The Mahatma and the Tamarind Tree

October 15, 2018

There was a saint living in a secluded place under a tamarind tree. He performed his devotional act of meditation every day. There is a deity known as Narada who is supposed to be the messenger of God and keeps on descending to earth to gather information to keep God fully and well informed. He happened to be making his rounds when he came near this saint and engaged in conversation with him, wanting to know what he was doing.

The saint said, “Well, this is all a drama, and at the moment I am engaged in the drama of meditation, and who are you?”

Narada replied that he was the messenger of God and was collecting information about all the devotees of God so that he could inform Him about their well-being. The saint said this was excellent, as he could take a message and Narada said, “Yes, why not?” The saint said, “Ask Him when will I meet Him.”

Narada went away, and after some time returned and the saint asked him if there was any reply. Narada said that there was a reply, but it was rather a bitter one and he would rather not give it as the saint’s heart would sink. The saint said, “But if there is any reply from God, my heart would never sink, so don’t worry about it, just let me know the answer.”

Narada said, “Look at this tree, the tamarind tree. It has very small leaves, and millions of them. As many leaves as there are on this tree you will have to wait the same number of years, after which God will come to meet you; this is the message.”

At this the saint became ecstatic and started dancing with bliss, completely forgetting himself. Narada was quite baffled by this man, who when told he had to wait millions of years before the union could take place, yet was dancing with joy. He said, “Wait – did you really understand what I said? What does my answer imply to you?” The saint said, “Yes, I heard,” and Narada said, “What did you hear?” and the saint said, “As many leaves as there are on this tamarind tree, that many years will I have to wait and then He will come.”

Narada said, “Well, why are you dancing?” The saint said, “I am not going to count the number of years and leaves; all that matters is that I have had a message from God, and He is going to meet with me; He will never let me down, that is what really matters,” and once again he started dancing.

Narada wondered what was happening, and at that moment God Himself descended and embraced the saint and appeared before him. Narada was very disturbed. He said, “My Lord, I am Your messenger, but don’t let me be proved a liar, because You said it would be so many years, and that is what I told the saint, and You have broken Your word and descended immediately! You didn’t even wait an hour and You’ve fulfilled the promise that was supposed to wait for years.”

God then said, “These things are for ordinary men; when there is somebody special, the union can take place without any delay.”

Story from “The Man Who Wanted To Meet God”
His Holiness Shantanand Saraswati