In the Bhagavad Gita, it seems that true surrender comes only at the end of the path.
True surrender comes by knowledge. Untrue surrender comes by fear.
At the beginning of the path, we may be willing to surrender but we are incapable of doing
it at that point?
In the beginning the mind is pulled by so many desires. Even the wise fall back. Arjuna here says
he surrenders. Later, again he argues.
I think that surrender begins by accepting our negative side. Surrender can only begin by
accepting that the dark nature is ours.
The ego is continuously fighting to retain its power. When two countries are at war, the loser
surrenders. As long as the ego is not losing the battle of power, it cannot surrender. In spiritual
life, we see the eternal and infinite power, God, and we see our own limitations. When our own
limitations are realized, the ego immediately surrenders.
I have a question about the humility that is necessary for surrender. The ego must
recognize a superior entity. Where is the fine difference between humility and humiliation?
Humility is the act of humbleness. Not putting your ego above others. Humiliation is an act of
putting others down by force.
How do we judge who is superior to ourselves in every-day life?
It is natural to be humble before God or the teacher. The ego is continuously fighting for its
power, knowingly or unknowingly. Even if we think someone is better, even then the ego will
come up trying to find faults on that person.
Could you talk more about surrender to the guru? Some people say that the relationship of
the guru and disciple is based on obedience; others like yourself say it is based on trust.
Surrender means surrendering the ego. Surrendering to the guru means obeying and practicing
the teachings with a spirit of surrender. Arjuna says 'instruct me; I surrender to you.'
Instructions would have no value if Arjuna would not carry out the instructions with surrender.
Is there any other surrender except blind surrender?
Blind surrender is out of fear. Real surrender comes when one starts knowing the greatness of
It's only out of great fear that Arjuna is willing to surrender. So the whole progression is
about learning who you are and who you are surrendering to?
Arjuna's attachment. Attachment comes from fear of losing. Abhinivesha Klesha means
attachment to life.
Is there ever a positive side of not being a fighter, when it is not out of fear?
That is surrender.
When I renounce or give up or surrender, I feel I am losing something too. Then my ego
doesn't like the fact that I lost something and gives me a hard time. Is there anything I can
do about that? For example, I stopped worrying about my position at work—promotions,
salaries, or whether I am perceived well. My ego says, 'well, you should be more important
there; 'you should push; you shouldn't accept this.'
Attachment is there but the intellect sees differently. So within yourself you have two
contradicting energies. One part is attached and one part sees it's not worth it. The fight goes on
as long as the attachment exists.
Ishwara pranidhana is mentioned in the Yoga Sutras in three different places. Once as a
niyama, once as a practice in itself, and as a part of kriya yoga.
1) Niyama - surrender to God as a discipline. 2) In Kriya yoga it is a means of achieving highest
samadhi. 3) Supreme dispassion. It is a state of complete dispassion.
Could you say more about it as a means of achieving the highest samadhi?
Tapaha, swadhyaya, Ishwara pranidhana make up Kriya Yoga. Austerity, self-study and
surrender to God constitute practical yoga. The three practices go together. These three
practices remove attachment, desires and egoism, and samadhi is attained.
© 1995 Sri Rama Publishing
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