “That one day will never come. What do you need to relax? If I, a beggar, can relax, what else is needed? Why this struggle, this effort, these wars, this conquering, why this need to win?”
Said Alexander, “When I have become victorious, when I have conquered the whole world, I would like to come and learn from you and sit by your side and lie down here on this bank.”