A Story from Ramakrishna’s Parables

A scholar lived on the banks of the river Yamuna. Everyday a milkmaid supplied him with milk. One day she was late.

The scholar asked, ‘Why have you brought the milk so late? How can I follow my regular routine if you come late?’

The maid replied, ‘I come from the other side of the river. The river has flooded and no boats could bring me here. That’s why I am not on time.’

The scholar casually asked, ‘What flood? People even cross the ocean of life by chanting the name of Krishna. Can’t you cross a small river?’

The maid was an innocent lady. She was neither very intellectual nor logical. The next day she brought his milk right on time. Everyday she continued to arrive without any delay.

After a week the scholar asked her, ‘Now you are coming on time. How? Has the flood receded?’

She replied, ‘No, even now the river is flooded. Boats are still not going across. But you taught me that I could cross the river by repeating Krishna’s name. You said I could even cross the ocean of life that way. So that’s how I am doing it.’

The scholar was amazed! At first he was unable to believe her. He said, ‘How can this be? Come and show me.’

The milkmaid took him to the river and started walking on the river as she chanted, ‘Krishna, Krishna, Krishna…’

The scholar thought, ‘If she can do this, why not me? Let me try.’ He went near the river and lifted his dothi (waist cloth), and started saying, ‘Krishna, Krishna, Krishna…’

His lips were saying, ‘Krishna, Krishna, Krishna,’ but at the same time he lifted his cloth so that it would not get wet! Such was his surrender to Krishna! He fell into the river and was carried away by the current.

You can learn one thing from this story: you need not bother about whom you learn from or to whom you surrender. The milkmaid was innocent. She surrendered to the idea given to her by the scholar. You don’t need to bother about whom you surrender to, or to whom you offer yourself. The very offering has a tremendous power to transform you.


-Excerpt from the book Bhagavad Gita’ demystified by Mahavatar Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda Swamiji.