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Strive or Surrender

Pujya Gurudevshri explains that the secret to prosperity is to explore one’s own Self to uncover the treasure trove of divine virtues that are eternal, peaceful and blissful; and the way to it simply begins with eulogising the One who has found His treasure

Is Truth realised by effort or grace? Both are right in their own way. On the path of knowledge, attainment of Self-realisation is the result of self-effort. It is based on resolution and hard work. Awareness that you alone are responsible for your joy and sorrow, peace and unrest, worldliness and liberation, makes you work towards your resolve and bring transformation.

The second way is, attainment of self-realisation is the result of Sadguru’s grace. A devotee on the path of devotion proclaims, “What can a wretch like me do? I surrender my arrogance of doership at my Sadguru’s Lotus Feet. May my mind, speech and body function in accordance with His ajna. In His will is my joy. No complaints. Absolute acceptance.”

In one, self-effort is highlighted and in the second, surrender of the ego. Both are right, but you can’t walk on two paths at the same time. To reach the mountain-top, there are many paths, but you must follow only one. If you take steps on any one path, you are sure to reach the peak. Either take full responsibility, be earnest in staying a witness and remain in the state of non-doership; or making the Sadguru responsible, surrender everything at His Lotus Feet and remain in the state of non-doership.

Why Two Methods?

There are two methods because the seekers are of different types. Those who do not want to give up ego benefit from the path of devotion. If they take to the path of knowledge, they would end up strengthening their ego. The lethargic ones however will benefit from the path of knowledge, and could harm themselves from the path of devotion.

The Master speaks of what is necessary. While talking about the path of devotion, He shows the pitfalls of the path of knowledge and vice versa. If He says that all paths lead to the same, the followers will either pick what suits their impure intentions, or try a combination. If He says that the goal can be accomplished by this path alone, they will become insistent that this path is the right one and others are wrong. Therefore, the Master has to clearly prescribe what is good for you. So neither considering the other method wrong nor insisting on one’s own method, you should earnestly follow the path shown by Him.

Smart Solution

These methods help to know the truth; they are not absolute truth by themselves. But by earnestly following either of them, you can engage yourself in the pursuit of truth.

A house was on fire. The parents were not home. People were urging the children to run out of the house, but they did not as they were not able to comprehend the words, ‘the house is on fire.’ Instead of running, they were amused seeing the flames. The father reached. He found a solution. He told them, ‘Kids, I have got so many toys, come out fast and take them from me.’ Hearing that, the children ran out. What the real fire could not do, the unreal toys did. A thought of toys made children give up fire.

In the same way, some hearing, ‘everything is in your hands’ will come out of worldliness; while others, on hearing, ‘everything is in the hands of the Sadguru’ will do so. Having come out, when they abide in their nature, they laugh at both these statements.

In both, you begin with the thinking that you are separate from your own essential divine nature and need to attain oneness. One says ‘do’, the other says ‘surrender’. Both are fundamentally incorrect, because in essence, you can never be separate from your Self. If you are not separate, neither you, nor the Sadguru is responsible for the oneness. But this is the experience only after abidance in the Self; after coming out of the house, you realise that there were no toys; coming out alone was important. Both are smart solutions to bring you out from ego-identity and doership.

Don’t Combine, Start Doing

Do not insist on combining. The house is on fire and if someone says jump out of the burning house from the window and another says leave from the door, you want to combine both? How can you come out of the window and the door at the same time? Before the house and you get burnt into ashes, choose one and leave.

Stop worrying about integrating both and be concerned about doing. If you are near the window, jump out from there and if you are near the door leave from the door. The house is on fire and you need to leave, this alone is important.

The saints share their journey and the path they treaded to come out. But they also show you the one that is closer for you. They were near the window, so they jumped out but if you are near the door, they show you the way out from the door. Insist on none. The Enlightened Ones say, take the path that is necessary, the one that suits you and just leave.

Decide thoughtfully and not out of any insistence on family tradition. You may be born in a family of those following devotion, but you choose the path which suits your temperament. If you feel comfortable with knowledge, take that path, and devotion if that befits you. Some feel path of devotion is of sentimentalism, while others feel path of knowledge is of geeks. Therefore, without insisting on tradition, whatever is conducive for you should be taken up and applied.

Everything Will Not Suit Everyone

It may happen that when saint Meerabai is being talked about, one may be moved to tears and another person may feel nothing in his heart. He may not feel any pain of separation from God and may find the one crying as crazy, emotional, and sentimental. And the one who is moved may find the other person strange, heartless, and blind to the pain of Meerabai’s pangs of separation from her Lord.

Both could be right in their own way. And there is no need for them to be integrated. Let those who like bhajan do bhajans, and those interested in knowledge engage in discussions. Let the former surrender and the latter resolve to act. Let each go deep in their methods. The important thing is to find the divine through their own ways.

Reaching is Important

Whether through a bullock cart, horse cart, or a camel cart, or from east or the west, what is important is you undertake the journey and reach. Both paths are right. If the resolve to act inspires you, brings transformation in you, then start walking that path. And if listening about surrendering makes you dance with joy, then that is your path; walk and reach. Don’t worry about integrating them.

Resolving to act and surrendering convey the same thing in different languages. A thirsty one says water, another may say paani but both seek the same. You reach the same destination. Don’t engage thoughtlessly in integrating both. Knowledge and devotion are two languages to understand the path. Speak whichever is convenient and move forward. Whichever language you understand, act accordingly and reach.


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#SadguruWhispers A seeker's inner journey begins with love, faith, and surrender to his living Enlightened Master.