Sai Baba, also known as Shirdi Sai Baba, is one of the most beloved and revered saints in India. His teachings and miracles continue to inspire millions of people around the world. For those who seek spiritual guidance and want to surrender themselves to Sai Baba, there are a few steps that can be followed to master The Art of Complete Surrender.
Assessing Your Level of Surrender
Bhakti, or devotion to God, is a central concept in the Vaishnava Sampradaya. Two popular analogies used to explain the essence of bhakti are of the monkey and the cat.
The first analogy, ‘Markata Kishora Nyaya‘, is based on the behavior of a baby monkey. A baby monkey clings tightly to its mother, who doesn’t make any effort to hold it. The philosopher Vedanta Desikan used this analogy to convey the idea that a devotee should hold onto God with the same firmness as a baby monkey clings to its mother. The emphasis is on the devotee’s effort and determination to hold onto God.
The second analogy, ‘Marjara Kishora nyaya‘, is based on the behavior of a mother cat and her kittens. In this case, it is the mother cat who protects her kittens and carries them wherever she goes. The philosopher Manavala Maa Muni used this analogy to convey the idea that the onus of protection is on God and that the maximum effort from the devotee should have faith in God’s protective embrace and surrender to Him completely.
Both these analogies have a scriptural basis and serve as powerful metaphors for the concept of bhakti. The monkey and the cat analogies emphasize different aspects of bhakti – the first emphasizes the devotee’s effort and determination, while the second emphasizes the importance of surrender and faith in God’s protection. Ultimately, both these approaches lead to the same goal – union with God through devotion and surrender.
As individuals, we must assess the level of surrender we possess and identify areas where we need to make progress. While we have outlined what constitutes complete surrender, it may be challenging to achieve and maintain this state of being. Human existence is often marred by various issues that can disturb our minds and cause us to waver in our surrender.
Understanding Why Sai Baba said “Sab Ka Malik Ek“
Shraddha Saburi: Rooted in Complete Surrender
Shraddha Saburi, a key tenet of Baba’s teachings, is rooted in complete surrender. To understand this better, let us consider the cat analogy. The marjara exhibits complete surrender to her mother, and as a result, remains faithful, patient, and wholly devoted to her mother’s will. Whatever the mother cat does for her kitten is for its highest benefit, and the kitten trusts this implicitly. Whether the mother cat feeds her kitten or not, the kitten remains unperturbed, knowing that its mother will ultimately care for it.
Understanding Complete Surrender in Spirituality
In order to achieve complete surrender, it is important to have a clear understanding of what this concept means in the realm of spirituality. While the explanation may be a bit technical, we have endeavored to present it in a way that is easy for anyone to comprehend. We suggest that you read through this explanation multiple times to fully grasp the concept.
Complete surrender requires us to trust in a higher power and have faith that everything is happening for our ultimate good, even if it may not appear so in the moment. This level of surrender requires Shraddha Saburi. By focusing on Shraddha Saburi and emulating the marjara’s example, we can deepen our surrender and find peace and guidance in all circumstances.
Understanding Ahankar “I” am
A clear understanding of Ahankar can aid us in moving towards complete surrender.
The concept of Ahankar, or “I” am, is a fundamental aspect of spiritual philosophy. It is understood that Ahankar operates through three distinct mental faculties – Buddhi, Manas, and Chitt.
Buddhi, or intellect, is the faculty that makes decisions based on logic and reasoning. It is oriented towards survival at its lower level and the fulfillment of basic needs such as food and reproduction. Buddhi operates through the five senses and relies on them to gather information and make judgments.
Manas, or the accumulation of memories, is a storehouse of past and present experiences and knowledge. It fuels the intellect with information and influences its decision-making process. As memories pile up, they begin to shape the direction of the intellect and determine its priorities.
Chitt, on the other hand, is the awareness of the self. It is the underlying consciousness that fuels both Buddhi and Manas. Even if the other two faculties are eliminated, Chitt remains present. Sushupti is the state of consciousness that we experience during our deep sleep every day. In a state of Vikalp Samadhi, which is a state of consciousness where time and space cease to exist, Buddhi is still active while Manas is put to rest. However, Chitt has the tendency to bring the individual back to the state of wakefulness (Jagrut-not the spiritual wakefulness, awakening after a deep sleep). That is it means we are alive in our minds.
The interplay between Buddhi, Manas, and Chitt is what drives the functioning of the Ahankar. While Buddhi and Manas rely on external stimuli and accumulated memories and can be considered to act like water that takes the form of the container it is in, Chitt represents the awareness of the self that is always present within us. Understanding the role of these three faculties can help us gain greater clarity about our own thought processes and ultimately lead to a deeper spiritual understanding.
The concept of Ahankar, or “I” am, is deeply intertwined with the spiritual process of surrender. In order to truly surrender ourselves to an Ultimate power, it is important to understand the role of Buddhi, Manas, and Chitt in our lives.
Buddhi, at its lower existence, which represents our intellect, is primarily focused on the survival needs of our physical body. It operates through the five senses and relies on external stimuli to make decisions. However, when we practice surrender, we can cut off the incoming fuel from the senses, allowing our Buddhi (intellect at its higher existence) to focus on a higher spiritual goal (Samadhi/Becoming One with our Baba).
By elevating our Buddhi to the spiritual level, we can prevent our Manas from accumulating further karmas that are associated with the evolution of our soul (Jeevatma/individual consciousness), rather than the physical body. This is important because it allows us to perform better in material concerns along with spiritual growth.
One way to achieve this is through the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, which involves a series of physical and mental disciplines that help us move beyond the survival level and into the spiritual realm. Through the discipline of the body and mind, we can begin to connect with our higher self and experience the transformative power of surrender.
Ahankar, or “I” am can often make it difficult for us to focus and find inner peace. However, when we are able to make our Buddhi perform better with Chitt like hand and glove then we can more easily focus on a single point, bringing a sense of peace and calm to our lives.
When we are at peace within ourselves, this can also radiate outwards and positively impact those around us. Others are less likely to disturb us if we are not disturbing them, creating a harmonious environment.
To achieve this state of peace and surrender, it is often helpful to seek the guidance of a Guru. The Guru’s grace can serve as a powerful fueling factor for complete surrender and help us to have faith that whatever the Guru does is ultimately for our benefit.
With a strong belief in the Guru and their actions, we can cultivate patience and maintain our inner peace regardless of whether or not our desires are fulfilled. This deep sense of trust in the Guru allows us to remain seated at their Lotus feet, confident in the knowledge that everything they do is for our ultimate benefit.
By aligning Chitt and Buddhi with spirituality and seeking the guidance of a Guru, we can overcome the distractions of Ahankar and find a deep sense of peace and surrender. This inner peace can radiate outwards, creating a harmonious environment and helping us to navigate the challenges of life with grace and ease.
Surrendering to Shirdi Sai Baba has significant spiritual implications. It is a process that involves letting our Ahankar at minimal existence or ceased to exist and that state will allow the divine to guide us on our spiritual path. When we surrender ourselves to Shirdi Sai Baba, we are acknowledging that our Guru is taking control of our lives. This surrender can help us to overcome the fear and anxiety that often arise from the uncertainties of life.
Spiritually, surrendering to Shirdi Sai Baba can also help us to develop a deeper sense of connection with the divine (Parabrahm). When we surrender ourselves to Him, we are opening ourselves up to the grace and blessings of the divine. This connection can help us to experience a sense of inner peace and joy that comes from knowing that we are not alone on our spiritual journey.
Surrendering to Shirdi Sai Baba can also help us to develop qualities such as humility, compassion, and gratitude. Also, this gives us a great sense of clarity towards things happening around us These qualities are essential for our spiritual growth and development. Humility helps us to recognize that we are not the center of the universe, but the “Universe” and that there is an Ultimate power greater than us. Compassion helps us to see the divine in all beings and to serve others selflessly. Gratitude helps us to appreciate all that we have and to recognize the blessings in our lives.
Finally, surrendering to Shirdi Sai Baba can help us to develop faith in the divine. When we surrender ourselves to Him, we are having our faith in His guidance and wisdom. This faith will give us enough patience to navigate the challenges of life with greater ease and confidence, knowing that we are being guided by the divine, that is the power of Shraddha and Saburi. This is the reason by our Sathguru Sai Baba always insisted on having Shraddha and Saburi and it can be achieved through complete surrender and vice versa.
Bhagavad Gita Quote
At the end of each post, we will conclude with a relevant Shloka from Bhagavad Gita and its meaning, to provide deeper insights and inspiration for our readers.
तमेव शरणं गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत | तत्प्रसादात्परां शान्तिं स्थानं प्राप्स्यसि शाश्वतम्— Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 18 Verse 62
Transliteration: tam eva śharaṇaṁ gachchha sarva-bhāvena bhārata
tat-prasādāt parāṁ śhāntiṁ sthānaṁ prāpsyasi śhāśhvatam
Translation Word by Word: tam—unto Brahm; eva—only; śharaṇam gachchha—surrender; sarva-bhāvena—complete (whole) expression; bhārata—Arjun, the son of Bharat; tat-prasādāt—by It’s grace; parām—supreme; śhāntim—peace; sthānam—the abode; prāpsyasi—you will attain; śhāśhvatam—eternal
Meaning: “Take refuge in Almighty alone with all your expression, O Bharata. By the Almighty’s grace, you will attain supreme peace and the eternal abode.”
Our Interpretation: This verse emphasizes the importance of surrendering to God with complete devotion and faith and the promise of attaining eternal peace and liberation through the grace of God. In this verse, Lord Krishna is urging Arjuna to take refuge in God alone with complete surrender. The phrase “sarva-bhāvena” means “with all your expression” or “with all your heart,” emphasizing the need for complete surrender.
Lord Krishna then promises that by taking refuge in God, one will attain “paraṁ śāntim,” which means “supreme peace.” This peace is not temporary, but “śāśvatam,” which means “eternal” or “everlasting.” By the grace of God, one can attain this peace, which is beyond the fleeting happiness ie. Ananda and sorrows of the material world and it is rightly expressed in our Vedas Sat-Chit-Anada.
The verse also mentions “sthānam,” which means “place” or “abode.” This refers to the ultimate spiritual destination, which is the eternal realm of God. By surrendering to God completely, one can attain this ultimate destination and be free from the cycle of Samsara.