Darshan In California On Surrender To God
August 14, 1977 am
[Bapuji translated by Gurudev]
[Bapuji chants Ram dhun]
Beloved satsangi brothers and sisters, lovers of God and Guru, today I will discuss about surrender to God. Normally, we are in such a condition that we can not really offer anything to God. And yet we must offer something. From that point of view, we must try. We can say that, “My lord you love me. For me to love you is not possible.” In other words, Bapuji says, “Let your love shower upon me. I may shower my love upon something else.” So, under this situation, how could surrender be possible? The surrender to God is also most important tool to spiritual growth. Yesterday I had discussed on svadhyaya. So that svadhyaya is mentioned in the beginning of the three main tools of Karma Yoga or Kriya Yoga. And so that is what could be considered to be very important.
The definition of surrender to God is that whatever actions we perform through our speech, through our thoughts and through our actions, when they are all surrendered to God, it is called ishvarapranidhana. First thing that we can tell is, “My lord, you are not in front of me, not visible.” That’s what creates one big confusion. If you were apparent, then many of our apparent confusions would be solved. I don’t know where you are hiding after you created this universe. My eyes are going everywhere and yet I don’t see you anywhere, even though you are omnipresent.
I cannot say that you have made some mistake or you lack something. But there is something of course. There is something that creates a confusion in front of us or a wall between us. I feel that if God was really apparent, then many of our questions would have been resolved. All these questions are existing simply because he is not visible. So in surrender, it is mentioned that all the actions we perform through our mind and through our thoughts, through our speech, through our actions, they all should be surrendered to God.
The question is, how to surrender it to God. That needs little understanding. When the eyes look at the picture of God or of the Lord or the statue of the Lord, then those eyes are offered to God. Similarly, when the eyes are looking at some saint, or reading the scripture and then the action of the eyes is offered to God. If the eyes are looking at the large big buildings or the movie films, or whatever action is not offered to God, whenever it is looking at such subjects, it is called, the eyes are not surrendered to God.
When we are listening to the spiritual discourses or to kirtans or bhajans, then we can say that our ears are surrendered to God. So we can say that whatever senses are active in the actions that are taking us closer to God, those senses are surrendered to God, in that we can perform every action for God. Think that naturally when we eat, we are eating for ourselves. But if we eat so that we may attain to God, so that we may have strength to follow the path, divine path, then it is also called surrender to God.
When the devotees take their food, first of all, they offer it to God. They visualize or they imagine that the Lord takes that food. So also, the Lord has taken that food. It becomes the prasadi, his grace, and then he takes it as a grace of God. So, before having his prasadi, he prays that, “May this prasad purify my mind; purify my intellect, so that through that I may attain to you.” Even the worldly people, if they offer even little bit of themselves to God, he would put it on plus for us.
Most of the time when the worldly people make their connections with God, it is usually to satisfy their selfish motives. Those who come to the temple for prayers or for any other purposes, they usually come to ask something from God. In the prayer halls maybe they are asking for things silently, or in the other temples with the idols they may be asking for them loudly, but invariably something is being asked.
As soon as they enter the temple they remember the suffering that they have and then immediately he replaces his request in front of God. “Oh my Lord, my wrists are not working. You are doing this to repair it. But do it a little fast. Remove my diseases. Remove my poverty. Get me a better job. I don’t have a son and a daughter. And God, give me at least one. I don’t have a beautiful home to live in. I don’t have a car to drive to job.” In case God should become apparent and ask, “What do you want? What do YOU want? What do YOU want?” perhaps only one person would hold him whole hour to tell him all his requests because he would have a big list.
And yet at the end, there would be always something left out. Under these circumstances, how could there be a surrender to God? It just may happen that if God just gets pleased with us, he may do everything that may be done through our mind, through our speech and through our actions. Now that we would like, if he does it all for us. If God does everything and we don’t have to do anything, we love it. But there is a specific aspect of love.
The individual who has loved, he can readily surrender. Wherever there is love, there is self-sacrifice and there is service too. Service is a sign of love in that nothing is done for one’s own self. Everything is done for God. So, first of all, the love would be increased in our heart and as that self-sacrifice and surrender increases, is born from that, service is born.
If we cast our eyes in every areas of our life, we will easily notice that wherever there is love, we can easily surrender and self-sacrifice, and also offer our services. The nature of love is such that in that there is never a desire to receive anything. There is always a desire to offer something. When such feelings begin to emerge from you, they you know that love is beginning to emerge from your heart.
Many people do serve God and other people. But behind that service, the pure mind that is necessary, it is not present. As a result, they do not receive the pure benefits. If the love is existent, then many other higher qualities are automatically born within it. What Bapuji is saying that in a country where there are no diapers, that the baby is sleeping on one side of the mother. And if the baby wets the bed, then what mother is doing and baby is crying, mother will pick up the baby and let it sleep on the dry side and she will sleep in the wet side. This is called, “samhar phan,” or self-sacrifice.
This is also love. And this is also service. In sanskrit, one great saint has said that the dharma of service is very deep, so deep that it is hard even for yogis to penetrate the meaning of it.
The service that is even hard for the yogis to understand how could the average person or a worldly person understand it? The nature of the selfless service is that it doesn’t look at one’s own self, it always looks at the other. When any individual thinks of the good thoughts in favor of the other, then you know that in a little portion, in some little way, he loves that person.
Whenever an individual loves the other person, he always looks at the good qualities of the other and looks at one’s own faults. In other words, such an individual is always trying to be in harmony with the other person. He does not desire that the loved one be suitable to his needs. To explain this further, an anecdote would be more helpful.
There was one king. He was very intelligent. He was in need of a personal aid and assistant. He declared publicly that he was in need of one servant, and whoever desires that can come such and such a day for interview. About 100 candidates arrived that day for interview. The servant came in and told the king that there are about 100 candidates waiting outside to see the king. He said, “Okay, let them in one by one.”
The servants sent one candidate in first. He came and stood in front of the king and paid his respects to the king. He said, “There are pots filled with water there. There is a glass. Fill and water and bring it here.” So this candidate went, approached the pot, filled the glass with water and gave to the king and showed the bathroom area with the hard floor and he said, “Throw that glass there!”
He threw the glass there. As soon as he did that, the king said, “Why did you break the glass? Why did you throw it away?” He was afraid. Then he humbly said, “Sir, you told me that is why I threw it.” He said, “Go!” He came out. Other candidates asked him and said, “Is your test over?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “What did you do in the test?”
He related the whole experience. Nobody understood. Then second one approached the king. King asked the second candidate to do the same exact thing. When he came with a glass of water, the king said, “Throw it there.” He threw it there. And king got angry and said, “Why did you throw it away? Why did you break the glass?”
He said, “Sir, you requested.” He said, “Go.” Ninety-nine failed. Last one came. The king asked and said, “Go get the glass of water. There is the pot. There is the glass.” He filled the glass with water, came and stood in front of the king. He told him to throw the glass. The king said, “Why did you throw the glass, and why did you break it?” He said, “I made a mistake.”
So, listen to the answer. There is a difference. He did not see the fault of his master. He said, “I made a mistake.” He said, “I will not do it again.” What would be the purpose in taking such a test? There are many servants who look at the faults of the master and whatever mistakes they have made, they associate and lay the blame on the master.
But this servant did not do that. And then in the end this servant said, “I have really come to have your darshan and I have so much desire to service. And if there is an opportunity to serve you, that’s why I have come.” The king was greatly pleased with him and hired him as his servant.
Those 99 who approached the king, they did not go for darshan of the king. They had gone for the job, while he had simply come for the darshan. He had love for king and a desire to serve the king. So when we go to the temple, just like those who went to beg something, ask something, those who went to get the job. We go to get the job.
So when we approach God, we do not go to offer something. We go to get something. This lesson is difficult, but it is not that difficult that you can not practice it. If we love him, we can at least offer him something, offer ourselves somewhat and serve him somewhat.
Some people feel that “This God sitting in the sky doesn’t provide anything. He simply provides unhappiness.” God is bliss. He does not give unhappiness to anyone. Sometimes little children do this. They pull their own hair and then cry.
We do it, the same thing. And then we blame God that, “He is doing this to me.” So this child, when he pulls his own hair, he thinks that either father, mother, brother is pulling his hair. No. He is pulling is own hair. Mother approached the child and says, “Let your hair alone. That is why it is hurting.”
All our sufferings are like this. God is not supplying unhappiness to anyone. We create it ourselves. Another way we can say is that God really gives unhappiness and problems, particularly to bhakta. Why does he give more problems to his devotee? When a person is suffering from some form of pain, his mind comes out of all other things and focuses on the pain.
The pain makes somebody divine, makes somebody human, makes somebody animal. So, whatever are the samskaras, that is what comes out of the pain and suffering. When the bhakta suffers, from human he becomes divine. When somebody who is not devotee or not on the spiritual path, when he suffers from human being, he becomes the demon. And the pain takes human to animal nature.
So, when God gives pain and suffering to his devotees, that is the manner in which he brings him closer to himself. This one saint has written. He says, “My Lord, when you are extremely pleased, what is it that you offer this devotee?” So he gives him the crying and sighing. When at the time of the pain, when the God comes, the pain that takes us closer to God. Such a pain is very much worth having. Those who are suffering say, “If God was present, I would beat him up.” So the pain and suffering is very helpful in molding our life.
When we offer our services to God, we do not expect unhappiness or happiness from it because that is the fruit of our service, which is offered to God himself. Whichever action we perform from God, then truly we become free of all the bondages of actions.
In ancient times, kings used to punish very heavily those who offended. In those days, the used to keep executioners. So, whenever somebody was executed, this special person would chop their heads off. Just suppose that one executioner killed 10 people. Would there be court cases against him for murder? No because he performed that action for the king. He has done it by the order of the king. So, he is not considered guilty.
One executioner who might be killing 50 people in a year and yet he is not considered guilty, what an unusual happening. So this executioner is working for the king. So also the devotee is working for God. He is not associated with the results.
When a karma yogi, jnana yogi and bhakta yogi are performing, whatever actions he is performing in his approach of yoga, they are all offered to God because in that all the kriyas happen spontaneously and effortlessly. Where he is not performing any of the actions by himself, God himself is making him move through the prana.
This way, any actions performed directly through the prana, no such action is binding. This surrender to God himself takes man to total freedom because any of the actions performed this way are not binding. But these karmas are exhausted for innumerable years. And this is why many people give up this surrender because they have not understood the surrender properly. Their surrender is not true surrender. That is their one effort, or an experiment to take a test of God himself.
If we cannot surrender totally, and we can do partially, like thousands of actions we perform throughout the day, at least we can offer 10, 15 karma for God. He’ll be pleased.
[Bapuji chants Ram dhun.]