The yogi and the dew licker

Perhaps you've heard the following Paramahansa Yogananda quote?

"Possession of material riches, without inner peace, is like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake."

It comes from this old Vedic parable about the yogi and the dew-licker:

When a yogi strolled past the lake in the dawn hours of his early-morning walk, he heard an odd rustling in the water.

He investigated and saw a strange figure in the middle of the clear lake. And upon closer inspection, he saw that it was the figure of a man submerged up to his neck, frantically licking the lotus petals that were floating along the surface.

The wise yogi called out to the man, "Excuse me Sir, but what on Earth are you doing in the water at this early hour?"

The man was so busy licking that he didn't hear the question.

"Can I help you with anything?" the yogi yelled out.

"Yes, you can be quiet," shouted the man. "As you can see, I'm a little busy over here."

"But what are you doing?"

"I'm dying of thirst and I'm trying to get as much dew as possible off of the lotus petals before the sun rises and dries it all up. So could you please let me be. I don't have much time," the man barked.

"But good Sir, you're already in a lake full of..."

"Please, stop talking to me," the thirsty dew-licker screamed, "I'm so dehydrated that I can't pay attention to what you're saying anyway."

"But Sir, I want to help you. You see, all you have to do is relax and drink the..."

"Listen, Mr. Yogi, it's rude of you to keep yapping on about this esoteric nonsense when you see that I'm working so hard to survive."

Light Watkins