In the next verse
he continues to say: Hunger, thirst, fatigue, loss of strength in limbs, distress, langor,
grief, disappoin - tment, delusion - all these undesirable features of my distressed soul
have all disappeared upon my giving water to one who was suffering from acute thirst.'
The Triumurthis, the rulers of the three worlds, revealed themselves to him and
praised his heroic sacrifice and infinite mercy for his suffering fellow men. There can be
no higher or nobler humanitarian ideal than the one revealed by this episode.
Not only did Ranti Deva seek to relieve the misery of his fellow-men,
but he also desired to so identify himself with them and become a part of them so as
to undergo their suffering and thereby share their miserable predicament. Mahatma Gandhi,
the Father of our Nation, took hold of this great teaching of Srimad Bhagavatham as the
inspiring motto of his life. He inscribed this verse in front of the Sabarmathi Ashram
founded by him for the inspiration and guidance of his followers. The fundamental basis of
the great national movement started by Mahatma Gandhi was suffering and sacrifice for the
liberation of his countrymen from foreign yoke.
The echo of the Ranti Deva's sacrifices we hear in the story
told about the great English nobleman Sir Philip Sydney who, lying wounded in the
battle-field, felt severe thirst on account of much loss of blood. He asked for a cup of
water to quench his thirst. But finding another soldier in a similar distressing
predicament by his side, Sir Philip offered the cup to the soldier instead of taking the
water himself, saying: 'Thy need is greater than mine.'