Friday, February 23, 2007
Surrender involves the surrendering entity and a thing
that this entity currently possesses and can or has
the capacity to surrender.
So when we say "Surrender to God" it is easy to
understand who is doing the surrendering - it is of
course me, the jiva.
But what can I surrender?
Let us see what i have, what is mine?
This body is certainly not "mine" - i had nothing to
do with its creation
The wealth and possessions i have belonged to someone
else and just happen to have come my way. Being a very
temporary "borrower" of them, i certainly cannot claim
them as mine to be surrendered.
When this body itself is not mine, my relations are
certainly not mine.
Is there nothing that is mine that can then be
Fortunately there is.
It is the very sense of "mine"ness or "i"ness
This is most certainly mine.
The consequences of this "I"ness such as smallness,
fear, desire, anger, jealousy, sadness, despondency,
etc are also certainly mine.
So, yes, there is one thing "i" can triumphantly lay
claim to be mine, - and can happily surrender to
Ishwara - and that is this ahankara. In fact this
simple fact is what all of spirituality and sutras and
teachings and preachings all boild down to
surrender the finite i-ness
gain the infinite.
How to surrender this ahankara.
It is an illusory thing - in the Ramayan Ravan while
praying to Lord Shiva, cuts his head off repeatedly
only to find another pop back-on. This indicates the
seeming difficulty in "surrendering" the i-sense.
Well there are three levels of doing this..
Action, words and thought - kaayikam vaachikam and
Surrender in action is by means of karmayoga.
Surrender in words is by means of upasana.
Surrender in mind is by means of atmavichara.
Let us take karmayoga first.
In a nutshell,
“yad yad karma karomi tad tad akhilam shambo
- any action I do is not for my sake but for the sake
of Ishwara, as a token of worship to Ishwara.
So whatever it is that I do as a active member of
society, the various roles I am called upon to play,
are opportunities for me to be an instrument in His
hands. And if am His instrument, then let whatever I
do have the fragrance of the deep love and gratitude
that I feel towards Him.
If at this point in time I am called upon to be a
parent, then let me understand that role to me an
instrument of Ishwara entrusted with that duty; if it
is an employee in an organization, then let me
understand that role to me an instrument of Ishwara
entrusted with that duty. The Sun is an instrument,
the Seas an instrument, and I, this infinitesimal
jiva, an instrument, of the Order that is Ishwara. So
everything I do has two aspects, an unchanging aspect
that has to do with the action being dedicated to my
Self, the antaryami, Ishwara. Then what needs to be
done needs to be done. And what will happen will
happen. This frees me from a sense of ownership in the
action and in turn frees me from the results of that
action. What accrues to me will be in perfect sync
with the Order that is Ishwara, and is nothing else
but his “prasada” his Blessing.
In upasana I praise Him and His creation. Why? Does
Ishwara need any praise? Of course not. But in
praising Him I acknowledge His Omniscience, His
Omnipresence, His Omnipotence and in this
acknowledgement the “I” that is my Ego progressively
gets sublimated. This is the true spirit seen in any
sahasranama – for example in the famous Vishnu
sahasranama “Bhoo padau yasya nabhir viyadasuranila
chandra suryau cha netre Karnavasa sirodhaumugamabhi
dhahano yasya vasteyamabhdhi; Anthastham yasya viswam
sura nara khaga go bhogi gandharva dhaityai, Chitram
ram ramyathe tham thribhuvana vapusham vishnumeesam
I bow before that God, Vishnu Who is the lord of three
worlds, Who has earth as his feet,Who has air as his
soul, Who has sky as his belly,Who has moon and sun
Who has the four directions as ears,Who has the land
of gods as head, Who has fire as his mouth,Who has sea
as his stomach, And in whose belly play and enjoy,
Gods, men birds, animals, Serpent men, Gandharvas and
Thus we describe (and visualize) Him as the Viraat, as
the sky, the moon, the sun, the sea – and what about
me? When all this is nothing but Him, then do I even
stand a chance? Thus alone does my ego slowly melt
away in the incandescence of bhakti or devotion.
Finally sharanagati at the mental level. This is none
other than atma vichara – an enquiry into the Self.
This being a subtle exercise, the ego already needs to
have ripened by both surrender in action as well as
surrender in upasana. Now the ego is ready to face its
final and complete annihilation, and that is by a
direct enquiry into its very core, a questioning of
its very existence. And in this we are once again
helped by the benevolent Mother Shruti who in stating
a fact “tat tvam asi” helps us understand the eternal
truth about our true and only Self. This very
understanding when crystallized into selfrealization
renders our false Ego lifeless and formless. This then
is the Ultimate surrender. The Ego is dead. It
realized it was never born to begin with. What Is is
what ever Is.
“Na Mrityu Na Shanka Na Me Jati Bhedah Pita Naiva Me
Naiva Mata Na Janma
Na Bandhur Na Mitre Gurur Naiva Shishyah Chidananda
Rupa Shivoham Shivoham
Aham Nirvikalpo Nirakara Roopaha Vibhur Vyapya
Sada Me Samatvam Na Muktir Na Bandhah Chidananda Rupa
“I do not have fear of death, as I do not have death.
I have no separation from my true self, no doubt about
my existence, nor have I discrimination on the basis
of birth. I have no father or mother, nor did I have a
birth. I am not the relative, nor the friend, nor the
guru, nor the disciple. I am indeed, That eternal
knowing and bliss, Shiva,love and pure consciousness I
am all pervasive. I am without any attributes, and
without any form. I have neither attachment to the
world, nor to liberation (mukti). I have no wishes for
anything because I am everything, everywhere, every
time, always in equilibrium. I am indeed, That eternal
knowing and bliss, Shiva,love and pure consciousness.”
Thus sharanagati (surrender) and sharanagati alone is
both the path and the destination for this hapless