The path of surrender is a perfect Yoga. With steady faith in His Omnipotence, with no thought other than the Lord, with all actions done as offerings to Him the Sadhaka progresses on the path of surrender to become Yoga Yukta (Firm in Yoga), writes CPK Nair, as published in Sanathana Sarathi, Feb 1977.
When coursing across the sea of Samsara being tossed about by the wild winds of destiny, a cry rises from the heart of man, "O, Lord! You are my only hope; I surrender to you; save me from these catastrophes"
This by no means is surrender. This thought of the Omnipotence of the Lord and the insignificance of human strength in meeting the onslaughts of fate is sudden and short-lived and is not grounded in Faith which alone can constitute the basis for Surrender or Sharanagati. The devotee endowed with such Faith has to consecrate his actions feelings and thoughts, nay his will and his life itself at the feet of the Lord, leading to the erasure of the ego. The result of such a Sadhana is nothing but Self realisation which is the goal of all Yoga, whether it is Jnana, Karma or Bhakti. In fact Surrender is a total discipline and is by itself a Yoga—the Yoga of Surrender. Surrender or Sharanagati alone can lead one to Mukti. "Sharanagati or unconditional surrender is the main gate to enter the mansion of Mukti", says Bhagavan Baba. It is for that surrender that Lord Krishna, the Divine Charioteer says to Arjuna when He says, "Abandoning all Dharma, come to me alone for shelter. Be not grieved, for I shall release thee from all evils.”
Emphasising the fact the pre requisite for surrender is resolute faith in the Supreme, Bhagavan Baba says, "To get the attitude of Surrender or dedication, you must have faith in God... Without faith, Sadhana is an empty rite.... Faith in God is the secure foundation on which hope has to be built." A question is asked whether such absolute faith in the Supreme and the surrender of one's own will is not tantamount to sacrificing self confidence and giving up faith in oneself. If the 'self' is understood as the Atma or the Divine Consciousness, such faith in the self becomes virtually faith in the Supreme; in fact, the self does not exist, distinct from the Supreme. But. If the reference is to the personality made up of the body, mind and intellect, the faith in the self is totally misplaced, and can lead us nowhere. Instead of helping the aspirant to transcend the ego such confidence can only strengthen the ego and make detachment or Vairagya more and more difficult.
Bhagavan points out that there is justification in our talking about Sharanagati or Surrender only when we are fully in control of our minds, words and body. The body, mind and intellect foster the ego and so long as the ego is in power, the control of the ego can be eliminated by subordinating it to the Omnipotence of the Lord, surrendering it at the altar of the Supreme.
We have to emulate the unique example of Arjuna. We see in the Bhagavad-Gita, how in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Arjuna began thinking that he was using his own intelligence, his own capacity of enquiry and his own ability to distinguish right from wrong. The Arjuna of Bhagavad-Gita is the representative man who relies on his feeble intelligence for meeting the crises which confront him in life. But Arjuna fails and with full faith in the Lord he becomes a true Sadhaka. Having been cured by the Lord of his ignorance (nashto moha) and having regained the knowledge of his true nature (smritir labdhaa) he surrenders to the Lord and becomes an instrument in His Divine hands.
The Yoga of Surrender, like the Karma Yoga or the Path of Dedicated Action is indeed the path for Self realisation for the modern man. A question generally raised is whether one should not have ambition and how else can one survive in the competitive world. The Eternal Philosophy does not advocate inaction; on the other hand it calls for the employment of the maximum skill and effort in all one's actions—yogah karmasu kausalam (yoga is skill in action). The difference however is in the motivation for action. While in the normal course one expects certain results from action—expectation of continuing success in the case of one charged with ambition—for a Sadhaka on the path of surrender, the actions are offerings at the feet of the Lord. In such offerings the question of degrees in the quality of effort cannot arise. There is just one way for such a person for performing his actions and that is the best way. Having done one's best as offering to the Lord, he remains unconcerned with the results. The ambitious man tries to correlate his efforts (on the basis of his own judgement) with the results and manipulates his efforts appropriately to gain his objective. The Sadhaka surrenders his actions and having done his best without thoughts about the results; he views the success or failure or any degree of either, with complete detachment. The Lord asks Arjuna, "Resigning all thy works to Me, with thy consciousness fixed in the Self, being free from desire and egoism, fight, delivered from thy fever.” In the words of Bhagawan Baba, "Have no other thought than God, no other aim than knowing His Command, no other activity than translating that Command into action. That is what is meant by surrender." The attributes of such dedicated action are again brought out in the characteristically affectionate language of Gita, "Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, whatever thou offerest, whatever thou givest away, whatever austerities thou dost practise, do that, O Son of Kunti (Arjuna) as an offering to Me.” There can be no clearer guidelines for a Sadhaka who is on the path of surrender, irrespective of whether he is householder, professional or Sanyasin. In fact the advice was directed to a Kshatriya prince who was on the battlefield, and not to one who has taken up Sanyasa.
A Sadhaka who surrenders all actions at the feet of the Lord has obviously no cause for fear. Fear arises from desire; desire begets anger and anger brings in its trail other consequences which ultimately result in self destruction. Having surrendered oneself, the results of one's actions are also surrendered and the question of Raga (desire) and Krodha (anger) do not arise and there is no consequent Bhaya (fear) also. There is the assurance of the Lord in his words to Arjuna that "those who, laying all actions in Me, intent on Me, worship, meditating on Me with unswerving devotion, these I straightaway deliver from the ocean of death bound existence".
Surrender has to be complete without any reservations. "Your minds are wayward like monkeys that skip and jump from bough to branch. Give them to me," says Bhagavan Baba "I can make them steady and harmless… But it must be a complete handing over, no reservations.”
The stricken soul which thinks of surrender, perhaps seeks only the alleviation of the suffering; it should seek release from the bondage of Samsara, of Ignorance, which is the prime cause of all suffering. The pain cannot be removed unless the cause of the pain is removed. The suffering cannot be removed by substituting it by pleasure since that also will be short lived. The mind that is the source of all pleasure and pain has to be conquered, the ego which is the sufferer or enjoyer has to be eliminated. This conquest, this elimination is achieved by surrendering them at the feet of the Lord without any reservation. Even if a trace of these is left, the Sadhaka continues to be the subject of the onslaughts of the results of Karma.
Not only Hinduism, but all religions emphasise the need for complete surrender. In `Imitation of Christ' of Thomas a Kempis, the Lord asks the disciple to surrender his all. Some people surrender themselves, but keep something back. They do not trust God utterly, but try to provide for themselves. "Some at first offer all they have, but later when temptations buffet them, they take it back and that is why they make no progress in goodness… Give your all for the one who is all; expect nothing, want nothing back; leave yourself with Me wholly and without regrets and you will possess Me.”
The path of surrender is therefore a perfect Yoga. With steady faith in His Omnipotence, with no thought other than the Lord, with all actions done as offerings to Him the Sadhaka progresses on the path of surrender to become Yoga Yukta (Firm in Yoga)