Live Deeply

Day 24: In God We Trust

Written by Ekras Gorakh

In a war, the loser surrenders at the end. We always want to win and so we learn not to surrender. What if its only partly true; Isn’t it really the case that only the losers surrender in the end? Taking refuge is the right way to begin.

 

Today is day 24 of #LivingDeeply.

 

In the 1970s, TV stations in the US used to carry an announcement, “It’s 10pm, do you know where your children are?”. It’s a great question, because we really don’t know much about anything. We just can’t know everything.

— we don’t have the ability to gather all the facts correctly,
— we don’t have the capability to process all the facts all together,

— and we don’t have the ability to act decisively.

 

If Julius Caesar, the most powerful man in the world, couldn’t tell that his colleagues in the senate are going to kill him, then what chance do others have of knowing everything, understanding everything, and doing everything? No one can be omnipresent (everywhere), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipotent (all doing).

 

So how can we act in this world? We have to make assumptions, right? What assumptions do we carry about the world around us?

 

Let us narrow it down by asking two specific questions:

– what is the relationship of the Universe with respect to my interests?

Is the Universe fierce and jealous, all red in tooth and claw? Is the Universe more like a friend, lover or a parent…always looking out for my interests?

– what support can I expect from the forces of the Universe as I go about engaging in action?

Should I expect resistance or support?

 

There are two words for “surrender” in the Bhagavad Gita, प्रपद्यन्ते prapadyante and शरणम् sharanam.

 

The answer to the first question is, “As you are to Me, so I am to you”. If you come as a friend, you will find the Universe a friendly place. If you come to steal, then expect fully to have your shirt stolen on the way back. Your attitude will directly be reflected back by this mirror-like existence. Give to get.

The second question is answered through the idea of “taking refuge”, which is meant in the way I began this note with. To take refuge is to know that He has your back, and now we can carry on working with confidence. If we don’t take refuge, we will inevitably run out of our little stock of energy and lose. In my Christian middle school, we were taught the prayer, “thy will be done”, and that’s exactly how it is. This is a vast vast Universe, and in this casino, the house always wins. Acknowledging this inevitable isn’t a sign of losing, unless you’re fighting truth.
The US dollar bill says prominently, “In God We Trust”. Maybe that’s why people call it the almighty dollar!!
The concept of surrender is often misunderstood and misused in spiritual circles. The surrender isn’t a blind surrender to a human master. This surrender comes from deep knowing and trusting. Surrender to the Guru of gurus, who is always inside us (and outside and all around). An acharya is someone who teaches through their actions. There aren’t many gurus out there whose practice and preaching match perfectly. Keep your eyes open.

 

ये यथा मम प्रपद्यन्ते तमस तथैव भजामि अहम् |

मम वर्तमनुवर्तन्ते मनुष्यः पार्थ सर्वशः||

(BG4:11 as they come to me, so do I cherish them; my path men walk, Partha, on every path)

 

सर्व धर्मान् परित्यज मम एकम् शरणम् व्रज |
अहं त्वा सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि म शुचः ||

(BG18:63 all duty abandoning to me, the sole refuge, come; I will liberate you from every sin, so not grieve)

 

Be a friend, take refuge, and go out into the world with confidence.

 

About the author

Ekras Gorakh

Ekras Gorakh is a software executive and a yoga-meditation teacher living in San Francisco, CA.

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