Many people perform tap (austerities) for the ultimate goal of pleasing Bhagwan. Once, there was a tapasvi (a person performing austerities) who decided that he wanted to please Bhagwan and so he began performing penance under an ambli tree. He thought that if he could please Bhagwan, then he would be blessed with his darshan. So every day the tapasvi would do pradakshina of the tree and eat its leaves for his daily meal.
One day, Naradji was going to Bhagwan’s abode. He saw the tapasvi and came over to meet him. Seeing Naradji, the tapasvi immediately bowed down to him. Naradji asked what he was doing and the tapasvi narrated his decision to win Bhagwan’s favour. He said, “Naradji, I’ve been performing austerities for many years, eating only the leaves of this ambli tree so that Bhagwan would give me darshan.
When you go to meet Bhagwan, please ask him on my behalf to grant me darshan.” Hearing his story, Naradji decided that he would definitely relay this message. Upon his arrival, Bhagwan requested Naradji, “Please tell me any news from Earth.” Remembering the tapasvi that he had met, Naradji replied, “A tapasvi is performing austerities under an ambli tree for you to grace him with your darshan.
When will you grant it to him?” Bhagwan replied, “Tell him that for my darshan, he will still have to perform austerities for as many years as there are leaves on the ambli tree!” Hearing this Naradji’s knees went weak. His legs felt like they couldn’t take a step and his heart sank. How was he going to give this news to the eager tapasvi? He would be defeated.
He thought to himself, “What shall I tell him? He will lose his enthusiasm for penance.” Naradji was making his way back across the sky when the tapasvi saw him. Hearing his name being called, Naradji went over to the tapasvi. Hearing that Naradji had met Bhagwan, the tapasvi was overjoyed. So he asked, “What is Bhagwan’s message for me?” Naradji replied sadly, “I cannot tell you, because if I do you will lose your courage and give up your austerities.”
The tapasvi replied, “No matter what Bhagwan has said, I will not lose courage. I will have had a chance to hear his divine words. So please tell me exactly what he said.” Naradji was still doubtful. He wondered, “Shall I tell him? What if he does lose his faith? I do not want to do that to him.” The tapasvi again urged him, “Please tell me.” So Naradji said, “Bhagwan has said that you will have to do many more years of austerities. In fact, you will have to do as many years of austerities as there are leaves on the ambli tree before he gives you his darshan.”
The tapasvi was overjoyed! He began to dance and sing, “How lucky I am. Bhagwan has sent me a message from his Dham. He has promised me that he will give me darshan. These years will pass in no time.” Seeing the tapasvi’s love and courage, Bhagwan instantly appeared before the tapasvi and gave him his darshan. The tapasvi’s joy knew no bounds! He fell at Bhagwan’s feet. Naradji was perplexed.
He asked Bhagwan, “Bhagwan, how come you’re here? You told me that you would give him darshan only after he had performed many more years of austerities.” Bhagwan explained, “Look at his courage and determination! He didn’t lose a single strand of faith despite the many extra years he would have had to perform his austerities.
To such a person I have to give darshan.” Friends, if the tapasvi had lost faith, would he have had Bhagwan’s darshan? No. But because he didn’t lose faith, Bhagwan granted him darshan. We too should always have faith in the words of Bhagwan and the ektantik satpurush. A determined person will reach his goal early.