Question: Am I correct in assuming that surrender necessarily precedes realisation, or may it occur at the time of the first realisation experience or later?

Sri Chinmoy: You are correct in assuming that surrender precedes realisation. It is inevitable. Now as for realisation and experience, they are two totally different things. Realisation is oneness with Oneness Itself. Experience is, at the most, a momentary or limited feeling of oneness with the highest Truth. So you cannot speak of "the experience of realisation." Realisation is not an experience; it is Reality itself. You can correctly say "the oneness of realisation in the realisation-consciousness."