A milkmaid used to supply milk to a Brahmin priest living on the other side of a river. Owing to the irregularities of the boat service, the milkmaid could not supply him milk punctually every day. Once, being rebuked for her going late, the poor woman said, “What can I do? I start early from the house but have to wait for a long time at the river bank for the boatman and the passenger.”
The Parable of the Milkmaid
The priest exclaimed, “Woman! There are people who cross the ocean of life by uttering the ‘name’ of God, and can’t you cross this little river?” The simple-hearted woman became very glad at heart on learning this easy means of crossing the river.
The priest could not believe this. He said, “Can you show me how you cross the river?” The woman took him with her and began to walk over the water. Looking behind, the woman saw the priest in a sad plight and said, “How is it, Sir, that you are uttering the name of the God with your mouth, but at the same time with your hands you are trying to keep your cloth untouched by water? Your do not fully rely on Him.”
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa concluded the story by instilling some wisdom into the hearts and minds of his disciples, “Entire resignation and absolute faith in God are at the root of all miraculous deeds.” He once said, “You can force your demands on God, he is in no way a stranger to you, he is your eternal companion.”