Dear readers,

By the mercy of Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga we will discuss about the purport of ‘surrender’ and ‘the symptoms of a surrendered soul’.

Surrender is the beginning and prime factor of bhakti-yoga. Just like how the body is useless without the soul, similarly, without surrender so-called bhakti is powerless. All the limbs of bhakti-yoga like śravaṇa, kīrtana, smaraṇa, depends upon surrender. That means real śravaṇais that we have to hear with a surrendered mood. With a surrendered mood we have to perform kīrtana. In other words, the life of a bhakta and the life of bhakti is to surrender. Śrīmān Mahāprabhu came and taught us the practical way of what real surrender is. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura mentioned this topic - śikhāya śaraṇāgati bhakatera prāna.

All our activities should be based on surrender. The real nature or symptom of surrender is to accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa as the maintainer and the protector. Just like when a woman has a husband but she is not depending upon her husband, because she has no faith. That means she is not accepting her husband as her life and soul. Her position looks safe, but in fact her situation is just like the situation of a widow. In spite of all our devotional activities, our position is not at all safe in the devotional field, what to speak of pure devotion. Unless we accept Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga as our maintainer and protector.

One may think, ‘‘am I on the path of surrender or not?’’ The answer to this question is that when a devotee accepts Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga as his maintainer and protector, without delay, perfect arrangements will come, which are favourable for his material and spiritual life. In conclusion, the life of bhakti is to surrender, and the life of surrendering is unflinching faith towards Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga.

In a conditional stage surrender is very difficult and artificial. But in a liberated stage it is natural and easy, because it is the constitutional position of the soul. A conditioned soul thinks that he has the ability to understand what śravaṇa, kīrtana, smaraṇa, vandana, etc. is. He thinks he knows everything about the spiritual field and that he is capable to do everything. He thinks that the only thing, which is difficult for him to understand, is the meaning of surrender. However, to understand surrender is very difficult, sometimes it is even impossible for the conditioned soul.

We are hearing for hours and hours; we are performing kīrtana in different melodies for hours and hours. We are discussing different spiritual topics from various angles, but at the end, our heart is still like a barren field. It means that there is no essence. Unflinching faith towards Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga is not arising in our heart. Sometimes we feel lazy and sometimes we feel enthusiastic. But surrender is different. Surrender is having a continuously unflinching faith from inside the heart, and an enthusiastic mood to do loving service, without aspirations, it arises in our hearts. Another question one may ask is, ‘how to recognize a surrender soul?’

The answer to this question is that a surrendered soul has an incomparable faith towards Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga. It is very difficult to measure. Just like a big tree, the roots are very deep and strong, but no one can see it. A surrendered soul’s internal mood is like an ocean, it means that it is very difficult to estimate his faith towards Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga [Caitanya-bhāgavata Ādi-līlā 17.152].

A surrendered soul is always thinking that he is akiñcanā. He thinks: ‘‘I don’t have any other shelter, I don’t have any qualifications, and I don’t have any property.’’ If someone thinks that he has some qualifications, he will never attain the stage of surrender. No one can achieve the mercy from Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga by his own expertise or by his own sharp intelligence. If someone thinks that he is qualified and thinks at the same time that he wants to surrender, it only creates a great hazard.

The significance of surrender is that those who are proud and independent, for them it is not only difficult, but it will be also forever unknown to them.

1. If bodily attachment is there, surrender at the Lotus feet of Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga is not possible at all.

2. When we develop taste, ruci, towards Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga, surrender is possible.

3. If we are not developing taste towards Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga’s service, it indicates that we have attachment towards dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa. For that cause surrender is not possible.

4. If we are not performing services or activities for a devotional purpose, but as an official task, surrender is not possible.

5. After attaining the stage of ruci, surrender becomes natural and the life of a devotee.

6. If we develop ruci towards the service of Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga, we cannot maintain our independence. We cannot maintain these two thoughts simultaneously.

7. A surrendered soul never thinks that he has a separate existence or doesn’t desire anything other than Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga’s Lotus feet. Happiness and distress, but also his different activities are nothing then Śrī Guru and Kṛṣṇa’s desire.

8. A surrender soul’s relationship with Śrī Guru and Kṛṣṇa is not based on rules or regulations or on a matter of attitude. Rather it is based on a loving relationship.

9. If someone develops a little affection towards Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga, automatically he will come towards the path of surrender.

10. Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga are always present. They are my protector and maintainer. They are guiding me in every step of my life. That is the realization of a surrendered soul.

11. Before any activities, a true surrendered soul is always waiting for the confirmation of Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga and he always prays for that. Without receiving confirmation he doesn’t want to undertake any step in any sort of activity.

12. Without surrendering at the Lotus feet of Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga, one’s hearing, chanting and other spiritual activities are nothing but crookedness.

13. When someone wants to surrender, from different ways many problems arise. But by surrendering we can solve all these problems. It is not that after solving problems we will be able to surrender. However, spiritual problems cannot be solved without surrendering.

14. When someone wants to surrender, many oppositions will come. Oppositions like, shyness, false ego, fear, or oppositions from the society, relatives, also thoughts about the future, material duties and many more. Thousand people like Śukrācārya will oppose you, but in that stage we have to follow the footsteps of Bali Mahārāja.

In conclusion we can say that it is not possible to enter into the spiritual sphere without fully surrendering at the Lotus feet of Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga.


Haladhara Swami 

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