Gurvinder Singh : Alexander III of Macedonia, in his belief that it was his destiny to conquer and rule the world, caused much destruction and misery.
Its unfortunate that historians and many leaders glorify pillaging, death and destruction, even referring to to him as ‘Alexander the Great’.
Aristotle the teacher and guide of Alexander had told him that, in India lived great mystical, intellectual and spiritual super beings called Yogis. He told Alexander if he ever got the opportunity, to go and meet a Yogi, and if possible to even bring one back to Greece for Aristotle to meet.
Upon enquiry, whilst in India, Alexander learnt about the great and wise sage, Yogi Dandini, who dwelled deep in a forest.
Alexander sent numerous summons to Yogi Dandini, which he promptly ignored.
Alexander who could strike fear in the hearts and minds of great armies and kings was intrigued. He became desperate to meet this being who assigned no importance to Alexander.
Alexander next sent messengers with lavish gifts and an invitation to Yogi Dandini for a discourse and discussion on philosophy. Yogi Dandini, politely declined both the gifts and the invitation.
Though angry Alexander, a pupil of the great philosopher and teacher Aristotle, knew very well that, great beings could rarely be lured or coerced.
Finally Alexander sent his helmsman, Onesicritus, to invite Dandini, who lavished praise and gifts on Yogi Dandini. When Yogi Dandini declined his invitation and gifts, Onesicritus threatened the yogi. He said that Alexander had ordered the beheading of the yogi should the orders of the emperor be disobeyed.
Yogi Dandini remained unperturbed, stating, he had no fear of death. Onesicritus couldn’t muster the courage to kill the Yogi, and, instead, paid his respects to the Yogi and went back to report the incident to Alexander.
Livid at being rejected by a naked forest-dweller, Alexander decided to go to Dandini himself. With his Marshal and a large entourage, Alexander made his way deep into the forest.
Even though he experienced the powerful aura of Yogi Dandini, Alexander grew furious when the sage did not get up to welcome him.
“How dared you refuse my gifts?” Alexander demanded.
“They were smeared in blood.” replied the yogi.
The chilling truth, and fearless conviction in Dandini’s voice, rattled Alexander. Alexander could not let his men overhear the embarrassing exchange, so he ordered them to move some distance away.
Then, when he was alone with Yogi Dandini, Alexander dismounted from his horse, walked towards the sitting sage and menacingly stood over him.
“Do you know who I am?” Alexander roared.
“I don’t think even you know, who you are.” replied Yogi Dandini.
Alexander felt deeply insulted. He drew his sword and swung it at Yogi Dandini, stopping just before it struck the Yogi’s neck.
“I am Alexander, the world conqueror,” he shouted. “You are sitting on my land. Submit or I’ll kill you … ”
“Your land?” Dandini chuckled as he cut him off. “The land belongs to no one, O King!”
“Before you, there were others who claimed it as theirs,” he continued. “After you, there’ll be others who will say it’s theirs.
All creation belongs to the Creator alone, Alexander. And no one has any right to destroy what they haven’t created. You have blood on your hands,
O Emperor! You may have a temporary claim on the land, but you have permanent scars on your soul.”
Clearing his throat, a flustered and uncomfortable Alexander lowered his sword and adjusted his posture.
“The whole world is mine, Dandini,” Alexander exclaimed. “History will remember me as the mightiest king! My men can die for me!”
“What good is your ambition or their remembrance, O King? You drown yourself in alcohol every evening so you may forget about your crimes and sins. These men who surround you, they are tired of you. You will see it, they’ll give up on you one day, in fact very soon.”
“Besides,” Dandini continued, “what will you do with the world? All you need is two yards. Two yards long and two yards deep. Ultimately that’s all that will belong to you.”
Confused, humbled and defeated, Alexander sheathed his sword, bobbed his head before Yogi Dandini and left.
Barely a few months had passed when his army mutinied bringing an abrupt end to his campaign in India. Three years later, Alexander died at the age of thirty-three as he tried to return to Greece.