Surrender's unlimited power
What does surrender really mean?Surrender means oneness, inseparable oneness with our infinite, eternal, immortal life. Without surrendering, we will not know that we are infinite, eternal and immortal. As soon as we enter into the sea, we experience the consciousness of the sea itself. We may swim in only one particular spot, but the consciousness of the vast sea becomes ours. Here the finite consciously enters into the Infinite. Surrender means conscious oneness of our real Self with the Infinite. When we surrender, we become one with the infinite Eternity, which is a seeker’s birthright. At this time we do not lose our own finite individuality; instead we now become the possessor of divine Infinity. The imperfect nature becomes totally one with the perfect nature. Our surrender has become our accomplishment, our fulfilment.
Let us not play with the word “surrender”. It is a most significant and soulful word in the aspirant’s life. An aspirant can use the word in and out of season, but when the actuality of surrender comes, the aspirant will be ready for anything but surrender. Difficulty is one thing; impossibility is another. It is impossible for an aspirant to surrender unless he understands the meaning of surrender. He has to be careful not to desecrate the absolute purity of the word “surrender”.
In human surrender the slave surrenders to the master and we are shocked because that is beneath our dignity. Here, the slave pleases the master out of fear, not out of love. In ordinary human surrender, we lose our personality and our individuality. When we say, “I surrender to you,” we fear that the one to whom we are surrendering will lord it over us. When he says, “Stand up,” we have to stand up. If he says, “Sit down,” we have to sit down. We feel we are at the feet of this person.
Spiritual surrender is not the surrender of a slave to a master. Spiritual surrender is our absolute oneness with our own highest part, with the Supreme. We do not surrender to somebody other than ourselves. No! When our Master stands in front of us and bows down, to whom is he bowing? He is bowing to the Supreme in us. And when we bow down with folded hands to the Master, we are bowing to the Supreme in him. His Highest and our Highest can never be two different things; they are the same.
To understand the truest meaning of surrender, we have to remember that it must be constant and unconditional. The moment we ask the Supreme the significance of His Will or the motive behind His action, there is no surrender. In true surrender we do not ask what or why. Surrender means to jump into the sea of the unknown. Today we find ourselves in the sea of the unknowable; tomorrow, in the sea of the unknown; the day after tomorrow, in the sea of the known. The following day we have become the unknowable, the unknown and the known.
When I surrendered myselfWhen I surrendered myself
To the morning light,
God’s Eyes of Beauty
When I surrendered myself
To the midday light,
God’s Heart of Beauty
When I surrendered myself
To the evening light,
God’s Hands of Beauty
When I surrendered myself
To the inner light,
God the Eternal Beauty
The necessity of surrenderHow 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 not helpless and God is not making us feel helpless. We shall surrender 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 also says the same 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.
All truths are the same. Truth is nobody’s monopoly. Before the Christ, Lord Rama came, Sri Krishna came and Lord Buddha came. They also spoke about love, devotion and surrender. Everything about love, devotion and surrender is written in the _Bhagavad-Gita_. When Sri Krishna became one with God, he said to Arjuna, his dearest disciple, “Surrender everything to me.” The Christ also said, “Surrender everything. Let the Will of the Almighty Father be fulfilled.” In the Buddha we can see his Compassion and what he did for humanity. He was ready to sacrifice his life for just a little bird. He was all Compassion and Love. Sri Ramakrishna was always Love: Love the Mother, Love the Truth.
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 for surrender? Is there anything that can compel us to surrender to someone? No. We surrender just because we love, just because of our devotion. God can never compel us to surrender; it is we who have to feel the necessity of loving God and devoting ourselves to God 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 have 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 feel that without truly devoting ourselves to God, it is impossible to love God. So love and devotion must always go together.
We love and devote ourselves to the Supreme. But when we feel that this is not enough, we have 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 to me or not to give to me, to utilise me or not to utilise me. Anything I need to please myself, God will give me. If He has something else in mind for my life, I will do it. ‘Let Thy Will be done.’ ”
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. We have to be very careful when we use the word “surrender”. It is not the surrender of a slave to the master. We are not slaves; we are God’s children. The Western world is a world of freedom where nobody is going 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. No! 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 intelligence, it will say, “If I enter into the mighty ocean, then I will become the ocean.” And as soon as it enters into the ocean, it will get the utmost satisfaction.
Our path of love, devotion and surrender will lead to the same goal as the path of _jnana_, wisdom. But we feel that the path of love is easier. The very word “God” conquers our heart, not because God has infinite Power, but just because God is all Love. God is the mightiest on earth. 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 Power. If we approach God through love, this is the easiest and quickest way to surrender.
Just surrender!Don't conclude,
Lo, God is blessing you.
Lo, God is loving you.
Lo, God is embracing you.
God's Grace and surrenderSurrender is our ultimate achievement. There is no difference between God’s Grace and our unconditional surrender. God’s Grace and our unconditional surrender are like the obverse and reverse of the same coin. If God did not give us that kind of Grace, then we could not make unconditional surrender. To receive God’s Grace is a real achievement. To make unconditional surrender is also a real achievement. God is showing us Compassion, not because surrender is something inferior, but because surrender is something that God cherishes and treasures.
We are mistaken if we feel that our surrender is like a helpless child in the dark. We should feel rather that our surrender is like a roaring lion. We can say to ourselves, “I am surrendering to the One who is infinitely more powerful. I am surrendering to the One who really cares for me.” It is best to feel that there is nobody else on earth: no father, no mother, no brother, no sister, no husband, no wife. We cannot claim others or even ourselves. The Supreme is the only person here on earth and there in Heaven whom we can claim as our very own.
Touching God’s Feet is also a form of surrender. When we touch God’s Feet we feel that we are doing absolutely the right thing; we are not bloated with pride that Grace descended and gave us the chance to touch God’s Feet. But when we touch the feet of a human being, we feel that we are doing it under compulsion, not out of joy. If we surrender to human beings and not to the Divine, then in addition to stupidity, our surrender becomes a kind of bondage.
But when we surrender to the One in us who is illumined, who is realised, then our surrender is going to our Source, to our Highest.
Why should somebody get the power of surrender when somebody else does not get it? If the seeker desperately needs God, then only surrender is bound to come. But if he feels that he has to surrender like a slave, because God is infinitely more powerful than he is, then he will surrender only to his stupidity and his ignorance. The moment he offers his ignorance, he gets wisdom from God. He tells God: “God, I am giving You what I have.” God says, “Give it to Me, my son, with the condition that you don’t take it back.” If we give to God without asking Him to return something to us, then God will give us what He has. He will say, “All right, why should I remain indebted to you? You have given Me what you have; now let Me give you what I have.” If we give to God and then take back our gift, God does not owe us anything. But if we give to Him unconditionally, He will give us what He has: His Wealth. God’s Wealth is His Divinity, His Love and His Vision.
Thought, will, surrenderO face of thought,
You are my abysmal disgrace.
O heart of will,
You are my supernal lustre.
O soul of surrender,
You are my sempiternal pride.
Personal effort and God's GraceTo make the fastest progress, God’s Grace plus personal effort, self-effort, is required. Some seekers say, “If we care for God’s Grace, then what is the necessity of personal effort here on earth?” They are mistaken because personal effort will never stand in the way of God’s descending Grace; personal effort expedites the descent of God’s Grace to earth.
Surrender is not something we can suddenly offer to God. Total surrender requires personal effort; again, total surrender can play the part of personal effort. God can give us all that He wants without even an iota of personal effort from us. He says, “It is for your own satisfaction that I ask you to make this little personal effort.” When we can make this personal effort, our whole life will be surcharged with divine pride: “See what I have done for God?” Our conscious oneness with God, who is infinite, who is eternally immortal, prompts us to do something for our Dearest and not for our ego.
But if somebody asks, “What have you done for God?” what will be our answer? Silence. We can be bloated with pride and say, “God has done this for me, God has done that for me, God has done everything for me!” Or we can be consciously and spontaneously proud that God has accepted us as His very own, that He is helping us and blessing us.
If we sincerely make personal effort, then God is bound to be pleased with us. Why? Because He can tell the world, “My child, my chosen instrument has done many things for Me.” We can prove ourselves worthy of our existence on earth and at the same time we can make God proud of our personal effort. But while making our personal effort, we have to know that in God there is infinite Grace. When Grace descends, there is no more personal effort; it is only dynamic self-surrender. When we offer the results of our aspiration and inner urge to God, that is called true surrender. If we do not offer the results to God and just lie like a dead body at His Feet, letting Him work for us, in us and through us, it is wrong. God does not want an inactive body, a dead soul. He wants someone who is active, dynamic and aspiring; someone who wants to be energised so that he can do something for God; someone who wants to realise God and manifest all the divine qualities here on earth.
He who surrendersHe who sees
He who believes
Not only knows, but does.
He who surrenders
Not only has become,
But eternally is.
Surrender and will-powerDivine surrender, from the spiritual point of view, comes from will-power. If we have an adamantine will, then we will get the capacity to make unconditional surrender. Again, if we can surrender unconditionally to God, then we will get the capacity to develop will-power. Inner will-power, which is the soul’s light, and surrender, which is the oneness of our heart with the Absolute, always go together. They are inseparable. There can be no difference between the soul’s will-power and the unconditional surrender of our entire being to the Will of the Supreme. Both are equally strong. If we can make unconditional surrender to the Will of the Supreme, it is the result of our inner will-power, our soul’s light.
In the spiritual life the real Guru is the Supreme. At every moment we have to feel that our own Guru, who represents the Supreme, knows infinitely better than we do. We must then surrender to his will, not to our own so-called conviction. The Master and God will do something for us and in return we will do something for them. There is a mutual feeling of surrender between the aspirant and the Highest. To surrender unconditionally to someone, we need tremendous will-power. We accept surrender only theoretically, because when it comes to the practical life, we cannot obey our superiors for more than one or two seconds. Although we say, “He is my superior,” we immediately revolt because we feel that we know better than he does.
If we can have tremendous soul’s will-power, we shall be able to surrender to the Will of the Supreme. There is no difference between the soul’s will and life’s dedicated surrender.
Can't you surrender?O mind of man,
Do not sleep any more.
Can't you hear God
Knocking and knocking
At your door?
O heart of man,
Can't you surrender
Become the ocean-soul,
Human surrender, divine surrenderDivine surrender to God’s Will is a dedicated surrender, devoted surrender, loving surrender and unconditional surrender. In spiritual surrender there is no compulsion. It is our inner urge that compels us to reach the highest height. In human surrender we notice tremendous force because we feel that we are under compulsion to offer our surrender to our superior, to our boss. We know that our existence here on earth is the existence of imperfection, limitation and bondage. But we have another existence all our own which is perfection, plenitude and infinity. There we are divine.
It is like the top and the foot of a tree. At the foot we are imperfect, we are not what we want to be; but at the top we can and will be what we want to be. At the foot we are undivine, quarrelling and fighting and acting like animals. But there at the top of the tree is boundless harmony, the feeling of oneness, ecstasy, peace and light. So when we consciously give our lower existence to our higher existence, it is the surrender of oneness. This surrender we make to our own highest height; we offer our dedicated life to the highest Supreme, who is our very own. We offer our various limitations to our own perfections. We do not feel sorry, embarrassed or ashamed. We surrender one place which is our possession, to another place which is also our possession.
When we offer our devoted and unconditional surrender to the Will of the Supreme, we feel that we have become true, chosen and perfect instruments of the Supreme. At this time the Supreme manifests Himself in and through us in His own Way.
Human will, Divine WillIn the morning
Human will is confusion-forest.
In the evening
Human will is contradiction-sea.
Human will is contention-sky.
In the morning
Divine Will is love-realisation.
In the evening
Divine Will is truth-manifestation.
Divine Will is God-perfection.
Surrender in meditationSurrender first arises at the time of our meditation. Then this surrender permeates the entire being of the aspirant. Our meditation has to be completely conscious because what we need is conscious surrender. Conscious surrender is the easiest and most effective way to realise our deepest aspiration.
Before surrender becomes sincere, genuine and profound, the first thing that is required is peace of mind or, in spiritual terms, the calm mind. There are many types of mind: the quiet mind, the silent mind and the tranquil mind; but the calm mind is needed most. The calm mind creates a new and divine energy in us. When we consciously feel this new energy flowing from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet, at that moment we will get a glimpse of the Infinite in the finite. What we represent right now is the finite, but within us is the Infinite which we will consciously represent either in the near future or in the distant future. When we are aware of the divine energy flowing through us, then we can surrender ourselves without any personal effort. The very nature of this divine energy is to pull us into the strength of surrender. The energy itself is already strength but it serves to intensify the strength of surrender within us. This surrender is our oneness with our Highest. When we are in the physical, we surrender ourselves to the soul bit by bit, drop by drop. But when we are in the soul, we surrender our whole inner and outer life to the infinite Peace.
Human surrender, which is the conscious surrender of the aspirant, is something dynamic, progressive and fulfilling. If our meditation is conscious, then surrender comes easily. In surrender, our entire being sees the Light and wants to grow into the Light. So when we meditate, we should always try to feel that we are inspired and that we will consciously try to surrender. Only during meditation can we make the conscious effort of surrendering ourselves. Then a day will come when our conscious effort during meditation starts to bear fruit. We will see that our very existence will be crying daily for twenty-four hours with conscious aspiration.
When I surrenderWhen I pray
I discover my long-lost God-Height.
When I meditate
I discover my long-lost God-Depth.
When I surrender
I discover my long-sought God-Satisfaction.
Love, devotion and surrenderLove, devotion and surrender cannot be separated. If one drop of love is taken away from the vessel, even if the vessel is full to the brim with love, then devotion and surrender will immediately go away. They are divinely interlinked. It is love that contains devotion and surrender. A mother loves her child. Although the child kicks the mother, the mother enjoys it because the child is kicking her and nobody else.
Our foundation is love. If we can really love the Supreme, then devotion and surrender will always be there. But when love goes, nothing remains. Love is the root and devotion is the spreading tree. If there is no root, then how can we have the tree and the branches? If we have real love for the Supreme, then we shall not have to fight, we shall not have to struggle for devotion and surrender; they have to come and they will spontaneously. It is love that compels everyone to devote himself. If we have love, then we are devoted. If one is devoted, then he surrenders himself consciously and willingly.
Devotion and surrender go together. Devotion is the first step and surrender is the second or last step. When we show devotion we show it to the Highest in ourselves. Surrender is a little different. When we surrender, we immediately become one with the person to whom we have surrendered. In devotion we bow down, little by little, inch by inch, drop by drop, and enter into the Supreme. Devotion is wonderful in the inner life and the outer life. If we devote ourselves to something or someone, then sooner or later we achieve success in whatever we aspire for. If it is spiritual devotion, then it can be very intense. But unfortunately, our devotion may not be pure because we have thousands of desires. Somebody is devoted to his Master but at the same time he may be assailed by thousands of desires. Each desire is like a drop of poison. It is wonderful that he is coming to his Master with devotion, but he is also bringing poison.
When we approach God with devotion, soulful devotion, God comes and stands right in front of us with all His Concern. Concern is the power of God’s Soul. When we approach humanity with devotion, we see our total oneness with humanity. But until we devote ourselves unreservedly to the cause of humanity, we can never dare to be one with humanity.
In a seeker’s devotion, there is a kind of give and take. The seeker says, “I devote my entire life to you, but you have to give me inner realisation, illumination or something else.” This is conditional self-offering.
After devotion comes the stage we can call selfless love. Selfless love is when we love and don’t care for anything in return; we become one with the object of our adoration. In this love there is a subtle feeling that the Beloved will give us the best fruit because we will not bother him with silly emotional problems or desires, with “Give me this” or “Give me that.” In selfless love, that stage has been done away with. The seeker knows that the Supreme will give him something nice, something worth possessing; he has not to ask for anything. This is selfless love.
Surrender is the last stage. In surrender we feel the absolute acceptance of the Divine and the Supreme. If we surrender our life totally and say, “God, I place my life entirely at Your Feet,” then our whole existence enters into God. God is Omniscient, God is Omnipotent, God is Infinite, so our surrender immediately becomes the Omniscient, the Omnipotent and the Infinite. Surrender is the quickest road to oneness with God. If we just jump into the ocean of Peace and Bliss, then we will become one with God.
When we say “surrender”, it is not like the surrender of one army to another. If one army surrenders in the battlefield, immediately it is at the mercy of the victor. The victim can never expect to be as powerful as the victor, so the vanquished soldiers say, “We are at your feet.” But in spiritual surrender, the moment a disciple surrenders entirely to his Master, he becomes one with the Consciousness, Light and Bliss of the Master. At that time the Master starts seeing through the eyes of a particular disciple, he feels through the disciple and he does everything through that disciple because he and the disciple have become one.
When a devotee surrenders himself entirely to God, on the strength of his surrender, he becomes absolutely one with God. God stands with open arms and embraces him and says, “Come into My Heart.” In the ordinary world, if I surrender to you or if you surrender to me, I shall make you my permanent slave and say, “Do this, do that.” But in the spiritual world, in God’s world, if we surrender to God, then He just places us in His Soul.
In surrender the disciple will say, “I do not care for Heaven. I do not care for hell. I care only for my spiritual Master.” It is the spiritual attitude that prompts us to say, “No matter what God wants to give me, no matter what He wants to do with my life, I am ready. I fully surrender with my very breath, my very existence. Even if God does not want my help, my life or my existence, I will be happy.” At that time the disciple wants only the Will of God, the Supreme. This is the true surrender.
It is very easy to say, “Let Thy Will be done.” But when we say this, we have to identify ourselves with God’s Will. How? Through surrender. If we really surrender, then we become one with God’s Will. In the spiritual life, there can be no better achievement and no more powerful weapon than surrender.
Love, devotion and surrenderLove
Is the key of life.
Is the safe of the heart.
Is the treasure of the soul.
Is the Smile divine of God.
Is the Cry eternal of God.
Is the Pride absolute of God.
Surrender and the chakrasThere is no relationship between surrender to God and inner progress in the opening of the chakras. It is best to concentrate on God, meditate on God and pray to God for self-realisation. When we have realised God, we will discover that He is infinitely superior to His powers. He Himself is in the powers; again, He is beyond the powers. He is in both His occult power and His ordinary physical power. He is in His Manifestation; He is beyond His Manifestation. God is in all spheres. If we look for Him in His Manifestation only, then that is where we will find Him. But if we look for Him in His Highest, then we find Him not only in the field of manifestation, but also far beyond the field of manifestation.
Those who really care for God-realisation care only for God-realisation. They give all importance to aspiration, love, devotion and surrender. If one accepts God through love, devotion and surrender, then he must not give much importance to the opening of the centres. What does the aspirant want? Does he want God or does he want powers which are infinitely inferior to God Himself? If he wants only God, then he has to accept the path of aspiration, concentration, meditation and contemplation.
There are two types of surrender. One is called idle surrender or helpless submission. When someone wallows in the pleasures of idleness, he accepts whatever happens in his life; this is no surrender at all. The other surrender is genuine inner wisdom. On the strength of a seeker’s aspiration, he has realised that if he can surrender his finite will to the Will Absolute, then he can get all that he wants and needs.
There comes a time when the centres can be opened by the Divine, by the Supreme. When we have sincerely and arduously aspired for a long time to open the centres and we see that there is no hope of succeeding, at that time let us offer our aspiration to the Supreme. Since we have done all we could to open the centres, we leave the rest to the Will of the Supreme. If He is pleased with us, then in the twinkling of an eye He can open all six major chakras and also the centre that is in the brain: the Sahasrara or thousand-petaled lotus.
There is a particular path in the spiritual life called Raja Yoga_, the princely Yoga, the path of dynamic mysticism. In _Raja Yoga when one climbs up the ladder of spiritual progress, the centres are automatically opened. Each centre has its own power and its own way of expressing the occult power. There are many spiritual seekers who sooner or later open up these chakras or centres, but who do not realise God. Again, there are spiritual teachers who have realised God but who have not felt the necessity of opening all the centres. Many people who were progressing spiritually and who sincerely wanted to realise God met with the temptation of opening the chakras. In many cases they opened these centres, but God remained elsewhere. These individuals are not only hampered in their progress to God-realisation, but are tempted to use what little power they have to defy God’s infinite Power. If we feel that by opening up the centres it will be easier for us to surrender to God, then we will be making a terrible mistake. By opening up the chakras, we will only act like a magician. We will slacken our speed and our progress will be much slower. So the best thing is to be very humble and to surrender to the Master. When we are surrendered, we are ready to become totally one with the Supreme in the Master.
A very great spiritual Master, Sri Ramakrishna, was asked by a young admirer of his to pray to Mother Kali for occult power; that is to say, occult power that comes from the chakras. Sri Ramakrishna prayed to the Mother like a child. When he entered into his meditation, a very high meditation, he saw a dirty, unimaginably filthy woman. He immediately connected the power of the chakras with the woman. He said, “This is occult power? No, I cannot ask for this power; I cannot utilise this power.”
As our human nature can be purified, so also occult powers can be purified. They can be divinely utilised. When? Only when spiritual realisation is complete. Then, if God wants a spiritual person to be involved with occult powers that come from the full opening of the chakras, he can use these occult powers most divinely and effectively.
Drunk with surrenderDrunk with power
I came to my Lord.
He ignored my power.
Drunk with beauty
I came to my Lord.
He ignored my beauty.
Drunk with surrender
I came to my Lord.
He offered me His Throne of Light,
His Crown of Delight,
His Palace of Truth,
His Kingdom of Love.
Understanding the MasterSome disciples feel that they have infinitely larger hearts than the Master because at times the Master can appear to be very rude. God wants the Master to give an experience to an individual because by giving that experience, God will be able to bring that person away from the physical and closer to Him on the inner plane. Outwardly the Master may be totally indifferent to the disciple; he may be extremely rude and the disciple may misunderstand him. But the Master knows God’s Will; God’s way of operating need not be like our own. God may tell the Master not to look at a person for some time because then he will examine himself to see what is wrong.
In the case of Vivekananda, how Sri Ramakrishna neglected him for months. He did this because he had got the message from Mother Kali to watch Vivekananda and examine him. If Vivekananda knew this, he learned it from within. He did not act like an ordinary man who says, “You don’t care for me, so I also don’t care for you.” He made unconditional surrender to Ramakrishna’s will. Whether or not Ramakrishna smiled at him and showed him affection, gave him sweetmeats or totally ignored him, Vivekananda went to him again and again. This was real surrender.
Surrendering dedicationDamaging imperfection:
That is what I was.
That is what I am.
That is what I shall be.
The Will of the SupremeUnconditional surrender is meant for those who are going to be totally one with God. There are millions and billions of people on earth, but only a few have made unconditional surrender to God. Unconditionally surrendered people will always feel that their illumined part knows far more than their unillumined part. They have made unconditional surrender to their soul or to the Supreme in their Master, who wants only the best for them.
One can surrender conditionally: “I have given You everything, my Lord; You should also give me something in return.” This can happen and it happens very often. But when there is unconditional surrender, at that time there is no expectation: “I have given You what I have, O Lord; take it, without any condition. You don’t have to smile at me, You don’t have to bring down Your Grace, You don’t have to give me Your Light. Nothing of the sort! Whatever You want to do with Your Peace, Light, Bliss and Power You do. My only business is to make unconditional surrender to You, O Lord.”
If one can make this kind of surrender, then he is bound to get constant inner peace, inner joy. He will feel the outer world inside his very heart, not around or in front of him. The aspirant will feel that the outer world is progressing towards a better life, a more fulfilling life, because of his own aspiration. Here, his aspiration is not based on ego; it is founded upon God’s Will. As he makes progress, so also, whatever is inside him has to make progress. An aspirant will feel that his progress means the progress of the entire world. This is what one can see in the field of manifestation when he can make the highest unconditional surrender to the Inner Pilot, to the Supreme.
When surrender is complete, unconditional and permanent, at that time we become one with Reality, the Reality that we have been crying and searching for.
When we become one with Reality, we gain a new eye. This new eye enables us to see God and man as eternal partners, as two equals. Gradually this vision transcends itself and in its transcendence the seeker realises that he has always been what God eternally is.
It is not an easy matter for a beginning seeker to know God’s Will. Suppose we are in a boat and someone is drowning. If we are very advanced, it takes us just a fleeting second to know whether it is God’s Will for the drowning person to have this experience or whether a hostile attack has caused him to fall from the boat. But if we are not an advanced seeker, it may take us three hours to go within and discover whether God wants this person to be saved; in the meantime, the person will drown. If we are on the shore, one part of us will tell us to go and help. Another part is very clever. With a tremendous sense of reluctance it says, “Who knows, the weather is very bad, the waves are high. Perhaps I will also be drowned. So the best thing is for me not to go.” We are very clever people. Everything we do we can justify. Even if we do everything wrong we can justify ourselves.
God will be truly pleased only if we fulfil His Will. But for most of us, according to our standard right now, we know that if somebody is dying, we should go and help. Here we have the greatest opportunity to use our own discretion. We should save the drowning person; God will not blame us for interfering with His Will.
If it is a serious matter and we have a spiritual Master, we need not wait to know the Will of the Supreme because our Master will be able to tell us immediately. Otherwise, if we wait for a month or two or three months in order to know the Will of the Supreme, by that time many wrong forces may enter into us. Suppose we wait for just sixteen days to go deep within and to know. Today we are trying to dig a little and go deep within, but tomorrow the forces around us will not allow us to concentrate on that particular matter at all. We are most sincere today, but we do not get the actual answer from within. So it is always better, with a very serious matter, to ask our Master. Then we will get the immediate result.
The next step is to have faith in the Master’s decision, to feel that this is what God wants. Otherwise, what is the use of having a real Master if we have to wait all the time to know the Will of the Supreme on our own? Those who do not have a true spiritual Master will naturally have to wait; there is no other way for them. But a Master’s disciples have the greatest advantage because the Master can tell them what God’s Will is. It is not that the Master tells his disciples the right thing and then his part is over. Far from it! If the Master sees that the disciple has listened to his will and then tries to follow it, he puts out a tremendous force. But if he sees that the person has listened to what the divine Will is but is gladly allowing the vital or the mind to come to their own decision, it may take at least two months or three months. At that time the Master does not take sides.
My God's WillMy soul’s will:
“Fight for earth-freedom.”
My body’s will:
“Long for Heaven-descent.”
My God’s Will:
“Daughter, I am tired.
Joy in surrenderWhen an aspirant is totally surrendered to God’s Will, he will get abundant joy. He will feel all joy in his heart and he will live in constant joy. He will not be able to account for it or give any meaning to it. Early in the morning when he first gets up, he will get a very sweet feeling or sensation. If he touches a wall, he will get joy; if he touches a mirror, he will also get joy. His own joy enters into everything he sees. At times he may see that a solid wall is full of joy: a tree will be full of joy. If a taxi-cab goes by, he will see intense joy in the driver, even in the car itself. His inner joy will enter into each person, each object; and it will pervade everything.
If there is total surrender, then there can be no failure. Surrender means the greatest joy, deepest joy, most soulful joy, even in so-called failure. Success also brings the same joy. When we are successful in something, immediately we derive joy from our success. Similarly, if our inner and outer life is surcharged with surrendering Light, then at every moment we derive pure unalloyed Joy from the highest Source. If we have this kind of spontaneous inner joy, then we can feel that it comes only from our total surrender to the Inner Pilot, the Master, the Guru, God.
Sometimes the aspirant makes a complete and total surrender but the outer being is not receptive enough to feel the Truth. Or again it may happen that an aspirant feels miserable and sorry because he is crying for something and still has desires. At this time, in spite of making full surrender, he does not know whether or not he has made the surrender. Until his entire being is aware of his surrender, his mind will not be convinced. If he has a spiritual Master, he can learn from his Master whether or not he has totally surrendered. The Master will be able to feel the truth even though the outer being of the disciple may be saying everything to the contrary. The Master can never tell a lie. If the Master says, “You have totally surrendered,” then even if we don’t feel constant inner joy, we can rest assured that we have made surrender in the fullest measure.
Why is surrender so great?Why is surrender so great?
Surrender is great
Because it accepts
What it does not understand
It does not care to understand
It only believes and obeys,
Obeys and believes.
Surrender is by far the greatest
Because it alone is the glowing ascent
Of the aspiring heart
The proud descent
Of the Absolute.
Total surrender and realisationTotal surrender is not self-realisation; total surrender is the most important thing for self-discovery. When we surrender, we have to feel that we have become totally one with the Highest and that we don’t have any separative feeling of consciousness. Total surrender is the ultimate rung of a ladder with three steps: love, devotion and surrender. It is not enough just to touch the ultimate rung; we have to be well established in our surrender.
Total surrender does not come in the twinkling of an eye or overnight. It takes long years of patience. When surrender finally comes and starts playing its role, we have to know whether it is conditional or unconditional surrender. Conditional surrender means that if I give you something, then I can ask you for a favour, and you will give me the favour. This kind of surrender can be for only five minutes; the rest of the day we may be revolting against our highest nature. That is not total surrender. If, during meditation, we have surrendered to God for five or ten minutes very sincerely and devotedly, we have received inner Joy, Peace and Bliss. But if we are not surrendered for the rest of the day, it is still not total surrender. When total surrender takes place, total transformation of our nature takes place. When total surrender is complete, it is complete forever. And this total surrender of oneness is not to any king or tyrant, but to God, for eternity.
When we have totally surrendered to our highest being, to our Inner Pilot, permanently and consciously, then at that moment realisation has come and is permanent. Otherwise, there are many who only momentarily listen to their Master. If the Master says to do something, they may do it. Many surrender to the Master for five minutes, but then their surrender is totally withdrawn. They may surrender twenty times, but we have to see that total surrender is permanent and constant.
A young aspirant said to Swami Vivekananda, “I want to be your disciple.” Vivekananda said, “If you want to be my disciple, then you have to jump from the roof.” The man was about to jump but Vivekananda pulled him back. This person was ready to fulfil his Master’s request cheerfully and consciously, even to see God sooner than he had expected. But how can we expect this kind of total surrender from a beginner who sees the Master for the first time? This surrendering attitude comes from inside. When we fully realise God, we have to surrender to God, to the Master, to Infinity. Then our will becomes one with the Highest. At that time our spiritual Master can have no will of his own. If he is a true Master, he has to fulfil God by serving the Supreme in us at every moment.
Everybody has to feel that he can be a divine realised soul. He must feel that his permanent and total surrender, his constant and eternal surrender, results in his realisation.
The miracles of your surrender-lifeLook at the miracles
Of your surrender-life.
You are remembering
Your forgotten bliss.
You are enjoying
Your cosmic silence-sleep.
Unconditional surrenderIf the mind is not one with the light of the soul or the soul’s will, then surrender cannot be called unconditional. The body, vital, mind and heart, all that an aspirant has and is, must individually and collectively become one with the soul’s light, the soul’s will. The soul’s will is the Will of the Supreme; the soul’s light is the Light of the Supreme. There can be unconditional surrender only when these parts of the being feel that what the soul is doing for them comes directly from God.
If they feel that they have their own separate wisdom, although less than the soul’s wisdom, they are making a great mistake. Only when the mind surrenders totally to the light of the soul can the mind have infinite light, which is called wisdom. The moment the mind is separated from the soul, it has no inner wisdom; it has only outer capacities, mental information. Only the soul has eternal wisdom.
Unconditional surrender comes only when the body, vital, mind and heart have offered their limited capacities, all that they have and all that they are, to the Will of the Supreme. In order for the seeker to have infinite capacities and to grow into the Infinite, his unconditional surrender has to be constant.
The ordinary person becomes unconditionally surrendered when the emotional and vital being comes forward. When people are living in emotional love, romantic love, then in an outburst of emotion they jump into a kind of surrender. The girl immediately jumps into the uncertainty of the boy’s life or the boy enters into the uncertainty of the girl’s life. They neither look forward nor backward, right nor left.
In the spiritual life, when the Master or the Supreme makes the decision for the aspirant to be unconditionally surrendered to God, to the Divine, to the Master, this means that the strength has already been given to the aspirant to make his surrender unconditional and constant.
When we approach God with the surrender of our body, vital, mind, heart and soul, we shall see God standing right in front of us with all that He is and all that He has. He is compelled to become verily the slave of our absolute, unreserved surrender. His very existence is to please us in every possible way. It is only through our surrender, our constant self-offering, that we grow in the Lap of God, in the Heart of God and in the heart of humanity.
Your freedomYour physical freedom
Has bound you;
Yet you want physical freedom.
Your vital freedom
Has crucified you;
Yet you want vital freedom.
Your mental freedom
Has blighted you;
Yet you want mental freedom.
Your psychic freedom
Is crying for you;
Yet you want not psychic freedom.
Is beckoning you;
Ah, I am seeing you in your God-freedom!
The strength of surrenderThe present-day world wants individuality. It demands freedom. But true individuality and freedom can breathe only in the Divine. Surrender is the untiring breath of the soul in the Heart of God.
Human individuality shouts in the dark. Earthly freedom cries out in the deserts of life. But absolute surrender universally sings of divine Individuality and Freedom in the Lap of the Supreme.
In surrender we discover the spiritual power through which we can become not only the seers but also the possessors of Truth. This Truth is the omnipotent Power. If we can surrender in absolute silence, we shall ourselves become the Reality of the Real, the Life of the Living, the Centre of true Love, Peace and Bliss. We shall become an incomparable blessing to ourselves.
A lovely child attracts our attention. We love him because he conquers our heart. But do we ask anything from him in return? No! We love him because he is the object of love; he is lovable. In the same way we can and should love God, for He is the most lovable Being. Spontaneous love for the Divine is surrender, and this surrender is the greatest gift in life. For when we surrender, the Divine in no time gives us infinitely more than we would have asked for.
Surrender is a spiritual miracle. It teaches us how to see God with our eyes closed, how to talk to Him with our mouth shut. Fear enters into our being only when we withdraw our surrender from the Absolute.
Surrender is an unfoldment. It is the unfoldment of our body, mind and heart into the Sun of divine Plenitude within us. Surrender to this inner Sun is the greatest triumph of life. The hound of failure cannot reach us when we are in this Sun. The Prince of Evil fails to touch us when we have realised and founded our oneness with this eternally life-giving Sun.
Surrender and wholeheartedness play together, eat together and sleep together. Theirs is the crown of victory. Calculation and doubt play together, eat together and sleep together. Theirs is the fate that is doomed to disappointment, destined to failure.
India is the land of surrender. This surrender is not a blind submission, but rather the dedication of one’s limited self to one’s unbounded Self. There are a good many stories in the Mahabharata dealing with surrender. They all have great spiritual truth in them. Let me tell you a short but most inspiring and revealing story about Draupadi, who was the Queen of the Pandavas. While the evil Duhshasana was ruthlessly attempting to disrobe her, she was praying to the Lord to save her. Yet all the while she was holding her garments tightly with her fists. Her surrender was not complete, and her prayer was not granted, Duhshasana continued his efforts to pull off the garments of the unfortunate Queen. But the moment came when Draupadi released her hold on her robes and began to pray to the Lord with hands upraised. “O Lord of my heart, O Boatman of my life, may Thy Will be fulfilled,” she prayed. Lo, the strength of her absolute surrender! God’s silence broke. His Grace rained down on Draupadi. As Duhshasana tried to pull off her sari, he found that it was endless. His pride had to kiss the dust.
God’s all-fulfilling Grace descends only when man’s unconditional surrender ascends.
Our surrender is a most precious thing. God alone deserves it. We can offer our surrender to another individual, but only for the sake of realising God. If that individual has reached his Goal, he can help us in our spiritual journey. If, however, we offer ourselves to someone just to satisfy that person, then we are committing a Himalayan blunder. What we should do is offer ourselves unreservedly to the Lord in him.
Every action of ours should be to please God and not to gain applause. Our actions are too secret and sacred to display before others. They are meant for our own progress, achievement and realisation.
There is no limit to our surrender. The more we surrender, the more we have to surrender. God has given us capacity. According to our capacity He demands manifestation of us. Manifestation beyond our capacity God has never demanded and will never demand.
In man’s complete and absolute surrender is his realisation: his realisation of the Self, his realisation of God the Infinite.
Editor's introduction to the first editionThe mightiest power of man is his loving surrender to the Will of the Supreme. Through His fully surrendered instruments, there is nothing that the Supreme cannot achieve here on earth.
In this book the God-realised spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy shows us the power of surrender in every aspect of our searching life.