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Philosophy retold


The arguments between Alaxander and Nagasanyasins


Gymnosophists is the name given to Naked Sages (Naga Sanyasin) of Indian origin by Greek. The Greek king, Alexander on his military expedition to India met Nagasanyasins and their conversation became a celebrated debate ever since. The Alexander was a student of the great philosopher Aristotle, and he was naturally well versed in Philosophy, Logic, and Rhetoric . Aristotle gave very helpful knowledge regarding geography, the social structure, type of government, flora and fauna, climate, and all such details to Alexander to be helpful in his adventurous expedition. Aristotle was keen to study about the territory further and as such he told his student to sent all kinds of samples to be sent to him. So, Alexander use to send all the unfamiliar species, plants and whatever special things he find to his teacher. One of the things Aristotle demanded from India is a truly spiritual sanyasin, Aristotle gave an introduction that there are many sanyasins but the real one with the genuine spark of spiritual endeavors is very rare. The soldiers brought many sages to Alexander but none of them had the qualities the great philosopher Aristotle had said; the angry king killed all of them with no mercy.

One of the king Alexander fought with in India was a king named Samba. Samba fought very ferociously with Alexander and got killed. The soldiers came to know that there was a group of ascetics who instigated King Samba to fight against the Yavana Army. So they caught ten of them and brought before Alexander. Before killing them Alexander thought of trying their knowledge and spiritual insight to find his teachers long cherished interest of meeting a real sanyasin. So, Alexander told them that he is going to ask one question to each of them and failing to get a right answer will bring them death. Alexander placed the oldest of them as the judge and start his questions

Q 1: Which is more numerous, living or dead?

A : living since dead no longer exist

Q 2: whether the earth or the sea produced larger animals?

A : the earth did, since the sea was but a part of the earth

Q 3: which animal was the most cunning ?

A :That which up to this time man has not discovered.

Q 4: why he had adviced King Sambas with a small Army to fight against the mighty Yavana army ?

A :Because I wished him either to live nobly or to die nobly.

Q 5: which was older, day or night ?

A : Day, by one day. Alexander bewildered at the quality of the answer, then the Sage added: hard questions must have hard answers.

Q 6: How a man could be most loved?.

A : One who is most powerful, and yet does not inspire fear.

Q 7: How one might become a god instead of man

A : By doing something which a man cannot do

Q 8: which was the stronger, life or death ?

A : Life, since it supports so many ills and gets stronger.

Q 9: How long it were well for a man to live ?

A : Until he does not regard death as better than life.

The audiences were sure that the Nagasanyasins are going to be killed as many of the answers were teasing the king. But Alexander was satisfied with the qualities of the answer. Without showing his feeling on the face he turned to the old sage to express his judgement.

T he old sage said: Each answer is worse than the other.

A lexander knew that the judgement is also a riddle just like the other answers, he pretended he did not understand the logic and said : you have said the most worst answer, so, I am going to behead you first.

T he sage replied: that cannot be revered sir, since in the beginning you have said the wrong answer will bring death and so if I am wrong all others are right.

A lexander being pleased by the answers invited them to Greece but the Sages being not feared of threat disagreed. Alexander though very cruel let them free.

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