There was once a pandit who lived on the bank of a river. So learned was he that other pandits came from far and near to consult with him. They showered him with appreciation.
On the other side of the bank lived a milkmaid, called Lakshmi, who sold milk to the pandit. Hers was a busy day.
She woke up early in the morning, bathed her cows, milked them, then cooked a meal for her old father and then set out to deliver the milk. She had to cross the river on a boat.
One day the pandit was waiting for her for a long time. When she finally arrived, the pandit said, Ah, Lakshmi you have come at last. I was waiting for you since early morning. From tomorrow I want the milk before sunrise.
The next morning Lakshmi rushed to the riverbank at the crack of dawn but the boatman did not show up until late morning. Hurry, hurry, Lakshmi urged the boatman, knowing that the pandit would be waiting for the milk.
The pandit complained, You are late again, what happened?
The pandit was in a bad mood that day. Don’t give me excuses! He shouted. How dare you disregard my wishes! Don’t you know who I am?
Lakshmi began to cry.
But the pandit continued to boast, Do you know how learned I am? You are just a simple milkmaid. I know so many things. That river is like the river of life. People safely cross the river of life by invoking the Divine name of Hari .
Lakshmi took the pandit’s words very seriously and happily departed, saying to herself, I wish panditji had told me this earlier.
The next day Lakshmi arrived at the pandit’s house before sunrise. The Pandit was surprised to see her as he could not see the boatman. How did you cross the river? he inquired.
Lakshmi smiled and said, “You taught me to cross the river by chanting the name of Hari and I did. “
That is impossible! the pandit shouted and ordered her to cross the river again.
Lakshmi crossed the river again without any difficulty, chanting the name of Hari as she did so. She stayed completely dry.
The pandit tried to do the same chanting the name of Hari. But as he tried to protect his clothes from getting wet, he fell into the river. Lakshmi was astonished. “Oh Panditji,” she said, “You were not thinking of Hari at all. You were busy thinking about your dhoti. That is why it did not work.”
Panditji marveled at Lakshmi’s devotion and accepted that her faith was more powerful than his empty learning. He sincerely blessed Lakshmi.
Chant the Mahamantra Nama kirtan :
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare