This word, surrender, has been misinterpreted and people promote idleness in the name of surrender. We think that our mind, thought, and body have been surrendered to the Lord. This, in fact, is not true and is in the direction of deceiving the Lord. We are undertaking to cheat the Lord. Your mind is not under your own control and under such circumstances, how can you hold it and give it to the Lord? You have no control over your own body. If you have a small cut, blood oozes from your body and you run to a doctor asking for a bandage. If this is your body and if you have complete control over it, why is it that you are not able to control the outflow of the blood. In this context to say that you have surrendered your mind and body to the Lord is a statement which is untrue. This word “surrender” conveys that there is someone who gives and someone who accepts and that you are surrendering to someone. There is a feeling of duality implied in this word surrender. A man with a dual mind is half blind. In this manner, while he remains with this dual thought, how can he recognize the non-dual aspect? The true meaning of surrender is the recognition of the fact that in everyone and everywhere God is present. The recognition of the presence of God in all Jivas (individual souls) is the true meaning of the word surrender.

-  Summer Showers May 1974 


Short story:

Once upon a time, there lived many fish in a pond. Every day, they would wake up in the morning with a fear – the fisherman’s net! The fisherman would be there every morning, without fail to cast his net. And without fail every morning, many fish would get caught in it. Some would be taken by surprise, some caught napping, some would not find any place to hide while some others, even though aware of the lurking danger, would simply find no means to escape the deadly net. Among the fish, there was one young fish that was always cheerful. It had no fear of the fisherman’s net and it seemed to have mastered the art of being alive and staying lively. All the senior fish wondered as to what the secret of this little fish was. How could it manage so well when their cumulative experience and wisdom were not enough to save them from the net. Unable to bear their curiosity and desperate to find a way to escape the net, all the fish went to this little fish one evening.

“Hey little one! We have all come here to talk to you.”

“Me!?” said the little fish, “What do you want to speak to me about?”

“We actually want to ask you something. Tomorrow morning, the fisherman will be back again. Are you not scared of getting caught in his net?”

“The little fish smiled, “No! I will not be caught in his net ever!”

“Share with us little one, the secret behind your confidence and success”, the elders pleaded.

“Very simple”, said the little fish. “When the fisherman comes to cast his net, I rush and stay at his feet. That is one place that the net can never reach, even if the fisherman wants to cast! So, I never get caught.” All the fish simply marveled at the simplicity of the little fish’s wisdom.


Excerpts from Baba’s Discourses:

By doing a good act, you cannot get an evil result and by doing a bad act, you cannot accumulate good. Whatever kind of work you do, the result will correspond to that kind of work. Therefore, it follows that today you should make up your mind to do only good things and thus you will reap, in your future lives, the benefit of only good things. You should do good things today and thus aspire to get good for yourself. Brahman is present in your own heart and is functioning as a witnessing consciousness all through. To imagine and to deceive ourselves into thinking that there is no one seeing us do a bad thing is not correct. Whether anyone sees it or not, the aspect of Brahman which has been described as one which has thousands of heads and thousands of eyes is always watching you and the good and bad that you do.

This aspect of Brahman is always with you and is constantly present in you. Without recognizing and understanding this basic truth that Brahman is always with you, you spend a great deal of time and energy thinking that God is somewhere and that you should find Him elsewhere and outside of your heart. In the Bhagavad Gita, this is the reason why God has been described as being present wherever you go. When you walk, God is walking along the same footsteps; and in fact, we hear His footsteps often. There are devotees who pray to God and say, “Oh! God, are you not seeing my difficulties and are you not seeing the situation in which I am?” For such people, only the eyes of God become apparent. In the case of devotees who say, “Oh! God, are you not able to hear my prayers and why is it you are not listening to my difficulties?” For such people, it is only the ears of God that become apparent. For one who asks the Lord whether He does not see troubles, only the eyes of Lord become manifest, while for one who asks the Lord whether He does not hear his troubles, just the ears of the Lord become manifest; and to one who wants the Lord to be always present with him following Him in his work, only the feet of the Lord will become manifest.

One devotee once prayed to Krishna, “I have so many difficulties which I want to convey to you, but I am so distant from you and I can convey my difficulties to you only if I get near you.” Then she requested the flute with which Krishna uses to play music, because it goes so close to the lips of Krishna, to convey her trouble to Krishna because the flute has a chance of going very close to Krishna. Asking for such recommendations is a practice prevalent from that day to this day. Asking such recommendations to the Lord through instruments close to the God was a practice prevalent then and continues even today.

We should also recognize what kind of instruments and what kind of people will be close to the Lord. In this story, the flute has been mentioned and it is a very good example of an instrument close to the Lord. There is one great quality in the flute and that is its complete surrender. There is nothing left in the flute, and there are no residual desires. In fact, the inside of the flute is completely hollow. The flute has nine holes in it, and the flute of our body has also nine holes. That flute has been able to go close to the Lord because there is no pulp left in the flute, and it is completely hollow. So also, if we can remove all the pulp of desires from our body, then there is no doubt that this flute of our body can also go close to the Lord.

- Summer Showers May 1974

Questions for Reflection:

  1. If we think that we are the body, one cannot say we have truly surrendered to God.  Please expand on this teaching.
  2. Why does Swami sing in the video “Oh mind! Don’t ask. Oh mind! Don’t ask.  The more and more you ask, the desires are neglected more?
  3. How can we apply the principle of Surrender in our daily lives?

Video Clip:

Clip 1: God does not expect anything: