Once Narada, a great sage and devotee of Lord Vishnu, was going to Vaikuntha (abode of Lord Vishnu). On the way, he saw a yogi sitting and meditating. The yogi asked Narada, ‘O Narada! Please ask Lord Vishnu how long do I have to wait for enlightenment, when will I become enlightened?’ Narada assured him that he will ask Lord Vishnu about his enlightenment and continued his journey.
On the way, there was another ecstatic person who was just jumping and dancing under a tree. He asked Narada, ‘O Narada! Please ask Lord Vishnu, when will I have his darshan.’ It is important to note that he never asked when he will become enlightened. He simply asked Narada when he will have Lord Vishnu’s darshan. He further requested, ‘Please tell Him to grace me, how long shall I wait for His grace?’ Narada said, ‘I will surely ask, don’t worry.’
Narada went to Vaikuntha and came back with the replies. The first yogi asked him about God’s reply. Narada said, ‘Lord Vishnu told me that you will have to wait for four more janmas (lives) to become enlightened.’ Hearing this the first yogi was depressed. He became anxious that he has to wait for four more janmas. The other person who was ecstatic asked Narada ‘What did God say?’ Narada replied, ‘God told me that you have to wait for as many janmas as there are leaves in this tree; only then will you have his darshan, only then will his grace descend upon you.’ The moment the ecstatic man heard this he said, “I don’t care how long I have to wait. Just his assurance that he will grace me is enough’. He started jumping and dancing again. As soon as he uttered these words, lightning happened and the divine descended, he became enlightened!
It may happen in the life a spiritual seeker that because of their urgency and greed for enlightenment which is akin to their impatience for other material objects, they cannot be in surrender and don’t get enlightened. If seekers try to catch the experience, if they try to possess nithya ananda (eternal bliss) the experience may slip away, like a soap. Surrender happens in deep patience and in the decision to wait. In the life of Buddha, he tried various meditation techniques and spiritual practices with utmost sincerity to get enlightened. When nothing worked, he decided to relax and let go of everything, simply trusting existence. That very moment, he got enlightened.