Q. Please let me know what you mean by “ego-mind realizing the futility of doership.” Does true surrender mean being okay with anything? A certain amount of concern is needed to kickstart our response to events, right?
Even if we are okay with things, they need a response. How do you respond if you are at peace with everything and want to change nothing?
Ans. The ego-mind believes it is the doer of its actions. In other words, it takes ownership of all actions. When things go according to expectations, it creates pride and arrogance. And in failure, it creates regret and guilt.
Both of these conditions create suffering as they increase the separation by perpetuating the sense of personal identification or “me.”
True surrender means accepting that the outcome of our actions is not in our control. If you notice, this is the core teaching of the Bhagavad Gita. It doesn’t mean that we drop our concerns and don’t respond to events.
That would be an assumption by the ego-mind that it knows the universe’s will. It simply means that things may not happen as we desire despite our best efforts.
Let’s take the example of parenting. Teaching your children life skills is essential as it enables them to function in the world, but if that concern arises from the unconscious attachment of the ego-mind, it will create fear in the child.
The children may obey their parents out of fear and may even achieve success in the material world, but it will keep them restless and unhappy throughout their life.
On the other hand, in conscious attachment, concern comes from love and not fear. We sow the seeds of knowledge in children, but their destiny is how they will use that knowledge and what fruits it will bear them.
If this understanding is complete, you will always have a healthy relationship with your child. Forcing one’s line of thinking and not allowing children to explore life is doership. Sometimes we confuse a reaction for a response.
The reaction is unconscious – it is born out of fear, while the response is conscious. In fact, if you’re at peace, the response happens. There’s no “you” to contemplate the response. It comes with ease and effortlessness.
Q. Do we act keeping our minds free of negativities? Is that what is meant by surrender?
Ans. Surrender is not the doing or acting of the mind. It’s an impersonal understanding that everything is God’s will (call it God, consciousness, source, or boundless energy) and that the psychophysical organism is simply an instrument of divine energy.
Surrender happens when the ego lets go of its sense of doership in the form of ownership and control. When you say “my thoughts,” investigate if they indeed are yours. Taking ownership of thoughts, we get bound to them.
If you explore, you’ll find that no thought is yours – they arise, play, and disappear in awareness. But how sincere your self-inquiry will be is God’s will. When there’s no sense of ownership, it doesn’t matter if the thoughts are positive or negative. They are what they are.
Q. Do you believe in destiny? You have mentioned it in your message.
Ans. I see only God’s will. Destiny is only of the mind-body organism. The mind thinks of destiny and interprets events according to its own identifications. As Ramana Maharishi said, the SELF is eternally free. It is not bounding. It is liberation from all beliefs and ideas.
Q. Who helped you most in your journey – Ramesh Balsekar or Nisargadatta Maharaj or someone else, or everything?
Ans. A few years back, something (or Nothing) happened. There was no body or mind consciousness, only emptiness (or silence). I was stripped of everything. I saw myself as boundless. I cannot explain it in words other than that it was just pure love. I never studied scriptures, and I had no religious or spiritual inclinations whatsoever.
A glimpse of the divine silence can teach what one cannot learn even after a lifetime of reading and studying. Later on, I came across the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Ramesh Balsekar, and Nisargadatta Maharaj.
Their words resonated with my life experiences. However, I have not studied any teaching in great depth.
I don’t read scriptures even today. I tell people not to believe a word of what I say till they verify it with their own experience. It doesn’t matter what you believe. Don’t go chasing ideas in search of attaining something. In the end, peace is all that matters.