Once Narada became puffed up with pride that he was the greatest devotee of Lord Vishnu. The Lord who dwells in the hearts of men immediately realized this and asked Narada to go to a certain place and meet a person and cultivate his acquaintance since the person was a true devotee of the Lord. Narada went there and found a farmer who rose early in the morning, just uttered the name of Hari once and started the day’s work. The whole day he was busy and then at night before going to bed he would utter the name of Hari once more. Narada was amazed that how such a person who was busily engaged in worldly duties could be a true lover of God. Narada went back to the Lord and gave his opinion about his new acquaintance. Then the Lord gave him a cup of oil and asked him to go round the city, but laid a condition that he should come back without spilling a single drop of oil. Narada went away and when he came back the Lord asked him how many times did he remember the Lord’s name in the course of his walk round the city. Narada admitted that not once could he remember the Lord and added that he could not do so because he had to carry the cup watchfully since it was full to the brim. Then Lord told him that one cup of oil could so divert his mind that he could not remember the Lord even once and in contrast the farmer who was heavily burdened with worldly duties could still remember the Lord twice a day and was obviously a much greater devotee.
Sri Ramakrishna used to narrate the above parable to emphasize that even under extremely trying circumstances if one tries to remember God, the Lord takes care of the rest and blesses the devotee.