Question: When we surrender unconditionally, are we conscious of the fact that we are surrendering?

Sri Chinmoy: We have to know that there are different types of surrender. One is partial surrender or limited surrender. This is the surrender of mutual good, giving and taking, compromise. If I give you fifty per cent, you give me fifty per cent. Or if I give you thirty per cent, you give me seventy per cent. I give you something, you give me something; I surrender to your will, you surrender to my will. In each case we make a bargain. But there comes a time for unconditional surrender. In unconditional surrender there is no expectation. Even if I don't give you anything, you give me one hundred per cent of what you have and what you are. This is the type of surrender that a real disciple makes to his Master.

The first time one sees a spiritual Master, if he gets real joy, then he knows that this is his real Master. From that day he tries to make total surrender with joy. He says to the Master, "To the end of my life, until I breathe my last, I shall offer you my devoted love and surrender." Even if the Master does not look at him, even if the Master intentionally, deliberately speaks ill of him, saying that he is the worst person on earth or the worst disciple, he will not mind. He says, "Let my Master not give me happiness. Let him not give me anything. On the contrary, let him speak ill of me at every moment." If he is ready to be a disciple and remain a disciple even if he gets no smiles or flattery or appreciation from the Master, then that disciple has made unconditional surrender.

In this world if we give someone five thousand dollars, tomorrow he will be kind to us. But whether we give five thousand dollars or five million dollars, it is all material wealth. Today we give it; tomorrow it is all gone. But spiritual wealth which is love, devotion and surrender, is infinitely more fulfilling. When a disciple offers his purest love, purest devotion and purest surrender to the Master, it can never be lost. The Master gives him everything in boundless measure. If a disciple gives a little love, a little surrender to the Master, then the Master surrenders to him wholeheartedly. The disciple may surrender to his Master once in a blue moon or once in six months. But the Master surrenders to all the whimsical thoughts, absurd ideas and imperfections in the disciple. The poor Master goes on surrendering to the disciple's doubt, to his fear and to his limitation. When it is a matter of surrender, who has made surrender to whom? It is the Master who has made surrender to all the disciples. Each disciple made surrender on the lucky day when he accepted his Master and that is enough for him; but in the Master's case, his surrender has to be constant.

Why does the Master make this unconditional surrender? Who wants to remain indebted? In this world only a fool will remain indebted. If you give something to someone and he does not give you anything in return, he is a fool. The disciple gives his capacity of surrender to the Master. This is why the Master gives his unconditional surrender to the disciple.

Total surrender means surrender according to one's capacity. One disciple has the capacity to surrender for four hours a day. Another has the capacity to make surrender for one hour a day. Another may have the capacity to surrender for only one second a day. Each has his capacity. But if he uses that capacity for one second, then total surrender he is making for one second. Those who have not accepted the spiritual life don't make even that one second of surrender in twenty years or during their whole life. So the Master will be pleased even if one second is the maximum capacity for a disciple. But if a disciple can give surrender for four hours, ten hours, or twelve hours and if he can keep this surrender as long as he is alive, then he can become the most perfect disciple. And this means that he will become the most perfect manifestation not only of his Master but of the Absolute Supreme.

When we have made total unconditional surrender to the Supreme, at that time we become totally one with Him. When a vessel is empty, it makes a sound. But when the vessel is full to the brim there is no sound; it is complete. Right now we are struggling and struggling, but when we are surrendered it is as if we are in a flow of consciousness.

When a runner begins to run he exerts his limbs to the limit. Then after a few minutes his movement becomes very spontaneous. When he doesn't run spontaneously he loses his coordination; then he feels that he is exerting the right hand, the left hand, the right shoulder, the left shoulder, all separately. But when he is running the fastest, he will feel that he is not running at all. His movement becomes automatic and he feels that there is no exertion. The legs, the hands and the shoulders spontaneously work together. Although his movement is very fast, it is as if he were doing nothing at all. Real surrender is like that. When we make our total unconditional surrender to God, we feel that we do nothing, absolutely nothing; we have become. When we become something, at that time we don't do anything. Action ends the moment we become. The act of our surrendering is being transformed into manifestation. Action ends the moment we become. The act of our surrendering is being transformed into manifestation. Action does not remain as action; it becomes the manifestation itself. When we make total surrender, we grow into the real divinity.

From:Sri Chinmoy,My self-giving is my God-becoming, Agni Press, 1974
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