Devotion & Surrender

  • Dr. Rajesh Bhola
  • India
  • Jun 19, 2015
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The best yogis are those who are always devout, have supreme faith, fix their thoughts on Him and contemplate Him. Those who worship Him, regard Him as supreme and meditate on Him with exclusive devotion, are ‘delivered’ by Him – they are rid of all mortal illusions. To accomplish this we should do our duty and then surrender the results of our actions as a devotional sacrifice at the altar of the Almighty. This does not mean shutting ourselves up in a cave or an ashram. On the contrary, we must live and act in a worldly way…but we should be unmoved by the results of our actions. This is the ultimate path to Truth. 

Devotion and surrender are two facets of the same principle. Devotion is the intensity of love, while surrender is its fulfillment. We devotedly love because we are hungry to realise Him, feel Him in our innermost, and be consciously one with Him – the universal truth, universal light, peace and bliss. We wish to be completely fulfilled. Devotion means the constant offering of our self. Love and devotion lead us to the final destination of self-realisation. Devotion is not about praying before a deity for sometime everyday or deliberating about spirituality now and then. It is a constant search, a yearning, for realising Him amidst all worldly preoccupations. Surrender is the ultimate path….of protection, illumination, perfection. When we commence our lives we surrender our existence to our parents, who in turn protect us. We listen to them and surrender to their advice and will. We feel boundless joy as children because we surrender our personal will, our inner thinking, to our parents. A tiny drop will be afraid of the ocean if it maintains its individuality. It will say, ‘I will be totally lost. It is such a vast ocean’. But if the tiny drop has a little intelligence it will say, “If I enter into the mighty ocean, then I will become the ocean.” For, as soon as it enters into the ocean, it will get utmost satisfaction. When we love someone, we gladly surrender to him/her. Similarly, in spiritual life also, if we really love God, who is all light and infinite wisdom, then we have to devote ourselves to Him, our inner life. As we walk along the path of spirituality, we should continue to listen to our inner being, for then the greater will be our joy, the higher our fulfillment. At the end of our life, when our term here is over and we prepare to enter another world, if we have consciously surrendered to God’s will, ours will be the supreme joy, the supreme glory. 

There comes a time in our spiritual life when we realise that we are not satisfied with what we have - whether it is material wealth or inner wealth - or with what we are. It is at that time that we are most ready for surrender. When we feel this need for surrender, the means will automatically come. If we feel the soul’s inner urge, if our entire being wants to surrender to God’s Will, then automatically we will be given more than the necessary capacity, assurance, compassion and light from above and within. Self-surrender does not mean retirement into the forests, or the giving up of all activities. What is wanted is internal surrender. Ego and desire must be annihilated. The egoist mind obstinately stands in the way of complete self-surrender. Our ‘lower’ nature, our ‘base’ desires, repeatedly rise to assert themselves. We should have full trust in Him. We need to start believing in divine possibilities, completely dedicating ourselves to the Lord. When we surrender, we empty all our impurity into God and He replaces it with His purity and His divinity. Lord Krishna, Christ and Lord Buddha – they all spoke about love, devotion and surrender, the three rungs in the spiritual ladder (the ladder of our evolving consciousness). When Lord Krishna became one with God, he said to Arjuna, his dearest disciple, ‘Surrender everything to me’. Christ also said, ‘Surrender everything. Let the Will of the Almighty Father be fulfilled’. In Buddha we behold his compassion and what he did for humanity. He was ready to sacrifice his life for just a little bird. He was all compassion and love. As spiritual seekers we must stay attuned to God without getting distracted by our worldly engagements. We should surrender to God with total faith, affirming that whatever happens in our life is the work of the Divine will. When we thus surrender we are acknowledging that what we ‘own’ actually belongs to Him; He is the giver of all things (however, we must responsibly care for what God has given us). By surrendering to God we admit that He is ultimately in control of everything, including our present circumstances. The Sikh ardas (prayer) demands a complete surrender to the Divine will. The Lord will never fail him who throws himself at His mercy. The reading of the Guru Granth Sahib is itself a kind of prayer. Listening to the rendering of the gurbani at any gurudwara is an extremely sublime experience. It seeks the Guru’s command. He gives us wise counsel, but it is for us to obey. Merely worshipping any scripture without carrying its teaching into our daily life serves no purpose. Lord Krishna wants us to perform our dharma, and to surrender ourselves to Him without reservation. 

In this ‘hard’ world it may not always be easy to accept God’s will. His Will may have us facing challenges that we would rather avoid. Trust God when hard times come your way; rely upon Him when fear tries to steal your peace and joy. Face your fears with confidence, knowing that God will see you through. Slowly, a great transformation will come upon you. Your will as  an individual will be merged in the cosmic will. It is not unusual to cry a lot when you begin to remember the God that resides within you. There is much pain and isolation. Only the purest, unconditional, unrelenting, focused devotion to God can lead the seeker to the ecstatic state of Divine union and liberation from the transmigration of the soul.

To serve and never be tired is to love; to learn and never be filled is devotion; to offer endlessly is surrender. Love is man’s reality; devotion is man’s divinity; surrender is man’s immortality

There are three stages of surrender: the first affirms ‘i am yours’; the second asserts ‘you are mine’; and the third declares ‘you and I are one, the same’. In the first stage the Lord is free and the devotee is fully bound’ it is like the cat and the kitten - the cat shifts the kitten about as it wills, while the kitten just mews and accepts whatever happens. This attitude is very gentle and easily accessible to all. In the second, the devotee binds the Lord. The third stage is one of inseparable devotion. The devotee offers all to the Lord, for he feels that he cannot withhold himself. That completes his surrender.

Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 30 years. He can be contacted at



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