The Art of Listening
Today we will introduce and explain some very important spiritual Principles. However before we start explaining these Principles, the author would like to express a few thoughts about the art of listening.
Listening is more difficult than speaking. In order to speak one has to get in tune with oneself and then project one's thoughts in words. In order to listen, one has first to silence one's mind and then get into tune with the mind of the speaker. In order to absorb what the speaker says, one has to prevent one's thoughts from getting in the way. Quite often instead of listening to what the speaker is offering and absorbing his/her thoughts, we use our thoughts as a filter. We reject the thoughts we disagree with and only allow the thoughts we agree with to enter our minds, with the result that we really have not listened to the speaker at all but have merely heard him/her. Quite often, because our minds wander, we do not even hear the speaker.
We hear with our ears but listen with our mind. We look with our eyes but see with our mind. And what we listen to and see is determined by the attitude we have at the time. Thus our attitude influences what we absorb through listening and seeing. Our attitude shapes our experience, and our experience in turn influences our whole being. So it is most important that we have the right attitude. Now what is the right attitude?
It is said that Almighty God who has created the Universe can do anything. Nothing is impossible for Him. In other words everything is possible. We can conclude from this that God must have an open Mind. A Mind that is open to all possibilities. Why? Because if God's Mind were closed to any possibility, then that possibility would not be possible for Him. But since nothing is impossible for God to achieve, He must have an open Mind.
To have an open mind is very important. Unless one has an open mind to what is being experienced, one cannot learn from that experience, and one thus limits one's possibilities. So the right attitude is to listen with an open mind.
Dr. Dinshah K. Mehta, Founder Chairman of the Society of Servants of God, received a Principle from the Spiritual Planes of Consciousness that crystallizes this attitude beautifully. To deal with difficult subjects, the Principle Revered Dinshahji received is, "Accept what is acceptable but do not reject what is not acceptable." So as this treatise is being read, the author requests all readers to accept what they can accept, and not reject what they cannot accept. As Revered Dinshahji has often indicated, with time and spiritual growth, what is not acceptable initially will not only be accepted, but may be the very thing through which higher consciousness descends.
The Need to Surrender
The need to surrender our human will to the Divine Will has been emphasized in one way or another by the High Beings through whom the religions of the world have been founded, or who are considered in the various religions to be intermediaries between the relative or human plane of consciousness and the Absolute or Divine plane of consciousness. For instance, it is recorded that the Lord Christ said words to the effect, "I am the door and I am the way. Those who will come unto me will be saved." It is also reported in the Srimad Bhagavad Gîtâ that Sri Krishna said words to the effect, "Surrender the situation, surrender the action, surrender the result unto me and I will take care of the rest." The Buddha inspired His disciples to surrender to and seek refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha of the Buddha. And the very word Islam literally means "Complete and utter surrender to the Will of Allah".
However, many human beings are not aware of the need to surrender, and many who are aware do not know how to surrender. The step by step process of surrendering one's will to the Divine Will was not revealed in any scripture until Revered Dinshahji did so. It is a gift to humanity through the Society of Servants of God.
In this article we shall try and explain how to surrender one's human mind and will to the Divine Mind and Will. We shall discuss in fair detail each of the steps involved and give the basis for each of them.
Like most exercises, in order for self surrender to be effective, it must be done in the right way. This is only possible if one follows the Principles of Right Surrender. There are Seven principles of Right Surrender. These Seven Principles of Right Surrender are a gift of God to humanity and have been delivered by God through Revered Dinshahji, Dr. Dinshah Kaikhushroo Mehta, from the Higher planes of Consciousness from which scriptures of all the world religions have descended. As mentioned earlier, Revered Dinshahji is the Founder Chairman of the Society of Servants of God, and has over the past decades given many discourses explaining , among other things, the basis of the Seven Principles of Right Surrender as well as how God Himself came into Being.
Surrender is Not Submission
The question may arise: Why surrender at all? The word "surrender" seems to imply a sense of weakness. This implication of weakness does not appeal to some of us who think of ourselves as strong-willed, independent individuals who can influence if not control our own destiny. Similarly people in the armed forces, and civilians with a militant attitude, find the word "surrender" distasteful. The author of this article also did not initially like the usual connotation associated with the word "surrender". Conquering heroes do not surrender. Only losers surrender. And who wants to be a loser?
Revered Dinshahji explains that in the spiritual context, surrender does not indicate weakness. Rather it is the inability to surrender which is a result of weakness and ignorance. Spiritual surrender requires disciplined self-restraint and is an act of wisdom, love and strength. In the usual way of life, when there is a clash of wills, the weaker submits to the stronger. One submits to the oppressor against one's will. But the Good Lord never oppresses. Even though His Will is omnipotent, if we have the slightest resistance to what He Wills, He lets us go our own way, until such time as our will clashes with the manifestations of His Will. Only then does He assert, and that too, only in the interest of the greater Good. But we can voluntarily surrender to the Lord long before things come to such a drastic pass. In a spiritual context, one surrenders to one's spiritual Beloved voluntarily and with joy, realizing that it is mutually beneficial to do so.
Universality of the Principle of Surrender
The Principle of surrender is universal. One can only live and grow through surrender. Indeed the process of life and creation itself would not be possible without the Principle of surrender.
An analogy from the physical world may help to make things clearer. Even though an analogy may not be perfect in every respect, all the same, the following may give an idea of how important the principle of surrender is for all life.
Let us take the situation of a new born child. When a child is born it immediately gasps for breath. As soon as it gasps for breath, the atmosphere -- which is the source of all breaths of air on earth -- surrenders itself to the child's gasp, and fills the child's lungs with itself. After the atmosphere surrenders to the child's gasp for air, the child then surrenders the air back to the atmosphere. Because of this mutual surrender of air between the child and the atmosphere, the cycle of breath is completed, and the child begins to live. Without this mutual surrender of breath between the atmosphere and the child, life for the new-born infant could not even begin; and life continues only so long as this mutual surrender continues. So life begins when the atmosphere, the source of air, first surrenders to the child; and life ends when the child or adult -- which are the creations -- surrenders the last breath back to the atmosphere: or more correctly can no longer continue to surrender.
Thus life for the creation begins with the Principle of surrender, with the source surrendering first; life is sustained by continuous mutual surrender between the source and its creations; and life ends when the mutual surrender ends. All life is thus seen to be based on mutual surrender.
The Five Great Elementals of Nature
The Hindu Scriptures explain that life on earth depends upon the five main elementals known as the panch mahâ bhootas or Five Great Elementals. These are the earth; water; air; heat; and space or âkâsh (or what may be referred to in modern terminology as the space-time continuum). The Principle of surrender also manifests itself in our relationship with these other elementals. We receive food from the earth, and after it passes through our bodies, whatever remains is surrendered back to the earth. The same thing happens with water, heat and space. And just as we are not aware of the blood that flows through our vascular system -- although we know that it does -- similarly we are not aware of the mutual surrender that occurs between our bodies and space, even though it is occurring all the while.
Biological creations have to surrender to the source of their biological bodies, which are the five elementals as explained earlier. This Principle of surrender is universal and cuts through all national, geographical and religious boundaries. All human beings, regardless of the circumstances of their birth be they paupers, millionaires, ministers or kings, or whether they believe in God or not must surrender to the earth, water, air, heat and space if they want to live. Life for all biological creations ends when the mutual surrender ends with respect to any one of the five elementals. Thus we can suffocate to death due to lack of air; die of thirst or dehydration; die of hunger and cold; and our bodies would collapse into a solid point having no dimensions were it not for the space between the various cells and organs of the body. Indeed our bodies need space even after we are dead. So one can see that this Principle of surrender is universal in its manifestation. Yet how many of us have given any thought to this universal Principle of surrender?
Nature of Surrender
In the discussion thus far we have observed five things about the Principle of surrender:
1.Surrendering is not a sign of weakness, nor is it submission.
2.Surrendering is a natural process -- as natural as breathing -- and our life depends upon surrendering to the natural source of our bodies.
3.The material source that sustains our bodies is both outside and inside us. We are totally surrounded by the atmosphere, and it also fills our lungs. Likewise the earth, water, sun and space are all around and within us.
4.The source of any creation surrenders first to its creations. Thus the atmosphere surrenders first to the gasp of the child. The mother feeds the first milk to the child, etc., etc.
5.The source does not stop surrendering to its creations. Life ends when an individual creature stops surrendering. Even then the atmosphere is ready to fill the lungs, but because the mutual surrender stops, the body dies.
The author is repeating himself, because this phenomenon of the source surrendering a portion of itself to begin life for its creations, and the need for mutual surrender between the creation and its source to sustain life, is so very important. One should never forget that life begins when the source surrenders the first breath of air to the child; life is sustained by continuous mutual surrender between the atmosphere which is the source and the child; and life ends when the mutual surrender ends, only because the creation -- and not the source -- can no longer continue the process of surrendering. Even a dead creature's lungs and stomach are filled with air.
Just as the physical body needs to enter into a relationship of mutual surrender with the Five Elementals which are its source so that it may live, similarly we need to enter into a relationship of mutual surrender with our spiritual Source so that we may take a spiritual birth and live spiritually.
It is necessary to point out at this juncture that we have given physical examples to illustrate the principle of surrender in manifestation. However, some readers may get the idea that what is physically true is also true spiritually. The author wishes to emphasize that is not the case always. As it is said in the Bible: "God made man in His Image"; God did not make Himself in man's image. So whatever is true spiritually is reflected in the material, but the reverse is not necessarily true. The Principle of surrender is spiritual, and is reflected throughout not only the physical creation but all creation, physical or otherwise.
Through Whom Should One Surrender?
But to whom and through whom should one surrender? Most of us surrender to our desires and the source of our desires, namely the human mind. This only leads to further desires with all their accompanying problems. Just as one has to be physically conceived to take a physical birth, and then surrender to one's physical source in order to live physically, similarly one has to be conceived spiritually in order to take a spiritual birth, and then surrender to one's spiritual source in order to live spiritually.
But how to be conceived spiritually, and where is one's Spiritual Source? Just as the five elementals, which are the source of the physical body, are all around and within the body, similarly the Spiritual Source of oneself is all around and within one. Also, just as one needs a medium or an intermediary one's parents to be conceived physically and through whom one takes a physical birth, similarly one needs a medium or an intermediary to be conceived spiritually and take a spiritual birth.
That medium or intermediary through whom one can be conceived spiritually and take a spiritual birth is none other than a High Spiritual Master such as Buddha, Ram, Krishna, Christ, Zarathushtra, Mohammed, the Jain Tîrthankars, the Prophets of Israel, the Gurus of the Sikhs, The Bab or Baha'ullah of the Baha'i faith -- all of whom have taken birth on earth -- or they can be High Beings who have never descended in human form but have been given human and other forms in various religions. These Divine Beings are known in the Hindu religion as Brahmâ, Vishnu and Mahesh also called Shiva. They form the Triad or Holy Trinity, and are mentioned in all religions by different names.
As Revered Dinshahji has taught, the members of the Triad are called in the Jewish religion by the names Rapha'el, Gabri'el and Micha'el, and by the Christians are given the names Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Zarathushtra called them Asha, Vohu-Mana and Kshathra Vairya. Other religions have given them other names, but virtually all religions acknowledge the Holy Triad. Even those religions which do not acknowledge the Holy Triad in their exoteric or orthodox teachings, do so in their esoteric teachings.
So one may surrender to either the Spiritual Masters who have taken birth on earth, or members of the Holy Triad, namely Brahmâ, Vishnu and Shiva, or their shaktis (feminine counterparts or wills), namely Saraswati, Lakshmi and Pârvati. As Revered Dinshahji has taught, all six are represented in the Shield of David (which is sometimes erroneously called the "Star of David").
Some Characteristics of the Human Mind
In order to grow to know the Divine, we have no choice but to work with and grow through the human mind, since we do not begin this growth already knowing the Mind Divine. Therefore it will help us if we are familiar with some of the characteristics and tendencies of the human mind.
1. In the first place, it is clear that the human mind is limited. Being finite, it cannot comprehend the Infinite, Limitless, Formless States of Being within which it and all of creation exists. The formless material space within which all material forms exist is a reflection of this condition.
2. As the reader may have observed, the human mind is in a state of continuous turmoil. It is full of thoughts that come and go and remains agitated. It has a tendency to wander -- evidently because it cannot attain its Source, and is continually seeking to do so.
3. The author of this article, based on his own insights and flashes of inspiration, has come to realize that because of its failure to comprehend its Source and its state of constant agitation, the human mind becomes unstable. This instability causes it to develop a sense of insecurity. This sense of insecurity, over millennia of evolution, stabilized into fear, and formed the basis of the human mind. This basic fearful tendency of the human mind has now become inherent and almost instinctive, and is passed on from generation to generation through the genes of the parents and foreparents.
4. Because the basis of the human mind is fear, it has been maintained by some psychologists that fear of loss is a greater motivator than the opportunity for gain. Anyway, because of its inherent fear and instability, the human mind has developed a tendency to grasp. The human mind grasps at thoughts, things and people, and attaches itself to them in an attempt to stabilize itself and gain a sense of security.
5. This basic insecurity also makes the human mind an escapist. It tries to escape the present by living either in the past, which is dead and cannot hurt it, or the future which has not yet arrived and cannot hurt it either. Also because of its fear the human mind seeks to satisfy itself to gain a sense of peace, achievement and purpose.
6. Because the human mind is agitated, it is out of control and tends to react to the situation it experiences. This reaction increases its turmoil and makes it more unstable.
7. Because the limited human mind cannot understand the Limitless, it cannot comprehend the Unity in the Diversity of Manifestation. In an attempt to understand the Limitless Universe, the human mind needs to separate the Infinite Unity of manifestation into smaller parts that are within its ability to comprehend. Thus to overcome its own insecurity and limitations, the human mind has no choice other than to divide the Unity in manifestation.
These characteristics of the human mind its limitations, its basic insecurity, and its tendency to grasp at thoughts, things and people -- is what binds the mind and the person concerned to thoughts, things and persons, all of which are made up of matter. Thus the person becomes matter-bound, and is tied to cycles of birth, life and death.
So how to become free from this matter-bound state and cycles of birth, life and death?
One has to change the basic tendencies of the human mind. But how to do that? One has to utilize the very tendencies and limitations of the mind to help it outgrow them. The Seven Principles of Right Surrender have taken into consideration the characteristics of the human mind, and have utilized these very characteristics to first steady the mind, then unify it, purify it and ultimately to empty it. The human mind has to be emptied of all the material thoughts and attachments before it can receive the Divine. Indeed Revered Dinshahji has often quoted the Lord Christ as saying words to the effect: "The empty alone shall be filled."
With this introduction to the Seven Principles of Right Surrender we can now begin to expound and explain the actual Principles.
First Principle: The Entity
The very first principle of right surrender says:
"Select one and only one Entity to whom and through whom one wishes to surrender to the Divine."
As explained above, the spiritual Entity can be any one of the Descending Masters through whom the world religions have been founded, or those who are considered in the various religions to be intermediaries between the relative or human plane of consciousness and the Absolute or Divine plane of consciousness. These can be Zarathushtra; the Prophets of Israel; Jesus the Christ; Hazrat Muhammad; Bhagwân Buddha; the Avatâras of Hinduism; the Gurus of the Sikhs; the Tîrthankars of Jainism; the founders of the Baha'i religion, the Bab or Baha'ullah; or the Vedic Divine Beings Brahmâ, Vishnu or Shiva, or their female counterparts or shaktis: Saraswati, Lakshmi and Pârvati.
Here, selecting one and only one Entity is very essential. The question arises, "Why only one? If all these great High Beings can help one grow, why not solicit help from all of them by surrendering to all of them?" Also, some people who claim to have an open mind and practice religious tolerance assert that they respect all the High Beings equally, and feel that if they select only one Entity it will be a sign of religious intolerance if not bigotry on their part, and lack of respect for the High Beings.
To clarify the need to select only one Entity we can again give a few analogies from practical life. For instance, although there are millions of women in this world most of whom are capable of conceiving and giving birth to a child, no child can be conceived by or be born through more than one woman simultaneously. Similarly, even if a room has more than one door, from a practical point of view one can enter or leave the room only through one door at a time. And likewise, even if many roads could lead one to a destination, one cannot, from a practical point of view, travel on more than one road at a time. So also, only one Entity can lead one unto the Divine.
This does not mean that one should not respect the other Masters. By all means respect them and their teachings; but surrender to and through only one. So select one and only one Entity.
There are five aspects to the First Principle. The first aspect says:
"Select one and only one Entity to Whom and through Whom to surrender all that you have and all that you are, body, mind and soul."
The second aspect says:
"Give the Entity a form."
Now some people in certain cultures have a real problem with this aspect of the First Principle. This is particularly true of our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters. Why? Because in one of the Ten Commandments received by Moses and accepted as sacred by both religions God says words to the effect, "Thou shalt make no engraving of me nor depict me in any other image or form."
Fair enough. This is a genuine concern. However what we wish to point out to people who have this concern is, that this aspect of the First Principle is not suggesting that you make an image of God. This aspect of the First Principle requires that you should give a form to the Entity who is not necessarily God but rather, a Servant of God; an intermediary between man and God. The Entity is the door and the way through whom one wishes to grow towards God. So please be very clear about this. The Entity is not necessarily God.
Another question arises: Why give the Entity any form at all? We need to give the Entity a form because as mentioned earlier, the human mind cannot conceptualize a condition of being formless. All human thoughts are in reality thought forms.
Here, in order to avoid misunderstanding, we should point out that we are using the words "form" and "formless", in the sense of being equivalent to any thought or concept. Anything that can be conceptualized has a form, because anything that has a limit has a form in this sense. We use the word "form" in this way because in the present case, we are trying to speak of the Absolute -- which cannot be conceptualized, since it is limitless -- in opposition to the relative, which can be.
Indeed, if one uses the word "form" in this sense, it is clear that the human mind cannot avoid giving the Entity a form. If the human mind thinks even about God, it will perforce conjure up a form for Him, because it cannot truly conceptualize the formless.
An example may help to clarify this point. We cannot comprehend a condition of being nowhere and everywhere. If we are told that something is nowhere in our minds, we will try to find a spot or locale to label it "nowhere". But that is not really nowhere. Similarly we cannot fathom everywhere. Why? Because nowhere and everywhere are Absolute, Infinite, Limitless States of Being; and the human mind, being finite and limited, cannot comprehend the Limitless and the Formless. Since it is limited and finite, the human mind can understand a condition of being somewhere; and somewhere has a form within the States of Nowhere and Everywhere.
This limitation of the human mind also explains why the human mind divides and separates the Infinite Unity into many parts. It divides the Infinite Unity in Diversity into parts that are within its limited capacity to understand. Instead of surrendering to the Unity in the Diversity of manifestation, the human mind divides the Infinite Unity into many parts in its futile attempt to understand the Limitless Infinite Unity.
Because the human mind cannot understand the formless, in order to grow unto the Absolute, one needs to start by focusing on a finite form which is somewhere, and surrender through this finite form to grow to know the Infinite Formless which is both Nowhere and Everywhere. Hence the need to give the Entity a form.
The third aspect of the First Principle says: "Let the form be fixed and not changing."
Here again those with a questioning attitude may ask why the form needs to he fixed. The fixed form makes it easier for the wandering human mind to focus. It is easier to focus on the same form repeatedly rather than focus on a new form each time. There are other benefits also.
The fourth aspect of the First Principle says:
"Study the teachings of the Entity but let only one teacher interpret the teachings of the Entity." Indeed, as Revered Dinshahji once told the author of this article personally, the teacher can be either a person or books written by the person. However if no teacher can he found then let your conscience interpret the teachings of the Entity. But not your static conscience. You must use your growing conscience to interpret the teachings of the Entity.
This bit about the conscience needs some explaining.
Some people think that one's conscience is the voice of one's soul if not the voice of a Guardian Angel or even God Himself. This is not true. At best one's conscience is the voice of one's experience, and is therefore not constant. One's conscience goes on changing with one's consciousness. Why? Because conscience is subservient to consciousness. The higher an individual's consciousness, the finer will be one's conscience. The conscience of a saint will not permit him to do what the conscience of a sinner will allow.
Also, conscience can change in the same individual. When the individual is calm and alert the conscience will function at one level. But if the same individual is disturbed, or under the influence of alcohol or other consciousness-altering drugs, the person's conscience will sink with the consciousness and permit the individual to do things that they may deeply regret later on.
So if one chooses to use one's conscience to interpret the teachings of the Entity, one should use one's growing conscience. As one's consciousness grows, one may develop new insights into the teachings of the Entity, and one should follow the new insights that one becomes aware of.
The fifth aspect of the First Principle says:
"Raise the level of your consciousness to as high a level as you can, so that you are more alert than normal and your mind is nearer the super-wakeful level."
Normally most of us are not wakeful at all. We appear to be awake, but we all tend to day-dream. In order to achieve surrender one has to be what is called super-wakeful.
Now how to become super-wakeful? To begin with one has to will oneself to do so, and at the same time transfer one's attachment from sleep to becoming super-wakeful, and gradually over a period of time one will become more alert and aware.
But how to will oneself to become super-wakeful? Just imagine what would happen if all of a sudden a tiger or a poisonous snake were to enter the room one is in. One would immediately become alert and watchful and watch every move of the snake or tiger. Of course some people may run if they see the snake or tiger. So it is something like that. A word of advice is in order here.
Imagination is more powerful than will power. If one imagines that one is feeling sleepy, and then try and will oneself to become awake, that will not work, because one's imagination will weaken, if not overpower, one's will. Instead one should imagine oneself to be awake, and also will oneself to be so. This way one's will and imagination will support each other to make one wakeful. This is one reason why one should transfer one's attachment from sleepiness to wakefulness. This in itself will go a long way towards making one super-wakeful.
At this stage, after you have followed all the aspects of the First Principle and have become super-wakeful, do nothing. Just remain at the super wakeful level and watch your thoughts come and go.
This is important to understand. One's mind is full of thoughts and they are constantly agitating the mind, and these thoughts have to be emptied from the mind. Why? Because they prevent one from hearing and experiencing one's soul. So continue to remain in the super-wakeful state and watch your thoughts. Don't get involved with the thoughts that arise in your mind. Also don't push away any thought no matter how painful or vile it may be. Nor should you try to recall a particular thought or hold on to a pleasant thought. If a thought enters your mind, let it come. If it remains in the mind, watch it without getting involved. If it wishes to leave, let it go.
For some people it is simple to watch their thoughts. But it is very difficult to do so without getting involved with the thoughts that arise in the mind. Watching one's thoughts is similar to watching people come and go on a street corner or in a marketplace or supermarket. One does not stop them from coming or leaving, nor does one get involved with them or attached to them. One just watches them. Similarly one should just watch one's thoughts at the super-wakeful level.
Now why is it important to watch one's thoughts? What happens to the thoughts when you watch them? When you watch your thoughts, you are really watching some of the movements within yourself and are beginning to take charge of your life. The Buddhist sacred text Dhammapâda in its very first verse expresses an idea to the following effect: "All things originate in the mind, are sustained by the mind and are created by the mind." So when one watches one's thoughts one is really watching and focusing on the source of all one's words and actions indeed of all things. The teachings of Zarathushtra have also been crystallized on the three pillars of "Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds." By this is meant Good from the Divine point of view and not human point of view. So the first thing that happens when one watches one's thoughts is that one is taking hold of oneself.
Also when you watch your thoughts, they begin to become weak and they break up and disappear. Why? This happens due to the nature of mind and thought. Thoughts that rise to your conscious mind are like bubbles of air that rise to the surface from the bottom of a pond. When the bubbles at the surface are exposed to the rays of the Sun, they burst and thus lose their form. Similarly when you focus your mind on your thoughts they become weak, dissipate and no longer disturb the mind. So by merely watching one's thoughts over a period of time, one's mind will become unified, purified and ultimately empty. This First Principle of Right Surrender is most important. If one practices just this one Principle every day it will calm one down quite a bit and take one a long way on the Spiritual Path.
Second Principle: Humility
The second principle says that we should develop humility. Why? One needs humility to receive. Like water, everything else flows from the top down. A great Chinese Sage used to counsel his disciples along the following lines: "Look at the ocean, the rivers, the streams and the springs. Which of these is the largest and which is the smallest? The spring having the highest abode remains the smallest. It is only when it descends down that it combines with and receives water from other springs and becomes a stream. The streams empty into the rivers which are lower still. The mighty ocean places itself in the lowest position and thus compels the springs, streams and rivers to empty everything they are capable of carrying into itself. Thus to receive the wisdom of the world, you should strive to be humble like the mighty ocean."
So humility is very important. One may wonder, "Is God Humble?" Are the Great Masters Humble? We have already discussed that the Source of any creation surrenders first to the creation. Thus, as we said earlier in our analogy, the atmosphere surrenders itself to the first gasp of the new born child. The mother, representing the earth, surrenders the first food to the child. Surrender is both an act of love and humility. Unless the source surrenders first, creation cannot even begin let alone exist.
Further it is important to note that the Source has prepared for every need of its creation. Thus the atmosphere is already there awaiting the gasp of the child. The child does not have to gasp for air and then the earth prepares air for it. The atmosphere is awaiting the child's gasp. Similarly the earth or soil has prepared for all the needs of the seed before the seed enters and surrenders to it. When the seed surrenders to the soil, the soil nurtures it, and as a natural consequence of this nurturing the seed grows internally; and as a further natural consequence of this internal growth, the shell bursts and out comes the root and the shoot. So just as the air for the child's first gasp exists before the child is born, similarly the soil is ready to receive and nurture the seed that will surrender. The Surrender, Love and Humility of the Source is so complete that it provides for every need of the creation. A mother who anticipates every need of the child and prepares for it is but a reflection of the Source. In order to receive the sustenance from the Source, the creations only need to surrender to the Source.
Similarly God has prepared for every need of ours and has already surrendered His Omnipotent Will to our limited human will, and sustains it. But just as the atmosphere cannot help the child unless it gasps for its first breath of air, and the soil cannot nurture the seed unless it first surrenders itself to the soil, so also the Lord of all creation cannot help us further till we surrender our puny will to His Omnipotent Will. That is why the Lord Christ said words to the effect, "Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened unto you."
Now although it is difficult for people to understand this, try and imagine from this the Humility and Love of God. However humble we may try to be with our limited human mind, we can never equal the Limitless Humility of God, and of the Great Masters who are revered in the various religions as intermediaries between our human or relative plane of consciousness and the Absolute plane of consciousness. So try to develop as much humility as possible.
As the author has discovered independently, in order to succeed in any field of endeavour one must practice three very important principles. These three principles are like the three legs of a three-legged stool. A three-legged stool cannot stand on two legs. It needs all three, otherwise it will fall. Similarly to succeed in any field of endeavour one needs all three principles. The first of these principles is Humility. One needs humility to receive. The second principle is Discipline. One needs discipline to achieve. The third principle is Commitment. One needs commitment to fulfil.
It is the author's conviction that unless one implements all three principles one cannot succeed. And although all the three principles are important, of the three humility is most important. Without humility one cannot receive anything. The qualities of commitment and discipline will grow out of humility.
The next in importance is commitment. If one lacks the discipline or knowledge to do anything, but have the quality of commitment, then one can develop the necessary discipline. The great American scientist Thomas Alva Edison said, "Genius is 99 percent perspiration and one percent inspiration." If one has the necessary humility and commitment then one may fail again and again but one will refuse to give up till ultimately one develops the necessary discipline to succeed. When Edison was working to develop the incandescent light bulb, it is reported that he tried and rejected about 1500 filaments before he found the right one. When he rejected what was about the 1400th filament, his assistant suggested that he stop because he had tried 1400 filaments and failed. Edison continued working and told his assistant words to the effect that it only means there were 1400 less filaments to worry about. Such was the quality of commitment, the tenacity of this great American genius.
So the quality of commitment is very necessary. More so than discipline. If you have the discipline but lack the necessary commitment, you may unnecessarily give up too soon, and will not be able to overcome the obstacles that are bound to arise. The world is full of disciplined people who have failed due to lack of commitment. On the other hand there are many instances in which deeply committed people have succeeded against overwhelming odds.
To succeed in the spiritual way of life the attitude should not be to do or die, but the commitment should be nearer do and die. What must die and needs to be killed is not one's physical body but one's small self. One's ego consciousness. So after humility the quality of commitment is most necessary. With humility and commitment, discipline is bound to follow.
Thus the Second principle of Right Surrender is to develop humility.
Some people dislike the term "humility", imagining that in order to be humble, they have to lower themselves in their own or others' eyes. This is not so. Humility, in this context, is recognition of the greatness and majesty of God, and that of one's Entity -- the Door and the Way unto God. Any sensitive person feels humble when becoming conscious of something very great: say, when standing at the foot or base of a very tall mountain, or before a great work of art, or when contemplating the size and grandeur of the entire cosmos. Just imagine, in comparison, how much greater and more majestic God is -- God Who is the Source of all things in the cosmos, and indeed of the cosmos itself. When one contemplates, even to a tiny extent, the greatness and majesty of the Lord of all creation, true humility results naturally.
Third Principle: Attachment
The Third Principle of Right Surrender has to do with attachment. The Principle says, "Transfer all your attachment from the thoughts things and persons to which you are attached gradually, in increasing proportion to your Entity, till eventually all your attachment is transferred to your Entity and through your Entity to the Divine."
It will help if one understands how this principle of attachment works. For this one has to consider the nature of the human mind.
Because the human mind is insecure and is in a constant state of agitation, it has developed a natural tendency to grasp at thoughts, things and people in an attempt to become stable and feel secure, just as a little child clings to its mother to get a sense of security. Nothing wrong with this. This is a natural tendency of the mind and we have to recognize and accept it. This very tendency of the mind to grasp at thoughts and objects, and of getting attached to them, can be used to liberate the mind, provided we follow the Right Spiritual Principles. Without following the Right Spiritual Principles, this grasping tendency of the mind will bind it to the material world. Why?
Attachment by definition binds the mind to the objects of attachment, which almost always are material thoughts, things and persons. Herein lies the cause of karma and the bondage to cycles of birth, life and death and the concurrent suffering within the rounds and between the rounds. It is said that when Bhagwân Buddha achieved Nirvana He said words to the effect, "How many births have I known without knowing thee, O builder of this body. How many births have I looked for thee. It is painful to be born again and again. But now I have seen the, O builder of this body. The rafters have crumbled. The ridgepole has been smashed. Thou wilt not build them again. All desire is extinct. Nirvâna has been attained."
Now who is the "builder of the body", and how does it build the body? In the final analysis, the builder of the body is none other than the human mind. And it builds the body through this principle of attachment. By getting attached to matter in various forms thoughts, things and people the mind remains bound to them and causes the soul, the Divine Spark within each of us, to be born again and again to experience the objects of its attachments, till finally it becomes free from attachment to all material objects, and becomes free from matter-bound states and thus gets liberated.
That is why many well-meaning spiritual teachers emphasize that one should detach oneself from everyone and everything one comes in contact with. But that is not possible. Revered Dinshahji explains that because of the nature of the human mind, its tendency to grasp and get attached, it is not possible for the human mind to detach itself from one object without getting attached to some other object. The mind continuously grasps for something just as the lungs continuously gasp for breath. So how to liberate the mind that has this natural tendency to attach itself to one thing or another?
This is where the Third Principle of Attachment helps us. We use this very grasping tendency of the mind to liberate it from the matter-bound states. This can be achieved by transferring one's attachment from the material thoughts, things and persons to which the mind clings, to the very instrument of spiritual liberation, i.e. the spiritual Beloved or Entity one has chosen to surrender to and grow through to know one's soul, and through one's soul to ultimately know the Divine.
One should start gradually by transferring that attachment to one's spiritual Beloved in increasing proportion. By doing this, gradually one creates an opening for one's spiritual Beloved to enter one's life, and the more rapidly and readily one surrenders to one's spiritual Entity, the more readily He can enter one's life and help one grow towards the goal of spiritual liberation and achieve the sense of stability and feeling of security one is seeking.
As long as one remains attached to material thoughts, things and persons, one can never achieve the stability and security one yearns for. Why? Because the mind, which is itself unstable and full of turmoil, can never achieve stability and security by attaching itself to another object which is also unstable and temporary. It is only when the mind is anchored to an object which is permanent, stable and secure that it can achieve a sense of stability and security. Such an object is one's Spiritual Entity.
Revered Dinshahji explains that attachment is a positive force and should not be viewed negatively. Attachment is a result of Love. The spiritual Love that radiates through the Divine Spark the soul within each and every one of us is part and parcel of the Principle of Attachment. When the human mind tries to use the spiritual Love that radiates from the Soul to satisfy itself, the Spiritual Love gets soiled, and is reduced to mere attachment. By removing the self-satisfaction from the attachment, we can purify it to reflect the Spiritual Love. That is why to manifest Love one has to sacrifice one's small self one's human mind and ego to serve the beloved; whereas to fulfil one's desire one feeds the self. This satisfaction of one's mind and ego self binds one to the object of desire. So how to purify this attachment?
To purify one's attachment one must surrender oneself as well as the object of one's attachment, and also the attachment itself, to one's Spiritual Beloved, the Source of Love. When one does this, then oneself as well as one's mind both get purified to the extent that oneself as well as one's attachments are surrendered to the Entity. Then the Entity will deal with the objects of attachment in keeping with what is good for oneself as well as for the objects of one's attachment, be they things, situations or people.
Have you ever wondered why people fall in love. Why do they fall in love and not grow in love? We usually fall in love with someone who satisfies our mind. So when the mind uses love to satisfy itself, the love falls and becomes attachment. As long as the object of attachment satisfies the mind, they continue to remain in so-called love. But the mind cannot be permanently satisfied; and when the dissatisfaction experienced with the object of love becomes greater than the satisfaction received, they fall out of love. To grow in Love, each person involved in the relationship has to sacrifice the mind in the service of Love that is God. This is best done when each one surrenders one's attachment to the spiritual Entity and receives the purified Love from and through one's Entity.
We must realize that we really do not know anyone or anything. All we really know are our own opinions or point of view about the persons or objects we come in contact with. So when we fall in love with someone, all we are really doing is falling in love with our own thoughts, and the reverse is true when we fall out of love. Similarly when we are attached to things, we are again attached to the thoughts associated with the things we are attached to. So in the final analysis when we say that we are attached to thoughts, things and persons we are really attached to our thoughts associated with the things and persons.
We can see from this that if this Principle of Attachment is used wrongly we remain attached to our own thoughts. In other words we are attached to our own opinions, which are necessarily imperfect and illusory -- at least to some extent -- since they are created by our own imperfect and finite minds. And so long as we remain attached to our own thoughts, we remain trapped in our own minds with all their limitations. We are held hostage by our own thoughts and remain imprisoned in our mind. And the sad part is that the thoughts are not clinging to us so much as we are clinging to them!
So when we transfer our attachments from our thoughts to our Entity, what are we really doing? We are really giving up our attachment to our illusions our own false opinions and insecurities. Now should that be hard to do? Surely not. Yet because of the inertia of the mind the habit mind and its basic insecurity, most people cling to their opinions. Why? Because through their opinions they derive a sense of identity, satisfaction and security: all of which, however, are illusory.
It is only when we surrender our limited opinions and points of view to the Higher Mind of the Entity, that we can create an opening for the Higher Mind to descend into our consciousness; and through the descent of the Higher Mind we can begin to experience Reality as it truly is. As we empty our human mind by surrendering to the Divine, then our consciousness will live in the Divine and the Divine will enter into our consciousness, as certainly as the air from our lungs flows into the atmosphere when we breathe out, and the atmosphere's air flows into our lungs when we breathe in.
The more we surrender to the Divine, the greater will be this mutual exchange of consciousness between oneself and the Divine, till finally when one surrenders completely to the Divine through one's Entity, then one will experience what Lord Christ referred to when He said words to the following effect: "I am the Truth and the Life. Those who will come unto me will know the Truth, and the Truth will make them free; and I will live in them and they in me just as I live in my Father in Heaven and my Father in Heaven lives in me." Other Masters have said similar things though phrased differently.
So this Third Principle of Attachment should be properly understood and practised. When one attaches oneself to the Higher consciousness, one's mind will gradually get detached from the lower consciousness. But so long as one clings to experiences and attachments of the lower mind, one can never experience the Higher Mind.
Fourth Principle: Surrender
This then brings us to the Fourth Principle of Right Surrender. The Fourth Principle says, "While remaining in tune with the first three Principles one should surrender one's entire being at the Feet of one's chosen Entity."
As one begins to practice the first three Principles of Right Surrender, the superficial thoughts in one's conscious mind will be easily eliminated. In time, deeper thoughts from the subconscious and unconscious mind will begin to surface. As thoughts from the subconscious and unconscious mind get eliminated, then thoughts from one's past, and of one's past lives, will come to the surface. These thoughts can be very disturbing, and they may not go away by mere watching. Also, as one begins the spiritual practice of Right Surrender, one's near and dear ones may protest strongly. Family members and friends may get upset and request one to give up this foolish attempt to surrender one's life to one's Chosen Entity. Even if they do not object, subjective fears about their well being -- and one's own may enter one's mind.
All such objections and disturbing thoughts should be dealt with by this Fourth Principle of Right Surrender. The anti-Divine, commonly called Satan, has three weapons. He does not need a fourth weapon -- the author would say -- because these three work so well! The three weapons are temptations, fears and doubts. Now what is a temptation? It is attachment to a thought of some manifestation through which one can derive mental, emotional and/or sensual pleasure. Similarly fears and doubts are also attachment to thoughts of a different nature. Temptations, fears and doubts all operate from and through the mind. One can deal with most of the temptations, fears and doubts by merely watching them. But mere watching may not shake the deeper attachments and deeper temptations, fears and doubts, particularly the fears and temptations linked with the instincts of self-preservation and procreation.
We should realize that temptations, fears and doubts cannot torment us unless we are attached to them. So to get relief from and conquer the temptations, fears and doubts all we have to do is surrender our attachment to and fear of them to our Spiritual Entity. Similarly we should surrender our attachment to our near and dear ones, our family, children, etc. to our Spiritual Entity and let Him take up the load and deal with the problematic situations and do what is spiritually right for us as well as for our near and dear ones.
Unless one surrenders to the Spiritual Beloved, He cannot help us any more than the atmosphere can help us if we refuse to surrender our breath to it.
Right surrender does not occur at the level of the usual wakeful conscious mind. Right surrender happens at nearer the super-wakeful state and beyond. As one raises one's consciousness to nearer the super-wakeful level, one reaches a level in the wakeful conscious mind where the rational thinking faculty, the emotional feeling faculty and the ability to perceive with one's senses coalesce. At that level, as Revered Dinshahji has explained, even though one is conscious and awake, one is unable to distinguish whether one is thinking with one's mind or feeling with one's emotion or perceiving with the five senses.
Remaining at that level where the thinking, feeling and sense perception faculties coalesce, surrender all the disturbing thoughts and situations pertaining to one's near and dear ones at the Feet of one's Spiritual Beloved and let Him deal with the situation the way He wants to. With daily practice one will be able to achieve this state of consciousness.
Now from time to time one may wish that a problem one is surrendering should be resolved in a certain way. One is always free to suggest to one's Spiritual Entity how one would like the problem resolved, but after making the suggestion one should always qualify it with the thought that one's Entity should only accept one's suggestion if it is in keeping with His Will. This will create the opening for the Entity to accept one's suggestion if it is in keeping with the Spiritual Point of View, or not accept one's suggestion and deal with the problem in some other way. If we do not give the Entity the freedom to act according to His Will, then the Entity will not intervene, but will support one's suggestion even if it is not in keeping with His Will, and may even be ultimately detrimental to one's well being.
This attitude of ultimate surrender was reflected by the Lord Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. It is said that in the garden of Gethsemane, the Lord Christ prayed to God to the following effect: "Father let this bitter cup pass," and then added, "but only if it is Thy Will my Father and not mine". Such was the total surrender of the Lord Christ to the Will of His Father that He left an opening to His Father to work out His Plan through Christ. God did not let the bitter cup pass and Jesus the Christ had to go through the subsequent suffering according to the Will of God.
So one is free to suggest any resolution to the problem one is surrendering, but one must be careful to allow one's Entity the freedom to decide and intervene according to His Will and Plan for one; otherwise one is going to unnecessarily create problems for oneself, since the Entity will not impose His Will.
After one has completed one's sâdhanâ or spiritual practice wherein one has watched one's thoughts, and before one is ready to end the exercise, one may mentally offer to the Entity a leaf or flower or any physical object such as a pin or a piece of stick in one's hand. This is a symbolic way to mentally affirm one's complete and utter surrender. Mentally attaching all of one's thoughts and feelings to that object, one may symbolically place that object at the Feet of the Form one has given to one's Entity. When placing the object, with all of one's thoughts linked to it, at the feet of the Entity one should make the appeal, "I am surrendering these thoughts and situations at Thy Divine Feet for Thee to deal with them according to Thy Will". One may use the same object repeatedly if one wishes, but need not do so.
Now as one practices the above Four Principles of Right Surrender one can be certain that one will encounter suffering. This suffering and tension is due to nothing more than one's attachment to one's point of view regarding the persons or situations in one's life. Nevertheless the mental and emotional anguish is real. So how to deal with it?
One should deal with the suffering which is sure to arise by following the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Principles of Right Surrender, which are: Silence, Fortitude and Faith.
Fifth Principle: Silence
The Fifth Principle says, "Do not give expression in words or action to the disturbing thoughts and emotions that arise. Live in the experience and thoughts in Living Silence."
The suffering arises in the mind and we have to realize that the suffering is always in the mind. We may experience pain in the body, but it is the mind that suffers. Why? Because the mind causes one to identify with itself, and is the source of the ego; and it attaches itself to the pain and the pleasure the body is experiencing. So when one experiences suffering one should not become expressive. Discussing the pain with others will not in any way reduce one's suffering. Instead we should remain silent and live in the suffering in keeping with what is termed "Living Silence".
One should try and understand this concept of Living Silence. To live in Living Silence one should not try to escape the suffering, but watch the thoughts that arise within one while one is going through the suffering. By merely watching the thoughts, the suffering will diminish. One should surrender to one's Entity those thoughts which are unbearable. While one is thus living in the Living Silence, one should remain conscious of one's Spiritual Beloved, and keep transferring one's attachment from the suffering to the Spiritual Beloved, till slowly but surely all of the suffering passes on to the Spiritual Beloved, who will take up the load Himself and deal with it in the right way.
The best way out of any situation is through it, and the best way through it is to practice Living Silence while one is dealing with the problem, and simultaneously to surrender oneself, one's attachment to the problem, and the problem itself, to one's Spiritual Beloved. One should never try to run away from a painful experience. Instead one should try and learn the lesson the experience is trying to teach. If one does not learn from one's mistakes, one is doomed to repeat them.
The same principle applies to experiences. It seems reasonable to believe that if one's soul did not need a particular experience, one's body and mind would not need to go through it. But because the soul needs to learn the lesson of the experience, no matter how painful it may be, one should go through the experience cheerfully, and grow through it by practising Living Silence and Right Surrender.
Instead of teaching suffering people how to deal with the painful experiences by helping them cope with the pain psychologically and with pain killing drugs, there is a growing trend in Europe and America to embrace euthanasia or mercy killing. Some countries in Europe have already legalized euthanasia. As Revered Dinshahji has taught, if the people who select euthanasia or commit suicide as a means of escaping their suffering only knew the reality of their situation, they would gladly endure the pain. By killing themselves they do not escape the suffering. At best they postpone it for some lives. They will have to go through the same suffering in some future life.
Why? Because, according to Revered Dinshahji's teachings, the soul needs to go through the suffering to cleanse itself. By committing suicide they do not escape the suffering but instead they increase it, because now they have to go through the added karma brought upon by their suicide or euthanasia as the case may be.
As Revered Dinshahji has taught, if instead of being encouraged to opt for euthanasia or suicide, the people who are suffering are taught how to deal with their suffering, and empty their minds and souls through the suffering they have to endure, then the suffering will not be in vain, but will have served a useful purpose as intended by the Mind Divine. During periods of intense physical suffering, if one's human mind is managed in the right way by following the Right Spiritual Principles, then one's mind and soul get cleansed very rapidly, and can be liberated much sooner from the attachment to material things and thoughts. By committing suicide or accepting euthanasia one does not escape the suffering.
The mere fact that one is trying to escape the suffering means that one is attached to it. Negatively attached, to be sure, but attached all the same; and all attachment, whether negative or positive, binds one to the object of attachment, which in this case is the suffering one is trying to escape. So one should not try to escape from the suffering. One of the Four-fold Truths revealed by Bhagwân Buddha is that "Suffering is". It just is. Like Space is, the Sun is, Life is, Death is. Similarly suffering just is. Having been born one has to breathe air, live in space, experience death. Similarly one has to experience suffering. So one should accept the fact that suffering is. One should strive to deal with suffering, and learn to grow through it regardless of the pain associated with it.
This is not to say that if the physical pain associated with the suffering is very intense, one should not take pain killing medications to cope with the pain. But one should take advantage of the intense suffering one is passing through as a great opportunity to empty one's mind and soul.
Why? Because, as Revered Dinshahji has explained, during periods of intense suffering the process of purifying and emptying one's mind and soul is very rapid, provided one goes about it in the right way. If however instead of focusing on the process of emptying one's mind and soul, one indulges in self-pity and tries to escape the suffering by attaching oneself to thoughts, things and persons other than one's Entity -- such as thoughts of death, suicide or euthanasia -- one increases the burden of the soul by adding significantly to the karma that one has to work out.
So instead of encouraging the people who are suffering from terminal illnesses to seek death as an escape from suffering, they should be encouraged to purify and empty their minds and souls by experiencing the pain in Living Silence, and surrendering the experience, their negative attachment to it as well as their entire being to their Entity in keeping with the Seven Principles of Right Surrender.
Getting back to the Principle of Living Silence: when practising Living Silence, if for psychological reasons, one needs to discuss the problem with someone, then one should discuss it with one's spiritual teacher. In the absence of a spiritual teacher one may discuss the problem with one or two individuals who are preferably seekers on the same spiritual path, failing which they could be well-wishers or professionals who are in a position to help. It is the author's conviction however, that unfortunately nowadays the so-called professionals cause more problems than they cure, particularly in the field of psychology. But one should positively avoid discussing one's problems with others in order to gain sympathy in an attempt to satisfy one's mind.
This now brings us to the Sixth Principle of Right Surrender.
Sixth Principle: Fortitude
The Sixth Principle is Fortitude. When one is struggling through the turmoil that one is bound to experience as one begins to transfer one's attachments through these principles of Right Surrender, the Sixth Principle says "Bear the pain with Fortitude".
In this context, "Fortitude" means enduring courage born of conviction and not bravado. When one is practising Living Silence one should not try to talk one's way out of the disturbances and difficulties because that will not help. However if one genuinely needs help one should seek it out and not refuse it, thinking that seeking or accepting help would be a violation of the Principle of Living Silence. So bear the pain in Living Silence with Fortitude and not bravado, otherwise one could break down mentally, emotionally and physically.
Seventh Principle: Faith
The Seventh Principle is Faith. One should have full faith that as one practices the above Six Principles of Right Surrender in one's life on a daily basis that one's problems will and must disappear gradually to begin with, and at a much faster pace later on.
This Principle of Faith is very important. Even the Lord Christ rebuked his disciples with the words "O ye of little faith." According to the New Testament, Lord Christ told His disciples that they could perform all the miracles He did if they had faith in His Father like He did. But instead of having Faith in God and His Principles we seem to have faith in our wealth, our health, our people and other things.
Some of us think if God or the Master will provide us with economic security by giving us wealth say, five million dollars or rupees, or some other sum of money that satisfies our mind then our faith will increase. That is our mind playing tricks on us. We think like that because we have more faith in mammon, which is the god of wealth, than we do in God Who is the Source of all things including wealth.
Our faith in God will not increase no matter how much money we have. If possessing money were to increase our faith in God then all the wealthy people should have a lot of faith in God. But they do not. In any event what could one do with five million rupees or even five billion rupees if one could not have the next five hundred breaths? So having economic security will not increase one's faith.
So how to develop faith if one does not have any?
We have to start by realising that faith is required in any endeavour. For instance, our economic system would collapse if we did not have faith in the value of our currency. Our banking system is also based upon the faith that our money is secure in the banks.
Likewise, in embarking upon a voyage of discovery, one takes it on faith that one will discover something of value; for if one did not do so, it would make little sense to embark upon the voyage in the first place. Those who do not have faith before they find out whether their faith is justified or not, are not likely to find out anything at all in the end.
And in science, one begins the process of discovery by formulating a hypothesis, and then, having faith that the hypothesis is correct, one tests it. If one did not have faith that the hypothesis is correct, even before it was proved correct, one would not be bothered to test it, and consequently it would never be proved.
The same thing applies to the Seven Principles of Right Surrender. If one does not have faith to begin with, then one should assume as a hypothesis that the Principles are correct, and practice them in the right way as explained above; and as one practices the Principles, one's faith will automatically develop and increase, because one will see the Principles in action, and their results; and thus, with time, the faith will be tested and justified, and the truth of the Principles proved.
As one practices the Seven Principles of Right Surrender, slowly but surely one will develop the quality of what the Buddha called Mindfulness. As one continues in one's practice one will grow into Right Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the capacity of being aware of everything that is happening around one and within one's consciousness.
As Bhagwân Buddha has Himself explained in His Discourse on Right Mindfulness, which is called Satipatthâna, Right Mindfulness is the ability to know what is right from the Spiritual point of view of the Truth in all the situations one experiences. One will automatically develop the capacity of Mindfulness and Right Mindfulness as one practices these Seven Principles of Right Surrender. One does not have to force the issue. One cannot force growth. It happens naturally from the inside out as one practices the Principles. The seed that surrenders to the soil grows naturally from inside. This natural internal growth of the seed breaks the shell open to begin life as a shoot and a root. Similarly as one lives these Principles of Right Surrender the growth will naturally occur.
The Coming of the Master
Then -- as Revered Dinshahji has explained -- at some point the Right Spiritual Master or Sat Guru will come into one's life. One should heed a note of caution here. Never, never, never go in search of a guru. Do not seek a guru. All one has to do is to follow the Principles of Right Surrender, and when one is ready to receive the Teachings and Guidance from the Right Spiritual Master, He will create the conditions whereby one will meet Him. The Master may be either incarnated in human form or discarnated, but He will appear in one's life at the right time. Just as the atmosphere is waiting for the first gasp of breath from the new born child and the soil is awaiting the arrival of the seed, so also the Right Spiritual Masters are ever alert and are waiting and watching for the potential disciple to develop to the right pitch before they make themselves known.
An analogy may help to clarify the point. If a child is born very prematurely due to a miscarriage or some other reason, the child needs special care till such time as its lungs and other organs develop to the point that it can interact on its own directly with the atmosphere and other elementals. If the needed special care is unavailable to such a premature child, then the child will die. Similarly, before one can interact directly with a Spiritual Master, one needs to develop the right spiritual attitude reflecting the qualities of Humility, Obedience, Discipline, Commitment and Faith. Without these qualities one is not ready to receive Spiritual Guidance from the Master or Sat Guru. (Although the Principles of Obedience, Discipline, and Commitment are not part of the Seven Principles of Right Surrender as such, but is knowledge that has been revealed to the author of this article, they are nevertheless also a paraphrase of what Revered Dinshahji taught in different words: namely, as the Three Principles for following Spiritual Assignments, viz. (1)First Value, (2)Strict Obedience and (3)Unto the Last).
The right spiritual teachers or upagurus can help one develop the attributes necessary to meet the Master. By living the Seven Principles of Right Surrender in one's daily life, and living according to the instructions of the right teacher or upaguru, one will automatically develop the necessary characteristics; and as said earlier, when one has developed them to the right pitch, the Master will create the conditions whereby the disciple will meet Him.
Remember, the disciple does not select the Master. The Master selects the disciple. The Master does not need the disciple any more than the soil needs the seed or the atmosphere our lungs. Some disciples erroneously think that the disciple serves the Master. It is the author's own experience that the reverse is true. It is the Master who always works for the disciple even when in outward manifestation it may appear that the disciple is working night and day for the Master. The Master does not serve the disciple -- the Master serves only God -- but by performing Spiritual therapy on the disciple, the Master helps the mind of the disciple to gradually come to know the soul of the disciple.
Before a Right Spiritual Master or Sat Guru accepts any disciple, in the interest of the disciple, He will test the disciple hard. The tests will always be within the limits of the disciple's ability to pass the test, but at the highest level of that disciple's capability. The test is to see whether or not the disciple's mind is ready to receive Spiritual Guidance from the Master with due humility, obedience and surrender, and to make sure that the disciple is truly committed and is not just saying so.
One should bear in mind that the word "disciple" is related to the word "discipline". One needs discipline to become a disciple. Hence the test. If the disciple surrenders to the Will of the Master then the Master will Grace the soul of the disciple. The Master is very gentle on the soul of the disciple, but can be very hard on the disciple's mind, unless that mind is attuned to the soul. The Right Spiritual Master does not necessarily satisfy the human mind of the disciple -- unless that mind is completely and utterly surrendered unto, and in tune with, the Mind Divine.
So the Seven Principles of Right Surrender will guard the disciple against the unspiritual and antispiritual tendencies of his own mind and thoughts; they will guide the disciple and the Master will Grace the disciple. The human mind of the disciple will not know that the soul connected with it is being Graced. Why? Because, as Revered Dinshahji has explained, the human mind is full of thoughts, and till such time as it is emptied of all the thoughts in it, it will be unable to experience its own soul. It is only when the human mind is unified, purified and emptied that the mind of the soul can descend into it, and the disciple can experience a state of Spiritual Meditation or samâdhi and will then know what is spiritually right at the level at which the disciple happens to be: that is, at that stage in his spiritual growth.
On this issue the Guru Granth Saheb of the Sikhs also advises us to scrub our mind clean. It says in Punjabi, Tu apné man ko mânj lé ("Scrub thy mind clean"). Before one can scrub a vessel clean, one has to first empty it of all its contents; then only can one scrub it clean. Only a clean vessel is fit for receiving clean material. The thoughts from the Divine are clean and pure. One can only experience them when one has a clean and pure mind that has been emptied of all human material thoughts, and thus made ready to perceive the Divine.
As has been emphasised again and again by Revered Dinshahji, when the Right Master appears in one's life: Never, never, never miss the chance. One should not allow one's human mind and petty ego to come in the way and resist the Master's Mind and Will, but with due humility one should surrender to the Will of the Master. If one resists, even a little, the Master will not force His Will. Just as God does not force His Will upon His creations but lets them face the consequences of their own actions through the law of causation or karma, similarly His Masters do not force their Will upon the disciples. If a disciple resists the Master's Will, the Master will leave the disciple at the disciple's own level to work out his own karmas, and the disciple will have missed the chance of linking up with the Master who alone can show the way and lead one out of one's bondage to the kârmic cycles of birth, life and death unto spiritual liberation.
Once the disciple misses the chance which, as Revered Dinshahji has repeatedly said, comes but once in hundreds of lives the same chance may never come again. This is very important to understand. Many people foolishly think, "So what if I miss the chance. There are so many gurus." However, Revered Dinshahji has taught that there are very few Right Spiritual Masters, and if a disciple misses the chance given by a Right Spiritual Master, then an impress is left on the disciple's soul, and no other Right Master will take up the cause of such a disciple.
This is especially true, as Revered Dinshahji has explained, if the Master is a Descending High Being such as the Lord Christ or Bhagwân Buddha or Sri Krishna or any of the other Highest of the high Spiritual Masters: those who are capable of mediating between the relative or human plane of consciousness and the Absolute or Divine plane of consciousness. No other Master will touch such a disciple who has missed the chance. Only the Master who had given the original chance that the disciple missed can give the disciple another chance, and He may not do so for lives to come. Why? It is the author's view that this is because the Master has many candidates to choose from, and His energies are occupied by many other issues of creation. So He concentrates only on the deserving candidates. (The author would like to say here, however, that this is only his own reasoning at the human level, and there may be quite a different reason at the Spiritual level).
If an undeserving candidate is given a chance, he/she could cause very serious even catastrophic harm to all the Master's efforts throughout creation. So, as Revered Dinshahji has said, never, never miss the chance. If a disciple misses the chance and the Master decides to give such a disciple another chance, such a chance will be given at a lower level.
Here again people ponder, why? An analogy may help put things in perspective.
Suppose one wishes to become a weight lifter and goes to a master weight lifter for training. The master may not select the aspirant if he considers that the aspirant lacks the potential of becoming a good weight lifter. If he does select the aspirant, then he will test the aspirant's strength with the highest load the aspirant is capable of lifting. If the aspirant cannot lift a given load, the master will suggest a lighter load, since the initial load was more than the aspirant could bear, and if the aspirant were forced to lift it regardless, the attempt could even cause the aspirant physical harm. Also, if the aspirant is not willing or is incapable of following the rigorous training necessary to become the kind of weight lifter he aspires to become, the Master may even refuse to train him. It is something like that. The Spiritual Master tests one at the highest level one is capable of passing the test. If one fails the test and if the Master gives another chance, it will be given at a lower level to protect the disciple from harm, and also to safeguard the Master's own work.
Therefore, for one's own sake, one should not miss the chance given by the Right Spiritual Master, but one should conduct oneself with due humility, obedience and surrender. As Revered Dinshahji has often said, Woe be unto the person who misses the chance. Other Masters and even teachers have said similar things: for example, Sri Aurobindo is reported as having said, "Thrice woe be unto such a person."
Futility of Understanding
Wherever possible in this article we have tried to explain the "Why" of things. Why the human mind is insecure. Why it has developed a tendency to grasp etc. We have done this because in the past the author's own mind demanded to know how and why things worked. The author can tell the listeners with authority born of experience that trying to understand the why of things in a spiritual context is a waste of time. This applies even in the practical way of life, though not quite to the same extent. For instance, one need not know how a car or a computer works in order to use it, even though such knowledge may help in many cases. The engineers who design the machine do need to know these things, but those who use them don't necessarily need to know. The driver does need to know how to drive the car, and the one who uses a computer does need to know the necessary commands to make the programs run. But it is not an absolute requirement for such people to know how the machine is designed and made, and exactly how it works.
Now in a spiritual context -- as in the material -- the human mind attempts to understand how and why the Principles work before it will begin to live them. But in the spiritual context -- as opposed to the material -- this is futile. This way the human mind often tries to avoid practising the Principles till such time as it understands them, and by so doing also tries to gain ego-satisfaction from the understanding it may achieve. Revered Dinshahji has often said that so long as you understand, you are "standing under" the knowledge. This may be taken to mean that so long as you stand under the knowledge, you are not yet one with the knowledge.
It has also been the author's own experience over many years that spiritual understanding cannot be acquired before undertaking the spiritual practice. Spiritual knowledge comes only from direct experience, which in turn can come only from the right spiritual practices.
Spiritual scriptures repeatedly advise us that this is a world of illusion, and that to experience the Real, the Truth, we have to silence our senses. There is a very fundamental reason why it is impossible to understand the Spiritual with our material mind and senses. The reason is that our mind and senses are limited, gross and can deceive us. They are incapable of receiving the finer Spiritual vibrations, which can even be infinitely fine; and the finite human mind cannot comprehend the infinite.
Indeed even in this material world our senses often deceive us. For instance our physical senses and mind tell us that the earth is standing still and the Sun is moving from the east to the west. Yet we know that in reality it is the earth that is moving and the Sun is steady relative to the earth and the other planets within our Solar System. So from this simple example we can see that if we depend upon our physical senses and ordinary mind to understand Truth often, even relative truth we receive incorrect impressions. How much more, then, will our finite mind and senses deceive us if we try to discern Absolute Spiritual Truths, and the Infinite?
It is the author's own experience that no amount of reading really helps as much as a little practice. Instead of wasting time and energy trying to understand the "why" of spiritual things, one is much better off learning the "how" of spiritual things, and actually implementing what one has learned. Once one learns how to practice the Seven Principles of Right Surrender, one should implement them in one's daily life. Through such daily practice of the Seven Principles of Right Surrender, one will automatically develop the mind necessary to receive the Spiritual Truths that descend from the Higher Planes of consciousness.
So how to practice the Seven Principles of Right Surrender?
Practising the Seven Principles of Right Surrender
The First Principle says that one must select an Entity to whom and through whom one wishes to surrender. Now how to do that? Here in comes the universal application of the Principles. These Principles are not limited to any religion, just as the atmosphere or the force of gravity is not restricted to any one country or continent. They are universal just like the teachings of the Great Masters through whom the World Religions have been founded, or those who are considered to be intermediaries between humanity and Divinity. And here again because the teachings of the Masters are universal, their forms are interchangeable.
In other words there is no competition between the Spiritual Masters. Nor can there be any, since all of them have descended from the Source of all sources, which in English is commonly called God (and which is called differently in different languages). Even though some religions, like Jainism and Buddhism, eschew the term "God", they too acknowledge the Ultimate Source of all sources. For instance, in Mahâyâna Buddhism the "Mother of all the Buddhas" is called by the term Antîm Shûnyatâ, "The Infinite Nothing-ness".
Now all true Spiritual Masters have served the Ultimate Source. All of them have preached that mankind should surrender its will to the Will of that Source, which in most religions of the world is known as the Will Divine.
So there is no competition between the Masters. But those who only claim to follow the various Masters -- not the true followers -- compete and fight against each other, even in the name of the Master, to spread the teachings of the Master according to their own concepts. The true followers of the Masters do not fight against each other. They and their respective Masters always co-operate with all seekers to fulfil the Will Divine, since that Will emanates from the One Source which they all strive, with their heart of hearts, to serve and worship.
So when it comes to selecting an Entity, one may select any of the Avatâras of Hinduism, the Prophets or Archangels of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Arhants of Buddhism, the Gurus of Sikhism, the Tîrthankars of Jainism, the founders of the Mazdayasni Zarathushtri or Baha'i religion, or the Vedic Divine Beings Brahmâ, Vishnu, Shiva or their shaktis or feminine counterparts.
One should not feel that if one is born into a particular religion one is restricted to selecting as an Entity the particular Prophet or High Being through whom the religion got started. Such thinking is not spiritual, and is more representative of religious thinking; indeed quite often it has an antispiritual basis.
Of course there is nothing wrong in selecting as an Entity the Prophet or Founder of one's birth religion. But one is also free to select any other Entity if the Entity who started the religion one is born into does not appeal to one. Thus one born a Christian may select Bhagwân Buddha as an Entity; one born a Hindu may select Zarathushtra as an Entity; a Zoroastrian may select Krishna or Christ or Mohammed as an Entity; and so on.
So what is the basis of selecting an Entity? One should base one's choice of an Entity upon one's emotional feeling of love. Select the one Entity that most appeals to one's heart, irrespective of the religion started through the Entity. As Revered Dinshahji has often said: "Be in love with your Entity". One should be so much in love with one's Entity that nothing and no one can take the Entity's place in one's heart of hearts.
Once one has selected an Entity, the first aspect of the First Principle says that one must give that Entity a form. Now what form should one give? Suppose one has chosen Bhagwân Buddha as the Entity through whose teachings one wishes to grow, but one prefers the form of Zarathushtra or Christ. Fine. There is no problem or conflict. One can surrender to the form of Zarathushtra or Christ, but follow the teachings of Buddha, and vice-versa. What is important to note here is that one is free to select any one form, but only one form.
Also -- as Revered Dinshahji has said personally to the author of this article -- select any one set of teachings, but only one set of teachings. Why? Because as explained earlier although any one of several roads may lead one to one's destination, one can only get there by travelling one road at a time. So follow only one set of teachings and surrender to only one form.
Now as explained earlier our Muslim and Jewish brothers and sisters may have a problem here. What form should they give their chosen Entity in light of the prohibition in their respective religions regarding the ascribing to the Divine the form of an image?
Well, although many of them may not realize it, the Jews and the Muslims do have numerous forms sanctified by their respective religions, through whom the Divine is and has been worshipped from ancient times. For instance, the Jewish people have the Shield of David (sometimes erroneously called "The Star of David"), and also the form of the Torah which is kept on the altar in every synagogue. Furthermore, they have the form of the two tablets on which Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments. In ancient times they had the Ark of the Covenant and the Temple in Jerusalem where it was housed; and in more recent times they have the menorah and the Western Wall (which is a remnant of the Temple in Jerusalem). The tetragrammaton (which is what scholars call the four Hebrew letters yod-hey vav-hey, representing the name of the Lord God) is also considered sacred by the Jewish religion, as also the Hebrew letter shin, and the combination of the Hebrew letters yod and hey. These are all forms through which the Divine is, and has been, remembered; and thus they too are aids to communion with, and ultimately union with, God.
Similarly the Muslims have the Ka'aba. Every Muslim, no matter where in the world, is required while praying to turn towards the mosque in Mecca in which the Ka'aba is housed. So every Muslim who prays five times a day (as required by Islam) turns towards this form of the Ka'aba. Some of the other forms associated with Islam are: the Sword; the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem; the Crescent Moon and Star; the word Allah and/or Ali written in Farsi or Arabic letters. All Muslims accept -- and have accepted -- these forms through the centuries, and with or without their knowledge have developed an attachment to these forms; and they all recognize the value of these forms as aids toward communion with the Divine.
It may also be kept in mind that the word "form" in this context applies to anything that can be conceptualised. In this sense, then, a form is not merely something that must be visualised. Under this definition, even a sound has a form, a touch has a form, and our concepts of "The Infinite" or "Nothing" -- insofar as they are concepts -- also have forms. The Jewish and Islamic scriptures often speak of "The Voice of the Lord" or the "presence" of God or of Allah. So these too -- to the extent that they can be conceptualised by the human mind -- are forms, since they are thought forms.
Also, through both these religions, many worthy people have grown to know the Divine by direct experience. They would not have been able to do so unless they, too, had been following the Principles for so doing, knowingly or without their knowledge. Thus it is clear that, despite the prohibition in these religions regarding the ascribing of an image to God, is possible for their adherents to grow through forms unto the formless.
Here again it should be emphasised that the Seven Principles of Right Surrender do not advocate giving a form to God, but to one's Entity. Now although it is true that in some religions -- such as the Buddhist -- the Entity may Himself be regarded as the Supreme Being, this is most emphatically not so in the Jewish religion or in Islam. In Judaism and Islam, no Prophet of God or Messenger of Allah, regardless of how exalted he was, can ever be considered as equal in Spiritual stature to God Himself. Thus for Jewish or Muslim worshippers following the Seven Principles of Right Surrender, there would never arise a situation in which they have to ascribe a form to God.
So which form to select? It is advisable to select any one of the historically accepted forms of the Masters of the various religions, or the historically established symbols of the religions. Thus the Christians may use the cross as a symbol for Christ, or any one of the accepted figures represented in the paintings and statues of the Master. The Hindus have very many forms for Sri Krishna and Sri Ram and the Vedic Divine Beings and their shaktis. The Zoroastrians have their forms for Zarathushtra and other Zoroastrian symbols, such as the Sacred Fire or Atash. The Sikhs have the Guru Granth Saheb as well as the paintings of their Gurus, the Buddhists have forms of the Buddha and so on.
But what is advisable in selecting a form is to start with a form that has already been accepted within the religion historically, and through whom other individuals have ascended unto divine realization. It is not advisable to start one's own form. Why? By accepting a form that is historically established within a particular religion one gets the benefits of the various thought forms established by those who have grown to divine realisation through the same religion. These thought forms left behind by such persons are like the roads that have been built by the people who lived before us. We do not insist on travelling only on roads built by us. We take advantage of the roads and bridges built by others who preceded us. Similarly by accepting the forms already established within the religions, we get the benefit of the efforts of those who have grown through the same religion before us. Therefore one is better off selecting a historically established form of the Entity one wishes to surrender to and through, rather than starting a form of one's own.
Once one has selected the Entity and given the Entity a form, let the form be fixed and not changing, and then practice the Seven Principles of Right Surrender as explained here above.
The Mechanics of Surrendering
The question may arise in the mind of the reader: How does one begin the practice of Right Surrender? Should one stand; sit; kneel down; bow down or assume some other posture?
The object of the spiritual practice of Right Surrender is to totally silence one's mind while remaining fully conscious. From a spiritual point of view, human thoughts represent noise, and our minds are full of thoughts. When the mind is totally silent, i.e., when it is devoid of all human thoughts, then the thoughts from one's soul will descend into one's human mind, and this is called Spiritual Meditation. As Revered Dinshahji, quoting the Lord Christ, has often said, "The empty alone shall be filled"; and it is also in keeping with the advice given by the Guru Granth Saheb of the Sikhs to scrub one's mind clean so as to be worthy to he filled with Divine Thoughts.
Now what follows is the author's own exposition of what is preferable, based on his own practice.
In order to watch one's thoughts in keeping with the First Principle of Right Surrender, the mind has to be freed from any demands of the body. For this reason the body should be kept healthy and supple. Before starting the practice of Right Surrender one may put oneself in any comfortable position so long as one's spine is straight in its natural position with the slight curve in the small of the back. For those who can adopt it, the yogic posture of padmâsan is the ideal position because it maintains the body in total equilibrium and keeps the spine erect with its natural curvature.
However most people from outside India and even many people within India are unable to assume the posture of padmâsan. There are many other yogic postures one could assume which are less demanding than padmâsan. However, if one is uncomfortable squatting on the floor, then one may sit on a cushion or pillow like some of the Japanese monks do who practice Zen Buddhism. If even this is not possible, then one may sit on a chair or a recliner, or one can even lie on one's back on the floor or on the bed, so long as one maintains a straight back straight means with its natural curvature but not slouched. (This, of course, does not apply to those whose back is curved because of scoliosis or any other such medical problem).
The problem with lying on the recliner or the bed or floor is that the horizontal position is usually associated with sleep, and the mind will, due to force of habit, sink down into sleep instead of becoming super-wakeful. So for the purpose of practising the Seven Principles of Right Surrender one is best off assuming any comfortable position that allows one to keep the spine upright and straight, and the mind to remain wakeful.
Once one has assumed the posture in which one intends to start the practice of surrender, then one has to still oneself. To facilitate this, one may either clasp one's hands together in one's lap, or place the hands on one's thighs or at one's sides as it suits one.
The next thing is to close one's eyes and steady them. One will find that even when the eyelids are closed, the eyes will tend to move. For this reason it is helpful to focus one's eyes on some point. So to start with, one may focus one's eyes on the tip of one's nose. After one is comfortable doing that, after several days or weeks, one should raise one's gaze to the bridge of one's nose, till eventually one is comfortable turning one's eyes inward and focusing them between one's eyebrows and about half an inch inward. The idea is to keep the eyes steady.
So to start the practice of Right Surrender, assume a comfortable posture keeping the spine straight; hold one's hands steady; and keep one's eyes focused on a point as explained above.
Now one is ready to begin practising the Seven Principles of Right Surrender. Raise the level of your consciousness to the super-wakeful level and do nothing. Just watch your thoughts come and go, as explained earlier in this talk when we discussed the First Principle, and then follow the remaining Seven Principles of Right Surrender.
One of the first things one is likely to observe when one begins watching one's thoughts is, that one becomes aware of all sorts of sensations on one's body. One's skin may feel itchy and the urge to scratch may be very strong. One may not have been aware of these sensations even though they were there before one began the practice of surrender. Why? Because one's mind was diverted by things and situations outside oneself. However when one closes one's eyes and begins to watch one's thoughts, one becomes aware of all sorts of thoughts and sensations. So what to do? Resist the urge to scratch and watch the thought of the urge to scratch and the itch as well, and both will go away. But supposing as one is watching one's thoughts an insect were to crawl on one's body and begin to bite one as has happened to some seekers then one should do what is necessary to get rid of the insect, and after that is done once again resume the practice of surrender.
How Each Principle Helps
The author has found that each of the Seven Principles of Right Surrender helps one who practices the Principles in a very specific way. They utilize the very nature of the human mind to help it to become unified, purified and ultimately emptied.
The First Principle helps one because through it one selects a Spiritual Entity who becomes one's spiritual anchor, a veritable beacon of light and strength in whom one can become centred. Further, by watching one's thoughts as is required by the fifth aspect of the First Principle, slowly but surely one begins to develop a mind within one's mind which watches the human mind that has a tendency to grasp things. This new watchful mind when fully developed will exercise a degree of control over the unstable reactive mind.
When this watchful mind is fully developed it will make one alert and aware of everything that is going around and within one. Eventually this watchful mind will grow unto what the Buddha called Right Mindfulness, and enable one to act in keeping with Spiritual Principles and Values rather than react to one's desires. So this new mind will enable one to gain control over one's life rather than be controlled by one's desires.
So the First Principle helps one to become centred in a Spiritual Master, grow unto Right Mindfulness and gain control of one's thoughts, words and deeds.
The Second Principle of Humility makes one receptive, thereby allowing one to receive instructions from one's spiritual teacher to begin with, and later on from the Higher levels and planes of consciousness within oneself as well as outside oneself.
The Third Principle, the Principle of Attachment, helps one to become steady and also helps to empty oneself. By transferring one's attachment to one's Entity who is the ultimate in stability, one begins to slowly but surely empty one's mind and become stable. Focusing one's attachment on one's Entity will help to unify one's thoughts around one's Entity, and this same action will also purify one's thoughts.
So the Third Principle helps one to unify and purify one's thoughts and also helps one's unsteady mind to become stable.
As one practices the above three Principles and then adds the Fourth Principle of Right Surrender, then along with the first three Principles, the Fourth Principle of Surrender will help to empty one's mind of all the unified and purified thoughts, and thus prepare one's mind to receive the Master when He appears in one's life.
As one goes on practising these first Four Principles of Right Surrender and one's mind becomes fully emptied -- as Revered Dinshahji has said -- one will be able to receive thoughts from one's soul, and through one's soul of Higher Beings who are Guiding one's soul. Once this has been achieved, one will know by direct knowledge how to live according to the will of one's own purified soul, and ultimately, according to the Will Divine.
The Fifth Principle of Living Silence helps one to fully experience one's suffering in all its intensity, and empty it out for good.
The Sixth Principle of Fortitude gives one the courage to face the adversities and suffering with a calm and cool disposition.
The Seventh Principle of Faith helps to develop the quality of commitment. This will enable one to endure the suffering in Living Silence with Fortitude, no matter how great the pain may be and how long it lasts.
As one implements these Seven Principles of Right Surrender in one's daily life, slowly but surely a step a time and a step in time one's mind will become unified, purified and ultimately empty. The empty alert mind will be a silent mind and will be ready to hear the voice of one's soul or âtmâ, and through one's soul, of the oversoul or paramâtmâ.
The Need to Silence One's Mind
It is important to try and fully realize why it is so very necessary to silence one's mind. To give an example: We know that blood is constantly flowing in our body. Yet we are not aware of it. The Voice of one's soul is infinitely more silent and subtle than the flow of blood in our veins. So try and imagine the degree of silence we must achieve in order to experience the Voice of Silence: and how much more subtle must be the Master's Voice and the Voice of God?
So from this one can get some idea how important it is to practice these Seven Principles of Right Surrender.
In this treatise we have explained the Seven Principles of Right Surrender in fair detail. We have given numerous examples to illustrate the universal application of the Principle of Surrender. We have explained some of the characteristics of the human mind and its tendencies. We have shown how the Principles utilize the very characteristics of the human mind to stabilize it and help us grow through it to experience the Divine within us. We have explained the specific way each Principle helps us. Finally we have covered the mechanics of how to practice the Principles of Right Surrender.
For the sake of recapitulation, we will now summarize the Seven Principles of Right Surrender.
Summary of the Seven Principles of Right Surrender
The First Principle is, "Select one and only one Entity to whom and through whom to surrender."
There are five aspects to the First Principle.
1. Give the Entity a form.
2. Let the form be fixed and not changing.
3. Study the teachings of the Entity through only one teacher. In the absence of a teacher, let your conscience be your guide, but your growing conscience and not static conscience.
4. Raise the level of your consciousness so that you become as wakeful as possible, nearer if not actually at the super-wakeful level.
5. At that super-wakeful state just watch your thoughts come and go.
The Second Principle is, "Have utter humility before your Entity."
The Third Principle is, "Transfer your attachment from all things, thoughts and persons to your Entity in increasing proportion, till eventually all your attachment is transferred to your Entity."
The Fourth Principle is, "Surrender all your thoughts, desires, fears etc. to your Entity."
The Fifth Principle is, "Do not give expression in words or action to the disturbing thoughts and emotions that arise. Live in the experience and thoughts in Living Silence."
The Sixth Principle is, "Bear with fortitude the pain experienced in Living Silence."
The Seventh Principle is, "Cultivate belief amounting to conviction leading to faith that as you follow the first four principles, right surrender will and must become effective and your thoughts will get purified, unified and emptied ultimately raising your consciousness a step a time, each step leading towards the ultimate mukti or liberation."
These Seven Principles of Right Surrender if practised daily will and must work for all those who implement them, as certainly as the principle of gravity influences everyone and everything that comes in contact with it.
Furthermore, these Principles are universal and can be practised by followers of any religion or any Master. There is no conflict between these Principles and the teachings of the Great Masters. After all the very First Principle of Right Surrender tells us to select one and only one Master of our choice, and to follow the teachings of the Master.
Therefore people who are following different religions are all practising aspects of this First Principle when they select the Master and the teachings of the religion they choose to live by.
But in order for Right Surrender to be effective, one must follow all the Seven Principles of Right Surrender as explained above. (A reflection of this principle is made manifest in practical life also. For example, it would be impossible to bake a cake successfully if one did not follow all the steps in its preparation. If one only mixed the batter, but left out the baking, one would not have a cake in the end, would one?)
As one practices these Seven Principles of Right Surrender, one will automatically grow to realize the Unity in Diversity of Religions which is a part of the second mission of the Society of Servants of God. As more and more individuals who follow different religions practice these Seven Principles of Right Surrender in their daily life, more and more people will grow to realize the Unity of God, and thus also the Unity of His message. This realization in turn will reduce the conflicts that are occurring in the name of religion in the minds of the people concerned to begin with, and later on in society in general, to the extent that members of society at large accept and adopt these Principles in their way of life.
Thus these Seven Principles of Right Surrender, if followed properly, have the potential of reducing conflicts in an individual's life, as well as contributing to world peace by making the Unity in Diversity of Religion a reality.
Therefore the author requests the readers not to merely read the Principles, but to put them into practice and give then a chance to prove themselves. Test them for yourself, and see if they work. When you see for yourself that they do work, then continue to practice them.
However if one chooses to ignore and/or reject these wonderful Universal Principles which are a gift from God to humanity, then one has only oneself to blame. One then runs the risk of falling into the category of those reportedly described by the Lord Christ as, "None are so blind as those who refuse to see." So for one's own well being as well as the benefit of those around oneself, one should study these beautiful Seven Principles of Right Surrender and then weave them into one's life.
The Principles will Guide you. They will Guard you and the Master will Grace you.