Yudhisthir had lost Draupadi in the game of dice. Duryodhan gleefully sent Dushashan to bring her to the assembly hall. When she was brought there, Duryodhan spoke insultingly to her and ordered Dushashan to disrobe her. Draupadi in her desperation began to chant “Krishna, Krishna, Krishna”. The Lord came and saved her from embarrassment. Contrary to what impression one may have, God not only exists, but also helps out of those who have truly surrendered to Him as did Draupadi in her hour of crisis.
What is this surrender ? It is of several types. For example, a defeated army surrenders to the victors ; we take shelter of a doctor or a lawyer when in trouble. One surrenders to something inevitable, like death ; we submit ourselves to a conducted tour-operator. One surrenders to a teacher for proper guidance. And we are mostly surrendered to our obstinate nature, that is we do what our natures dictate.
What did we accept under these circumstances ? Someone is more intelligent than us ; we are not the most powerful and there is a power which is totally beyond us. As a matter of fact, we always need help, beginning with being a tiny-tot, on death for the disposal of our bodies, as also right through the day, such as getting a hair-cut, flying, getting operated, etc.
Since we always need to surrender to get almost anything done, let us investigate where our surrender shall bring the maximum benefit. We need to learn something that we always do : Who is the most intelligent person ? Who is the most powerful ? Who is the most resourceful ?
By the following examples, we can make out where our surrender is likely to be the most useful. When Arjunn was confused about his duties, who does he turn to ? Dhruv Maharaj needs a kingdom bigger than his father’s, who did he turn to ? When Druv Maharaj needed a kingdom bigger than his father’s, who did he seek help from ? When Draupadi had to save her honour, who did she call for help ? There is mention in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam of an elephant-king Gajendra who was in desperate trouble, who did he beg ?
When Lord Krishna’s friends were trapped in a forest fire, who did they entrust their lives to ? Uttara, the wife of Abhimanyu when attacked with brahmashtra, who did she take shelter of ? Ambrish Maharaj when faced with the wrath of Durvasa Muni, was given protection, by whom ? Inspite of our denials of the existence of God, who do we turn to when we find ourselves in a hopeless position ? The sole answer to all these questions is God. He is the most intelligent, powerful and resourceful, and we need to surrender to Him.
How do we surrender to God ? There are nine devotional processes : Hearing about Him, singing His glories, remembering Him, serving Him, worshipping Him, praising Him, treating Him as one’s master, being His friend and offering everything one has to Him. Whatever method we follow we must have these qualities : Humility, acceptance of the primacy of God, and agreeing to follow all His instructions unconditionally.
Surrender does not necessarily mean that one is worthless. It should be a voluntary act and we need to surrender since we cannot manage without help. Surrender to drinks, illicit relationships, drugs, etc does give some temporary relief, but one has to pay heavy price for that.
Actual surrender to God has several steps. Accepting that we are not - and cannot be - perfect at any time , we can make better progress if given proper guidance. One who can effectively help is God alone. Suppose, one does not have much faith in Him, what can one do ? Smart thing to do is to follow the scriptural guidance, like that from the Bhagavad-Geeta and assess the benefits. This is a sure way to build faith.
There are several benefits of surrendering to God. One comes to the mode of goodness which is the highest one. Tolerance increases, since we accept that someone else is the arbiter of our future. One is less likely to suffer from false pride. One would not have controller mentality. There will be some control over the senses and the mind. One would not sin so readily, and there may be forgiveness for past mistakes. One shall progressively be less fearful, and is likely to enjoy peace. Also, one would receive the perfect knowledge . One shall, therefore, be liberated.
Let us surrender to God without further delay. After all, surrender will make one follow God’s instructions at all times. It is not a theoritical thing related with inactivity. Today, most of us have surrendered to our faulty natures. Where has that taken us ? Let us surrender to God and enjoy liberation during this life itself.