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A Tapasvi's Determination

Many people in india perform austerities to please God. A tapasvi was performing austerities under an ambali tree to please the Lord. He thought if he could please the Lord then he would earn His darshan. The tapasvi lived on leaves and all day devoutly ciircumambulated the tree. Because of this continuous walking around the tree there was a furrow a hand deep. One day Naradji was going to Vaikunth.

He saw the tapasvi and approached him. The tapasvi bowed down to him and said, ''Naradji, as you are going to Vaikunth, ask the Lord on my behalf when He will grant darshan to me, as I've been performing austerities for many years, eating only leaves.'' Naradji went to Vaikunth and by and by asked the Lord. ''A tapasvi is performing austerities under an ambali tree for you to grace him with your darshan.

When will you grace him? The Lord said, ''Tell him that for my darshan he will still have to perform austerities for as many years as there are leaves on the ambali tree!'' Who wouldn't give up on hearing this? Naradji felt weak in the legs. He felt defeated! He thought, ''What shall I say to the tapasvi. He is sure to lose determination.'' Naradji left Vaikunth and was making his way back across the sky. The tapasvi saw him and so called him. Hearing that Naradji had met the Lord the tapasvi was overjoyed. So he asked, ''What is God's message for me?'' Naradji replied sadly, ''I cannot tell you what the Lord has said. And if I do tell you, you will lose courage and give up your austerities.''

The tapasvi replied, ''No matter what the Lord has said, at least I'll hear His divine words. So tell me, what did He say.'' Even then Naradji was doubtful. ''Shall I tell him,'' he wondered. The tapasvi again urged him, ''Please tell me.'' So Naradji said, ''The Lord said that, ''even though you have performed austerities for many years, but you will still have to perform austerities for as many years as there are leaves on the ambali tree. Only then will He grace you with darshan." The tapasvi was overjoyed! He began to sing and dance, ''How lucky I am. God has sent me a divine message! Now it is certain that in the future God will grace me with His darshan. The extra years will pass in no time!''

Seeing the tapasvi's love and courage, the Lord instantly appeared before the tapasvi wearing a peacock crown and blessed him. The tapasvi's happiness knew no bounds. He was in ecstacy. Naradji asked God, ''Lord! You told me that you would grace him with darshan only after he had performed many more years of austerities.'' The Lord explained, ''Look at his devotion and determination! He didn't lose courage despite the many extra years! To such a person I have to give darshan.'' If the tapasvi had lost faith he would have lost hope. Then would he have had the Lord's darshan? Of course not! Never! Always have faith in the words of the great. A determined person reaches his goals early. In daily life and for salvation courage is required, then only does God help us.

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© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith