Ramana would repeatedly point out that one need not think surrender has to be total or not at all. It is not an either or proposition. The attitudinal change from a strong sense of doership to leaning on Ramana’s strength comes about gradually. The corrosion of the idea of doership does not happen overnight. It is not instantaneous. But as self-enquiry leads us more to the heart, as we become increasingly aware of the evident power and grace of Ramana, our ego starts hanging its head down in shame. It is difficult to over-emphasise the fact that the change will happen by and by so long as we are learning. This feeling is a source of great strength, for it gives us hope.
Hence it would be useful to refer to a conversation which Ramana had with a visiting maharani. It runs thus:
Maharani: Surrender is impossible.
Bhagavan: Yes. Complete surrender is impossible in the beginning. Partial surrender is certainly possible for all. In course of time that will lead to complete surrender.
Until we recognise that ‘individuals cannot act of their own accord’, until we learn to feel the divine force and keep quiet, we have to give, from time to time, particular powers of attorney to Ramana. As and when we are confronted with ‘no hope’ situations or when things get out of hand, let us be aware of our helplessness. Little by little we will become conscious of the gracious power of Ramana to relieve us of our needless loads. Then we will be ready to place the ball in Ramana’s court, unreservedly. We will be ready to give him a general power of attorney. Our sense of doership which would already be losing its edge will be swallowed up lock, stock and barrel. But it would be a folly to think that we have become Ramana’s instruments. Instruments we might be, but it is not for us to think so. It is precisely the thoughts that we are the ‘thinkers’ and ‘doers’ which have been our enemies within, and such thoughts will keep continue to keep us in the firm grip of the doership idea. Until all such thoughts end, we are only at the threshold. When the last vestige of the doership idea dies through repeated acts of surrender, time will cease to be. There will be no more days, no more months, no more years. In a vast space rid of ideas, rid of thoughts — the bliss of freedom from them will be felt in its limitless abundance.
R Natarajan, Founder President, Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning, Bangalore