The Supreme One cannot be approached through flattery or recommendation by a powerful person. He is beyond such pettiness. The only way for us to reach Him is if He Himself chooses to embrace us.

The way to receive the Lord’s embrace is through saranagati or total surrender. The question may then be asked if this is the only way to reach Him. What about other prescribed ways, which have been spoken of by none other than Lord Krishna Himself in the Gita? The Lord speaks of karma yoga, bhakti yoga and gnana yoga as paths to reach Him. While it is true that adherence to any of these will lead to Him, saranagati is superior to other ways of reaching the Lord, said Akkarakkani Srinidhi in a discourse.

This can be illustrated by an example. Suppose we go to a grocery store and buy what we need. Suppose we then praise the owner of the store, saying he is indeed a very nice man, for he willingly parted with all the things we needed, we will be laughed at. The grocery store owner has allowed us to walk away with all these things, only because we have paid for them. Would he have given anything to us free?

So here there is a transaction, where we give something and get something in return. If the shopkeeper gave us the groceries free, then there would be reason to praise him for his generosity, but not when we pay. In the same way, in the case of the other paths to moksha, we do something to attain moksha. But in the case of saranagati, we do nothing, except surrender to the Lord, and He takes care of everything else. So does this not reveal His generosity towards us? Thus, because it reveals the Lord’s generosity and His kindness, and because it makes possible moksha with no effort on our part, saranagati is superior to the other paths.

Moreover, when we do something to attain moksha, there is the possibility that we might take pride in our efforts, and this pride then corrupts our efforts. It is like adding a drop of poison to a pot full of pure water. But in the case of saranagati, there is no room for pride on our part, for we do nothing more than surrender to Him.

More In: Faith | Friday Review