The pundit and the milk-maid
There was a pundit who led a
disciplined life, sticking to a prearranged time table. He woke up
from sleep in the early hours of the morning, recited pranava and
later, after ablutions, drank a cup of milk at 7 a.m. exactly.
Sometimes the milk-maid arrived late, for she lived on the other side
of a river that flowed between the area in which she lived and the
area in which the pundit lived. She had to catch a ferry to cross over
the river with the milk. The ferry boat either started a little
earlier or a little later. So, sometimes by the time she reached the
Pundit's house it used to be very late.
One day the Pundit scolded her and said "You are upsetting my
disciplined life. Don't you know that I must have my cup of milk at 7
a.m.? Why do you depend on that boat to take you across? Just repeat
the name of Rama. You will be able to walk across the river. Rama will
see that you do not get drowned."
The maid being very simple and unsophisticated had faith in the words
of the Pundit. Next day, the maid repeated the name of Rama and she
just walked across the river. The Pundit questioned her: "How could
you come on time?" The milk-maid replied: "Sir, I repeated the name of
Rama as you instructed yesterday, and I could just walk across." The
Pundit was flabbergasted. He did not believe. He just drank the milk
and said: "Let's now go to the bank of the river. Let me see you walk
across the river." The maid stepped into the river repeating the name
of Rama; she could just walk across. The maid requested the Pundit to
follow her. But the Pundit knew that he would not be able to walk
across the river,
because he did not have faith in what he himself had said - the power
of the Name.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Source: Chinna Katha II, 226