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Alexander the Great's Last three wishes


Alexander, after conquering many kingdoms, was returning home. On the way, he fell ill. With death staring him in his face, Alexander realized how his conquests, his great army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no consequence. He now longed to reach home to see his mother's face. 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 die.

He called his generals and said, "I will depart this world soon, and I have three last wishes."

With tears flowing down their cheeks, the generals agreed to abide by their king's last wishes.


1) "My first desire is that", said Alexander, "My physicians alone must carry my coffin."

2) 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".


3) 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".


"O king, we assure you that all your wishes will be fulfilled. But tell us why do you make such strange wishes?"


To this Alexander 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 on this earth can really cure any body. They are powerless and cannot save a person from the clutches of death. So let not people take life for granted.

Let riches cover my path to the grave to show that not a piece of gold will come with me. I spent my life earning riches but cannot take them with me. Let people know that it is a waste of life to chase wealth.

And dangle my hands from my coffin to show that I came into this world as I leave it. With empty hands.

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