A widow from a poor village in Bengal did not have enough money to pay for her son’s bus fare, and so when the boy started going to school, he would have to walk through the forest all on his own.
In order to reassure him, she said:
‘Don’t be afraid of the forest, my son. Ask your God Krishna to go with you. He will hear your prayer.’
The boy followed his mother’s suggestion, and Krishna duly appeared and from then on accompanied him to school every day.
When it was his teacher’s birthday, the boy asked his mother for some money in order to buy him a present.
‘We haven’t any money, son. Ask your brother Krishna to get you a present.’
The following day, the boy explained his problem to Krishna, who gave him a jug of milk.
The boy proudly handed the milk to the teacher, but the other boys’ presents were far superior and the teacher didn’t even notice his.
‘Where did you get that jug?’
‘Krishna, the God of the forest, gave it to me.’
The teacher, the students and the assistant all burst out laughing.
‘There are no gods in the forest, that’s pure superstition,’ said the teacher. ‘If he exists, let’s all go and see him.’
The whole group set off. The boy started calling for Krishna, but he did not appear.
The boy made one last desperate appeal.
‘Brother Krishna, my teacher wants to see you. Please show yourself!’
At that moment, a voice emerged from the forest and echoed through the city and was heard by everyone.
‘I can’t! He doesn’t even believe I exist!’