26 April 2014 - QA 1

Gurudev, please speak on Surrender. Many times, people associate surrender to weakness.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

You know, the word Surrender has two aspects. One is the eastern aspect of surrender, and the other is from the western perspective.

When you are defeated then you surrender, isn't it? This is one type of surrender, i.e., slavery.

Slaves surrender themselves. It is not really surrender from the heart, but it is just out of physical, mental and emotional weaknesses. You subjugate because of weakness. This is one type of surrender.

Now, in a spiritual sense, it is completely the other way around. In a spiritual sense, you are bothered by your negative emotions and negative qualities. And carrying it is a big botheration for you. Dropping all that negativity, which you do not want to carry, which you cannot handle is called 'Surrender', in the spiritual sense.

It is completely different and opposite to the western type of surrender, which means defeat. Here this type of surrender is winning over. You have won over yourself, your mind, and your negativity by dropping it and giving it away.

So, in a spiritual sense, surrender means strength, not slavery. That is why when you go to a vaishnava temple, they say 'Sharanagati', which means 'Surrender to God', and when you do sharanagati, they crown you. They take a silver crown and put it on your head. The meaning behind this in the spiritual sense is, if you have surrendered your negativity, you have become so strong that you become a king.

In Kannada it is said, 'Sharana Sharanarthhi', which means, 'I surrender to the surrendered one'.

Here, the saints are called surrendered ones. And the saints are the most powerful and most respected, because they have given up all their negativity and surrendered to the Divinity. When negativity is given away, we remain very positive and that is the sainthood. Sainthood cannot come without surrender, and sainthood is not slavery! Sainthood means being very powerful.

Sainthood and slavery, both use the word surrender. One surrenders their negative qualities, and the other accept their weaknesses. This is the difference between two sides of surrender. When you surrender your negative qualities, and all that you don’t want to have, you become powerful.

The spiritual type of surrender makes you very powerful, while the western type, makes you weak.

Now I want to take you one step further. What is there to surrender? There is nothing to surrender! Just relax.

Know everything, anyways belongs to the big mind, to the universe. Anyway, everything belongs to God.

Don’t struggle to surrender, thinking, 'Oh, I am not able to surrender a hundred percent', or, 'I am able to surrender hundred percent'. All this is just mental gymnastics. I tell you, drop all this, ust relax and be simple.

Purity in thought, clarity in mind and sincerity in action.