The necessity of surrender

How can we surrender to the Will of God? First let us ask ourselves whether we can accomplish anything worthwhile by not following the Will of God. Can we be truly happy by not surrendering to God’s Will? The answer is ‘No’. We cannot be happy without surrender to God’s Will. Why are we going to surrender to God’s Will? Are we going to surrender to God just because we are helpless? If we are very sincere, we will have to answer ‘No’. We are not surrendering to God because we are helpless or because God is making us feel helpless. We are surrendering our will to God’s Will because we are not satisfied with what we have and with what we are.

There comes a time in our spiritual life when we realise that we are not satisfied with what we have, whether it is material wealth or inner wealth, or with what we are. At that time we are ready for surrender. How does one surrender? It is very easy. When we feel the need for surrender, automatically the means will come. If we are desperately in need of surrender, if we feel the soul’s inner urge, if our entire being wants to surrender to God’s Will, then automatically we will be given more than the necessary capacity, assurance, Compassion and Light from above and within. When we surrender, we empty all our impurity into God and He replaces it with His Purity and His Divinity.

Surrender to God’s Will entirely depends on our necessity. If we feel that our life is meaningless, that we won’t be satisfied or fulfilled without surrendering our earthly existence to God’s Will, then surrender will be possible for us.

The Christ’s message was, “Let Thy Will be done.” The Son said that we are all God’s children and God’s Will has to be fulfilled. What the Bible speaks of is repeated in our message of surrender. It says the same theme, but in a different form. All spiritual Masters have come into the world with one message: love God and inside God see and love humanity; then surrender the individual will to the Will of the Supreme.

Before we can prepare ourselves for surrender, we have to acquire the capacity for love and devotion. If we do not feel love and devotion, then what is the necessity of surrender? Is there anything that can compel our spiritual surrender? No. We surrender just because of our love, just because of our devotion. God never compels us to surrender; it is we who have to feel the necessity of loving God and devoting ourselves to God at every second.

We start with love. Even in the ordinary life, when we love someone, what do we do? Just because we love that person we gladly surrender to him, even if he is an ignorant person. If I really love someone, then I want to devote my life and my entire being to that person or his life. In the spiritual life also, if we really love God, who is all Light and infinite Wisdom, then we have to devote ourselves to the inner life, to God. We will find that without truly devoting ourselves to God, it is impossible to love God wholeheartedly. Love and devotion always go together.

We love and devote ourselves to the Supreme. But when we feel that this is not enough, we try to surrender to the Will of the Supreme. When we devote ourselves to something or someone, we may have an ambition or a hankering for a personal way of getting the Truth. Some will say to the Supreme, “I am doing this for You; I have devoted all my life to You and expect You to give me something in return.” This is quite natural, but in the highest spiritual life it is wrong. Others will say, “I shall give what I have and what I am to God. If God does not like me or want me, then He may give me nothing; it is up to Him. My duty is to serve Him with what I have and what I am; it is His Duty to give me or not to give me, to utilise me or not to utilise me according to His Will. Anything I need, God will give me. If He has something in mind for my life, I will do it. ‘Let Thy Will be done.’ ” This is the right attitude. A real seeker will try to please God in God’s own way. A real seeker will say that if God wants him to remain in the sea of ignorance, he will remain. This is called surrender.

Surrender is misunderstood in the Western world. But when a spiritual person uses the word ‘surrender’, this is not the surrender of the slave to the master. We are not God’s slaves; we are God’s children. The Western world is a world of freedom, where nobody is willing to be a slave to anyone else. But in real surrender we are not surrendering our existence to a human being or to a human personality; we are surrendering our existence to the infinite Will within the person whom we call our teacher. While a tiny drop remains separated from the infinite ocean, it is just a tiny drop; but the moment it enters into the mighty ocean, it becomes the ocean itself. A tiny drop will be afraid of the ocean if it maintains its individuality. It will say, “I will be totally lost. It is such a vast ocean!” But if the tiny drop has a little wisdom, it will say, “If I enter into the mighty ocean, then I will become absolutely one with the ocean.” And as soon as it enters into the ocean, it will get the utmost satisfaction.

Our path of love, devotion and surrender leads to the same goal as the path of jnana, or wisdom. But we feel that the path of love is easier. The very word ‘God’ conquers our hearts, not because God has infinite Power, but just because God is all Love. God is the mightiest Being, but if we concentrate on God as infinite Power, our human nature is so feeble that we shall not be able to approach Him. If we say, ‘God’ and immediately feel that He is all Love, infinite Love, then we are right. His Love is His greatest Power. If we approach God through love, this is the easiest and quickest way to surrender.

Sri Chinmoy, AUM — Vol.II-2, No. 1, January 27, 1975.First published by Vishma Press in 1975.

This is the 9092nd book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.


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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book AUM — Vol.II-2, No. 1, January 27, 1975, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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