Most of the spiritual literature urges the seeker to “surrender” to the Divine.
“What is surrender?”
In order to understand the profound and true meaning one really cannot go into academic research on the subject. Indeed the meaning can only be perceived and known through experience. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of the Sikhs has a verse which says that if a dumb person is given a wonderful sweet to eat, he will enjoy it, but will be unable to explain its taste and marvel. In the same way, the practice of surrender, Bhakti or profound prayer is one which cannot be put into words. It has to be experienced.
Let us attempt to answer this very important question on two levels; Firstly, on the level of spiritual meditation and secondly in day-to-day living.
Billions of people on this planet are ever on the search for that elusive person; God. We also desire that everlasting feeling called happiness. In common parlance, my own experience tells me that God is not a person who sits in an exalted place to pass judgements on us all or to look at our good and bad deeds. God is an infinite power, the creative principle of this entire universe, the force which fashions and sustains universes, dimensions and all that we can imagine. Also, all of that which is beyond the purview of our thought’s envisionment. Our scriptures refer to this super consciousness in mystique and allegory. Multiple sets of verses are dedicated to explaining this wondrous power.
This energy is also referred to as the “Naam Kelaah” denoting a power ever in ascendency. Such mentions of this Universal as a power are “Chi”, “Zat Allah”, “Aad Paraa Shakti”, “ the “Holy life force”, the “Holy ghost”. References to this great, infinite, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient super-consciousness.
This energy is the purest form of love, unflinching, ever forgiving, unconditional and absolutely non-judgemental.
The critical issue here is that, whereas I may be a loving person; the Universe is Love itself.
The transition from loving to love itself is the journey of self realisation.
Inside each one of us exists, an infinite creative force consciousness. We can and should use it to create the lives of our choice, the environment and whatever we desire. This power is also supreme knowledge and wisdom.
A ‘God realised’ person is one who has at a very deep level not only experienced the awakening of this dormant power, but has also realised in profoundness, his own potential. This of course simplifies the entire subject, but believe it or not, this is the very essence of it all, the very core.
‘Surrender’ implies ‘letting go’. It is not an act of subservience to another power. Rather it is an act of self-realisation, the process by which one understands and experiences one’s own potential and the truth about oneself in a wonderfully exalted manner. ‘Surrender’ is the technique of meditation, the methodology of awakening the gigantic force of our very own sub-consciousness or super-consciousness, name it what you may. Some people are not very comfortable with this word and prefer to use the term “let go”. It does not matter what terminology is used; the essence has to be understood.
Surrender is about awakening, not about latency or passivity.
Coming to the second aspect of “surrender”; it encapsulates a method of living. Once again surrender in life is not a life of inaction or laziness, rather it is the living of the life sublime, a life of perfect action. Once again our scriptures speak of the expression “Bhaana Manana”. This expression literally implies the awareness and acceptance of our present condition. It implies a very deep level of understanding i.e the ability to comprehend why certain events and circumstances have occurred; what lessons are they teaching us. This understanding at once takes away our anxiety and places in our heart and head the knowledge and power to change the circumstance.
Let me illustrate with an example. A person lives in scarcity. He has tried many times, but just cannot earn enough money. He resents his condition and complains about it. He becomes jealous and unhappy. This attracts further jealousy and unhappiness to him. Even if he manages to become rich, he continues to be unhappy and jealous. Disease enters his life.
On the other hand, another person ‘surrenders’ to the situation. This entails an understanding that poverty is teaching him empathy, hard work and the ability to earn money. He also counts his blessings and gives gratitude for what he has. He is peaceful inside. This is “surrender”. He then is guided by his sub-conscious mind into appropriate action which mitigates his situation. He too becomes rich, but as against the first person, he is filled with gratitude, peace and happiness. Whatever disease he may have had, leaves him.
This is “surrender” in life. The unfathomable knowledge and realisation of the causes behind conditions. The ability to learn lessons from difficulties, from disease and to be able to let go of these conditions and to enter a life of joy. Surrender in life is as essential for spiritual growth as surrender in meditation. Both are facets of the same key.
The key to self-realisation!