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Let us learn about surrender from a realised soul of our times.

Recent times… in Ayodhya, when Shri Ramanandacharya Ji arrived and praised Shri Hit Premanand Maharaj Ji’s spiritual state, Swami Ji said, ‘Maharaj, the compassion that manifested is a circumstantial grace. I take no credit for the showers of grace in which I bathe now. Back then the circumstances were such that my Lord left me no other path. Yoga, spiritual practices, strength, contemplating ultimate truth, everything got relegated to one corner. And then, the weeping began, weeping that said ‘Lord, I have no other go than you now, none whatsoever.’ I was unaware of the illness related to my kidneys. I didn’t even know which organ it was because right from childhood my life had been spent by the banks of the Ganges, immersed in spiritual practices. When I was informed that the illness with the kidney was severe, that within five years my body would leave and there is no cure for it, inside of me I experienced an inexplicable inadequacy that can only be attained through divine grace. On all sides, a strange emptiness prevailed; there was no refuge. Even the thought of penance became a distant possibility and I couldn’t think of sitting in padmasana, subduing the mental faculties, for hours at stretch like before, daily, as I had anticipated. Nothing could be done!

It seemed that no other means remained, and the only way left was to yearn for the vision of Radha Krishna. In that moment, a transformation occurred – it was when my ego crippled and the arrogance of sadhana slipped and took its last breath in Shriji’s holy feet.

Surrendering at the feet of Shriji, I said, ‘Now, there is nothing left; everything is yours Shriji! Besides you, now I am not worthy of anything.’ And then GRACE happened.

After studying scriptures, we can talk about liberation and salvation, but attaining sahajataa (simplicity) and saralataa, quality or state of being easy, effortless, or natural and finding refuge in the grace of Shriji is impossible without taking shelter at the feet of great souls.

This is beautifully borne out in the shloka from Srimad Bhagwatam (5.12) from the conversation between Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa and Jaḍa Bharat.

Even with much scholarly knowledge Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa was bitten by the serpent of ignorance and in proud of his kingship and body-am-I consciousness, had committed offense to Jada Bharat, an exalted being, who had very cautiously assumed the characteristics of a deaf and dumb man to avoid mingling with the material world. Later, cured by the forgiveness and nectarean words of Jaḍa Bharata he begged to be released from the claws of powerful mind under the influence of ignorance (avidya).

To this request, Jada Bharat said:

भ्रातृव्यमेनं तददभ्रवीर्य-मुपेक्षयाध्येधितमप्रमत्त: ।
गुरोर्हरेश्चरणोपासनास्त्रोजहि व्यलीकं स्वयमात्ममोषम्

bhraatruvyamenam tadadbhaviiryam-
upekshayaadhyedhitamapramattah |
guroh harescharanopaasanaastro
jahi vyaliikam svayamaatmamosham

The uncontrollable mind is the greatest enemy of the soul. If it is neglected and not disciplined, it becomes more powerful than the strongest foe. Although it is not true, it appears as though it can overpower the self, the soul’s natural state. O King, conquer this mind with the weapon of service to the Guru and the Supreme Lord. Perform this with utmost vigilance.”

Without the grace of the Guru’s lotus feet, you remain beyond the reach of spiritual accomplishment, like a person trying to swim in a flooding river. No matter how much you try to move forward, to slip and falter is inevitable. But once you wholeheartedly surrender, the current itself will take you to the shore.

Indeed, until you are fully devoted and stop struggling in the worldly current, it will not be possible to save yourself. The significant thing is that we don’t stop struggling.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, everything seemed utterly empty and dark. All knowledge, spiritual wisdom, renunciation, rituals, everything merged into oblivion, and now the time had come for my departure… I had not encountered the One for whom I had sacrificed my life; I had not gotten a glimpse of Him and my life was already over.

I termed myself a failure, someone who was unfulfilled. Of course, others could very well argue that I had gained much and I should be feel fulfilled, but then this is something one decides by oneself, only a person himself can vouch whether he is full or still hungry, no one can second guess that. As for me, I was still hungry. My heart was thirsting, still aching. It said, ‘no, I’m not content yet’. The mission for which Mahadeva had sent me to Vrindavana had not been accomplished.

Shri Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu ji has said in Radha Sudha Nidhi:

जाग्रत्स्वप्न सुषुप्तिषु स्फुरतु में राधापदाब्जच्छटा,
वैकुण्ठे नरकेथ या मम गतिर्नान्यास्तु राधां विना ।

“Be it in waking, dreaming, or deep sleep, may the splendor of Radha’s lotus feet constantly dance in my heart. Without Radha, my destination is neither Vaikuntha nor hell.”

Now, speaking of the state of one established in divine consciousness (Sthita-prajna), it is further said:

सोअत हू रसना रटे राधा कृष्ण सुनाम।

Sohaat hoo rasnaa rate Radha Krishna sunaam.

In every situation, in every circumstance, in any way, may the remembrance of my beloved Radha’s and Lord Krishna’s name never be forgotten, even for a moment.

It is mentioned in Shrimad Bhagavatam that one who does not trade the name of his Lord even for a split second, despite being offered with the riches of the three worlds, attains this state. This state is not achieved by one’s efforts alone; I have witnessed this personally. This state is bestowed upon you. You are pulled into it.

So, our endeavour is only to continuously strive for chanting the name. However, this continuity will only come through the grace of Shri Gurudeva.

There lived a great soul, Shri Bhonri Sakhi Bholanath Ji. He wrote to Ladli Ji, saying, ‘Priya Ji, my mind is feeling anxious right now.’ That trustworthy or reliable state is not coming from within.

He said:

नाम श्वास दो बिलग चलत हैं, इनको भेद ना मोको भावे।
श्वासे नाम नाम हीं स्वासा, नाम श्वास को भेद मिटावे।
रोम रोम रग रग जब बोले तब कुछ स्वाद नाम को आवे।

“Nāma svāsa dō bila ga calata hain, inakō bhēda nā mōkō bhāvē।
svāsē nāma nāma hī s’vāsā, nāma svāsa kō bhēda miṭāvē।
rōma rōma rag raga jaba bōlē taba kuca s’vāda nāma kō āvē।”

The Naam (chanting of Lord’s name) and breath still run separately, and I just don’t like them happening apart. Let Naam alone be my breath, and breath may marry Naam; Pray dissolve the differences into one. When every hair and every pore of the body resonates with the name of the Lord; then this quench satiates a bit when this Naam tastes like nectar.

This is what I could pray, “My beloved Ladli Ji, please shower your grace upon me to the extent that the name of Radha resonates in my heartbeat, in every breath, and in every vein. May my heart become filled with Radha’s name.”

These things can only happen through divine grace. There is no set rule or principle for when and how grace will come. However, as Goswami Ji says in Ramacharit Manas:

मन कर्म वचन छाडि चतुराई, भजत कृपा करि हहिं रघुराई।

Man karma vachan chhadi chaturai, bhajat kripa kari hahin Raghu Rai.

संसृत मूल सूलप्रद नाना। सकल सोक दार्क अधभमाना।।

“Abandoning all cleverness in mind, actions, and words, worship the Lord with grace, O Raghu Rai (Lord Ram).”

Sansṛta mūla sūlaprada nānā। sakala sōka dāyaka abhimānā

“The root cause of worldly existence is multifarious, and it gives rise to all kinds of sorrows and egoic pride.”

Lord Ram never allows pride to dwell in the heart of a devotee. Pride is the root cause of birth and death, as well as all kinds of sufferings. It should be eliminated, cut off.

The question that arises is, who will remove the cleverness of our mind, actions, and words? Only the ocean of grace, the Divine, can remove it. But the fact is that this egoic individual, the jiva (embodied soul), readily performs various spiritual practices, yet he cannot detach himself from what needs to be cut off.

It has been my experience that even after observing fasting, dedicating myself to spiritual practices, and reciting mantras, that very thing is blooming and flourishing. It develops in the form of pride such as “I have not eaten for ten years”, or “I meditate for hours in an asana”. This pride begins to grow. If we are eating fruits and fasting, then we start feeling superiority towards those who eat regular food. If we are observing silence, then we start attributing a sense of inferiority towards those who are vocal. This feeling will hinder your progress on the path of sadhana because it will detach you from your essence and prevent you from experiencing the divine nectar.

What needed to be cut off did not happen, and instead, this feeling arose within me.

It was only when God showered His grace and created that situation that it all happened with me. It’s just that when Bhagwan bestows pure grace, He surrounds that person from all sides.

Let absolute, absolute and absolute reliance on His lotus feet and nothing else remain. If this can happen, well, the result is bliss and ecstasy that cannot be described in words.

Let us follow the sage counsel given by Swamiji. May God bestow His grace upon all sadhaks as He did upon Swamiji.

~ Raj Supe (Kinkar Vishwashreyananda)
Editor, The Mother