I love you more than I love my own life

Once there was a young boy named Ramesh. His parents were not only rich, but also extremely kind. Ramesh was a very good student. His classes started at nine o’clock in the morning. From nine o’clock until twelve o’clock he studied. Then from twelve to one he had an hour’s recess, and again from one to three he studied.

The students used to bring food from home to eat during the lunch hour. One day Ramesh realised that his friend Gopal had not eaten anything for lunch for a few days. As a matter of fact, Gopal wasn’t bringing any food to school with him.

Ramesh went to his friend and asked why he was not eating anything. Gopal said, “My mother could not give me anything. She said we had nothing at home.”

Ramesh said, “Don’t worry. I will share with you.”

“No, I can’t take your food,” said Gopal.

“Of course you can,” insisted Ramesh. “My parents give me much more food than I need.” Finally Gopal agreed, and for a few weeks the two boys shared Ramesh’s lunch.

Then all of a sudden Gopal stopped coming to school. Ramesh was very sad. One day he asked the teacher why his friend was not coming anymore. The teacher said to him, “Ah, he comes from a poor family. His parents can’t afford to pay the school fees; therefore, he can no longer come to school.”

Ramesh felt sad and miserable. When school was over, he took down Gopal’s address from his teacher and went to Gopal’s house. Ramesh begged his friend to come back to school, saying that he would ask his parents to pay the fee. Gopal’s parents were deeply moved by his kindness, and Gopal again started going to school.

Gopal’s father was an old man. In a few years’ time he died. When he died, the family became totally poverty-stricken, and Ramesh supported them with his own money. When Gopal’s sister was severely attacked by a serious disease, the family could not afford the hospital bills. Again Ramesh helped them out. In every way he was the friend and guardian of Gopal’s family.

Both Ramesh and Gopal completed high school and went to college. One day Gopal said to Ramesh, “To say that my heart is all gratitude to you is an understatement. I wish to say that I love you more than I love my own life.”

Ramesh said, “My friend, if you love me, that is more than enough for me. You do not have to love me more than your own life.”

Gopal said, “But I do, and I want to prove it.” Then he opened his penknife and cut his own arm. Naturally he began bleeding. Gopal placed a few drops of blood at Ramesh’s feet.

Ramesh said, “What are you doing, what are you doing?” He touched the cut on Gopal’s arm, placed a few drops of blood on his own heart and said, “This is the right place for your life-blood. I give you my earthly treasure in the form of money and material wealth. You give me your heart’s love, which is heavenly wealth beyond all measure.”