Sutra 2.45: samadhi siddhih ishvarapranidhana
Perfection in self-awareness instantly follows total, dynamic and intelligent surrender of the individual ego-sense (in the sense of the realisation of its unreal nature) or the merging of it in the indwelling omnipresence (in the sense of the direct realisation of the falsity of the “me”, the ego-sense, and therefore the sole reality of the indwelling omnipresence). Translation and interpretation by Swami Venkatesananda
“That’s the way it goes” says the Charlie Brown t-shirt on the woman sitting across from me on this R train. “So be it,” “that’s life,” “so the cookie crumbles” are all expressions of surrender to circumstance and existence. If we assume an air of downtrodden hopelessness in such expressions, it betrays a belief, whether conscious or innate, that we can or think we should be able to control what happens to us.
Charlie Brown always knew better. At the end of the day we all surrender to existence. Not just at the end of life, but throughout every moment of every day. Indeed, the journey of life rolls a bit smoother when we accept our particle nature with a contented embrace, giving in to the notion that each of us is made of the same star stuff. What I lovingly call our particle nature, you might call our connection to universal consciousness, or god, or the divine force within, or the principles of the universe(s). What you call it doesn’t matter as much as that it connects you to an understanding of your essence as part of a much, much broader picture–a whole made up of each of us and all that we can observe and then probably quite a bit more. And it is into this truth that the yogis guide us to surrender.
A sense of individual self enables us to engage in life on the level of action and human (or interspecies) connection. Practicing ishvara pranidhana helps us acknowledge that a deeper, broader connectivity, courses through each of us. As you become aware of this, you may think the activity of your everyday living will wither into insignificance, but I dare say the opposite will happen! Get to know the universe intimately, and then feed that awareness into every moment of your living!
I think we call this a surrender because awareness brings with it deep peace of mind. And then when you say “ah, well, that’s living life,” it’s an expression of acknowledgment and joy and, yes, celebration that YOU are part of it.
Hari om tat sat!
Experience your true self and bring it into every moment of your living!
The Yoga Sutras are a classical text on yoga–a guidebook of sorts.
Each week, 216 teacher Esther Palmer dives into one of the sutras and we let it take us where it takes us.