There 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.