The Mother Divine
Change Font Size 

One of our readers wrote, ‘Why is it so difficult to remember that all we need to do is to focus on the karma and surrender the fruits. Good, bad, ugly, however the fruits be – just surrender. They aren’t mine. The karma is mine.

I want to be a good sharanagat. I am trying many things.

The one that seems to be working the best these days is take each task and keep chanting ‘Guru Guru’ or Ishta mantra while doing it. And for some tasks that I cannot do while chanting, such as listening to YouTube, or reading, or writing, such tasks I try to surrender at the beginning and at the end of the task. This is helping. The other thing that is new is a nagging pang when I discover that I am separate from God, that I don’t remember Him always. He keeps dislodging Himself from my mind from time to time. And it makes me sad.’

These are such lovely, deep, truly spiritual feelings. Yes, sharanagati is the real thing but we forget to remember Him. Not to remember is not to be surrendered. Not this reader alone, most of us forget; it is only the great mahatmas who are able to vigilantly keep the lamp of remembrance burning in their hearts.

To bring the remembrance back is the real work – that we forget seems relatively unimportant. What is important is that we “remember to remember”. This is no play on words, this is a real dilemma, we would be happy to keep the Ishvara Chintan on but we forget intermittently.

The stronger is the sense of disappointment, regret and remonstrance in forgetting, great is the possibility of remembrance. ‘I am erring, I am slipping off God consciousness,’ this might be the goad of “remembering to remember.”

The technique of itemising remembrance serially, task by task, is very useful here. Somehow we must build God-remembrance into our calendar.

We forget because we get involved with the worldly currents; thus, to create a system of dependence on God, wherein He becomes a participant in the actions, is a must. Unless we invoke the power of God in the smallest of actions, in making dal, or opening a drawer, or stirring tea, unless we think that our act is no good without God’s remembrance poured into it, we cannot succeed.

Hindu worship is therefore deliberately God-dependent. To start studies, one prays, on the day of results one again prays; to lay a foundation stone, one prays, to inaugurate the newly built house one again prays. When we do that and remember God, add God to our tasks and then do it, there’s a sudden splash, like unexpected cold rain shower from the window upon the body – we are at once rejuvenated, simply because we sought to inject God into the act. This slows us a bit, but that’s fine.

When we seek to unite God with our affairs, weave in the act of yoga so to speak, there is a beautiful ponderousness, sense of being lost, partial trance and a bounce in our movement. We are moving with God, his presence was invoked and this joint movement, us and God together, produces a divine dynamism. We are not busybodies anymore, we are not in reckless hurry, and we float. What’s the hurry when God is in an act? This way the purpose is brought closer. If our objective is to bring God into the moment, the moment of God-realisation is not a chimera in the distant horizon, it is here and now. We are face to face with the opportunity to leverage it

This itself becomes a sadhana –invoking God into smallest of things.

When this God-in-worldly-acts starts and matures to a fair degree, the formal sadhana is no longer greater than worldly life; life and sadhana gain a parity. That’s why the saints keep saying this life itself is sadhana. They mean it is sadhana when God is in the picture.

The reason sadhana hours generally seem superior to the mundane life hours is simply the fact that we are formal in our God remembrance when we do sadhana and we have a fixed ritual to effect that.

To invoke God into day-to-day acts cannot be done simply by thinking, we have to make it a conscious formality.

The thing about formally committing ourselves in surrender is also very important. There’s a statement by Thakur – one who surrenders to me saying ‘I am yours’ even once, I take care of him. Styled after Bhagawan Ramachandra’s promise in Ramayana, Thakur offers us the same promise. It’s so simple, but what a great promise it is! The surrendered ones see the truth of this statement, he or she says ‘I am yours’ and reaps the fruit of it, but this sadhaka is perplexed to see it not happening to most others around.

Why aren’t people receiving the help when it’s been stated so simply and directly that all you need to do is to say ‘I am yours’. The reason is this is a ‘formal’ thing which most people try to effect informally. A thought is no prayer. A thought is no remembrance either. These are wishful phantoms at best, passing things of the restless mind, they need no coordination of the mind or will. It’s only when the affirmation ‘I am yours’ is done purposefully, consciously, with awareness, that it sticks.

‘I am yours’. To say this once is also not enough though the promise says even if you say ‘I am yours’ once. There are two reasons for that. First, that quality of saying it once whole-heartedly is absent, and we could hope to get there by repeatedly affirming ‘I am yours’, understanding deeply in our being what it means to say that, what are its true implications, what are we laying at stake etc.
‘I am yours’, this is not a sentiment alone; it is a commitment, a life-level decision. Unless it comes shaking the core of our being and truly sending a shock wave of having lost the ownership, it is but a hollow utterance, mere lip service.

Second reason for why once is not enough is that ‘I am yours’ in the beginning may be a gesture of helplessness and self-negation, and a handing over of sorts. But once we are handed over to the Almighty, does the business of surrender get over? On the contrary. A Lord’s owned one enjoys being owned. He or she feels even greater urge to say ‘I am yours’ now. Just like a person in love is never satisfied having declared ‘I love you’ once.

We often experience a moment of spiritual gravity. Sometimes just folding hands in namaskara to Gods in the alcove, when the awareness becomes intense in the sadhak’s heart, this act, the simple gesture is filled with great meaning. The namaskara act becomes heavy and powerful and sadhaka feels he can actually pour himself out in surrender and feel a sense of simultaneous reciprocation in his folding of the hands before the deity. His hands start shaking, they eyes are filled with tears. Why does this not happen on many occasions before, why does it not happen daily?
Once again the same age old maxim: Do it mindfully and the smallest act will become profound answers this predicament. We are being carried by the ritual and we are perhaps not stopping to fuel the ritual with its meaning, with our mindfulness. The moment we start living out the meaning, the power is ours.

When we truly mean it, we remember to remember, like a person of great will power, tells himself that I will wake up at 4 in the morning and the body wakes up.

~ Raj Supe (Kinkar Vishwashreyananda)
Editor, The Mother