Lord Narayana's Love For His Devotee
It so happened that once sage Narada upon his tour around the world in spreading God's Glory happened to meet a devotee of the Lord sitting under a huge banyan tree. Upon seeing the great sage, the devotee prostrated before him and said, "Oh great one, when will you be going to Vaikuntha to meet the Lord?" Narada replied, "After my trip around the world spreading the message of the Lord I will surely go to Vaikuntha." The devotee then put forward his prayer. "I have been meditating for so many years. Please ask the Lord when He will give me His Darshan?"
And so the sage consented to put forward the prayer of this devotee and proceeded to Vaikuntha. There Lord Narayana asked him, "Narada, what is your news?" Narada then put forward the prayer that the devotee had made and Lord Narayana said, "Tell the devotee that I will give him Darshan only after a number of births, a number equal to the number of leaves on the tree under which he is meditating.
Narada was dejected, but he was only a messenger and so he went to the devotee but was bit apprehensive to deliver the message. When the devotee saw narada he didn't inquire about his question, but he started doing service to him: he gave him a good seat to sit on, and he served him tea, and he made everything for him. After drinking tea, he finally had to give the message; he prepared himself to run if he began to beat him, and at the same time he said, "The Lord will surely come to give you Darshan but it will be after a number of births, equal to the number of leaves on the tree under which you are meditating."
Hearing that, instead of becoming displeased, that meditator became very happy, and started dancing in that joy, and said, "Blessed are you -thankyou very much- that you have brought me this reply from my Lord God. At last He has promised me that He will meet me. No matter how many years it takes, now I am sure that I will reach Him!" And he started thanking God and thanking Narada, and he was dancing with joy. So in that happiness, and that thankfulness, he was intoxicated so much that his inner vision was opened, and the Lord God appeared on the scene. As Narada stood there, fuming and fretting, the Lord and the devotee met. It was like a calf running to meet its mother, or a river surging to meet the ocean.
After the union, the Lord came to Narada and said, "Narada why do you look so upset?" Then Narada said, "Lord, you said one thing and did something so contrary to it. Please explain."
Lord said, Narada, look at the tree and when Narada looked at the tree there were no leaves left on the tree !!! Then Lord God went on to explain: "It is the Faith the devotee had. He had Faith – complete Faith. I had given my assurance. It does not matter how long it will take, but I had given my word, and that Faith gave him all the joy that I am going to give him Darshan, and so I had to appear in front of him."
Thus it is said in gurmat there is no fixed time; it depends on our love, our devotion, and our effort.
In this domain of God there is no question of "if" and "but." Every "if" and "but" is "cut"! It's a question of 100% Faith or no Faith at all.
But the plight of man is so miserable that we are ready to believe in anything and everything except our own inner voice. Every time we get into a bus we place our life in the hands of the driver, a mortal like us. But when the Jagad Guru comes and says, "My child, give me your heart and I will ferry you across the ocean of life," we are not interested.