Question: How does karma affect surrender?Sri Chinmoy: How your karma affects your surrender entirely depends on what kind of action you do. If it is divine action, then automatically surrender comes. We cannot separate a divine action from surrender itself. Now there is a difference between divine action and so-called good action. When you don't tell lies, when you don't scold, insult or strike anybody, that is a good action. But divine action is all the time to hear the inner voice. You cannot perform any divine action without hearing the dictates of the soul. First you hear the message from within and then you act. That is called divine action. And when you constantly do the divine action it is called surrender.
So-called good action you have heard about from your parents, from your friends, from everyone. But if you do good action it all becomes something moral; the mind is telling you how to act. You have got some idea such as, "Don't tell a lie." All right, you don't tell a lie; but even if you remain absolutely honest, even if you become the most honest person on earth, your honesty cannot take you to God. Honesty is also necessary, but just by becoming a sincere person one cannot reach the goal. For that one has to become divine. Who is a divine person? You are a divine person provided you hear the message that you get from within, and you listen to that message. When you listen to the message, your karma is bound to be divine. Your action itself is your surrender because you listen to someone within you who knows everything and who is everything.
If we can perform a divine action, it automatically helps our surrender; that divine action is surrender itself. But what if we just perform mental action or action that is to be done out of duty? It is your bounden duty to help your family. But are you constantly getting the message from your soul to say this thing to your son, that thing to your wife and something else to your daughter? If you don't get the inner message and you just offer your wisdom because you are the head of the family, you have every right to do so; but you do not know how many times you may be giving false and wrong advice. Your mind will say that it is the absolutely correct advice. But I wish to tell you that if it does not come from the soul, your advice can be totally wrong. Even the highest advice from your mind can be all false. Your false advice will definitely affect not only you, but your dear ones also. But if your advice comes from your heart, then even if your dear ones misunderstand you or do not listen to you at all, I tell you that your action is nevertheless bound to produce surrender in your own life. You have played your role. Now if your daughter does not listen, it is not your fault. You have said something which has come directly from God, from the Inner Pilot. God Himself will be responsible if your daughter does not listen because the message has come from Him. You have merely executed His Will; you are His instrument. But if the message does not come from God within you, then your action can be totally wrong and your karma will be wrong. So I always say that parents or elder members in the family have every right to tell the children what to do and what not to do. But they have to know whether their advice is coming directly from their soul or from the so-called information that they have acquired because they have been on earth much longer than the other members of the family. Naturally you have accumulated all kinds of information and knowledge, outer knowledge, during your life. But this is no indication that you are getting divine messages and direct vision in your inner life.
When you get some message from within, please feel that listening to the message is itself surrender to God's Will. While obeying, you are swimming in the sea of Light. That kind of action not only expedites your spiritual progress, but it is the best surrender. To listen constantly to the divine Will is the best surrender. Again, the karma from action done on the basis of the morality and earthly knowledge you have acquired may quite often stand in your way. It can create problems for you.
I always say that only divine action leads us to God and not the so-called good action or bad action of the moral life. That does not mean we should become immoral. Far from it! But sometimes we give too much importance to morality. Let us say that while walking a person looks around to see if there is an ant, a worm or an insect on his path. If he sees any tiny creature, then he stops in order to avoid killing it; he won't move even though there is somebody waiting for him and he is supposed to go straight toward his goal. But he does not consider that every time he breathes in, so many insects and little creatures are destroyed.
Everybody stays on earth through the sacrifice of somebody else. God makes a sacrifice for all of us and that is why we live on earth. God's action is the divine action. God has asked us to breathe in; He has commanded us. Out of moral action if we stop breathing and die, just because we will destroy some of the little creatures, this is very far from God's intention. So this is karma. But the wisdom that comes from the heart tells us that God wants us to stay on earth and that He is inside us; He is inside those things that are being destroyed by us. If God Himself is in these creatures, then naturally nothing is being destroyed. God Himself is there. So we have to know which is divine action and which is our so-called good and moral action. Good action and moral action are totally different from divine action.