Surrender is the Process
this story to a friend
Tuesday, 14 February 2006]
If there’s no
surrender, you can’t make any progress. Prabhupada says everything
depends on surrender. At work on the job, you have to surrender to the
boss. When you marry, you have to surrender. In the military you have
to surrender. Nothing can be done without surrender. This is even more
applicable on the spiritual platform than anywhere else. Surrender,
submission is the key. The whole process depends on surrender. Arjuna
was arguing with Krishna—“I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this. How
can I kill my family members? Uncles, cousins? Teacher? Friends?” The
whole Bhagavad-gita was spoken just to convince Arjuna to
surrender. The whole Bhagavad-gita has one focus, one
target: to convince Arjuna to surrender to Krishna’s desire, which was
to fight and kill. And by extension, the same principle is applicable
to every one of us. There’s no compromise. It’s either surrender or not
surrender. That’s the sum and substance of the whole Bhagavad-gita.
Krishna is speaking with Arjuna and giving different arguments and
analogies to explain why Arjuna should do as He asks, and after He has
said everything, He says, “Well, I’ve explained everything. Now do what
you wish to do.”
That surrender is very rare. Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam
prapadyate vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma sudurlabhah: “After
many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto
Me…” (Bhagavad-gita 7.19) “Knowing Me to be the cause of
all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” Out of the
entourage of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, one person
surrendered: that person was Prabhupada.
Surrender is the pivot, the key, the vital nerve of the whole thing. We
can’t circumvent it by giving excuses about our material ties and
responsibilities. Such persons don’t want to surrender, and want to
carry on casual association or relationship as buddies. They want to
have both ways: Krishna and Maya, but you can have only one or the
The best tactic is to take advantage of what they are willing to
surrender and disregard the other part. Whatever they’re willing to put
forward, we accept that. Allow them to maintain their posture and
ignore the rest. Everyone has reservations. To be a 100% fully
surrendered pure devotee is not an ordinary thing. Not that there are
so many pure devotees. Everyone has reservations of one kind or
another, and just as we want to be… we want others to bear with us, we
have to bear with them. We wouldn’t want to be taken to task, “Well,
look at you, why aren’t you fully surrendered?” We have to accept
however much people want to surrender. We accept that much and
patiently go on, and whatever they’re keeping in reserve, we allow that.
We’re in this great trek, like the Chinese had the long march. This is
the great trek to go forward towards Krishna.
[Speaking of Gaura Kishora das Babaji’s renunciation and strict
standard, how if not for Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur and
Prabhupada, we would not have access to Krishna consciousness, no
access to devotional service:]
Someone had to come down to us. Prabhupada did that. He came down to
our level, made Krishna accessible, Lord Chaitanya. We similarly have
to come down to those who cannot come up to that standard that Srila
Prabhupada set. Not to dilute, but... Like a mother has to come way
down and nurse the child. She can’t expect the child to reciprocate
with her on her own level. One of the distinguishing features of
motherhood or the feminine trait is to be patient and nurturing.
Everything the child needs she patiently gives. Man can’t do it. It’s
one of the differences between men and women. So Prabhupada came down
to us. Not that we went up to him. And he patiently, step by step,
nursed us for a long time, over a period of 10 years.
So we have to see ourselves in a similar way. That’s what is required.
Otherwise they can’t make it. They need someone to be nurturing,
caring. This is one of the lessons we need to learn. Not just a matter
of quoting verses or being right or being intelligent. It’s a matter of
compassion. They don’t know anything, they’re in total darkness.
[Speaking of a video clip of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati recently
Oh, no sound. Then it’s no … sound is everything. In spiritual life
visual is not important. Everything depends on sound. Everything is
sound. Sound is the basis.