The Necessity of Self-Surrender to the Divine

An essential practice in achieving complete equality is the self-surrender of the individual ego-personality to the Divine, the Supreme, the Universal Being. It is only thus, by creating a method of sorting out the ego’s gross or subtle attachments and desires through a process of comparison with the wider, disinterested, free action of the Divine, that eventually the seeker can begin to disentangle himself from the bondage of that ego-personality. Sri Aurobindo describes the process: “The test that we have done this is the presence of an undisturbed calm in the mind and spirit. The Sadhaka must be on the watch as the witnessing and willing Purusha behind or, better, as soon as he can manage it, above the mind, and repel even the least indices or incidence of trouble, anxiety, grief, revolt, disturbance in his mind. If these things come, he must at once detect their source, the defect which they indicate, the fault of egoistic claim, vital desire, emotion or idea from which they start and this he must discourage by his will, his spiritualised intelligence, his soul unity with the Master of his being. On no account must he admit any excuse for them, however natural, righteous in seeming or plausible, or any inner or outer justification. If it is the Prana which is troubled and clamorous, he must separate himself from the troubled Prana, keep seated his higher nature in the Buddhi and by the Buddhi school and reject the claim of the desire-soul in him; and so too if it is the heart of emotion that makes the clamour and the disturbance. If, on the other hand, it is the will and intelligence itself that is at fault, then the trouble is more difficult to command, because then his chief aid and instrument becomes an accomplice of the revolt against the divine Will and the old sins of the lower members take advantage of this sanction to raise their diminished heads.”

The complexity and subtle difficulty of this process leads to the eventual recognition of the necessity of the self-surrender: “Therefore there must be a constant insistence on one main idea, the self-surrender to the Master of our being, God within us and in the world, the supreme Self, the universal Spirit. The Buddhi dwelling always in this master idea must discourage all its own lesser insistences and preferences and teach the whole being that the ego, whether it puts forth its claim through the reason, the personal will, the heart or the desire-soul in the Prana, has no just claim of any kind and all grief, revolt, impatience, trouble is a violence against the Master of the being.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 13, The Action of Equality, pp. 694-695