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Read more about Surrender from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

What is Surrender?

Surrender is the decision taken to hand over the responsibility of your life to the Divine. [1]

Surrender may be defined as the giving up of the limits of your ego. To surrender to the Divine is to renounce your narrow limits and let yourself be invaded by it and made a centre for its play. [2]

Surrender means to look to the Divine Mother only—to reject all desires and do only her will, not to insist on one's own ideas and preferences, but to ask for her Truth only, to obey and follow her guidance, to open oneself and become aware of her Force and its workings and to allow those workings to change the nature into the divine nature. [3]

Detailed surrender means the surrender of all the details of life, even the smallest and the most insignificant in appearance. And this means to remember the Divine in all circumstances; whatever we think, feel or do, we must do it for Him as a way of coming close to Him, to be more and more what He wants us to be, capable of manifesting His will in perfect sincerity and purity, to be the instruments of His Love. [4]

Why is Surrender Important?

True surrender enlarges you; it increases your capacity; it gives you a greater measure in quality and in quantity which you could not have had by yourself. This new greater measure of quality and quantity is different from anything you could attain before: you enter into another world, into a wideness which you could not have entered if you did not surrender. It is as when a drop of water falls into the sea; if it still kept its separate identity, it would remain a little drop of water and nothing more, a little drop crushed by all the immensity around, because it has not surrendered. But, surrendering, it unites with the sea and participates in the nature and power and vastness of the whole sea. [5]

The true repose is that of a perfect surrender to the Divine. [6]

Let your surrender to the Divine be entire and you will become completely free. The only way of being truly free is to make your surrender to the Divine entire, without reservation, because then all that binds you, ties you down, chains you, falls away naturally from you and has no longer any importance. [7]

How is Surrender Cultivated?

The core of the inner surrender is trust and confidence in the Divine. One takes the attitude: "I want the Divine and nothing else. I want to give myself entirely to him and since my soul wants that, it cannot be but that I shall meet and realise him. I ask nothing but that and his action in me to bring me to him, his action secret or open, veiled or manifest. I do not insist on my own time and way; let him do all in his own time and way; I shall believe in him, accept his will, aspire steadily for his light and presence and joy, go through all difficulties and delays, relying on him and never giving up. Let my mind be quiet and trust him and let him open it to his light; let my vital be quiet and turn to him alone and let him open it to his calm and joy. All for him and myself for him. Whatever happens, I will keep to this aspiration and self-giving and go on in perfect reliance that it will be done." [8]

The first process of the yoga is to make the saṇkalpa of ātmasamarpaṇa. Put yourself with all your heart and all your strength into God's hands. Make no conditions, ask for nothing, not even for siddhi in the yoga, for nothing at all except that in you and through you his will may be directly performed. To those who demand from him, God gives what they demand, but to those who give themselves and demand nothing, he gives everything that they might otherwise have asked or needed and in addition he gives himself and the spontaneous boons of his love. [9]

Helpful Means

Psychic Opening

All the parts are essentially offered, but the surrender has to be made complete by the growth of the psychic self-offering in all of them and in all their movements separately and together.

To be enjoyed by the Divine is to be entirely surrendered so that one feels the Divine Presence, Power, Light, Ananda possessing the whole being rather than oneself possessing these things for one's own satisfaction. It is a much greater ecstasy to be thus surrendered and possessed by the Divine than oneself to be the possessor. At the same time by this surrender there comes also a calm and happy mastery of self and nature. [10]

Baby Cat Approach

...if one wanted the Divine, the Divine himself would take up the purifying of the heart and develop the sadhana and give the necessary experiences. I meant to say that it can and does happen in that way if one has trust and confidence in the Divine and the will to surrender. For such a taking up involves one's putting oneself in the hands of the Divine rather than trusting to one's own efforts alone and it implies one's putting one's trust and confidence in the Divine and a progressive self-giving... It is, I suppose, what Ramakrishna meant by the method of the baby cat in his image. But all cannot follow that at once; it takes time for them to arrive at it—it grows most when the mind and vital fall quiet. [11]

Roadblocks to Surrender

If part of the being surrenders, but another part reserves itself, follows its own way or makes its own conditions, then each time that that happens, you are yourself pushing the divine Grace away from you. [12]

You cannot surrender at the same time to the Divine Shakti and to the movements of the lower cosmic Nature. To allow everything as her movement is to contradict the very sense and object of this Yoga. To surrender to the Mother means that you stop giving yourself to these other forces. Therefore discrimination (by the psychic feeling and the seeing conscious mind, more even than by the thinking part) and rejection are necessary accompaniments and helps to consecration and surrender. [13]

Read more about Surrender from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.