Every surrender unto God is an elevation in the status of the soul. – Chinmaya
What is the significance of surrender in spirituality?
Supreme Self identified with the illusory body-mind-intellect leads to a non-existent entity called ego. It is this illusory ego which is the source of all our sufferings.
This ego makes us believe that we are limited, miserable creatures of destiny. Under its influence, we feel discontent and incomplete. It is this ego which projects the world as the source of all happiness. Under its sway, we become greedy and lusty, inferior and jealous, arrogant and foolish. This ego, always carrying the regrets of the past and the worries of the future, never allows us to remain in the present. Ever expressing distaste towards the company of the holy, it keeps the individual in the darkness of ignorance forever. The one possessed by the ego-ghost knows not what is devotion or dispassion. Under ego-intoxication, we tend to justify all our vices and find fault with others’ virtues. This ego is the cause of our being the slave of our mind and a slave of this world. This ego ensures that we are tied to this wretched world of birth and death, pains and sorrows, disease and old age. When this ego rules the kingdom of our heart, the poor Lord, though eager and desperate, has no entry within.
The only way to destroy this ego is to surrender completely unto the Lord and allow Him his rightful place – the royal throne of our heart.
The Lord has His own sweet ways of training us in cultivating the attitude of surrender. The general sequence of events can be summarized as follows:
1) We have a problem; 2) We become painfully aware of the problem; 3) We try to solve the problem using our best abilities and resources; 4) We fail miserably in trying to solve it; 5) As a last resort we surrender to God; 6) In a mysterious way we arrive at a solution; 7) When we retrospect, we realize that we have arrived at the best solution and that whatever has happened has happened for the good; 8) Our faith and devotion for God become further intensified; 9) Soon turning to Him for everything becomes a habit; 10) Over a period of time, surrender becomes natural to us and we become perfect instruments in the hands of the Divine in spreading the message of peace and happiness.
A construction supervisor from the 16th floor of a building was calling a worker on the ground floor. Because of the noise, the worker did not hear his call. To draw attention, the supervisor threw a 10 rupee note in front of the worker. He picked up the note, put it in his pocket and continued to work.
Again to draw attention the supervisor threw 500 rupee note and the worker did the same. Now the supervisor picked a small stone and threw on the worker. The stone hit the worker. This time the worker looked up and the supervisor communicated with him.
God too wants to communicate to us, but we are busy doing our worldly jobs. Then, He gives us small gifts and big gifts. We just keep them without looking from where we got it. We are the same, just keeping the gifts without thanking Him. We just say we are lucky. He gives and forgives; we get and forget. And when we are hit with a small stone, which we call problems, then only we look up, surrender and communicate with Him!
Surrender to God makes life smooth and easy.
A businessman was late for his flight. He reached the boarding gate just before it closed. Sweating and out of breath, he scanned his boarding pass at the counter and quickly made his way to the plane. Arriving at his seat, he greeted his companions for the next few hours: a middle-aged woman sitting at the window, and a little girl sitting on the aisle seat. After stowing his bag above, he took his place between them.
After the flight took off, he began a conversation with the little girl. He found it strange that such a young girl would be travelling alone, but he kept his thoughts to himself and decided to keep an eye on her to make sure she was okay.
About an hour into the flight, the plane suddenly began experiencing extreme turbulence. The pilot came over the PA system and told everyone to fasten their seat belts and remain calm, as they had encountered rough weather. Several times over the next half hour the plane made drastic dips and turns, shaking all the while. Some people began crying, and many- like the woman in the window seat – were praying intently. The man was sweating and clenching his seat as tightly as he could. He would scream “Oh my God!” with each increasingly violent shake of the plane.
Meanwhile, the little girl was sitting quietly beside him in her seat. Incredibly, she didn’t seem worried all. Then, just as suddenly as it had begun, the turbulence ended. The pilot came on a few minutes later to apologize for the bumpy ride and to announce that they would be landing soon. As the plane began its descent, the man said to the little girl, “You are just a little girl, but I have never met a braver person in all my life! Tell me, dear, how is it that you remained so calm while all of us adults were so afraid?”
With an innocent smile, she said, “My father is the pilot, and he’s taking me home.”
The one with faith is always at peace. Hence they say, “No God, no peace; know God, know peace.” But our questioning intellect won’t budge that easily.
In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?” The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”
“Nonsense,” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?” The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”
The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.” The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”
The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover, if there is life, then why has no one ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery, there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.” “Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”
The first replied “Mother? Do you actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?” The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her, this world would not and could not exist.”
Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”
To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”
Let’s begin the journey of life with faith remembering this beautiful quote, “Faith is the belief in what you do not see, and the reward is you see what you believed in.”
O M T A T S A T