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by Osho

Alexander the Great meets Diogenes

Those who say, "We are waiting for an opportunity," are being deceptive, and they are not deceiving anybody but themselves. The opportunity is not going to come tomorrow. It has already arrived, it has always been here. It was here even when you were not here.

Existence is an opportunity; to be is the opportunity. Don't say, "Tomorrow I will meditate, tomorrow I will love, tomorrow I will have a dancing relationship with existence." Why tomorrow? Tomorrow never comes. Why not now? Why postpone?

Postponement is a trick of the mind; it keeps you hoping, and meanwhile the opportunity is slipping by. And in the end you will come to the cul-de-sac, death--and there will be no more opportunity left. And this has happened many times in the past.

You are not new here, you have been born and you have died many, many times. And each time the mind has played the same trick, and you have not yet learned anything.

When Alexander the Great was coming to India, he met one strange man, Diogenes. It was a winter morning, a cool breeze was blowing, and Diogenes was lying on the riverbank, taking a sunbath, naked. He was a beautiful man--when there is a beautiful soul, a beauty arises which is not of this world.

He had nothing, not even a begging-bowl, because one day when he was going toward the river with his begging bowl to get some water to drink, he saw a dog rushing to the river. The dog jumped in the river and drank--Diogenes laughed and he said, "This dog has taught me a lesson. If he can live without a begging bowl, then why can't I?" He threw the begging-bowl, he also jumped like the dog in the river and drank. Since then he had had nothing.

Alexander had never seen such a graceful man, such utter beauty, something from the unknown.... He was in awe and he said, "Sir..." He had never said "Sir" to anybody in his life. He said, "Sir, I am immensely impressed by your being, and I would like to do something for you. Is there something that I can do for you?

Diogenes said, "Just stand to the side because you are blocking the sun--that's all. Nothing else do I need."

Alexander said, "If I have another chance to come to the earth I will ask God, instead of making me Alexander again, to make me Diogenes."

Diogenes laughed and he said, "Who is preventing you right now? You can become a Diogenes. Where are you going? For months I have seen armies moving and moving--where are you going? and for what?"

Alexander said, I am going to India to conquer the whole world."

"And then what are you going to do?" Diogenes asked.

And Alexander said, "Then I will rest."

Diogenes laughed again and he said, "You are mad--because I am resting now, and I have not conquered the world. I don't see the necessity of it. Who has told you that before resting, you have to conquer the world? And I tell you: if you don't rest now, then you never will. Something or other will always remain to be conquered... and time is fleeting. You will die in the middle of your journey--everybody dies in the middle of the journey."

And Alexander died in the middle. When he was moving back from India, he died on the way. And that day he remembered Diogenes. Only Diogenes was in his mind--he could never rest in his life, and that man rested.


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(last edited December 10, 2002 by Kishore Balakrishnan. Contact for feedback and suggestions) [info] [diff] [full] EditText of this page

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