Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Simply Surrendering

"We have to approach the domain of knowledge with self-surrender, honest inquiry, and a serving attitude. We have to approach that plane with the mentality of slavery. Higher knowledge will not serve a person of lower status.If we want perfect knowledge at all, we will have to serve the Supreme Lord. He will use us for His own purpose; not that we will use Him. We may be subjects in this mundane world, but we will have to become objects to be handled by the superknowledge of that plane. If we want to connect with that higher knowledge, we must approach with this attitude."~ The Search for Sri Krsna, p. 28-9

It hasn't even been a week and I am already having conflicting thoughts over my role as a devotee. The pursuit for the truth has always been my deepest aspiration and yet when the door is opened before me, light pouring in from a place I have yet to venture, promising to filter fresh revelations on my deepest questions, I pause hesitatingly.

I have a real desire to serve and honest inquiry comes natural to me...but...surrender. I thought I could...I think I can...And yet..and yet...Ever since I began really digging for revelation towards the mystery of God doubt has plagued my consciousness. A restlessness has settled upon me and a struggle has ensued. It is spiritually tangible, as if my ego has a life of its own. As soon as my soul expands ready to receive instruction and guidance my ego constricts that opening, like a serpent. It tightens its coils around the inner artery that brings life to my soul causing my inner vision to grow dim. I reach out, aching for a taste of God , just a taste of His love and knowledge of His nature.

 There seems to be no place for doubt for the devotee. And yet, for so long that is all I've ever really felt. In fact, one of the only things I've been certain of since discarding my prior false beliefs is my doubt. It has comforted me and provided me with a line of defense against delusion. And it was always a trait heralded in my circle of impersonalist friends. For so long the one thing I was sure about was my state of unknowing. 

The more I've searched the less certain I've become of anything as life seems to bring with it an illusory web of contradictions, dead ends and an infinite depth of complexity. Like a mirage it promises false truths in sparkling images that seem so real but when you get close enough to reach out to them they vanish. Yet there's a steady rhythm thundering in my soul, calling out to me, telling me this time there is something that is certain, there is something that is real and it should be pursued unto the very end. The mahamantra has transformed my perspective. It has etched a faint imprint on my intellect and stamped it with ownership: Property of Sri Kishna, refusing me the option of shaking it off. Nor would I want to; it has brought me such peace and bliss. It whispers me onward, assuring me that there are things that truly can be known. There is a path and I am standing on it. I just have to take more steps forward.

So, now I have a guru that can help guide me, and the words from the Search for Sri Kishna ring in my head:
"Real knowledge is stable; it has a firm foundation, and Vedic education deals with how to acquire that knowledge. The meaning of the word veda is "Know." No rhyme or reason is shown why you should know, and no explanation is given: simply "Know."" ~ SSK, p. 28
Is it really that easy?? Just "know"...The truth seems a lot more elusive to me than that. How does one know? The Gita, the Upanishads and the book search for Sri Krishna, as well as every other conceivable source that uses the Vedas, all say from a spiritual master. It is quite apparent that trust is required in this transcendental exchange for knowledge. A deeper trust than I have ever been willing to give anybody. I've only bestowed that honor on myself, giving the precious gift of trust to my ego, a poor investment.

It seems like it's so easy for others to hand over the keys to their intellect and soul when it is time. When the luster of the material world fades and the transient and mundane nature of this world becomes apparent. We know there's more to reality than what the world offers us. It's as if the world offers us platters heaping full of beautiful delectables in which our minds and souls can feast upon. But when we go to take a bite, the smell alone tells us it is rancid, not fit for the lowliest creature. What alone will nourish our soul comes from God and we seek that. I seek that. But when a dish that offers itself to be truly palatable comes into view I now feel it natural to ask for the specific ingredients-to examine it closely, to want to test things out for myself, rather than simply taking a bite!

The image that comes to mind right now is that my soul is like a horse that is wild. Who has felt neither bit nor bridle. A great drought has come to the land and there is only one place in which to get water. I search it out here and there but can find none. My master finally comes out in the field. He holds a bit and reins offering to guide me to the water I so desperately need and without will perish. But I must submit and allow him to guide me. To trust him completely and bid adieu to my days of haphazard wandering. As soon as I see the reins I back up, fearful at the thought of surrendering and yet thirst has nearly overcome me. I am not being rational and am allowing my fear of trusting to overcome me. But I want to trust and I have affection for my master and recognize his voice. I know in my soul that it is my destiny to follow. I know he has already seen the water, tasted it, been immersed in it and can truly guide me to it. But I know the path that leads to the water will take me through foreign terrain, past things that I have only heard about and half-believed. Some things that I have read and heard are so beyond my comprehension I'm not sure I'll ever grasp them. And there are the mirages in the distance that beckon and appeal to my senses and mind. Beautiful statues of intellectual mastery carved by some of the greatest philosophical artisans seduce me to come forward and take what they have to offer. Their beauty is artificial, I know this deep in my soul, and yet the site of them still taunts me.

I am realizing that I am still wrapped up in a tangled web of maya. I have not yet freed myself from the trappings of this world. I have recognized the truth, I can see it in the distance, have committed myself to a path and yet traps keep springing up and I'm not sure I'm strong or nearly spiritually perceptive enough to always avoid them. I guess at least knowing that is some kind of progress.

I brought any of this up to my guru? No. Should I? Most likely. Why haven't I? Because I fear failing and surely this is all a sign that I'm not doing very well spiritually. Perhaps he'll see me as a sinking ship, a wasted investment, and want to untether the anchor so as not to waste it.

If only, in complete surrender I'd allow my master to guide me. I know that is the only solution for my soul's salvation. I do trust him. I recognize him as my spiritual authority and of God Himself. And yet I feel tethered to attachments that hinder full surrender. To truly know is to get past this material mirage and see with clarity the true nature of things. I don't trust myself. Maybe that is also a positive sign of progress. Okay, maybe there's some hope for me yet. And yet, I fear of failing, of falling. I also fear of being a heretic-of along the way being so intimately caught up in maya that I am hopelessly mired in it and convinced by it. That I will recognize and accept truths but allow my distorted perception to disfigure them beyond recognition and allow myself to convince myself of false things.

Surrender...just simply surrender! This resounding command to the seeking soul reverberates loudly within the Vedas. God has given us the formula and now it is just up to us to release ourselves of our egos and follow it. And then we shall truly come to Know.


  1. Enjoyed reading the blog &your honesty
    A problem confronted by all on the path.So who is it that wants to surrender? Is it the deeply embedded 'I'? The ego? The lifetimes of body identifications & its investments made to various attachments to likes & dislikes? Self inquiry towards the 'SURRENDER'becoming AWARE of the resistances created by the Mind, Ego,relative knowings and the nature of settling into our comfort zone. Persevere , pursue the Goal until the Path ,traveller and the goal becomes one. The Knower & the knowing(knowledge) becomes one.Creating inner space,removing (being aware)the inner resistances will create space where the Grace can descend.Then there is nothing but KRISHNA. Have you read the book on MEERA?
    A classic example on surrendering.God Speed. Hare Krisna.

  2. Thank you so much for your comment...I have not read the book on Meera...I will have to look for it! I definitely think the more we inquire and seek, the more we become aware of the internal resistance that you spoke of- to cling to our false egos. That can be disconcerting yet at the same time to become aware of this reality is surely the first step. If we can release ourselves from our attachments to our false egos the way becomes much more clearer. I believe that one's guru is instrumental in such pursuits for they are already realized. I am thankful to be under the shelter of my guru.

    "In order to learn the transcendental science, one must humbly approach a spiritual master who is learned in the Vedas and firmly devoted to the Absolute Truth" [Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12].

    Thank you for stopping by. Hare Krishna!

  3. u are truly lucky jadurani, i wish i had such clarity and will power to stay on the path even to surrender, it is really complicated for me. i wish u all the best. i will interact with u again when the problems in my life are a little less;
    hare ram hare krishna

  4. Dr. Nishant,

    Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to interacting more in the future. It's not always easy to maintain clarity, I have difficulty with that myself being very new on my path of devotion towards Krishna...but take heart...chanting God's name will equip us with all the clarity and strength we need.

    "Ignorance is the cause of our bondage and knowledge is the cause of our liberation. This knowledge is the mature fruit of devotional service, and when one is situated in transcendental knowledge, he need not search for peace elsewhere, for he enjoys peace within himself. "
    ~ Srila Prabhupada, Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Purport 4.38

    I pray you keep chanting God's Holy Name and as you are drawn deeper into devotional service you experience abundant peace and clarity. A peace and clarity that is unaffected and undisturbed by anything this material world can challenge us with.

    Hare Krishna!

    ~ Jadurani devi dasi

  5. Indeed Guru's Grace is priceless. More i submit to this very thought greater is my insignificance and my petty mind. How can you shine a torch to the sun?
    Do not get bogged down by the pettiness of the mind - no it will not give its ' importance' with its familiar identifications.It is said Sprituality is to destroy your self importance,your very existence of who you think you are then............
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Hare Rama Hare Hare.
    Ask your Guru what does the word Hare mean in this mahamantra. That is your answer
    Hare Krishna

  6. Thank you so much for your comment..."How can you shine a torch to the sun?" That is so true...Your words have much wisdom..thank you for them.

    What you said about the mind reminded me of a verse in the Bhagavad Gita. Part of 6.5 tells us that "The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well." I feel blessed to have my Guru who is uncontaminated by maya and can help disperse delusion and doubt and help guide me to knowing Sri Krishna more fully.

    Hare Krishna!

  7. In my mind we live within God, not the other way around. We are a part of what keeps God alive and yet we can not live without God, since we are like the corpuscles of our own bodies to God. The universes of our existence all lie within God. Everything we see lies within God. It is an exciting way to view things and an interesting way to look upon it all. Can you separate yourself from God, then? No. Can you be above or beneath God? No. You exist because God exists and God exists because you (and everyone/thing else) exists. Negative happenings are, to me, like a virus that we might encounter in our own lives. We live through it and move on... or our cells die and are replaced by other cells (beings that are newly born). It is an ever-going and growing existence that self-perpetuates.

    1. Thank you June, I agree with a lot of what you said. The only part that caught my attention that I'm not sure resonates with my sense of what is true, is when you said "we are a part of what keeps God alive"...that seems to imply that God depends on us in a sense.

      "In my mind we live within God, not the other way around." I think both are actually true.

      When I read your comment, the Mundaka Upanishad came to mind. I'd like to share a couple of verses that reveal how God not only is within all but transcends all, and since He also encompasses all, we are therefore within Him as well.:

      "Imperishable is the Lord of Love
      As from a blazing fire thousands of sparks
      Leap forth, so millions of beings rise
      From the Lord of Love and return from him.

      The Lord of Love is above name and form.
      He is present in all and transcends all."

      Mundaka Upanishad 2.1-2

      Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and beliefs.

      Hare Krishna!

      ~ Jadurani devi dasi

  8. I like your sincerity and honesty, it's very inspiring. What I try to do with my life is always work precisely at the foundations of spirituality. I remember when I was 21 and joined a mission, the first Bhagavad-Gita sloka I memorize was "sukha dukhe same kritva" and this sloka is following me till now after 30 years had passed. Many other slokas for our foundation are there. We are laghu and that's why we need a Guru. If we make our foundation properly and a recipient to acomodate and protect our spiritual fortune (the recipient is made of humility, tolerance and giving honor to everyone with afection), I'm sure with those elements (I have faith) later or sooner we gonna be fearless to get to the plataform of full surrender and our weight will permit us do dive deep in our own reality. Gurudeva will reveal our own self for us. He will say: this is you. He will admit us in the higher plane and he will alow divine vision for us. We must have faith with a very solid foundation. To work at our foudantion is absolutelly necessary. Otherwise any wave will take us from the shelter of our divine master's lotus feet. Please, forgive my mistakes in English, I'm an iliterate person and forgive my arrogance if any. Humbly. BVT

    1. Thank you BVT for your comment..I detected no arrogance but only a genuine expression of your experience and the truths you've acquired along the way. I am blessed to have my Guru Maharaja to guide me. What you mentioned about building a strong foundation makes much sense, that is something I am trying to work on myself.

      Thank you for stopping by. :)

      Hare Krishna!

      Jadurani devi dasi

  9. I know you have a Guru and I know your Guru personaly.From the judjement of my own Gurudeva you are in a Divine Shelter, fully absorbed in Srila Sridhar Maharaj's conception and indicated as a bonafide Acharya from my Divine Master Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, so you could not be in a better place. I came to your blog because I was instigated by your refined writings and sincerity.
    With my obeicenses to you and to you Divine Master Lotu's Feet.