One day Lord Krishna was playing with his queen Rukmani in the banks of Yamuna. Suddenly the Lord told her, "Rukmani, on the other shore of Yamauna, sage Durwasa has come and he is very hungry. Please prepare good food and take it to the sage”.
Rukmani immediately prepared a sumptuous food and packed it and came back to the shores of Yamuna. Then she told her lord, “Lord, The Yamuna is in floods and there is no boat or boatman in sight. How can poor me, cross this mighty river?”
Lord Krishna replied, “Dear Rukmani, that should not be any problem. Approach the river and tell the river that the Nitya Brahmachari (perennial bachelor) has asked her to give way to you. She will surely give you way”.
Rukmani was surprised and asked her Lord, “Lord, who is this Nitya Brahmachari and why am I not able to see him?”
The Lord replied, "Of course, Rukmani, it is myself”.
Rukmani was surprised. She could not understand how her husband who has seven other wives could call himself, Nitya Brahmachari. Anyway she decided to obey him. She went near Yamuna and told the river, “River Yamuna, my husband, the Nitya Brahmachari has asked you to give way to me, so that I can reach the other shore”.
The river immediately obliged. Rukmani crossed the Yamuna, met sage Durwasa, saluted him and served him the sumptuous food that she has brought with her. The Sage liked the food and became very happy and blessed her.
Then Rukmani told him, “Sir, I am very gratified by the blessing of the sage like you. Now I have to cross back the river Yamuna and join my husband. Can you please help me do it?”
Sage Durwasa replied, “Of course Rukmani, that is my pleasure and duty. Go to the river Yamuna and tell her that the Nitya Upavasi (He who never takes food) has asked her to give way to you. She will help you”.
Rukmani was taken aback. She thought how this sage who has just had a sumptuous feast can call himself Nitya Upavasi. She did not bother to ask him, because he was well known for his short temper. She went near the river and told her, “River Yamuna, now I have to cross you and reach the other shore. The Nitya Upavasi has asked you to give way to me”.
The river obliged and Rukmani crossed the river and joined her husband. Her face showed that she was terribly confused. She approached her lord and told him, “Lord, as per your direction I served good food and crossed back the river. I told her to give way as per the wishes of Nitya Upavasi. Strangely she did it”.
Lord Krishna laughingly replied, “I know Rukmani that you are terribly confused to see me calling myself as Nitya Brahmachari and the sage calling himself as Nitya Upavasi. We both were telling only the truth. This is because we both are realized souls and do not attach ourselves to this ethereal body of ours. We both know that we are really the souls within this body. That soul does not marry and does not take food and that is how I (my soul) am a Brahmachari and Sage Durwasa (his soul) is an Upavasi. Once you understand this simple truth, you can lead a very contended and happy life”.