During a discourse with his disciples on God’s creation of grand illusion or Maya, the great sage Ramakrish Paramhansa recounted the following parable:
“Once sage rada besought the Lord of the Universe thus, ‘O Lord, show me that Maya of Thine which can make the impossible possible.’ The Lord nodded assent.
One day, the Lord set out on a journey with rada. After going some distance, He sat down and said, ‘rada, I feel very thirsty. Please get me a little water from somewhere.’ rada at once set out in search of water.
Finding no water nearby, rada wandered far from the place and saw a river at a great distance. When he approached it, he saw a most charming young damsel sitting on the bank, and was at once captivated by her beauty.
As soon as rada went near her, she began to address him in sweet words, and ere long, both fell in love with each other. rada then married her and settled down as a householder.
In course of time, rada had a number of children by her. And while he was thus living happily with his wife and children, there appeared a terrible pestilence in the country. Death began to collect its toll from every place.
rada then proposed to abandon the place and go somewhere else. His wife agreed and they both came out of their cottage leading their children by hand. But no sooner did they come to the bridge to cross the river, than there came a fearsome flood. In the mad rush of water, all their children were swept away one after another, and at last the wife too was drowned.
Overwhelmed with grief at his utter bereavement, rada sat down on the bank and began to weep piteously. Just then the Lord appeared before him, saying, ‘O rada, where is the water? And why are you weeping?’
The sight of the Lord startled the sage, and then he understood everything. He exclaimed, ‘Lord, my obeisance to Thee, and my obeisance also to Thy wonderful Maya!”