Mohanji has given the practical prayers to be in harmony with ourselves and others and pointed out the depth of the benefits of surrender. He explains possible misunderstanding of the word ‘surrender’, too.
Surrender, is one of the words in human languages that is most misunderstood in usage. Surrendering to someone is a big hit on one’s ego. It diminishes one’s self-esteem. Having to surrender is considered as a weakness or a deficiency, in terrestrial terms, where ego decides actions.
While, in spiritual terms, this is a good thing. Man minus ego = God. So, surrender nullifies our ego and then the Godhood within us starts to shine. This is why we prostrate in temples and monasteries. When our head and heart come in one line, horizontally, ego is under control. When we bow down in reverence, we nullify our ego, at least temporarily. Bhakti or Devotion has a lot of value because it brings ego under control. Ignorance expands our ego while surrender brings it under control.
Traditionally, our ancestors used to practise some simple methods to maintain health and keep ego under control. Here are a few chants and their explanations.
When we wake up in the morning, after lying horizontally the whole night, our energy pattern in the body would have changed. Its frequency would have altered. While sleeping, the energies of our body has attained a tranquil, passive state. It is more latent energy. When, we wake up, we must give time for energies to start moving, preparing the body for action. In order to provide this time, they suggest lying down and look at the palm instead of jumping out of the bed and being vertical all of a sudden, which can affect the rhythm of the heart and adversely affect the meridians of our system. There is a mantra to ease our getting up. Look into the palm of your hands and chant ” Karagre vasate Lakshmi, Kara moole Sarastwati. Kara Madhya Sthitha Gowri, Prabhate Kara darsanam” This means, At the tip of our hands or fingers stays Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. Lakshmi never stays constant at any place. Money changes hands. Fortunes change too. So, it always stays at the tip of our fingers. Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge stays at the opposite side, that is, the root of our palm near the wrist. Acquired knowledge stays with us till we die. It is more stable in terrestrial terms. In the middle stays Goddess Parvati, the kindness incarnate, the mother. She balances the knowledge and action. She enhances wisdom. With this knowledge, if you see your hands and remember the pattern of our existence, it will give sufficient time for the latent energy to move in an even fashion within as well as give us a balanced outlook. It also enhances our commitment to selfless work. It activates kindness and reverence within us. This also is a reminder that it is the god energy in us that makes things happen in our life. This is also meant to nullify our ego and surrender to the supreme.
Then we sit up in our bed. Our body has become vertical from horizontal. Energy has started moving differently. Then, we need to earth it off as we were lying horizontal before. In order to achieve that, we chant “Samudra Vasane – Paadasparsam Kshamaswame” and we bend down and touch the ground with our right palm, which is the opposite side of where our heart is. This earths the excess energy which we accumulated or conglomerated during our sleep and saves our heart as well. This is why we earth the energy through the right hand. Then we are ready for the day.
There is also one version of the same hymn where it says that Lord Krishna stays in the middle of the palm (Kara Madhye tu Govinda:). Well, He is the Guru of the Universe. If He stays in the middle of the palm, we can only function with total equanimity and detachment. He has blessed us with the Great Bhagawad Gita and if we follow His teachings and function with detachment, we attain liberation.
Then we sit up for a few seconds in our bed before we stand on our feet. This is good as it helps the body rhythm and the flow of prana through our meridians. When the feet touches the ground, we pray “Samudra Vasane Devi, Parvata Sthana mandale, Vishnu Patni Namastubhyam, Padasparsam Kshamaswame”. This prayer is to the Goddess which we call Earth, even though we address it to the wife of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi. “One who pervades the water and mountains, or One whose body is the oceans and mountains, I prostrate to the Goddess and please forgive me, as I step on you or tread on you.” This is reverence to the mother Earth. If we have such reverence to the mother Earth, we will never be insensitive towards her and destroy her. So, we thus seek her permission to walk on her for our purpose. We remain in gratitude. This time also gives our body an easy pace between horizontal to semi vertical and totally vertical. It helps to keep our energies even and well circulated. It maintains our meridians.We are mentioning earth and water, the basic two elements in our body. Samudra (ocean) represents the water element in us which is regulated by our hara chakra. And Parvata (mountain) represents the earth element as well as potential for the highest elevation in us – the kundalini energy. Hence this is also invocation for both the elements, mother kundalini and also the other elements in us, with the prayer to assist us as we move through the day. If kundalini energy inspires us, wisdom will flow. It also says be conscious right when you wake up until you sleep. And always live on prayers and surrender.
Then we stand up, looking towards the rising sun in the east, remembering Lord Vishnu or His Avatar, Lord Krishna, the maintainer of the universe, and chant – “Kaayena Vaacha, Manasendriyaiva, Buddhyatmanaavat, Prakrite Swabhavaat, Karomi Yadyat, Sakalam Parasmai, Sri Naarayanaayeti Samarpayaami”. This means, Whatever I perform today, with my body, mind, intellect, senses, speech, my nature and character, I surrender everything at the Lotus feet of the Lord Narayana.” Narayana means the destination of man or the Supreme Father. Everything came out of Him and will merge back into Him. So, this prayer is to the Supreme Lord. When we start our day with this chant, and this understanding as well as surrender, we will accept all that happens that day with equanimity and poise and our desires or expectations will be totally under control. Even if things do not happen as we expected, we will not be perturbed and will start to accept it as the Will of Lord Narayana.
Then, we conclude our day with the surrender mantra, requesting complete forgiveness for all our actions, thoughts,and words. “Kara charana Kritam Va, Kayacham Karmacham Va, Shravana Nayanacham Va, Manasam Vaaparadham, Vihitam Avihitam va, Sarvametat Kshamaswa, Jaya Jaya Karunabdhe, Sri Mahadeva Shambho, Sri Sai Natha Sambho.” This is the final prayer before we go to bed. It says, Whatever I performed today, with my organs of action such as hands and legs, organs of perception including senses, mind and intellect, all that I performed as per your wishes or against it, due to my ignorance and non-understanding, Oh Lord, please forgive everything, please forgive me, my supreme Lord Shiva, My Lord, Sai Baba. (They are one)
As we surrender all that happened that day at the feet of the Supreme Lord, from where everything originated and perpetually dissolves, we become free from all bondage. We become detached from all our thoughts, words and action. Thus, Surrender purifies us completely. Also, we are surrendering all our activities of the day at the feet of Lord Vishnu who maintains and supports existence. He is the one who maintains creation. Preservation is His job. 🙂 And at the night, we are laying ourselves at the feet of Lord Shiva, the dissolver. He dissolves existence. He merges us with our creator. Each night, we are re-born, as we dissolve our identities during deep sleep and regain it as we wake up. So, we are requesting the lord of dissolution to forgive everything and help us dissolve smoothly into emptiness and provide us a blissful sleep. So, readers may kindly note that in the morning, we are requesting for continuity in thoughts, words and action so that all that we perform on that day bear positive results and in the night, we are requesting forgiveness which helps smooth dissolution into the lap of the Almighty without terrestrial entanglements. Those who carry hatreds and heaviness of hearts, may kindly be aware of this. One prayer goes to Lord Vishnu and the other to Lord Shiva. Both are essentially one. Both are expressions of one Parabrahma.
Surrender in spiritual sense is a great thing. It helps liberation from the birth-death cycle. The same method can be followed by people who follow any faith of their choice. The main thing is the attitude of surrender, to your chosen deity or Master or Prophet and leave all ownerships at His feet. He does everything. The whole existence belongs to Him. (He does not mean a male. Gender has no value here. It can be the Supreme Energy which is formless, genderless.)