Not all of us worship God with the same motives. Not all of us put before Him the same requests. Lord Krishna says there are those who approach Him to regain lost wealth. There are those who approach Him to acquire wealth.

But the superior ones are those who crave for proximity to His feet. These people He terms gnanis. This classification applies to those who resort to bhakti yoga as a means of liberation.

Even those who seek surrender as the means of liberation do not all fall in the same category. Draupadi, for example, did saranagati (surrender) initially to save herself from being shamed in the court of the Kauravas.

Ideal example

Kakasuran surrendered in order that his life be spared. The king of the ocean surrendered to Lord Rama not to render the ocean dry. Each of them had a reason but their acts of surrender cannot be compared with that of Vibhishana’s, which is an ideal example of saranagati, said Navalapakkam Vasudevachariar in a discourse.

Why does Vibhishana surrender to Rama? It might seem that he did so for being made king of Lanka. But to conclude thus would be a great injustice to the greatness of Vibhishana, for he surrenders at the feet of the Lord with no such ulterior motive.

That the kingdom of Ravana eventually comes to him is only incidental. He himself has no such desire when he comes to Lord Rama. In fact, he has come leaving behind everything.

He has left behind his family and wealth. He has come to surrender totally with no demands made of the Lord. Then why does the Lord give him the kingdom of Lanka, after Ravana is killed?

Incidental benefits

The reason is not that Vibhishana sought it, but that the Lord wants to give him something besides moksha. When we pray to the Lord for moksha, He also gives us some incidental benefits of His own volition.

When we surrender at His feet, He takes over our burden. The responsibility to save us becomes His, and He is happy only when He has helped us cross the ocean of samsara.