Throughout history the earth has been blessed with thousands of spiritual teachers, spread over thousands of traditions, thousands of spiritual books have been written, and millions of speeches have been given. When you look deeply, it is easy to see that all of this has been aimed at helping us progress to the rare and sweet state of Spiritual Surrender. Spiritual wisdom is not simply meant to be philosophy, some ambiguous jargon, or blank promises. It is meant to be relished, and used practically in every action and in every millisecond of life.
Many of us strive for effective action. We want every action we take to be successful. We want to produce the maximum results with a minimal amount of effort. We want to remain happy, purposeful, enthused, and uplifted throughout the process. In essence, we want happiness-infused power. Contrary to what most people believe, ancient wisdom shows us that when spiritual wisdom is practiced properly it generates such happiness-infused power.
It is inspiring to understand that such happiness-infused power can only be achieved, in its fullest and perfect sense, through Spiritual Surrender. Think about that. With this declaration I am saying that no business, project, relationship, or military exposition can be fully effective unless the people involved learn and practice the same ancient spiritual principles that are taught and followed by bald-headed monks in funny-looking, flowy robes.
What Is Spiritual Surrender?
Spiritual Surrender is a vast concept that can be approached in many ways. Here are several angles so you can get a feel for this deep yet elusive principle.
In a nutshell Spiritual Surrender is when we act according to our inherent function/dharma and thus connect in love with a higher power. We acknowledge that it is not possible for us to do it all alone, and by surrendering to a higher power to guide us, we can make the best decisions, be happy, and be fully empowered.
Another way of understanding the essence of Spiritual Surrender is to see it as the highest and most passionate loving state of enlightenment.
But let’s look deeper.
A Loving Connection With the Divine
Spiritual Surrender is an experience of love, connection, and relationship. Spiritual Surrender is the beginning of a divine relationship with the absolute that is beyond the body and mind.
In order to start the process of love in Spiritual Surrender first we must acknowledge that there is a higher power. We must know that there is something or someone that is living and breathing all of life, a power greater than our own that causes everything to exist and function in the universe.
Throughout history this power has been called many names, such as Nature, God, the Universe, the Supersoul, the Supreme Being, and so on. Religions have also approached this incomprehensible one indivisible absolute truth and address It, Him, or Her with many names, such as The Father, Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Allah, and Jehovah. The point here is not to debate which one is “right,” for all traditions have their beauty and depth of truth, and work well for the sincere souls who practice in that tradition. Simply understanding that there is some sort of higher power or energy in the Universe is enough to progress on the path of Spiritual Surrender.
The sweetness starts to thicken when we know that this higher power is “a good guy” that is not out to get us, but is actually the source of all beauty, love, and sweetness, and wants to help us. When we choose to accept this help from the divine, we have started on the path of Spiritual Surrender.
Connecting With Higher Power
In order to accept transcendental help we must not only accept the existence of a higher power, but we must also connect with that power. Love exists in connection and, because Spiritual Surrender is the greatest connection with the divine, it is also the greatest love. The subject of love is the most important subject of life and existence. Spiritual Surrender is an acknowledgment of the existence of a higher power, a loving connection with It, and an acceptance of help from It.
Exercise: Write down three to six times when you felt (or feel) lost and confused, when you knew you needed to do something but you were not clear on what to do. Think of the pain, then think of how relieved you would have been if at that time you had divine guidance that you could trust, leading you to the most perfect action possible.
This may sound unattainable, but it is not. Millions of people worldwide follow such guidance, and I bet there have been times when you have too. The issue is knowing how to recognize such guidance, and receive and follow it on a consistent basis. My friend, it is possible.
Acting According to Your Core Nature
All conscious beings and objects have an inherent core nature—a dharma. Spiritual Surrender is not an external imposition; it is not something unnatural that we must strain do. It is, rather, the natural expression of our core spiritual self; it is our Eternal Dharma.
As we advance spiritually and become less covered by limiting conditioning, connection through surrender becomes easier and brings us the unadulterated contentment of the soul. The closer we get to being our pure self, not covered or influenced by the temporary happenings of this world, the more surrendered we will be, for it is the nature of the soul to exist in loving Spiritual Surrender.
Nature functions beautifully, and when it is in charge, there is a natural harmony in existence. Things are only disharmonious and suffer when they step out of alignment with what is natural. Therefore, by surrendering to a higher power, which is the Universe or Nature, we enter into harmony with all of nature and thus the rest of the universe. When we are in harmony with these things only peace, beauty, love, and efficacy are possible.
If you swim up-stream it does not usually work very well. There is a natural way in which nature works, and when you align yourself with this, everything you do becomes easier and more effective. Therefore, the trick to maximum effectiveness and the key to the greatest power are to align your efforts with the natural force of nature. From there creating whatever you want is like gently drifting down a stream: It takes little to no strenuous effort. Spiritual Surrender is finding this natural flow and flowing with it.
Now the question is: How do we know what the natural flow of nature is? Figuring this out could be a lifetime process, but luckily we have short-cut. When we connect with the higher power that is nature and the source of all of existence and let that power guide us, we will be guided to act in accordance with the rest of nature, and thus our actions will be perfect and the most effective possible.
Both a Practice and a Goal
Spiritual Surrender is:
- A goal. Spiritual Surrendering is the transcendental state of being when we are completely pure, not covered by any material conditioning. All lust, anger, greed, selfishness, and envy have left our heart. It is a state when we are perfectly fully and completely situated in an unbroken, unwavering, passionate, loving union with the divine. It is full enlightenment, full self-realization, and fully fledged love in its greatest and most complete form.
- A practice and process. Spiritual Surrender is also the process that leads us to the state of pure Spiritual Surrender that I have just described. In every moment of our life and in each action we take, we can practice the process of Spiritual Surrender and thus advance along the path to enlightenment.
By connecting with the divine at every moment, you are connecting with the source of everything and will know exactly what the best action or best thought for the moment is. Even more powerful than being fully present and connected with the divine in the moment, is when you surrender to do and act according to the will of the divine in that moment. This way, when surrendering in the moment, you are connecting with the totality of nature and the totality of existence (because the divine is the totality of existence). Thus harnessing the greatest power, and feeling the greatest love possible in every micro-second, by letting yourself be guided you can do no wrong. Everything you do will be the precisely perfect thing to do.
It would be impossible to calculate such perfect action because you simply cannot get enough information to make such calculations. The divine has such information, and knows all things in the past, present, and future, and out of loving care will guide you in the most perfect way possible. Don’t just be present: Be present with love. Don’t search for the bland emptiness of the moment, search for the purpose of every moment.
© 2017 by Vishnu Swami. All rights reserved.
Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, New Page Books
a division of Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. 800-227-3371.
About the Author
Vishnu Swami, also known as the Maverick Monk, relocated to study Veda at a monastery in India at the age of 11 and later became the world’s youngest ‘Swami’ at age 23. He has appeared on television and radio and in newspapers internationally, and was featured in an award-winning spiritual documentary in Hollywood. He continues to empower and inspire thousands through his writings, speaking, and online college-accredited courses at Vishnu-Swami.com.