SURRENDER IS THE KEY WORD FOR EFFECTIVE SADHANA
Surrender is the key word for effective sadhana. Surrendering to the great Master unconditionally is what all sadhana all about. In one of his messages while speaking about the rarefied states of consciousness that relate to the areas beyond awareness of Freedom, our beloved Babuji Maharaj says " It is really the state of self-surrender in which one, as a true devotee, surrenders himself completely to the will of God, the Master, basking in the sun shine of His Grace. That is the relationship between the Master and the devotee, which is to be maintained all through because that was the only relationship that had finally brought us up to that highest level of super-consciousness. It is only here that the true character of our being is revealed."
A few days back one of our associates asked me the need to surrender and also exclaimed that tradition does not talk about it. Frankly this was something that could not be understood by me as I have practiced the system all these 5 decades and above with the implicit faith in the Master and have struggled to make my surrender total and complete. Before I dwell on the various stages of development in our determination to surrender to the Master, I would like to stress on the need to accept our Master, the Special Personality as the means and the end. In fact our efforts through Action (karma), Knowledge (Jnana) and Devotion (Bhakti) are not always with us. There are many occasions they are lost. But one thing that is not lost under any circumstance is the Master. One, who knows him to be the savior, does not attach himself to any other means than Himself. This is what is called in tradition that Master is the Siddhopaaya. It was stated in the context of referring to Lord Sri Krishna
"Sarve vedaah Sarve vedhyah Sa sastrah Sarve Yajnah Sarva ijyaascha Krishnah Vidhuh Krishnam Brahmanaa satvato ye Tesham Rajan Sarva Yajnah Ssamaasthah"
meaning "all Vedas, all sastras, all purusharthas (human goals), all sacrifices, all loved ones are Lord Krishna only. One who knows Lord Krishna as he is, they are the ones who have done all yajnas." In my opinion based on my experience in sadhana, I may assert the same with regard to our beloved Master Babuji Maharaj.
Before we reach the stage of surrender in our sadhana, we in fact go through several preliminary stages starting from the development of understanding of interdependency of various shades. But understanding and living interdependency means quite a lot. Our Ego is the one and only barrier that needs to be crossed for even elementary understanding of interdependency. Ego is also known as pride, as self- importance. It may be considered as the compulsive need to consider oneself as separate from others. As one of the modern psychologists put it is love-denying obsession with separation and self concern. But the Ego about which I am talking here is the Ego as understood in the science of spirituality. This is a bit different from the concept of Ego that psychologists examine where it is one that is principally concerned with the organizing function of a person. If a person is not well organized surely he needs special attention by experts in medicine and psychiatry. It is not that Ego that we refer in our spiritual path.
In the spiritual path we are referring to this as an emotional knot in consciousness that grants us a sense of separateness in the life. This in its final aspect is simple identity and in its gross forms the separate individuality and Ego. Master categorically says that the identity will continue to exist in the final state of individual pralaya and gets abolished only when maha pralaya takes place. This is one of the reasons why Master considers the rings of Egoism after the rings of Maya in his explanation of scheme of binds of 23 circles. That is also the reason why he takes up the case of several types of egoism while discussing the Central Region in his book Efficacy of Raja Yoga. In order to reach the final state we have to liberate the self from several shades of pride and self importance and awareness of separateness.
Earlier during the course of the celebrations one of the aspirants had difficulty in understanding the commandment relating to the need for not being revengeful. This problem is due to the awareness of ones separateness of being. Every one of us wants to be free from the never ending fears and desires of the separate ego, ego of Nations included. We can choose to spend hours and hours in the process of identification with those fears and desires in order to transcend them rationally as we presume. But that never succeeds and that is why we have arguments and counter arguments for every issue which has basis in the (illusion) of separateness of the self and for that matter any existence.
If we compare our desires and fears to the garbage can that we carry in our heads with considerable caution and care and believe there is some value in closely examining the contents of the garbage can before we let things go, it simply means we do not recognize the garbage can as one such. The cleaning process in fact is a purification process meant to get rid off all our samskaras which really means our attachments to things, men, notions ideas and ideologies. The few moments of total unawareness of our being that we experience in our day to day meditation that are assisted by the influx of Pranahuti if reflected upon and converted into the precious Imperience where we find all opposites resolves, all conflicts dissolved and all existence unified it becomes easy to understand the logic of the supra rational where differences are a non reality. Intense understanding through contemplation on these moments leads to the state of development of surrender. To surrender is to abolish Ego. To take a decision not to look into the garbage can in search of such worthies as may help us is a great decision that can never come through rational processes. To examine the matter means to take time. If we take time we will never surrender to the imperience. Yielding to Imperience is something immediate, in actual present not a matter to be done in future. One more thing to note is surrender is always to be complete and not conditional. Conditional surrenders are a farce that we see in many religions that unfortunately got distorted. Surrenders to the conquered unfortunately meant also payment of tributes. Such type of surrenders in history meant revolt against the surrendered also. Such surrenders have no place in spirituality.
Yielding to Imperience and surrendering all that is in our mind, unconditionally and totally means in fact a leap beyond time to a perspective that is absolute and true. That perspective is not something that the knowledge of this world and our Egos would understand because in that universal perspective our Egos do not exist (even as our experience of Pranahuti reveals) Of course what I now say may be something that persons who do not have access to higher regions of consciousness would appreciate easily. But nothing prevents any from trying to see the point of the Universal as contrasted to the personal self.
The development of Surrender which can be immediate due to the Imperience however does not happen in all cases. It is only the fortunate few who have good samskaras of the past lives that take off immediately. We go through various stages of development of inter dependence with the Ultimate during our march in the spiritual path. These happens after we have developed Viveka and Vairagya and reach the knot 2 as indicated in the book Towards Infinity of our Revered Master. These are essentially buffer zones as our Master calls them. These buffer zones are there at several places in the path and I would refer to some of them as it relates to surrender that we experience between knots 2 to 3.
When the interdependency of the self with that Master is getting realized the first feeling is that He is the father and is the one who gives food, shelter and clothes gets established. This has many emotional tones and religious literature substantiates this phase in the case of many saints. The feeling that He is the father slowly yields to the more abstract notion that He is the protector in every sense of the term. He becomes the refuge for any and every problem. This leads to the feeling that He is the Master and we are the serfs and after sufficient travel in these states the knowledge that He is the one who should be known, seen and entered into strikes root. In this buffer we spend considerable time till we are pushed out by the Master to the next stage. Here we start developing personal relationship with Him and feel He is our beloved and His company is something that is sought for all the time. Since the state of the lover and the beloved is not complete here we feel many times betrayed and lost the path. We start crying without any reason as the inner psyche desperately feels the need for the awareness of the beloved and surety that He is close by. The next state is a further refinement of our feeling that He is the foundation of our existence and we are non entities without him. The transition from the state of interdependency to that of Devotion starts. This leads further that we are objects of His enjoyment and that we should do everything to see that He is pleased with our actions, feelings, thoughts and our very existence. We tend to make ourselves as perfect and pure as possible and give no scope for any lapse in our making ourselves enjoyable to Him. Then comes the state where we feel that He is our Soul and we are His body. I had to pass through this state for a long time and I used to write to my Master closing the letter always with the words "yours as body and soul". Any other expression of my status I used to feel is not full and complete. This continued till I found that the need to drop the words "your as" when I started using the more conventional 'lovingly" just as a matter of routine.
After we surrender all that is ours to Him comes the stage that everything that is done is done by Him. This is the stage where we start feeling how gross were and our ways in which we were thinking till now that all are His actions in words. We then start feeling that He is the one who enjoys the fruits of action. It no more gets felt as our action, but action alone stands and the fruits are His. This is no philosophy but an actual feeling where the action and the result thereof ceases to form any impression and we need to be reminded by others that some certain act was done by us. Knowledge of performance of action and awareness of the results of such action is faintly had and we start feeling that everything is His. The state of Sthitha Prajna almost gets established. Having come to this stage it is the development of the state of mind where we say everything is Thee and Thine (tava) and the consciousness of me and mine gets almost extinguished. The Ego of seperateness is almost abolished. It is at this state we also feel absolute 'fearlessness' (abhaya) and we start comprehending internally the meaning of the Lord Ramas' assurance that 'sa krdeva prapannaya tava asmi iti yachate abham Sarva bhutebhyo dadami etad vrtam mama." Ego being abolished we enter into the realm of abhaya. It is not only that ;in fact we feel no conflict internally and no object or thing or person or being is felt as something that is fearful. The innocence of the child who does not distinguish between the tiger and the mother is something that is so intrinsically personal that I find no words to express. Some of the persons who saw me talking to the top level officers of the category of Chief Secretary to Govt and the Chief Ministers of the State have later remarked how could I talk to them straight and without any fear and I never understood their question. Not only that even with my dear Master there were occasions I had talked to Him several things that others would hesitate to even to mutter and mumble. This fearlessness is one of the characteristics of the one who has surrendered totally to the Master. In fact the fear of death is something that is totally transcended and we almost have solved the problem of existence.
This state leads to the state of being totally unconcerned with action, the results thereof and the knowledge consequent to these. Total stoic indifference to adverse circumstances is what others feel our attitudes to be. In fact it is only total resignation or surrender to the Master that is the state. We may then be considered to be a living dead where neither praise nor punishment is felt as such. Master says that the "easiest and surest means to achieve this end is to surrender yourself to the Great Master in the true sense and become a Living Dead yourself. This feeling of surrender if cultivated by forced and mechanical means seldom proves to be genuine. It must develop automatically within you without the least strain or pressure upon the mind." In this context I may say that one of my associates wrote to me why is it that surrender is so difficult for him to do as was possible for one of our Masters. I was frankly annoyed at the greed of the person who is not prepared to yield to the Master and talking of surrender. Many lessons are naturally be learnt in the inner core of the being and in the deep cave of the heart. The little heart has so much to teach of love which is the basis of surrender. Love is the state where we see, feel, know and understand only the Master and where there is no Ego.
These are the few aspects of the some buffer points that I thought I would share with you and say that it is necessary that we surrender ourselves to the Master who responds to every call from us with unalloyed blissful blessings.