Surrender of The Mind

November 30, 2018 Tags:



Mind is the doer. Surrender of the mind means submitting all our desires and decisions to God and Guru. At first, this concept may seem difficult, but if we deeply think about it, surrender of the mind is not that difficult. We are used to surrendering our mind since childhood, e.g. we accept someone as our father due to faith in the words of others. We do not ask for proof to believe that our father is indeed our father. Likewise, we pay for a train ticket by passing on the requisite amount from the ticket window without questioning the honesty of the person sitting across the counter.

We could not learn about the letter “A” without surrendering our mind to the teacher. We have blind faith that the letter “A” is called “A”, because the teacher tells us so. We experience these situations numerous times each day, however the surrender of the mind to a divine personalities seems very challenging. Arjun had perfect control over his mind from the early childhood. When asked to shoot directly at the eye of the fish, he did not see anything other than the eye of the fish. He did not get swayed by the most beautiful celestial nymph, Urvashi. Before starting the battle of Mahabharat, the same strong minded Arjun tells Lord Shri Krishna:

O Krishna! The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong. To me subduing it seems more difficult than controlling the wind.
Agreeing with Arjun’s statement, Lord Krishna said, Geeta 6.35 Yes Arjun! Without a doubt, it is difficult to control the mind, yet by regular practice and renunciation, one can control it. The practice of contemplation on your aim and deep reflection on the futility of material matters, are the only ways of controlling the mind. If a desire to acquire any material object arises in mind, ask yourself, “Do I really need it? Would it take me closer to my goal? Would it give me happiness? What will be the result of gratifying this desire? And so on”. Observe “why someone loves you despite your reluctance? Why someone does not like you, while you want to extend a hand of friendship towards them? That day you were inviting him, he did not come, why does he want to come today, when you don’t want him to come”? The answer to all these questions is implicit in one phrase i.e. “selfish motive”. Careful observation of people’s behaviours and self-introspection unveils the true picture of the world.

Realization of this fact naturally creates neutrality towards the world in our hearts. We have to assimilate this knowledge that there is no happiness anywhere in this world. Happiness means God or you can say God means happiness. These two words are synonymous. This world is created by God for our use to accomplish the ultimate goal of life. But we started enjoying it, as if the attainment of worldly pleasure was the true aim of our life. This is the fundamental mistake and the greatest barrier in our surrender.

Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj says “bhoot-pratibandh” (past incident) is also a great obstacle in the surrender of mind. Many of us start thinking of unpleasant experiences in the past and become as miserable or upset remembering those incidents, as  if those were happening at the present time.

Shri Ramanujacharya Ji Maharaj in his thesis on Bhagwad Geeta 7.15, wrote: the main difficulty in surrendering our mind is recklessness. The man who is not of demonic nature, or an atheist or simply naïve, can easily understand the aim of life and by the grace of a saint he can easily surrender. But due to our nature of procrastination, we fail to do so. So the first step towards surrender of the mind is detachment from the material world. Besides detachment, thoughtful examination of philosophy and practice of contemplation on the divine form of God, will help in surrendering the mind. But, to succeed in this mission, guidance of a genuine saint is indispensable. A genuine saint is a God-realized saint who has thorough knowledge of the scriptures. A real aspirant has to choose one of the God-realized saints, who also possesses the ability to infuse knowledge in the minds of material beings, and to follow each his every instruction. Rest of the work leading up to God realization will be performed by the Guru himself. The aspirant has to do nothing more than connect his mind to that of his Guru and let the Guru guide him on the path. Can Destiny Be Changed?

The main function of the mind is to think. In the spiritual constitution, every single thought that crosses our mind, is recorded as our action or karma.

These actions can broadly be classified in 3 categories.

1. Sanchit: Actions performed in past human lives, for which one has not yet borne the fruits.

2. Kriyamaan: Actions performed in the present life. Every human has been given the discretion to perform actions in this lifetime.

3. Praarabdh: God takes a handful of sanchit karma, and prescribes the fruits of those in the present life.

In various languages across the world, people refer to these fruits as destiny, fate, bhagya, takdeer etc. God is all-powerful. He is capable of doing anything and everything. So can he change anyone’s destiny? The Vedas say Hari and Guru can do whatever they like, not do whatever they don’t like and also do things that are totally opposite to the laws of nature. For example they can see without eyes or hear without ears; they can hear with their nose or walk without legs; they can live without breathing or eating. So, in brief, they have the power to do anything and everything. Yet, God and His Saints follow the spiritual laws eternally established by God. Even though they have the power to violate those laws, yet they do not do so. Actions are the only criterion of one’s present state in the material world. Everyone has to bear the fruits of his good and bad actions performed in previous lifetimes. This is God’s eternal law. Both God and Saints also abide by this law. God does not revoke anyone’s fate, nor does a God-realized saint. However, the ever graceful Saint (Guru), minimizes the effect of destiny for his surrendered devotees.

For example, if a devotee is destined to meet with an accident, the Guru will not eliminate the accident altogether. The accident would still take place, but, due to Guru’s intervention, the devotee may get away with just a minor injury. Saints don’t even absolve themselves of their own fate. In our scriptures, there is a story of a great saint, who wanted to leave for Golok ahead of his destined time. He had 50 years of life left. So he assumed 50 bodies, to bear his fate for 1 year within each body. Thus with 50 different forms he underwent his fate for 50 years in just one year and left for Golok. Saints bear their fate smilingly, as they do not experience any pain or suffering as a result of fate. They are knowledgeable and experience the fact that they are not the body but the divine soul. We, on the other hand, experience pain, sorrow and sufferings, because we are attached to the material body and consider the body to be ‘me’. Saints are oblivious to all pain or sorrow.

Our scriptures have numerous examples, highlighting this. One such example relates to the great saint Prahlad. After Hiranyakashipu was killed by Lord Narsingh, Prahlad became the king. His only son Virochan was the crown prince. Once, in a scriptural challenge, Virochan was defeated at the hands of the son of Prahlad’s Gurudev Shukracharya. As per the condition of the challenge, the looser was to be hanged to death. The case was taken to Prahalad’s court for judgement. Prahlad announced the verdict in favour of his Guru’s son and ordered Virochan to be hanged to death. Prahlad did not flinch even once while pronouncing this decision. The “Guru Putr” (Guru’s son) ordered Prahlad to set Virochan free. As per his ‘agya’ (order), Prahald ordered for his son to be freed, with a completely neutral attitude. He was neither sad while ordering his son execution nor pleased at the time of ordering his release. Celestial demi-gods showered flowers on him, since even they can’t be impartial in this manner. Saints are neutral towards the world, as they are totally detached from the world. Hence, they never want to breach the laws of God. God also does not overlook His laws.

Lord Ram could have extended His father King Dashrath’s lifespan. On the same token, Lord Krishna could have saved His nephew Abhimanyu. But they did not break the laws of God. They let the spiritual law take its own course. The second point is that the soul is immortal. Death only destroys the physical body, not the soul. We should understand that everyone has to undergo the fruits of their karmas. The only difference is: A God-realized saint faces the fate smilingly while an ignorant being faces the same plaintively. If we are scared of facing difficult situations in life, we have to be careful about the deeds we perform. We must only perform deeds that yield favourable results.

So, always keep in mind that God is omnipresent. He notes every single thought that goes through our mind. We cannot escape from Him. We must constantly practice to realize His presence with us. That practice alone will imbibe divine qualities in our being and prevent us from doing wrong things.