poor man came to visit a wealthy friend. Late into the
night, the two friends ate, drank, and talked. When the
poor man went to bed, he fell into a deep sleep.
In the middle of
the night, a messenger came to inform the rich man that
he must go immediately to a distant land far away.
Before he left, he wanted to do something for his poor
friend to show how much he cared for him. But he did not
want to wake his friend from such a deep sleep.
So the wealthy
friend sewed a beautiful colored gem inside the hem of
his poor friend’s robe. This jewel had the power to
satisfy all of one’s desires.
morning, the poor man awoke to find himself alone in his
wealthy friend’s house. Totally unaware of anything
that had taken place while he was sleeping, he wandered
The poor man
traveled from place to place, looking for work. All the
while, he was completely unaware that he possessed a
priceless gem in the hem of his robe.
A long time passed until
one day, by chance, the wealthy friend came upon the poor man in
Seeing the man’s
impoverished condition, the wealthy friend asked him:
“Why have you allowed
yourself to become so poor? You could have used the jewel that I
gave you to live your life in comfort. You must still have it,
yet you are living so miserably. Why don’t you use the gem to
get what you need? You can have anything you want!”
Bewildered, the poor man
fumbled through the inside of his robe and, with the help of his
friend, found the gem. Ashamed of his ignorance yet overcome
with joy, he realized for the first time the depth of his
friend’s compassion. From then on, the poor man was able to
live comfortably and happily.