From the time of birth, every person is committed to something. When he is conscious of his commitment, that very commitment establishes itself in his little conscious mind, and as he gets older with a greater understanding, the commitment becomes stronger. But what is the nature of commitment? You are committed to your husband or your wife. In what sense are you committed? You are committed to love. You are committed to protecting. You are committed to being together. So why are there conflicts? Are these the qualities of genuine commitment? Genuine commitment is synonymous with the word surrender, for commitment can never exist without surrender.

What does one surrender oneself to? Do you surrender yourself to the object of your love? No, that is only the side effect. You surrender to yourself. What do we mean when we say, “You surrender to yourself”? Which self? You are a compilation of many layers, and there are many selves within yourself. You have your physical, mental, and, of course, the eternal Spiritual Self.

So, where do we start in self-surrender? Some schools of thought would say you start with the physical self, which the mental self would empower. But when it is empowered by the cognitive self, which governs your act of surrendering of mind, which reflects in bodily action of surrender, it is still not true surrender because you are forming specific patterns in your mind. And when patterns are formed in the mind, know that those patterns can change. So, for the moment, you might feel surrendered to some idea, and that idea starts in your mind, so your mind creates the idea or ideal, and if your mind makes it, then it is subject to change.

What validity is there in the mental idea? The idea is a thought, and what validity is there in thought? Today, you might feel committed to something you like or love. Tomorrow, circumstances might happen where you do not think that fondness or that love for that ideal, and then your ideals would change. It changes because it has been an ideal. The secret of self-surrender is not the ideal of an idea or the ideal of an object but that which is within which requires no surrender.


There is not a question of surrender. This is what theology says: “Surrender yourself to man or God or some ideal.” But all theologies are trying to put you into a groove, a particular line of thought, a specific patterning, and all patternings are not freedom. But patternings are the basis of all bondage. So, you get out of a particular bondage and enter into another bondage. True surrender is free. In surrendering, the leading quality that should be within you is total freedom, and this totality of liberty can never be gained until we reach the inner self, the true, unchanging self. And when we get the accurate, unchanging self, our minds and bodies become so saturated by its force that the mind also starts feeling free. For whom cognises freedom, or what cognises bondage? It is only the mind. But what level of the mind cognises what? That is the question. It could only be a free mind that could recognise freedom. A mind bound by various conditions or patterns can never realise this freedom.


By bringing the mind into more significant turbulence through various forms of analysis, multiple forms of intellectualisation, and various forms of rationalisation, surrender would not be possible. Rationalisation and intellectualisation are directly opposite of surrender. Surrender is unconditional, while rationalisation is conditional. Today, you might follow a particular philosophy which becomes your ideal, and tomorrow, you might find something different, something better. You might have been using “Palmolive” soap all of your life and found that to be the best, and then one day you discover “Body Dust”, which you would find to be better. So, the ideals change because you are changing. So, the whole point is missed in surrendering.

The approach is deep within ourselves, where you are forever free, and surrendering can only take effect from a stable standpoint. That stableness is achieved through meditation and spiritual practices. As you become more and more stable and integrated within yourself, surrendering does not become an object of thought but a spontaneous act. It just flows from your body, mind and spirit. There are no obstacles. There are no hindrances. There are no rationalisations, and there are no intellectualisations.


“I love my guru because he is a nice chap.” As soon as you say that you do not love your guru, you say, “My wife, she is so beautiful, and she is this and that,” there is no love and neither surrender. So, the object at first could attract our attention. It could be attractive in some form with a certain amount of mental and physical compatibility. But these compatibilities do not remain forever. The man might go through some illness whereby physical compatibility is gone. Or the woman might go through specific mental traumas so that mental compatibility is gone. So, what you feel today to be compatible is a fixture of your mind. It belongs to the fiction department. But we take it to be so real, and the reason why we take it to be so real is that we base all our experiences upon what the mind dictates to us. Not a pure, unconditioned mind but a conditioned mind, and whatever a conditioned mind dictates can never be lasting. So, until man realises or learns the value of the unchanging, stable inner self, he will forever be conditioned, and his surrender will be conditioned.

I love my guru because I might find stability within myself through him. This is very partly true because there is a condition. There is a motive. There is a motivation. Through him, with him, I will be led to where I want to go. That is not surrender because here, you have not surrendered to the guru; you have surrendered to yourself.

I love my guru because I cannot help loving him. If he says go jump in the lake, I will do that. Guidance is necessary, and a genuine spiritual master could never misguide you. It might seem difficult. The hill might seem very steep, but that might be what you need for your unfoldment and your surrender. So, the idea of surrendering to a guru is wrong. The concept of surrendering to a god is terrible. Who knows if there is a god? I can give you one thousand arguments against the existence of God, and I can also give you ten thousand arguments proving the existence of God. That is how the mind works. Forever in conflict. Yes. No. Yes. No. It is so. It is not so—all the time. So, to find oneself is to surrender to oneself.


This is a process. You start with an ideal. Nothing wrong. Because your ideal, your thought patterns, is based upon your mind and thought processes, you are projecting what is in your mind onto another. If your mind is free, then there would be no projection. There would be no judgment. There would be no conclusions. There would be no such thing as, “Ahh, John is a good man, or Jack is a bad man.” The conditioning produces the thoughts in our minds of good and evil because of the bondage to the various patterns of our minds. As your ideals change to different levels, it means only one thing: the mental energies have shifted. The mental energies are taken from one place to another place, but the mind remains the same. It is a shifting of energies. So, we go beyond the mind – not off the mind.

Now, what does “going beyond the mind” mean? There is no such thing as going beyond the mind. Many teachers would tell you that you must transcend the mind, which is a physical, biological, and psychological impossibility. You cannot transcend the mind. With what are you going to transcend the mind? What tools have we used to transcend the mind? Only the mind. What other tool is there? You cannot do it with a hammer, chisel, or plier and screwdriver. But you can go beyond the limitations of the little conscious mind and then go to a finer level of the subconscious mind and still progress further to that which we call the Superconscious Mind. But you are still in the mind. You are nothing but the mind, and the physical body you wear around the mind or in which you encapsulate the mind is also a creation of the forces of the mind, a solidification of the mind. It is your mind that determines your features. Your mind defines the shape of your nose and your eyes and your feet, legs, and everything else that goes between. So, the conscious mind, at its lowest and analytical levels, transforms itself into its physiological and biological equivalent. But to remember one thing: that it is all a continuum. You can never separate the body from the conscious mind; the conscious mind can never be separated from the subconscious mind.


Is there a subconscious mind? There is a subconscious mind if you understand it in the way that there are thoughts in that memory box, called the subconscious mind, a whole compilation, conglomeration of thoughts, experiences, and things understood and not understood. They are all there, and that subconscious level extends far beyond this world as you know it. Being a memory box, it contains all the experiences of man in his present state of evolution and that which goes below it, meaning the animal kingdom, the plant kingdom, and the mineral kingdom. That is the extent of the subconscious mind. It is a collection of the world’s thoughts and only becomes individualised because of your patterns.

The mind and the subconscious mind can never exist on its own. It is always relative because it relates to relationships, or you could never compare. Recognition or cognition could never occur if there were no point of reference, and that point of reference is all there in the subconscious mind at the present stage of human evolution. Filtering that knowledge through the cognisable and recognisable conscious level gives you individuality. So, there are circles within circles within circles. All the time. Patterns within patterns within patterns within patterns. Plots have so many subplots. So, you are a combination of the story of humankind from the very first subatomic particle that came into existence. That is as far as human evolution is concerned.

But we still go further back to the superconscious level of the mind, which is the totality of the entire universe. The subconscious goes as far back as society is concerned, world society, or the stage of present evolution, while the superconscious goes back to the totality of the universe. And the totality of the universe, although it functions at a very fine level of friction, maintains stability, for not a single ounce of energy can be subtracted from it, and neither could a single ounce of energy be added to it. So, these are various gradations. The conscious level individualises you. The subconscious level takes you to a greater sphere of cognition where you have the world’s knowledge of present evolution at your command. In contrast, the superconscious level is connected to the entire universe.


This universe cannot function without the law of opposites, for it is the law of opposites that keeps this universe in motion. When there is no motion, the entire universe will collapse. So here we are, defining gradations of motion. The conscious mind has its motion at a certain vibratory level. The body has its motion at a certain vibratory level. The subconscious mind has its motion at a higher vibratory level, and the superconscious has its motion at the finest level of relative existence. Being at the very finest level, like a calm sea where not a single wave could be seen, yet there are currents in the ocean, and those very currents, though not observable, are still moving. So, when we reach that finest level of the superconscious, we draw that through the various areas of the subconscious, bringing about some stability into it, and then to the conscious level with some stability, which in turn translates itself into the various indriyas, indriyas meaning your senses: sight, smell, touch, feel, taste.


You see the one continuum. In his unfoldment, man proceeds from a grosser level to the subtlest level possible for man, and that is why great masters would say that you progress from a lower truth to a higher truth. You progress from a grosser truth to a finer truth, and when the finest truth has been reached, the entire universe is embraced. The whole social structure is adopted. The entirety of the world’s knowledge is embraced. And we have a greater awareness, a cognisable awareness, in the conscious area of ourselves, which in turn could translate itself into its physical counterpart. And when that translates itself into its physical counterpart, you will find that relationships become more loving with real love. There is no ideal at all. There is no projection, but love exists by itself, empowered by the superconscious level, and that is surrender, a spontaneous action.

When you visit some gurus here in America, you have got to prostrate yourself at his feet and offer fruits and flowers that get recycled and resold to someone else. Is this surrendering?

Surrender is the culmination of spiritual practices and not the start because you are not equipped to start with surrender, and if you feel or begin at that level of surrender, you are conditioning your mind. You are bluffing yourself. How can you ever go to a guru or your beloved and surrender yourself entirely without finding an understanding and feeling that total rapport, that total oneness, with the object? And when you see the total oneness, there is no object anymore. It is you, and therefore, it is self-surrendering and not surrendering to someone else because the subject and the object become one, and what remains is just love, which is not an ideal, which is not a quality, nor a quantity. Still, it exists as it is here and now.


Meanwhile, there are many paths to lead one to this goal, where one indulges in extreme bhakti devotion. Let that be a starting point for want of anything else. But even in that devotion, do not become patterned, for by patterning yourself, you are shackling yourself—ball and chain effect. Observe your dedication, and as you observe your devotion, you will be led very spontaneously to the more profound levels of devotion where devotion ceases when oneness is found. So, to whom am I devoted? To no one – no one at all – I am devoted to myself because you are all in me. Who can I be devoted to when you are me, and I am you? No subject. No object. Only devotion exists; only love produces a surrender, an unqualified surrender spontaneously brought about.

Then, the ideal that you started with does not become extinct. The ideal remains, but an unpatterned ideal. What do we mean by an unpatterned ideal? An ideal which is us. For in that established rapport, in that mindless communication, there the Heart unfolds. The Heart opens, and all the energy is emitted from your Heart, which means the core of your personality melts away into the core or the Heart of the personality we previously regarded as the object of our devotion. When these energies merge and melt away, there is no question of devotion, surrendering, or love. Love remains. Devotion remains. Surrender remains. But the question disappears. The ideal does not have its validity from a patterned mind, and yet it is all just there – all just there.

As the saying goes, you love your wife intensely with body, mind and soul. However, people say that they do not know the true meaning of it, which is that you love in totality with body, mind, and spirit. And when you love in totality, does that not include the object? Or else it is not total. If the object is not included in your totality, then you are loving only partly, for there is only one totality. And that is how we learn to love our neighbour as ourselves in its truest sense when we realise this one totality.


All these theologies and these various methods give you crutches to use. They give you an ideal of Krishna, Buddha, Christ, and who have you. They give you ways and paths. They say, “Be devoted. Surrender. Accept.” The truth behind all this is empty words because those words could never be meaningful until you experience that inner self. But for a lame person, these crutches are necessary, so we do not deny these theologies. We do not deny them. At least they will lead you somewhere from patterning to patterning. But I hope it will lead you to a finer patterning and a higher vibratory rate.

Neither surrender nor devotion nor love has to be rationalised. It must be blind. Therefore, we say love is blind. There is great truth in it. Love is blind. But not blind in the way we understand it to be. It is not an unquestioning belief because the rabbi, priest, or pastor says this or that, so we believe that. No. We rationalise it for one purpose. Today, people do not think so. In those primitive times, there was no tremendous technological advancement, and the intellect was not used so much. When many of these great teachers talked to peasants, they could only relate to the peasants and the fishermen in terms of belief in thy Father in Heaven. This has tremendous therapeutic and specific psychological value, although it lacks truth.

Psychological value in the sense that a thought pattern is created whereby when the person is told to believe, he starts believing not in God. However, that becomes the object; he starts thinking, “Because I believe in God, my problems will be solved because He is there to solve my problems.” This is another fallacy because He is not there to solve your problems, or he will be biased. Why should he solve John’s and not Jean’s? But the therapeutic value is that there is a crutch to cling to. That belief, or autosuggestion, has some effect upon the mind, bringing solace. It is a balm—surface treatment without effecting a cure. But the surface treatment helps a bit. You have a headache; you take a few aspirins. That belief system is aspirins. It takes away the headache for a while; it takes away the symptoms. The headaches are the symptoms but do not remove the cause. It helps the headache, so it has some value.

We are all hypnotised by what has been thrown at us all the time so that we live as the living dead. The process to find the truth is to dehypnotise ourselves. That de-hypnotisation occurs through the experience we could have within ourselves, and every man can do that to see that inner self. Call it the divine self. Call it God. Call it the superconscious level of oneself. These are labels. And when one reaches that, you not only become surrendered, but you also bring the whole family of surrender with it. You get with kindness, charity, compassion, and forgiveness. You can go on and on and on with the list. For all these are blood brothers.


You are not entitled to judge, but if you have to, see the person. Is he kind? Is he compassionate? Is he humble? These are the marks of the man who has found or has some glimpse of the truth within himself.

Judging is not correct because you would be judging with your mind. You might be judging the facade that the man is putting up of kindness, compassion and charity. I have known of people donating large sums of money to institutions on the condition that a plaque must be put up saying that Mr. X Y Z made this edifice or this institution possible. That is not charity. It is said in the scriptures, “Do not even let your brother know that you are praying.” These are the things that mark an actual human. Otherwise, we are very partly human—more animal. His instincts rule an animal, and the thinking man is governed by the patterns in his mind. So, to surrender and to know the meaning of acceptance, one has to be accessible by reaching the deeper levels of oneself.

To be free does not mean that you will not be involved in the turmoil and tribulations of life. You are there as long as you are embodied. But it will assume a different meaning to you.

… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1982 – 11