When ignorant, I become a philosopher; when wise, I become a scientist.
In the spiritual matters I never begged of God; I have been always referring it to Lalaji only. But in mundane matters sometimes I pray to God. At times He is indignant too. Then I would say “If you get angry, what kind of God you are! I too get angry, where is the difference between you and me?” The fact of the matter is that by Lalaji’s grace I do not have the concern for God even.
Once an abhyasi wrote to Master with a somewhat challenging attitude that Master should transmit to him the final condition and that he was prepared for all the consequences – even death. With great difficulty Master could convince him that it cannot be done, since this experiment would mean murdering one in order to liberate him.
On the face of this instance, one is likely to accuse Master for being miserly in giving advancement or higher approaches even to such abhyasis who come to him with complete surrender. But, can we call the above case as one of surrender? I, for one, do not think so. It is either obstinancy or egoism but not surrender.
The dictionary meaning of ‘Surrender’ is :
- To handover into another’s power or control.
- Relinquish possession of (The Concise Oxford Dictionary, IV Edition).
- To deliver over
- To resign
- To yield (Chamber’s 20th Century Dictionary IV Edition-reprint 1975)
As such there is, in surrender, absolutely no claim in return for anything that one gives. In spirituality, it means giving oneself up/away to Master. It is no less than selling one-self away to him. How can he who has sold himself to Master have any claim over himself?
Master, in ‘Reality at Dawn’, defines surrender as “a state of complete resignation to the will of the Master with total disregard of self”. This is an invaluable definition excelled by none other.
Surrender is nothing but self-offering or self-oblation at the altar of love. Love for Master-God is raised to such an extent that the Sadhaka feels himself a non-entity. For him Master alone exists. It is He who controls him at each and every step.The Sadhaka is but a robot in the hands of the great Master, since, he has banished his own desires and allowed Master to fill his heart, it is but natural for him to feel so. Surrender thus begins with dualism and ends in oneness by self effacement.
Every one of us is under the impression that we have fully surrendered to Master. At the same time we expect that Master should elevate us to spiritual heights or fulfil some silly desire in our day to day life. We are blissfully ignorant that this very expectation cuts at the root of our so-called surrender. This is sheer bargaining and not surrender. It is a matter of pity that some have even left the Mission after years of practice because their desires could not be fulfilled. They have literally proved the truth of a poet’s statement: “At every stage a few aspirants got tired and dropped out. What could the helpless do if they did not find You?”. Three cheers to such surrender! Such abhyasis merely nourished their desires and puffed their ego secretly, repeating in a parrot like manner the prayer:”O Master you are the real goal of human life, We are yet but slaves of whishes putting bar to our advancement…..” Never even once have they thought over the meaning of the words contained in this prayer. They have taken it as a mantra,the meaning of which most of us do not know, but recite mechanically. And yet, we are very proud of this Sadhana of ours! It is the infinite grace of our Master that He gives generously to such brethren also. But, alas! They have no eyes to see what immense wealth He has given them. Our tendency has become such that we measure everything with the yardstick of material gain. Little do we know that the more we develop such attitude, we go on feeding our desires and farther we move from the path of spiritual practice.
Surrender is the only means to climb the heights of spirituality. But, how can the abhyasi cultivate it? Are there any short-cuts to it? Although there are no short-cuts to real progress, a few hints to develop surrender can be laid down as under, which may prove useful to the abhyasis:
- Think of the greatness of the Master, His love for the abhyasis, His eagerness to help them in their speedy progress and His love for the whole humanity. It does not matter if you have not seen Him and had His personal contact.
- Ponder deeply over the meaning of each word in our prayer (O, Master! etc.). It will sharpen our intellect and heighten the sense of discrimination regarding several values in our life. Our priorities which are now topsy – turvey will be altered and set right.
- Try to follow the Ten Commandments sincerely and assiduously. They contain all the elements that go to develop surrender. Especially the fifth commandment is very important in this context, which is the touch-stone of our surrender.
- Never measure the efficiency of the system or of Master’s transmission by material benefit. It is not the correct measuring rod. It is highly deceptive and drags us away from the right path.It spoils our attitude and acts as poison for spiritual progress. Master has stated about a type of disciples called Manamata who are concerned only with worldly gains. Try to avoid belonging to such type.
- Be contented with what you are and what you have; and thank Master that He has given you more than what you deserve. This is applicable even to spiritual condition. But it does not mean that we should not put our efforts to deserve more and more. “Deserve only and desire nothing” should be our watchword.
- If you see in others some slight virtue which is absent in you, take delight in it inwardly and pray Master to help develop such a virtue in you also. This strengthens the thought that Master alone is the giver of everything-great or small, significant or trivial; and that our efforts must be to draw His grace to transform us like Himself.
- Swallow as pills of medicine the words of Master even if they are not palatable to you or go against your own opinion. If you dive deep, you will find that you alone are at fault and that Master is perfectly right. Due to lack of this proper attitude many abhyasis have spoiled themselves by putting blame on Master on many occasions. Never expect Master to say or do according to your liking.
- Do everything in constant remembrance of Master. You will thereby draw His attention and grace, which paves way to the development of surrender.
- Think that Master does everything for our good. We should never grumble even if we are required to undergo sorrow and suffering. Miseries, whether physical or spiritual are like fire which purges gold of all impurities and makes it shine with its original lustre.
- All the above points can be reduced to a simple and all-inclusive golden formula that “ We should live for Master,by Master and in Master.”
Everything said and done, one should evolve one’s own method to develop surrender which is a key to success in spiritual practice.
Many people are plagued with the question- “Why is there so much of suffering in the world?” Is it not natural that shadow should also exist when a lamp is there? Sufferings are like the shadowy portion. Why should we heed it. Let us be happy to see the light.
The same question was put to Lalaji by someone. Lalaji’s answer was quite humorous. He said “God consulted neither you nor me while creating the world. Had He asked us we would have suggested Him not to create sufferings”.