A learned scholar of the village was holding a discourse from the verandah of his house.There was a large gathering intently listening to his speech. The theme was the Omkaramanthra. “If you keep on chanting Aum with implicit faith, you can even perform miracles.
Why, crossing a river will be just child’s play! Go on chanting aum and you’ll be able even to walk on water!” He paused for a few moments to look at the faces of the people in the congregation. They were looking at each other in wonderment.A group of milkmaids from the adjacent village, returning after selling buttermilk, happened to hear what he said about aum. They did not stop by to listen to the rest of the speech, but moved away as they were in a hurry to get back home. However, they decided that they would not take a boat to cross the river, but try walking on the water chanting aum.
When they reached the river, they kept chanting aloud the aum manthra, and just walked! Though illiterate, they had such faith in what they heard from the scholar that they confidently walked on the water. As they proceeded towards their village, they were only thinking of the money they had saved by avoiding a boat journey.
The next day, they did not take a boat either way and crossed the river, walking on the water chanting aum. This went on for the next few days and their faith in the miracle of aum only increased. The milkmaids were happy that they could save some money which they could otherwise spend for their family. They decided that they should collectively entertain the scholar to express their gratitude.
One day, on their way back, they met the scholar and invited him to their home. They did not tell him aboutthe miracle they had experienced. They said one of them would escort him to their village.Later, when the scholar and milkmaid reached the river, he said, “Let’s take a boat.”
The milkmaid said, “No need for a boat, sir, we shall chant ‘aum’ and walk on the water.” While the scholar hesitated, the milkmaid confidently started chanting aum and walked on the river. The scholar called a villagers and asked him to bring a long rope. He tied it around his waist and, asking two villagers to hold the other end, and pull him out to safety if he were to see him sinking he stepped on the water. He was about to sink when he was saved.
The person who preached others about the power of Omkara did not have any faith in what he preached, while the simple milkmaids, who had merely followed his advice were benefited.