A man just got married and was returning home with his wife. They were crossing a lake in a boat when suddenly a great storm arose. The man was a warrior, but the woman became very much afraid because it seemed almost hopeless — the boat was small and the storm was really huge and any moment they would be drowned. But the man sat silently, calm and quiet, as if nothing was happening.
The woman was trembling and she said, “Are you not afraid? This may be our last moment of life! It doesn’t seem that we will be able to reach the other shore. Only some miracle can save us, otherwise death is certain. Are you not afraid? Are you mad or something? Are you a stone or something?”
The man laughed and took the sword out of its sheath. The woman was even more puzzled — what is he doing? Then he brought the naked sword close to the woman’s neck — so close that just a small gap was there, it was almost touching her neck.
He said, “Are you afraid?”
She started to giggle and laugh and said, “Why should I be afraid? If the sword is in your hands, why should I be afraid? I know you love me.”
He put the sword back and said, “This is my answer. I know God loves me, and the sword is in His hands, and the storm is in His hands — so whatsoever will happen, will be good. If we survive, good; if we don’t survive, good — because everything is in His Hands, and He cannot do anything wrong.”
Surrender unreservedly, unconditionally. Surrender consists in giving up oneself, one’s karma-s, whether good or bad, along with its fruits and doership notion and most of all, the ego to the Lord of mercy. The real surrender is the surrender of the ego. For a devotee, that is the only way to weaken and ultimately destroy the ego. (For a spiritual seeker on the path of knowledge, the destruction of the ego comes with the knowledge of his Real Self.) Surrender to Him and abide by His will whether He appears or vanishes; await His pleasure. God never forsakes one who has surrendered.
How do we know whether we have surrendered to Him or not? The only test to find this out is whether we entertain even an iota of worry in any corner of our mind regarding anything whatsoever. If we do, then there is a flaw in our surrender, because, as there can’t be two swords in one scabbard or sheath, so also there cannot be complete surrender and worry simultaneously in the same mind.
If we ask Him to do as we please, it is not surrender, it is like a command to Him. We cannot have Him obey us and yet think that we have surrendered. Don’t make Him a complaint counter or a shopping counter, where, in the guise of prayer, one usually presents one’s complaint list and shopping list.
He knows what is best for us and when and how to do it. Remember, in life we always get what we deserve, not what we desire and He knows very well what we deserve. Whatever comes in the life of a devotee, who has surrendered to his Lord, whether good or bad, he accepts it as His gift without any complaint.
The self-surrender is truly made by him who always has the feeling “Let all things happen according to Thy Will. In all respects, I am bound to you.” Even Lord Jesus said at Gethsemane, a day before his crucifixion, “Not my will, let Thy will be done.”
Let us leave everything entirely to Him and be carefree, but not careless. His is the burden; we have no longer any worries. All our worries are His. Such is the real surrender. This is real devotion.
The wise one leaves to God his cares concerning the good of the world, just as he leaves to Him his cares about his own body and family and goes about discharging his duties to the best of his abilities.