||  Shri Hari  ||


Complete Surrender to God




Swami Ramsukhdas




||  Shri Hari  ||


Complete Surrender to God










tvameva   mata   cha   pita   tvameva

tvameva bandhuscha sakha tvameva  |

tvameva  vidyaa   dravinam tvameva

tvameva sarvam mama   devadeva  ||



Swami Ramsukhdas


||  Shri Hari  ||

Complete Surrender to God





In the Gita, God declares the ‘Bhakti Yoga’ (discipline of devotion) as the best spiritual discipline.  It is ‘sharanagati’ (total refuge, complete surrender) to the Lord. Lord's teachings begin with Arjun taking refuge in Lord Krishna and the teaching ends with Lord Krishna saying -


"Surrendering all duties to Me, seek refuge in Me alone.

I shall liberate you from all sins, grieve not." (Gita 18:66).


Sarva dharmaan parityajya maamekum sharanam vraj.

Aham tvaa sarva paapebhyo mokshashishyaami maa suchaha.

(Gita 18:66)


In the Gita, God spoke about ‘guhya’ (secret),  guhyatara’ (more secret),  guhyatama’ (most secret) and finally in Gita 18:64, He revealed the ‘sarva guhyatama’ (supreme or profoundest secret). The supreme secret that God revealed is ‘Seek refuge in Me alone.’ Earlier Arjuna was unable to reach a decision on whether to fight in the war or not. Arjuna had said to Lord Krishna, ‘I am deluded and confused about my duty. So I plead to you to guide me.’


Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, that you should not fall prey to this dilemma. If you are confused in taking the right decision, simply leave all and take refuge in Me. I will liberate you from all sins.  You need not worry.


One must therefore renounce all other forms of dependencies. One must not depend on anyone. Give up dependency and reliance on all else. Simply surrender exclusively and entirely to God. Accept Him as the both the ‘saadhan’ (means) and the ‘saadhya’ (end). This exclusive surrendering to God is the most confidential and ultimate secret shared by Lord Krishna.


There is a very sincere secret in it and that is, ‘I shall liberate you from all sins, grieve not !’ This is something very uncommon.  It does not mean that Arjuna was tempted to surrender so that God might liberate him from sins.  But it means that he should surrender exclusively to Him.  A man that does his duty without any desire for fruit, has no adverse effect and there is no loss of effort.


Nehaabhikram naashosti pratyavaayo ne vidhyate  (Gita 2:40)


Meaning - You need not worry after surrendering yourself to Me.


By this Lord Krishna means that after surrendering yourself to Him, you may have worry, adverse feeling, attachment or malice to the worldly things, you may not concentrate on God, and you may feel that you don’t have promptness and faith and have such other defects as well, then too, you need not worry at all.   You should become fearless and free of doubts.  Do not be concerned whether you will get fame or defame, praise or reproach, profit or loss, regard or disregard and what will happen in this world and in the next world.  Give up dependence on all the worldly things and seek refuge in Him alone.  Don’t have fear, gloom and doubt.  We are gloomy over the missing things and doubtful when we think over the present and future.  Give up any doubt and any dejection, and don’t worry in the least bit.


Seek refuge in Him alone in the same way as a girl after being married thinks that her relation with her husband is complete and permanent.  After accepting this relationship whether her husband lives or dies, respects her or insults her, shows any kind of behavior and even becomes a hermit, he remains her husband.  This is the characteristic of an Indian woman.  The same principle has been mentioned by saints in the following words -


As a faithful wife always lives with her husband, in the same way a devotee always lives with his Lord


Pativrataa rahe patike paasaa; 

yu sahib ke dhig rahe daasaa.


A devotee is always pleased in serving and pleasing His Lord.  In the Ramcharitamanasa it has been mentioned in the following words -


“For a faithful wife, there is only one duty, one promise, one principle and that is to have devotion to the feet of her husband with body, words and mind.”


Ekayi dharma, ek vrat nemaa;

kaaye bachan man pati pad premaa”

(Manasa III:5:5)


In the same way, surrender yourself to God.  Accept that you are His, you have to obey Him and follow His will.   ‘You are exclusively His’ means that you have no desire at all to receive anything from others.  As a faithful wife serves all the members of the family of her husband in a hospitable manner, she gives alms to hermits and does every kind of duty but her relationship is exclusively with her husband.  All other relationships depend on that relationship.  Similarly, have relationship with God, adore Him and surrender to Him alone.


It is not a sin to serve, help and comfort others, but it is a sin to desire anything from others.  By surrendering yourself to God, don’t have the least desire for anything at all.


In Ramcaritamanasa it is mentioned -


If any person being called a devotee of Mine, expects anything from others, should he be trusted?


Mor daas kahaayi nar aasaa. 

Karayi tau kahahu kahaa biswaasaa” 

(Manasa. VII:46:2)


How can anyone who expects anything from others be a devotee to God?  He is a slave of the thing wished for.  One who desires to get wealth and property etc., from God is not a devotee to God but a slave of wealth and property.  Therefore a devotee without having any expectation, without trusting his own strength and power,   without desiring anything,  should seek refuge in Him alone and thus be free from grief and worries.  Sometimes if there is any spontaneous worry, don’t bother about it. It will go away by itself.  If you are determined, it can’t stay.  You are worried as long as you are proud of your power.  Why is it so?  There is a subtle point in it.  Suppose you are worried because you have no money.  It means that you have confidence in your power that you can earn money.  This means you have pride in your own strength and capabilities.  On the other hand, if you have a shortage of money, you will experience it but will not worry for it.  Similarly, you will not worry about any illnesses (disease) etc.  In this manner, don’t depend on your power, skill, intelligence, ability and authority etc., Depend only on Him, as Lord Rama is the power of the powerless.


‘Sune ri mein ne Nirbal ke Bal Ram’


You are worried because you depend on your power that you can do and will do something yourself with your power.


After surrendering yourself to Him, you feel the lacuna that you could not behold Him, could not have the supreme devotion of His feet, but you are not worried because this is something beyond your power.  You have no will of your own.  You leave everything to His will.  A potter makes use of clay in any which way he likes to make a pot.  He carries it on his head, turns it into mud by mixing water, rubs it thoroughly, revolves it on the potter’s wheel and makes different kinds of pots such as jars, pitchers and cups etc.  Clay has no will of its own.  Similarly you should surrender yourself exclusively to Him.  Leave to Him whether He comes into view or enables you to have love and devotion.  Prostrate at His feet and leave everything to Him.  The more worried you are, the less grace you experience because your worry hinders His perfect, permanent and exceptional grace.  He thinks that you are worried yourself, so you will set things right.  The criterion for surrender is to be free from worry, fear, dejection, doubt and dilemma.  Then you have no burden, no responsibility.        


According to the Gita, a devotee should not renounce his duties and actions, and instead offer them to God. There is no need for him to take any decision about his duty when he has surrendered his duty and actions to God.


No other quality can be compared with the relationship that "You are God's and God is yours." This relationship is the essence of all spiritual disciplines.  God just looks at the relationship and he is unable to look at the defects of His devotees. Therefore the devotee who has surrendered himself to God, without looking at his inclinations should look at this relationship. The devotee, who surrendering himself to God, worries, commits a crime against God because he has his own pride that is a blot on surrender. It is because of his pride that he worries about his defects and wants to root them out with his power. Therefore give up your pride. If your conduct, inclinations and feelings are not purified, sometimes ill feelings sprout forth and even sins are committed, you need not worry. It is He who will worry about them.


By surrendering yourself to God never put it to a test that you have not possessed the characteristics of a surrendered devotee, so actually you have not surrendered. Similarly don't have a doubt and a contrary feeling about it.  When a devotee surrenders himself to God, he is not afraid of others, situations, circumstances, event and other obstacle etc. No one can harm him anyway.


In summary:


1) Do your duty and actions offering them to God. Leave all decisions to God


2) Focus on the Relationship, it is key "You are God's and God is yours."


3) Give up your pride and leave all worries about correcting your defects to

God. It is He who will worry about them.


4) Never put your surrendering to test. Have no doubt about being surrendered to God.


5) Be fearless - no one can harm you in anyway.


Complete Surrender to God (sharanagati) the Ultimate Secret


Question:  What sort of life does a devotee lead after surrendering himself to God?


Swamiji:  According to the Gita, a devotee should not renounce his duties and actions. He should offer all his duties and actions, all his religious and social obligations to God. When entirely all actions are dedicated and surrendered to God and refuge has been taken in God, then for ourselves there remains no need to take any decision about our duties and our actions.


"I am God's and God is mine" - like this feeling of kinship, affinity and intimacy, there is no other ability, fitting quality or characteristic, or proprietary feeling. It is the essence of all spiritual disciplines. Therefore, the devotee who has surrendered himself to God, without looking at his inclinations, should look at the relationship.  A devotee who on surrendering himself worries, then due to his pride, he is committing a crime against God which is a blot on his surrender. It is because of his pride that he worries about his defects and wants to root them out with his own power. Therefore give up your pride. If your conduct, feelings and inclinations are not purified, if sometimes ill feelings sprout forth and sometimes even if sins are committed, you need not worry. It is He who will worry about them.


Every law of God has been made for the benediction of all creatures of the world. If a devotee that has surrendered himself to God, pays attention to this law, nothing remains to be done for him. By surrendering himself to God, his feelings of surrender spontaneously become firm. God just looks at the relationship, He is unable to look at the defects of His devotees. By doing so his worry, fear, gloom and doubt are rooted out because all the defects are due to disinclination for God.


After surrendering yourself to God, never put it to a test that you do not possess the characteristics of a surrendered devotee, so actually you have not surrendered.  Similarly don’t have a doubt and a contrary feeling about it. If you are free from these three things, it means you have accepted your true relationship with God.  In a surrendered devotee, these things are wiped out from the very beginning.  When a devotee surrenders himself to God, he is not afraid of creatures and other obstacles etc., No one can harm him in anyway.


A person can attain God Realization by the grace of God.  The spiritual discipline is merely a means.  Thus establishing a relationship with God leads to God Realization.  Those who have not connected themselves with Him and have remained indifferent, have been deprived of God Realization.


God possesses boundless prosperity, sweetness, beauty and divine manifestations.  But the surrendered devotee, does not pay heed to His attributes and magnanimity.  He only feels that he has surrendered himself to God and He is his.


The extent to which a person gives up his dependence on the worldly things, his dependence on God enhances and he experiences the grace of God.  When he completely depends on God, he attains God’s full grace.  


In Gita 18:57, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna – “Mentally resigning all deeds to Me, have Me as your highest goal and resorting to even-mindedness fix your mind always on Me.”


‘Chetasaa sarvekarmaani mayi sanyasya matparah

Budhiyog mupaashritya macchitah satatam bhava.’

(Gita 18/57)


In this verse, Lord Krishna has said four points

1)      Mentally resign all deeds to Me

2)      Offer yourself to Me

3)      Detach yourself from the world by being even-minded

4)      Have permanent relationship with Me. 


These are the important elements of refuge (surrender).


In the process of spiritual discipline, a devotee has to face the hardship of earning a livelihood and suffering from diseases etc., but by depending on the grace of God, he does not lose heart and patience, rather experiences an exceptional grace of God in facing those problems.


Narayana !  Narayana!  Narayana!



From book ‘Art of Living’   by Swami Ramsukhdasji








Text Box: A Note to the Reader 

The special quality of the original is difficult to capture in a translation. Readers are earnestly requested,  that if they have the knowledge of the Hindi language, to read the original book titled ‘Jeevan Upyogi Pravachan’ in Hindi.



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