Guiding Light of The Month

THERE is a great difference between being in the midst of active work, of external action, while keeping one’s thought constantly fixed on Thee, and entering into that perfect union with Thee which leads to what I have called “absolute Consciousness, true Omniscience, Knowledge”. - The Mother


Surrender. Sharanam. There is a sweetness in uttering these words; a sense of giving and not taking is there, an expansion, as opposed to constriction is there. With the giving, a sense of vastness prevails within. There is also a sense of being prone. However, being prone to what matters much in this Integral Yoga.

Interestingly, a quick check on the word processor’s list of synonyms for the word ‘surrender’ revealed its equivalents to be ‘give in’, ‘give up’, ‘ admit defeat’, ‘lay down your arms’, ‘submit’, ‘yield’ and ‘capitulate’. These synonyms bring to mind what the Mother has spoken about how generally, the Westerner would find it difficult to surrender, since “they have been taught to fear and avoid all that threatens their personal independence ….. surrender means giving up all that.” The synonyms of ‘surrender’ in English seems to reflect that frame of being. However, in yoga, the word ‘surrender’ is taken to mean more than these meanings. Surrender, as in Sharanam, is taken to mean surrender to the divine. In this surrender too, a loss of independence is declared, but it is an independence reliant on the narrow, limited personal will and strength that is given up in order to be transformed into a dependence on the infinite power of divinity. It implies a loss of an association with the ego.

Sri Aurobindo mentions, “It is the first principle of our sadhana that surrender is the means of fulfillment.” And of this surrender, “Self-surrender to the divine and infinite Mother, however difficult, remains our only effective means and our sole abiding refuge.” Sri Aurobindo goes on to explain what exactly self-surrender means: “..our nature must be an instrument in her hands, the soul a child in the arms of the Mother.” The Mother lays it down in simple and absolute terms, “Give all you are, all you have, nothing more is asked of you but also nothing less.” In deed, The Mother, sweetly but decisively lays down the expectation for this Yoga.

Sri Aurobindo typifies “true surrender” as a condition when one is able to “accept the knowledge from above in place of his own ideas, the will of the Divine in place of his own desires, the movements of the Truth in place of his physical habits – and as a result is able to live wholly for the Divine.”

One can make a quick survey of the state of one’s internal being and then the outer and make a comparison between what is and what is to be, where the simple virtue of ‘surrender’ is concerned, in our own lives.

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have extolled the virtue of surrender as an aid and a means to this sadhana. However, attaining a true state of surrender appears to be a sadhana within a sadhana, in its own right. But this too, inevitably, needs to be put in its place in our lives, if at all we are given to this yoga.

As if to assure us faced with the magnitude of true surrender, Sri Aurobindo states, ‘..a complete surrender is not possible in the beginning, but only a will in the being for that completeness. It is only when the surrender is complete that the full flood of the sadhana is possible. Till then there must be personal effort with an increasing reality of surrender.”

Till that state of completeness, surrender remains something we can make real in our own lives, more and more complete and perfect, constantly asking for help from that same Divinity towards which this Yoga proceeds.

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