Heres a nice story that popped out of a friend's email:
A young man called Ramaswami died an untimely death. His parents, wife and nine year old son were crying bitterly, sitting next to his dead body. They all happened to be disciples of a holy man whom they called 'Maharaj Ji'. When Maharaj Ji learnt that Ramaswami had died, he came to visit the family. He entered the house and found the family wailing inconsolably. Seeing Maharaj Ji, the wife started crying even louder. She sobbed saying, "Maharaj Ji, he has died too early, he was so young. Oh! I would do anything to make him alive again. What will happen to our son? I am so helpless and miserable." Maharaj Ji tried to pacify the crying lady and the old parents, but the loss was too much for them to come to terms with so easily. Eventually, Maharaj Ji said, "Alright, get me a glass of water." Maharaj Ji sat near the dead body and put the glass next to it. He said, "Now, who ever wants that Ramaswami should become alive again may drink this water. Ramaswami shall come back to life, but the person who drinks the water shall die!"
"Come, did you not say that Ramaswami was the sole breadwinner of the family? Who would die instead of him? It is a case of fair exchange, isn't it?" The wife looked at the old mother and the old mother looked at the wife. The old father looked at Ramaswami's son. But no one came forward.
Then Maharaj Ji said to the old father, "Babuji, wouldn't you give your life for your son?" The old man said, "Well, I have my responsibility towards my wife. If I die who will look after her? I cannot offer my life to you."
Maharaj Ji looked questioningly at the old woman and said, "Amma?" She said, "My daughter is due to deliver her first baby. She will be coming to stay for a month. If I die who will look after her and the newborn. Why don't you ask Ramaswami's wife?"
Maharaj Ji smiled and looked at the young widow. She widened her tear filled eyes and said, "Maharaj Ji, I need to live for my son. If I die, who will look after him? He needs me. Please don't ask me to do this." Maharaj Ji asked the son, "Well little boy, would you like to give your life for your father?" Before the boy could say anything, his mother pulled him to her breast and said, "Maharaj Ji, are you insane? My son is only nine. He has not yet lived his life. How could you even think of such a thing?"
Maharaj Ji said, "Well it seems, that all of you are very much needed for the things you need to do in this world. It seems Ramaswami was the only one that could be spared. That is why destiny chose to take him away. So shall we proceed with his last rites? It's getting late."
Having said that, Maharaj Ji got up and left.
Moral of the story : Love lasts as long as life exists.
The magic of life is the living's evolved instinct for survival. Put any person in a situation that forces him/her to trade his/her life for somebody else's , the first instinct will be to deny one's own. Its probably a primate instinct that has left its unwashable strain on our genes. The survival instinct is a very basic form of self-interest. The latter lasts as long as ......you got it.....life lasts. Where's "self" without life?
Hence, the moral of the story should probably read as: Self interest lasts as long as life lasts.
Now we have two morals for the same story and both are accurate implying that the two words "Self-interest" & "Love" are substitutable. Possibly, at a philosophical level they are synonyms. They mean the same. If that'd be the case, then one can safely conclude that "True Love"(a state of unconditional love) does not exist.