Alexander the Great

The great Greek King, Alexander, after conquering many kingdoms, was returning home.  On the way, he fell ill, and he was bed-ridden for many months.  With death drawing close, Alexander realised how his conquests, his great army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no use.

He called his generals and said, “I will depart from this world soon.  But I have three wishes.  Please fulfil my wishes without fail.”  With tears flowing down their cheeks, the generals agreed to abide by their King’s last wishes.

My first desire is that,” said Alexander, “My physicians alone must carry my coffin.  Secondly, when my coffin is being carried to the grave, the path leading to the graveyard should be strewn with gold, silver and precious stones which I have collected in my treasury.  My third and last wish is that both my hands should be kept dangling out of my coffin.”  The people who had gathered there wondered at the King’s strange wishes.  But noone dared to question.  Alexander’s favourite general kissed his hand and pressed if to his heart.  “O King, we assure that your wishes will all be fulfilled.  But tell us why do you make such strange wishes?

At this, Alexander took a deep breath and said,

I would like the world to know of the three lessons I have learnt.  I want my physicians to carry my coffin because people should realize that no doctor can cure anybody.  They are powerless and cannot save a person from the clutches of death.  So let not people take life for granted.

My second wish of strewing gold, silver and other riches on the way to the graveyard is to tell people that not even a fraction of gold can be taken by me.  Let people realise that it is a sheer waste of time to chase too much wealth.

And my last wish to have my hands dangling out of my coffin … I want the world to know that I came into this world empty handed, and I shall leave this world empty handed too.

Alexander’s last words :-

BURY MY BODY, DO NOT BUILD ANY MONUMENT, KEEP MY HNDS OUTSIDE … LET THE WORLD KNOW THAT THE PERSON WHO ONCE CONQUERED THE WORLD, HAS NOTHING IN HIS HANDS UPON DEATH

One Response

  1. I enjoyed the story of Alexander the Great.

    The story reminds me of Erasmus’ comment that we “… should not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee,” meaning that the world is one and the loss of any man or woman is a loss to each. Erasmus was a preacher who existed in a time in which religious tolerance was intolerable, even among Christians.

    History does repeat itself.

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