Question: What do you mean when you speak of unconditional surrender to God's Will, and how can we develop this quality?1

Sri Chinmoy: Ordinarily we do everything conditionally. In this world it is always give and take. We exchange things of equal value: we give a shopkeeper money, and he gives us what we need. But God, who has everything in infinite measure, always gives us infinitely more than we give to Him. If we do something for God, then what we will get from Him will be far beyond our expectation. If we give God an iota of prayer, the things that God will give us will be most fulfilling. But there comes a time when we pray to God not in order to get something in return but because we feel that this is what He wishes us to do. At that time we become His chosen instrument and God-representative on earth, and we feel that we are really fulfilling God in His own Way.

But even when we feel we are fulfilling God in His own Way, it is according to our very limited capacity. It is only when we consciously feel that we are not doing anything, but that God is doing everything in and through us, that our capacity becomes unlimited. At that time, even if we just give a smile, in that smile there is infinite potentiality, infinite capacity.

Right now, we look upon God as somebody else. I am somebody, you are somebody and God is a third person. We are completely separate, each with an identity of our own. But a day will come when we make unconditional surrender to God's Will. At that time when somebody speaks to us, we will feel it is actually God who is speaking to God. We will see not only ourselves but also everyone else as none other than God Himself. But this happens very gradually. When we do something unconditionally, we do something really great, and for that we need much preparation. It takes a few months of constant exercise to develop very powerful muscles. Unconditional surrender is much more difficult to develop. It takes continual daily exercise, and that exercise is our prayer and meditation.

  1. MUN 287. 12 January 1973.