A Place where devotees gather to share inspiration.
"Holy Mother" painted by Swami Tadatmananda
Used courtesy of the Vedanta Society of Southern California
Thank you again for this post and discussion. I think you have described it beautifully.
Ramana Maharshi said that "Surrender itself is a mighty prayer."
Location: New Bern, NC
Here is something from my scrap book. I think the source is "The Notebooks of Paul Brunton "
The future is not to be made an object of anxious thought or joyous planning. Once the individual has taken the tremendous step of offering one’s life in surrender to the Divine, it precludes any anxiety about the future. It also means journeying through life by single degrees, not trying to carry the future in addition to the present. It will mean freedom from false anticipations and useless planning, and from vainly trying to force a path different from that ordained by God. It will mean freedom from the torment of not knowing what to do, for every needed decision and every needed choice will become plain and obvious to the mind just as the time for it nears.
There is a profound difference between the pseudo-surrendered life and the genuine surrendered life. It is easy enough to misinterpret the saying, “Thy will be done.” Jesus, by his own example, gave this phrase a firm and positive meaning “Thy will be done by me.” Experience shows that there are those who have degenerated into a degrading fatalism under the illusion that they were thereby co-operating with the will of God. There are those who have through their own stupidity, negligence, weakness, and wrongdoing made no effort to remedy the consequences of their own acts and thus had to bear the suffering involved to the full. There are those who have failed to seize the opportunity presented by these sufferings to recognize that they arose out of their own defects or faults and to examine themselves in time to become aware of them and thus avoid making the same mistake twice.
“Everything has to be paid for” is a saying, which holds as true in the realm of the inner life as it does in the marketplace. The surrender of one’s life to the Higher Power involves the surrender of one’s ego. This is almost an impossible achievement if thought of in terms of a complete and instant act, but not if thought of in terms of a partial and gradual one. One must be clear that glib talk of surrender to God is cancelled if one does not at the same time attempt to surrender the obstructions to it.
To surrender a problem to the Divine is to cease worrying about it. If the worry still remains, its presence is proof that the surrender has not really been made.
Location: Wilmslow, U.K.
Paritosh has raised the subject close to my heart. So here is what Sri Ramana Maharshi had to say on surrender.
Complete surrender is impossible in the beginning. Partial surrender is certainly possible for all — in the course of time that will lead to complete surrender.
Complete surrender does require that you have no desire of your own. You must be satisfied with whatever God gives you and that means having no desires of your own.
How could I achieve surrender? There are two ways. One is looking into the source of ‘I’ and merging into that source. The other is feeling ‘I am helpless by myself, God alone is all-powerful and except by throwing myself completely on him, there is no other means of safety for me.’ By this method one gradually develops the conviction that God alone exists and that the ego does not count. Both methods lead to the same goal. Complete surrender is another name for jnana or liberation. By whatever path you go, you will have to lose yourself in the One.
Surrender appears easy because people imagine that, once they say with their lips ‘I surrender’ and put their burdens on their Lord, they can be free and do what they like. But the fact is that you can have no likes or dislikes after your surrender; your will should become completely non-existent, the Lord’s will taking its place. The death of the ego in this way brings about a state, which is not different from jnana.
So long as the sense of doer-ship is retained there is the desire. That is also personality. If this goes the Self is found to shine forth pure. The sense of doer-ship is the bondage and not the actions themselves.
A talk of surrender is like pinching brown sugar from a brown sugar image of Lord Ganesa and offering it as naivedya (food offering) to the same Lord Ganesa. You say you offer your body, soul and all possessions to God. Were they yours that you could offer them? At best, you can only say, ‘I falsely imagined till now that all these which are yours were mine. Now I realise they are yours. I shall no more act as if they are mine.’ This knowledge that there is nothing but God or Self, that I and mine don’t exist and that only the Self (God) exists, is jnana. Thus there is no difference between bhakti and jnana. Bhakti is jnana mata or the mother of jnana.
If you have surrendered, you must be able to abide by the will of God and not make grievance of what may not you. Things may turn out differently from the way they look apparently.
Surrender to him and abide by his will whether he appears or vanishes. Await his pleasure. If you ask him to do as you please, it is not surrender but command to him. You cannot have him obey you and yet think that you have surrendered. He knows what is best and when and how to do it. Leave everything entirely to him. His is the burden; you have no longer any cares. All your cares are his. Such is surrender. This is bhakti.
Location: Wilmslow, U.K.
Your words Vriju are always a source of inspiration. But a collection of what you have posted on self surrender are extraordinary.
May Mother grant all of us the ability to surrender at Her feet.
The last but one paragraph should read as follows:
If you have surrendered, you must be able to abide by the will of God and not make grievance of what may not please you. Things may turn out differently from the way they look apparently.
Location: Wilmslow, U.K.