Surrender.

“As we develop on the spiritual path, we go through experiences that naturally stimulate our surrender to God.  The true surrender is spontaneous giving, an act of love, and is never due to fear.  After we encounter doubts and fears, we may lose the need to understand what is happening.  What is happening is what God is giving us.  As less energy is spent rebelling against our destiny, we will attain optimal conditions for transforming it.  This unconditional surrender guides us to a new channel of intuition and a sensibility fro the truth.  Without this, the experience is purely intellectual and only reveals God to the mind but does not receive Him in the heart.”

I was struck by the profundity and eloquence of this message when I came across it in this interesting book I am reading about Santo Daime called Forest of Visions by Alex Polari de Alverga.  Surrender is a notion that is brought up a lot in the yoga community and in classes. It’s a hard one to “understand”.  Surrender is experiential, there is really no way to intellectualize it, as this quotation points out.  But when it happens, you really feel it, and your life is never the same.

Surrender to God – Ishvara-pranidhana – is essential to all spiritual practice.  The Yoga Sutra describe the three most important tenets of kriya yoga: Ishvara-prandihana, tapas (austerities, discipline etc.), and svadhyaya (self-study/study of Scripture). There can be no growth without these 3 qualities in one’s practice.

There is great power in surrendering, there is courage in letting go and there is wisdom in admitting that you are not the one in control.

Blessings.

Frances

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2 thoughts on “Surrender.

  1. Good article, but I completely disagree with you. Rather than surrendering to “God” why not experience that power directly within your own self through the breath that is keeping you alive with each beat of your heart.

    The other thing I disagree with is that I am not in control of my life. The fact is, which I experience, is that I am the only one in control of my life. I am in control, because I know who I am and why I am here.

    I really like your article, though, because you are obviously searching for the truth. Keep searching, you will find what you are looking for. As they say, when the student is ready, the teacher will come.

    May dreams you have not yet imagined come true for you in this lifetime.

    . . ./John

  2. Dear John,

    Thanks for reading my blog and for your comments! They have given me the opportunity to examine my beliefs more thoroughly and to articulate them to myself this morning.

    I understand the impetus behind the “God within” argument. Many people feel isolated from or shunned by their big “God” religious traditions. So, in seeking to come to terms with one’s spirituality it becomes easier to believe that God is only within and there is no overarching grand design.

    But this belief has flaws. For example, if you are “God” but are subject to maya – the illusion of this life – basically that proves that illusion is more important and more powerful than the most Supreme. That is highly problematic.

    I am not negating that there is divinity inherent within each being, of course there is, since we are the creations of God! We are part and parcel of God but we are not God completely. Because God has the ultimate freedom and the ultimate control and we are His creations, we do in fact have limited control and freedom.

    So on some level, yes, you do have control of your life. But that control is miniscule in the grand scheme of things. You have control regarding how you choose to behave. On some level you have control over variables in your life such as who you choose to associate with, where you choose to live, what you choose to eat, what you choose to do for your livelihood, these are choices that you can make as a free-agent (God-willing!).

    But the big choices, such as whether you live or die – these are not your choices. It was not in your control to be born into this body in this lifetime (unless you are a bodhisattva perhaps!). It’s not in your control if a massive tornado blows through your house or a car crashes into you as you walk across the cross-walk.

    You have no control over these matters. What you can control is how you respond to these circumstances. You can live in fear of the imminent dangers of life or you can surrender yourself to a higher power and live at God’s great mercy.

    Each one of us has a small self and a higher Self. A spiritual practice such as yoga aims to align your little self with that big Self – the Sat Nam. In order to do this though, one must humbly acknowledge that which is greater than himself or herself.

    Blessings.
    Peace.

    Frances

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