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Surrender (spirituality and psychology)

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To surrender in spirituality and religion means that a believer completely gives up his own will and subjects his thoughts, ideas, and deeds to the will and teachings of a higher power. The term is also used in a similar manner, in some schools and approaches to psychology, in which sense it is an antonym of hostility, signifying something akin to acceptance of one's own nature and that of the world.

In Sikhism and Hinduism

According to the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most authoritative scriptures of Hinduism, Krishna, said the following to the warrior Arjuna who became his disciple:

I consider the yogi-devotee—who lovingly contemplates on Me with supreme faith, and whose mind is ever absorbed in Me—to be the best of all the yogis.
Chapter 6, Verse 47
After attaining Me, the great souls do not incur rebirth in this miserable transitory world, because they have attained the highest perfection.
Chapter 8, Verse 15
... those who, renouncing all actions in Me, and regarding Me as the Supreme, worship Me... For those whose thoughts have entered into Me, I am soon the deliverer from the ocean of death and transmigration, Arjuna. Keep your mind on Me alone, your intellect on Me. Thus you shall dwell in Me hereafter.
Chapter 12, Verses 6-8
And he who serves Me with the yoga of unswerving devotion, transcending these qualities [binary opposites, like good and evil, pain and pleasure] is ready for liberation in Brahman.
Chapter 14, Verse 26
Fix your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, offer service to Me, bow down to Me, and you shall certainly reach Me. I promise you because you are My very dear friend.
Chapter 18, Verse 65
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.[1]
Chapter 18, Verse 66

Several gurus teach their disciples the importance of surrender to God or to themselves, as part of the guru-disciple relationship. For example, the Sri Sai Satcharita, the biography of the guru/fakir Sai Baba of Shirdi that according to its author was authorized by the guru says that surrender to the guru is the only sadhana.

Another example, Prem Rawat, formerly called Guru Maharaj Ji, was quoted in 1978 as "[.]. But there is nothing to understand! And if there is something to understand, there is only one thing to understand, and that is to surrender!"[2]

In Christianity

In Christianity, Jesus is the head of the believer. The first main principle of "surrender" within the religion is "Dying to Self", or the "emptying of self" to allow Christ to live through the believer, illustrated in the following passages:

If any [man] come to me, and hate[3] not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Luk 14:26[4]
For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.
Phl 1:21[4]
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Col 3:3[4]

The second issue of surrender in Christianity is allowing Christ to "take our place" through the believer, in other words, the emptying of self so that God may live through the believer as evidenced in Phl 1:21.

Another doctrinal principle central to the Christian Concept of Surrender in line with the other two, and often expounded more, is the concept of surrender to God's Will. Surrendering to God's will entails both the "surrender of our will to His in macrocosm", in which His plan prevails over man's and the adversary, and secondarily to the surrender of one's will for individual life to "His will for our personal lives in microcosm." This is done through the emptying or dying of self, the "putting self aside" in favor of divine influence. This includes the idea of surrendering to a call (the word "vocation" is rooted in the Latin vocare, referring to God's voice). The corollary of this personal surrender is obedience, and obedience to God is denoted as bringing about His will, having lasting effects, and often associated with earthly and divine blessings.

The Supreme act of Surrender which the believer is called to emulate is the surrender of Christ first as coming into the world as God incarnate and then the surrender to the Cross in the act of sacrificial atonement, breaking the Curse of sin and death from the Fall.

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Phl 2:7-8[4]


Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Luk 22:42[4]

Surrender is also noted in Christian doctrine as one of the three columns of victorious living, or Christian victory: the Blood of the Lamb [Christ], their Testimony of the Word of God [Scriptures] and their lives, and Loving not their lives to death.

Surrender and Obedience are premiere values of faith and a walk in Christ, superseded only by Agape Love for man and God.

In Islam

One of the meanings of the word Islam itself is surrender. Surrender in Islam means surrendering or submitting your will to God. This means that all other responsibilities of life are removed and are replaced with the singular aim of living your life in accordance to God's will.[5] Every single action in a Muslim's life, whether marriage or building one's career should theoretically be for the sake of God. This way of life is believed to crush the ego and self-importance within an individual.

See also

References and notes

  1. Bhagavad-Gita 18.66
  2. DLM. (1979). The essence of everything. In The Golden Age 51. (See Wikiquote:Prem Rawat).
  3. "Hate" in this context refers to a complete divorcement from.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 The Bible, King James Version.
  5. Living Allah's way. BBC-Religion and Ethics Retrieved on 22 September 2009.

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