The Four Wives Of A Dying Husband – Story & Meaning

Four Women In Dresses Sitting On A Rock Wall

There was a man who had 4 wives, he loved the fourth one very dearly, he would get her the nicest dress. He would get her the nicest jewellery, he would dress her very nicely and entertain with her all the time. She loved him, he loved her.

He also loved the third wife. The third wife was also dear to him, he would give her everything, she was the one who controlled everything in his life.

He also loved the second wife, he was also confident in her, she was the one to whom he would tell all his personal matters, he would always talk to his second wife about life.

His first wife was there, he wasn't too attached to her, she was always there, she was modest, always trying her best to show herself.

One day the man fell ill and he was on his death bed, all of his wives were gathered around him, he said “Now look, my beautiful wives, I don't want to die alone, who of you will come to me?”

He called his fourth wife and said “You are the dearest to my heart, I have always loved you, I have given you the best of all, now the time has come for me to die, will you come with me? would you come with me?” The wife said “No” and turned back and went away. His heart was broken into pieces.

Sadly he called his third wife to the front and said “I am going to die, will you come with me?” to that she said “No way, the moment you die, I am going with somebody else” she turned her back and went away.

He called his 2nd wife and asked her the same question, she said “I am sorry that you are dying, but I can only come up to your cemetery, I will be with you until there” and turned back to stand in her place.

From behind he heard a voice “I will come with you”, he looked at his first wife and felt sad, he said “My dear I have always neglected you, you look so skinny, now my life has come to an end, I wish I knew you loved me more than anybody when I was healthy. I feel very sad I neglected you all this time” and died.

[This is a variation of the story from the sermon of Buddha. The essence is still intact. Main difference would be that in this story 1st wife doesn't represent karma or mind that one has to carry with them]

The author of this story is unknown and greatly appreciated!

If you liked this story, you'll love these stories & parables!

What Is the Spiritual Moral / Meaning of The Four Wives Story?

Each wife represents a facet of the man's being, a fragment of his soul's tapestry They were not merely spouses but embodiments of his life's chapters, intricately woven into his existence.

The fourth wife, bedecked in fineries, symbolized the pursuit of materialism, a pursuit often mistaken for the pinnacle of love. Yet, in the final moments, when the abyss of mortality loomed, she chose to walk away. Her departure, a stark reminder that the allure of the material world fades when confronted by life's inevitable transition.

The third wife, wielder of control, exemplified power and dominance. Yet, her loyalty was transient, tethered not to the soul but to transient affiliations. Her refusal to accompany him, a testament to the transient nature of authority and control in the face of mortality.

The second wife, confidante and companion, represented intellectual and emotional engagement. She offered solace but only until the brink of finality. Her commitment, limited to the realms of the living, dissolved in the face of mortality's threshold.

Amidst these echoes of attachment and fleeting connections, the first wife lingered in the shadows. Neglected, unadorned, yet steadfast and unwavering in her loyalty. Her enduring love, unnoticed in the cacophony of life's distractions, remained the purest reflection of unconditional devotion.

The man's final moments, a tapestry of regret and realization, unveil the essence of our spiritual sojourn. In life's grand spectacle, we navigate relationships, often overshadowed by superficial attachments and fleeting desires.

Yet, as the final curtain descends, it is the essence of pure, unconditional love that whispers its eternal truth. The neglected first wife, a metaphor for the divine, embraces us in our most vulnerable moments, cradling us in unwavering love that transcends the transient realms of existence.

The parable of the Four Wifes is not merely a tale of mortal relationships, it also echoes the spiritual journey we all traverse. It beckons us to reevaluate our priorities, urging us to seek beyond the ephemeral and immerse ourselves in the enduring embrace of unconditional love.

Ultimately, in life's grand tapestry, it is this spiritual essence that threads through the fabric of our existence, guiding us beyond the transient allure of the material, the temporal authority, and the fleeting emotional connections. It calls us to embrace the eternal, unerring love that waits patiently amidst life's transient chaos, beckoning us home to our spiritual truth.

Personal Reflection Questions

Spiritual stories are an opportunity to reflect on your own life. Here are 10 questions you can use to go deeper with the teachings in this story:

  1. Reflect on the man's relationships with his four wives. How do his varying levels of attachment to each wife resonate with your own experiences of different relationships in your life?
  2. Explore the theme of neglect and appreciation in the story. Have there been moments in your life when you felt overlooked or undervalued? How did those experiences shape your understanding of the importance of acknowledgment and gratitude?
  3. Consider the man's final moments and his request for companionship. What does this reveal about the nature of human connection and the desire for companionship, especially in times of vulnerability? How have you sought or provided comfort in challenging moments?
  4. Reflect on the reactions of the fourth, third, and second wives to the man's plea for companionship. How do their responses reflect the complexities of relationships and priorities? Have you experienced moments when your expectations of others differed from reality?
  5. Explore the symbolism of the wives in the story. How might the different roles each wife plays represent aspects of the man's life or facets of human relationships? Do you see parallels between these roles and the roles people play in your own life?
  6. Consider the significance of the first wife's response in the end. How does her willingness to accompany the man in his final moments resonate with your own understanding of loyalty and enduring connections?
  7. Reflect on the man's realization of neglecting his first wife. Have there been instances in your life where you recognized the importance of someone or something only in retrospect? How did those realizations impact your subsequent actions and relationships?
  8. Explore the theme of regret in the story. How does the man's regret over neglecting his first wife evoke emotions of missed opportunities and unfulfilled connections? Have you experienced similar moments of regret in your own life?
  9. Consider the emotions stirred by the man's deathbed scene. How does the story prompt you to reflect on the fragility of life and the significance of meaningful connections? In what ways do you prioritize and nurture the relationships that matter to you?
  10. Reflect on the overall message of the story. How does it speak to the complexities of human relationships, the dynamics of love, and the importance of recognizing and cherishing those who have been constants in your life? What personal truths about relationships and priorities can you draw from this story?