He now longed to reach home to see his mother’s face and bid her adieu. But, he had to accept the fact that his sinking health would not permit him to reach his distant homeland. So, the mighty conqueror lay prostrate and pale, helplessly waiting to breathe his last. He called his generals and said, “I will depart from this world soon, I have three wishes, please carry them out 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.” After a pause, he continued, “Secondly, I desire that when my coffin is being carried to the grave, the path leading to the graveyard be strewn with gold, silver and precious stones which I have collected in my treasury”. The king felt exhausted after saying this. He took a minute’s rest and continued. My third and last wish is that both my hands be kept dangling out of my coffin”.
The people who had gathered there wondered at the king’s strange wishes. But no one dared bring the question to their lips. Alexander’s favorite general kissed his hand and pressed them to his heart. “O king, we assure you that all your wishes will 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 just learnt.
I want my physicians to carry my coffin because people should realize that No doctor on this earth can really cure anybody. They are powerless and cannot save a person from the clutches of death. So let not people take life for granted.
The second wish of strewing gold, silver and other riches on the path to the graveyard is to tell people that Not even a fraction of gold will come with me. I spent all my life with the greed for power, earning riches but cannot take anything with me. Let people realize that it is a sheer waste of time to chase wealth.
The Parable of the Rich Fool Luke:1213 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
And about my third wish of having my hands dangling out of the coffin, I wish my people to know that I came empty handed into this world and empty handed I go out of this world”. With these words, the king closed his eyes. Soon he let death conquer him and breathed his last.