To Surrender To A Higher Intelligence
By: Adil Firoze Rangoonwalla
“WORSHIP” implies superiority of the deity over the worshipper; an idea of higher and lower seems to come in. In the Zoroastrian religion, there is thanksgiving Jashan wherein we profusely thank Dadar Ahura Mazda and other Sacred Beings for their Grace and Benevolence.
Cicero has said, “The whole universe is one commonwealth of which both gods and men are members.” Sounds good but we do not enjoy anything like the power of gods. We know it is not easy to progress either materially or spiritually. There are obstacles in the paths. We cannot know as many things as we want or need to know. We cannot acquire the amount of wisdom we wish to acquire. Of course, the most common desire, “money”, always leaves us craving for more. So human beings have made it a habit to pray to God to acquire things which do not come with their own efforts.
We realize we cannot solve all our problems without someone’s help. When that help fails, we turn to God and seek His help. The problem that we face today is not just of gross evil but also a lot mischief and skulduggery of other to spoil the shape of our lives. People harm others even if there is no direct or real benefit. The harm itself seems a source of pleasure for many people. Life is hard.
When we are overwhelmed with any strong emotion like despair, grief, helplessness or hopelessness, we are often advised by wise people to surrender to what is happening to us. Many people say this is the Will of God. Many others however do not believe that God, our Benevolent Creator will throw us in a ditch. Intellectual people feel compelled to ask why would God have us fall prey to evil. The present discussion is not about why bad things happen to us but to the idea that we surrender to something higher than us.
Many people are not happy to hear the word ‘surrender’. They feel the loss of their own free will to the will of some other person. It suggests submissiveness. That is bad. We cannot do what we want; rather we have to dance to his tunes. Let us see all that the word ‘surrender’ suggests:
- Acceptance of despair.
- A verbal act of admitting defeat.
- The actual physical act of giving yourself up to your adversary.
- To give up or agree to forego something precious to the power or possession of another.
- To relinquish possession or control over.
- To relinquish to the power of another; yield to the control of another.
- To hand over to the authorities of another country.
Even in the practice of religion, surrender to God is important but the underlying notion is that HE is Omnipotent and we have but little power hence surrender. The idea is that of inferiority. ‘Surrender’ may even be presented as a compulsory thing to start with. Most people who blindly worship God, may imply ‘no surrender, no worship’.
The true reason for the surrender is not inferiority but equality and oneness. The sooner we come out of all our faulty conditioning and preconceived notions, the sooner we shall be united with God. That union is something that religion suggests. Every time we chant the word “yazamaide” we wish for that unity with Amesha Spentas and Ahura Mazda. We wear sudreh and kusti to keep that bond with Dadar Ahura Mazda. There should not be any lapse in this contact with God.
Obstacles in the Path
If Ahura Mazda has made a whole system that we can always be with Him, they why do we drift away? Obviously we do not come up to the mark. The first biggest problem is our EGO.
Ego tells us we know better. We do not see the need to see or hear the truth. Love is often sacrificed at the alter of ego. Ego leads to self love; we have seen people obsessed with themselves. Such persons may find themselves abandoned by their family and friends.
Second big obstacle: desires. We have so many desires we do not know where to start and what to strive for. Fulfilling them never brings them to an end. In fact, they grow bigger and fancier. They take up all our time and energy. Some spiritualists look upon desire, vasana as they cal it in other languages, as an enemy. Your desire can be your friend if it propels you into hard work; to earn righteously what you wish to have in your life.
Much spiritual instruction tells us that we are already born in ignorance or delusion. We do not enjoy an awakened state of consciousness this life in. We are in a slumber. We have to make a conscious effort, a concerted deliberate effort to change this clumsy existence and lead a glorious life.
Our thinking and life must be wrong as we face so many problems. We cannot blame others for everything. We seek Dadar’s help in our prayers e.g., “jasa me avanghe Mazda”, that is, come to my aid Mazda.
Our own self image, ego and self awareness prevent us from developing a divine chakshu (sight or vision) to see Him as He is. Whose loss is it? So it is better we drop all that we carried in the past and approach Him in a spirit of self surrender. Remember, there is no right time to surrender. Everything happens in the now. Do not worry what you did in the past. That can be overcome. Surrender in a flash, in one moment. It does not take hours. Just the thought can do the trick if it is strong enough. Let that thought be the conviction; only conviction in life now.
The moment I step out of myself and go to Him, self love and ego are left behind. If they do not go away in a moment, they will keep melting away like snow in the heat of Sun. That should happen because that is our true nature. We are spiritual beings.
To surrender needs obedience to our senior and superiors. Too much intellect and worldly knowledge makes this difficult. We have lost our simplicity and innocence. The people in past were different. They lived under spiritual righteous kings. They were in tune with the laws of spirit and the law of the world. They lived in harmony. We will not be regarded as simpletons if we are obedient. You see the trait of obedience in developed and advanced nations. Without it people can only live like wild lawless people.
Self consciousness and ego are troublesome things. They stay glued to us no matter what we do. They do not get off our backs even when we worship. They are right there. Sometimes some people rise after their prayers more egoistic people. They think they are closer to God, worse, His chosen ones as contrasted from “others”.
The first important thing any Zarathoshty will try to understand well is the revered Yatha Ahu Vairyo prayer. It is called “AHUNAVAR”. Literally, it is as we say in Gujarati: “Ahu no var”. Ahu’s Will. Ahu means Lord. It refers to Ahura Mazda, the Lord Supreme. His Will is in His Divine Intelligence. In it lies the creation of all the worlds and galaxies and universe and more. His Will prevailed before creation and His Will shall prevail after Frashokereti.
Charity is an important teaching of ‘Yatha Ahu Vairyo’ prayer. It speaks of giving charity to the ‘drigu’ (literally beggar). What beggar? There are so many. We need to understand we all are in need of something. We lack something. We spent our life trying to fill up that emptiness but we failed. Our inner resources are depleted; our inner strength is exhausted. We can acquire many things but for some inscrutable reason one particular thing always evades us. Some do not get money, some do not get love and so on and so forth. In that sense, we are all drigus; we all want something. It is quite clear we will not get it on our own. We need help. Someone outside of us, a totally different type of person, with different set of skills has to help us.
Spiritually how are we drigus?
We all have three qualities in us in varying proportions. They are, tamas, rajas and Sattwa. There is lot of tamas in us. Tamas means indolence, sloth, indifference, tendency to delay and procrastinate. A very young child sleeps a lot. And boy, does that slumber go! If we were 90% tamas, we would be so lazy we would hardly take care of our body and physical needs but we are not like that. Then rajas represents activity and hyperactivity we indulge in for the selfish fulfillment of our desires and to acquire objects of our desire. Rajas is better than tamas.
We earn, live properly and take care at least of ourselves and our families. Rajas keeps a man selfish and entangled in the pursuits of this world leaving almost no time for higher spiritual pursuits.
Sattwa of course then appears to be the best part. We cannot be without tamas and rajas. However, we need a lot of Sattwa less of rajas and little of tamas. Sattwa represents truth and purity. Finally, we have to develop Sattwa to make proper sense of this world.
Just as a beggar can hardly do anything to help himself, a man drowned in too much tamas cannot lift himself by himself. that is where spiritual help comes in. we can help him by way of giving knowledge and awakening him to a better way of life. He improves a little and then slips back into old patterns of behaviour. And we have to start all over again.
Likewise, another man caught up in rajas, also needs help to go toward Sattwa. As he progresses, he slips back slips back into old patterns of behaviour. And we have to start all over again. We have to help them no matter what. That is our duty on the path of righteousness.
GREATNESS OF GOD
We do all this and more for His Glory. In Hormazd Yasht, Ahura Mazda says He is Self Existent. No one created Him. HE is Supreme. If there is any other source that created Him or existed with Him, then he would not be Supreme. But He is! Zarathosht Saheb acknowledges him as the first one at creation. Then He calls himself as our Protector.
He declares Himself as the cause of all holiness or righteousness.
GOD HAS SIX OPULENCES
WEALTH (meaning abundance, prosperity), POWER, FAME, BEAUTY, WISDOM AND RENUNCIATION (He is in His creations but not limited thereby).
GOD TELLS US WHAT NOT TO DO
- “Stop Worrying”: Have u forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you?
- Put it on List: – not yours but My List. I cannot help you until you turn it over totally to me.
- Trust Me: Once you’ve given me your burdens quit trying to take them back or trying to handle the clumsy way you did in the past before. Have faith that I will take care of all your needs, problems and trials. I am always glad to help u but you have to ask, and come to me.
- Leave It Alone. You gave me your burdens, I am taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Leave them with me and forget about them. Just let me do my job
- Talk to Me: I want you to never forget this one thing-please don’t forget to talk to me often. Include me in all things going on in your life. Look upon me as your dearest friend and I also look upon u as my dearest friend.
- Have Faith. From my station, I can see much more you can almost see nothing from the ground level where you are entangled in your problems.
- Share: Share with lesser fortunates. Rajasik man thinks others wealth is for my pleasure; Sattwic man thinks my wealth is for the welfare of others. Give encouragement to those who need it. Share your happiness, your laughter, your tears, your FAITH with those who need it.
- Be Patient: Trust in my timing for that is perfect. Your sense of time, that is what to get when is based on emotions, mine is based upon perfect knowledge of your Karma. I give and with hold; both are to your advantage.
- Be Kind: To others I love them as much as I love you. his problems bother him as your problems do you.
- Love yourself. Stop blaming and being angry with yourself. You are precious to me.
BENEFITS OF THE SURRENDER
Ego becomes less
We are more at peace
Imagined differences between people become less
You drop your faulty vision, u can see truth as it is.
We pray to be attuned to HIM. We are attuned to HIM in thought, word and deed. If this union becomes perfect and perfectly irrevocable, then the Creator and the Creation are one. We carry His holiness in ourselves. We are as pure as Him. In this world, we forget that purity and fall prey to evil and pollute our lives. Otherwise, we are totally pure.
At the level of an individual the plan is of Humata-Hukhta-Hvarshta so that a person can do good, become righteous, contribute to making the world better and merit his place in Light in the hereafter.
The mention of good deeds generally brings “charity” to mind.
Surrender can only bring humility. We often review the traits and virtues represented by the Amesha Spentas. Spenta Arimaity, so called feminine divinity, represents devotion or piety. We should be receptive or we will not get divine knowledge or intuition. All these Amesha Spentas give us some spiritual power. We grow with them, under their Grace. That Grace is but an extension of the Grace of Dadar Ahura Mazda.
If we dissolve ego and become pious, we become kind and compassionate. These are the virtues of the brave. Kind forgiving people are not weak but powerful people. If we tread the path with perfect unflinching devotion, we will be more powerful; we will receive the Grace of Kshathra Vairya, Shahrewar Ameshaspand.
We thank Mr. Adil Firoze Rangoonwalla, for sharing this article and giving us the permission to publish it, in the larger interest of the community.