A DISCIPLE AND HER POT OF CURDS

ONCE there was an annaprasana19 ceremony in a Guru's house. His disciples volunteered, according to their powers, to supply the different articles of food. He had one disciple, a very poor widow, who owned a cow. She milked it and brought the Guru a jar of milk. He had thought she would take charge of all the milk and curd for the festival. Angry at her poor offering, he threw the milk away and said to her, "Go and drown yourself.', The widow accepted this as his command and went to the river to drown herself. But God was pleased with her guileless faith and, appearing before her, said: "Take this pot of curd. You will never be able to empty it. The more curd you pour out, the more will come from the pot. This will satisfy your teacher." The Guru was speechless with amazement when the pot was given to him. After hearing from the widow the story of the pot, he went to the river, saying to her, "I shall drown myeslf if you cannot show God to me." God appeared then and there, but the Guru could not see Him. Addressing God, the widow said, "If my teacher gives up his body because Thou doth not reveal Thyself to Him, then I too shall die." So God appeared to the Guru—but only once. (62)

19 A Hindu religious ceremony in connection with the first offering of cooked rice to a baby