A lesson in faith and surrender

In the book Tuesdays with Morrie, the professor of sociology  Morrie Schwartz, has his class do an exercise, where each student is to stand facing away from the others and fall backward. The idea was to be caught by one of the classmates before the student hit the floor.  No one dared fall all the way and stopped after a few inches, but one girl closed her eyes and fell backwards and was just caught by a classmate before she hit the ground. Summing up, the professor tells her, ‘..you closed your eyes. That was the difference….And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel you can trust them too – even when you are in the dark. Even when you are falling.’ This is the kind of trust that all religions advocate that we have in God — implicit. We have to believe that He will take care of us, even in the worst of times. And out of this trust comes surrender. ‘Thy will be done,’ is the mantra. And when one lets go, one is free – of fear and doubt and free to find happiness. (Disclaimer: I am neither an authority on spirituality or theism, but just wanted to share some of my experiences in letting go.) Why God? Why not human beings? As was found in the experiment in Tuesdays…, it is hard to even trust someone one can see and touch, to hold us and prevent us from falling. Also it is not often that we can unburden ourselves to another person and hope for a solution. Don’t we then yearn for someone to take away our troubles and relieve us of the burden? Is it at all possible to have implicit faith in some entity, to liberate ourselves? When I was younger, I didn’t do any religious ritual except lighting the lamp at the altar in our house, didn’t go to temples. But I believed God stood by me and supported me in times of need if I did my duty and was a good human being. Those were times when I could get things done too – well, a lot of things. But there used to come times when things just were beyond me despite my best efforts. It was during those times that I experienced the joy of letting go. It is an incredible sense of lightness that I experience when I am able to do it. But unfortunately, I need the water to go over my eyes before I get to this happy state of resignation. Simply put, I have no choice; I have exhausted all the means at my disposal to solve my problem. So the best thing is to lift up my hands to the Unseen Force, that is God. I quickly convert the feeling into one of surrender and say, ‘Thy will be done,’ and leave it to Him. And the sigh of relief has to be experienced, not related. No wonder the spiritually inclined people look so happy, for they obviously are not carrying the cares of the world on their shoulders! But how does one trust an unknown, unseen entity and entrust one’s troubles and worries to that entity? Who can trust an invisible God? Some years ago, when I was going through some really bad times, I had a dream. No, there were two dreams – in the same night where I was taught the lessons of faith and surrender by none other than our Guru, Shirdi Saibaba. It was one of those nightmares where I am chased by monsters (yes, I still get those!). So here I was, being chased by a huge creature that looked like a cross between a Tyrannosaurus and a huge anaconda (the result of watching all those movies, I guess!) I jump into a river (In my terror, I forget that anacondas live in water!) to escape it and instantly begin choking as I swallow water. Suddenly Baba is beside me and instead of helping me breathe, he pushes my head into the water and orders me to keep swimming. ‘But  I can’t breathe!’ I remonstrate. ‘Why do you need to breathe, when I am breathing for you?’ he asks me simply. Indeed, why was I struggling to breathe when He was doing it for me? What a wonderful lesson in surrendering! Like the girl who fell backward trusting her classmates to hold her, I let go and stopped struggling to breathe, with the water literally over my head. For the record, I didn’t die. But the dream was so real that I woke up. When I went back to sleep again, there was another dream. This time, I am staggering with a huge sack of foul-smelling muck – my problems and tensions — towards where Baba is sitting. When I reach him, I try to hide the sack from him but he commands, ‘Empty the sack here!’ ‘But Baba, it stinks and will make this place foul!’ ‘Do it!’ he says firmly. Reluctantly I empty the foul smelling muck, which spreads quickly. But before I can close my nose at the foul smell, I am amazed to find lotuses and roses sprouting out of it and within no time the entire place is filled with the fragrance of the flowers! What a wonderful lesson that was — that the worst of our troubles turn into something divine and beautiful if only we learnt to let go, have implicit faith and surrender completely. There was another book which I read recently – a beautiful spiritual fiction 3 Lives in search of Bliss by Srini Chandra. The book talks about a man trying to find happiness over three lifetimes. In the second life, the protagonist Anwer is told by God, “You cannot have it all, Anwer. To have it all, you have to want nothing.” In other words, one has to let go. As the author puts it, one must ‘embrace the uncertainty that embodies the spirit of this universe.’ Though he is talking about the pursuit of happiness, the idea is the same – letting go to find peace/happiness. Two books, two dreams and a lesson in faith and surrender! Isn’t that wonderful?

Pics courtesy: Swati Maheshwari

157 comments

  1. Wonderful post 🙂

    Sometimes I think the faith we have in him is always re-instilled by the circumstances he creates for us. I read the Baba Charitra everyday and there are days when I forget, like today. And then I stumble upon a post that reminds me of it.

    Like

    1. Welcome here, Sunshine. What a lovely name to have! Baba indeed has his own ways of reminding us of things we have forgotten and we should be sharp enough to see them and rectify our mistakes. Would love to know how you stumbled upon my blog?

      Like

      1. I had been blog hopping during my vacations, and I bookmarked a few blogs to read when I got back to college. (I think it followed the Pepper -> R’s mom -> Cyber Nag route)

        Like

        1. Are you a friend of R’s Mom? Great! Isn’t she a lovely girl?

          Like

          1. Hehe! I don’t know her. As creepy as this sounds, I’m a silent lurker 🙂 This is only the third time I’ve commented on a blog! Is there some way I can contact you by mail? 🙂

            Like

  2. What a wonderful blog on letting go and letting God take over. I can relate to so much of what you said. God has always been a special part of my life, however learning to trust and let go are only recently new to me. I use to get myself twisted up in knots by not just letting go and trusting. I am happy to say the knots are slowing coming unraveled.

    Like

    1. When the knots come unravelled, it is a deliciously free feeling, isn’t it? I am afraid, I am still not able to let go without a struggle and the ego tussle that I am in charge 😦 There is a lot to learn yet.

      Like

  3. Zephyr, Ultimately, it is all about being comfortable inside our own skin and facing that “Man in the mirror”, looking “her” in the eye and being able to smile, no? It is also about taking responsibility for our actions, understanding the consequences. The Almighty is a safety net. Very beautiful post – and I fondly remember you recommending Tuesdays with Morrie some time ago. It also takes me back to that Moral Science class, back in school when one of our teachers explained the meaning of faith by giving us the example of how, even in pitch darkness, a child would jump without hesitation if she believed her parent was waiting there with open arms.

    Thank you. Hugs!

    Like

    1. Did you get round to reading Tuesdays? God indeed is the safety net and when we ask for guidance before doing anything, rather every morning, we are stopped from making any major blunder or at least given the strength to take the consequences of our actions that day. The faith of a child in his parents is indeed the ultimate test and we are all exhorted to have that kind of faith in the Super power too, right?

      Like

      1. Correct. It is a win-win for all concerned 😀

        Like

        1. How lovely to use this phrase for spirituality 🙂

          Like

  4. I loved the book so much and nice post there!

    Like

    1. Thanks Kappu. The book is really great.

      Like

  5. I’m so glad that I was able to read this finally, Zephyr. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It’s amazing how God can speak to us in so many different ways. Sometimes the harder we try to run away from listening to His voice the more creative He gets in making us listen to it!

    Like

    1. You bet he can be direct and sometimes really blunt if we fail to take the hint the first, second or even the third time. But no matter how bitter the pill we are made to swallow after being reluctant, the cure is always perfect, even if sometimes we have to lose a limb in the surgery!

      Like

      1. Oh yes, oh yes. And are we blessed to have such a loving God.

        Like

  6. Zephyr wonderful post ! Well I am not into spirituality to that extent not because I don’t believe in it but always felt that it way beyond my understanding. But after reading the post which eventually made me to refer some quotes ( probably the first time) made a sincere attempt to understand the meaning of the word SURRENDER. Can’t say authentically whether I understood or not. So I posting a quote which I felt is relevant ” Drop the mind and divine. God is not an object it is a merger. The mind resists a merger, the mind is against surrender; the mind is very cunning and calculating”(Osho). The girl in story was able to achieve that merger with the higher power and surrender followed.
    Zephyr is it really that easy ?

    Like

    1. When faith itself is so hard, how can surrender be easy? It is why we let go only when we have no other option. At least that is what I do 🙂 I am getting drawn into this subject and am trying to understand the basics. You might have to bear with me as I learn and post about these things. 🙂

      Like

  7. Zephyr…Spiritual growth in life, is in some ways like the growth that we experience physically and mentally. In the life of the spirit too, certain conditions foster nearness to God. When adversity hits, most people have a tendency to look for a way of escape. I remember the first time I attended a satsang with a friend of mine.In all effort, if you trust in a Higher Power, which is ready to come to your help, work is made easy….always:)

    Loved reading this article…am going to come to reread again.

    Like

    1. Thank you for the insightful comment, Panchali. You are right about our spiritual growth being akin to physical and emotional growth. I sometimes marvel at young people being so spiritually superior to even those in their sixties. I have seen my father taking this way of surrender to feel free. He would simply say, ‘leave it to Him.’

      Like

  8. Wonderful Indeed :-). I agree with what you say, to have that trust we should learn to trust God and surrender ourselves to him with the hope that he will always be there for us. That cent percent trust is what is required. And yes I believe that if we are true to God, he will definitely take care of us, not in a way that we know, but in a way that he knows 🙂

    Like

    1. Ashwini, you have put it very well. The solution presented by God might not be what we are looking for but what he thinks is best for us. I have experienced this personally, when I thought that some situation was very bad, but found later that it was the best thing that could have happened even if it had been terrible while it lasted. Thanks for your insight.

      Like

  9. Cool post! 🙂
    The dreams you have!! Seriously! Mine either end up with me continuing running or ending up dead! 😛
    I’ve been gifted this book, ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ recently and was looking for a reason to start reading it, I guess you gave me one.

    Like

    1. It is nice to see someone appreciate this post as ‘cool’ 😀 I get swallowed by monsters too and I sometimes fly to get away, but such lucid message filled dreams occasionally grace my otherwise crazy dreams 😀 And do begin reading ‘Tuesdays..’ you will not be disappointed.

      Like

  10. What a wonderful post, Zephyr. But also so difficult to comment on, as it made made me think so much and for so long. But let me try.

    In my experience, true letting go is accepting and facing up to problem or an issue in front of you. I have seen that many people deem letting go as equivalent of turning the other cheek or just ignoring something that does not affect them. Such people are also the ones to quickly turn around and tell the affected person to just let go, without realising or understanding or even caring about what has really happened or offering support ! They don’t realise that ignoring a problem or turning the other cheek can only work for a while, and the problem or issue will always come back greater and stronger than ever before.

    Every life experience for me has been a humbling eye-opener to the ways of the world around, and even the most difficult ones have always had some positive outcomes. I have gone through a period of non-belief (I would hesitate to call it atheism) and am now a believer in a higher power that we call God. That journey has been a long and difficult one, sometimes painful, sometimes scary, sometimes reassuring, sometimes ecstatic, sometimes just reaffirming, but always deeply personal and rooted in faith.

    Letting go is connected to faith, both in yourself and in a higher power. The faith to choose what to let go, when to let go and how to let go of both positive and negative things. I am no saint or sadhvi, but a mere human being and this is one journey and lesson that will continue for the rest of my life.

    Thank you, Zephyr, for this much needed post which helped me to crystallise my own thoughts on this topic and understand and accept why I sometimes do, what I do 🙂

    Like

    1. “In my experience, true letting go is accepting and facing up to problem or an issue in front of you.”

      There are three types of maintaining a balanced response to a situation at hand: Apathetic, Neutral, and Equanimous.
      Apathy means you are disinterested in the situation and hence you have no response to it.
      By remaining neutral, you identify the situation as good or bad but refuse to act upon it.
      In both these situations, awareness is missing or there is classification into buckets. Both these can be strong inhibitors.
      That’s where the third type comes in – equanimity. Here, you are fully aware of the situation at hand, and you refuse to classify it – you accept it as it is – and that’s how you’ll be able to rise out of it.

      Your comment made me think of this definition of a balanced response and I couldn’t stop myself from reproducing it here.

      Like

      1. Loved this analysis of the various responses and why one hesitates to take action or a stand. Acceptance indeed is the best way to rise above a situation, but that is only born out of faith and surrender.

        Like

    2. Thanks for commenting. Period. The lateness doesn’t matter, since for me no post is old enough 🙂

      I am continuing to be humbled by the thoughts in this discussion. Every one of them teaches me something new, making me think. You are right about choosing and knowing what, how and when to let go. And as long as we have some means of dealing with something we should keep trying because that is what we supposed to do, aren’t we, instead of sitting back and letting someone, even a higher power to take over? Though some might argue that that is what true surrender is all about, I feel that God wanted us to do things for ourselves, merely helping us along. But when we turn to Him in helplessness acknowledging our inability to do it, He is there to hold and guide us, or even take over our burden. The reasons you have quoted in the beginning of your comment is also why we have to look for support from a Superior power to stand by us instead of mortals, unless that Power has designated mortals to support us. But the ways of Providence are inscrutable and we should accept that sooner than later and relax. Do you know, when we believe in that Power, we automatically do what should do.

      As for the crises of belief, I have had many during the course of my life, sometimes completely going off on an agnostic path too. But always, but always, I have found my way back and am I happy about that! I am happy that this post, which actually wrote itself helped so many people as I see from the comments and the number of shares on FB. And that is God’s doing, surely?

      Like

  11. I missed seeing this earlier and am so glad I did now. What a wonderful post! Spirituality is something extremely close to my heart and it is nice to see so many views here. I believe that letting go comes naturally when we are connected to our deeper, unbounded spirits. It is spontaneous rather than intellectual. Past actions bind our present and future to an extent. When the ‘letting go’ happens this binding effect becomes weaker.

    Like

    1. Hey, your comment is so beautiful! I loved the discussion this post has generated. Isn’t it wonderful to get so many viewpoints and learn from them? You are right, it has to be spontaneous, whether born out of complete faith, or out of the realisation that the situation demands a power above us to sort it out for us. Thanks a lot for this comment.

      Like

  12. (First – apologies for the late reply even after a placeholder.
    Second – I just wrote a reply, but the internet ate it up. Trying to rewrite now.)

    In today’s terminology, I would find myself being called an atheist. Yet, I have experienced that there is something higher than the world around me, something that governs the way we operate. This law, structure, God – whatever you want to call it – defines how nature will respond to us when we operate in a certain manner.

    Paraphrasing from the ‘Truckload of Dung’ book:
    You suffer from a toothache. You tell the toothache, “I let go of you.” “Pain, I let go of you.” “I LET GO!!” but why is it not stopping? Why is my tooth still undergoing the excruciating pain? Because the pain is not the thing you have to let go of.

    You have to surrender to the situation at hand. Let it pain. The tooth is suffering from some malady and I am not able to resolve it now. Very well, we will not worry about it. Let it happen, we shall not react to it, we shall let it happen, we shall not fervently wish for it to go away. Once this happens, you’ll find the pain receding – not because its reduced, but because you’ve stopped being affected by it.

    Yet, if it were this easy to happen, nobody would be unhappy. It’s the most difficult thing to do. And you need to know what to surrender to, what to let go of, and you should also have the determination to accept the terms of the surrender. Let that whom you have surrendered to take up the load, and lift you beyond it.

    That’s all I want to say, for the post succintly describes my thoughts about it quite well.

    Like

    1. I am so sorry about the comment vanishing into cyberspace. The site was down for a while I think. Something wrong with WP blogs these days.

      Thanks for reminding me of the Ajahn Brahm’s book. That toothache chapter is perfect for this post. As Alka has said in her comment, there is nothing called no belief and so even an atheist believes in something! you believe in a higher power, that is all. It is indeed very very hard to let go because we have such big egos that refuse to acknowledge our weakness and wants to hold on and try to solve the problems. Thanks for your appreciation of the post, Harshal. I look forward to your comment on such posts 🙂

      Like

      1. I’m not too sure if ego is the prime reason we hold back.

        To some extent, even fear plays a part. By trusting someone, closing your eyes, and letting them lead you, one is depending on them to take you to an unknown place through an unknown road – and as always, the fear of the unknown is perennial. How can we trust someone who leads us to the unknown? The surrender thence, is quite impossible, even if the trustee promises enlightenment.

        At the same time, comfort too plays a role, and as complacency sets in one may be too lethargic to move into someplace new, so although we may intellectually trust someone, the fact – that we have to walk on the path those we trust show us – can be a turnoff for many. For although the result may be worth it, the journey may be something we’re not keen to execute.

        Like

        1. I agree that fear is also a factor, but even there, a stage comes when it is futile to worry or agonise and that is when surrender happens. As one commenter had talked about Draupadi’s cheer haran, there too fear was a factor, wasn’t it? But ego was still there, making her believe that she could hold on to her robes. You are right. the journey seems arduous though the destination might be desirable.

          Like

  13. Corollary to the statement ‘Its all in the mind’?!

    Like

    1. Very much so. And thanks for condensing the post into one sentence 😀

      Like

  14. This is a lovely post:) I have been mulling over this for past couple of days.
    If I were the girl in the story, I would fall backwards if and only if a couple of people whom I implicitly trust are standing behind me.I don’t think that I will be able to surrender to just about anybody 🙂 But spiritually, I find easier to surrender. Although I am not sure at times whether what I see as “surrender” is actually an escape from actual fight.
    Surrender is just the willingness to go with the flow and readiness to face the life as it comes. To me having faith does not mean that God will come and save me from trauma or a dreaded situation. It means that I will survive and deal with whatever situation I might find myself in. And what’s more, something different and interesting might arise out of the new turn of circumstances.

    Like

    1. Thank you for the comment Amrita. Surrender is not akin to running away, for the simple reason that we try what we can and only when we have reached the end of our efforts and found no solution do we turn to the Higher Power. And as you have pointed out, it is only to discover an alternate route or face new circumstances which are able to deal with. I say that it liberates us to find our inner strength and then deal with it better. Since you have put the same question to Srini, I think he will give you a more studied response. I would also request you to read the other comments. The discussion is so stimulating.

      Like

  15. Amazing dreams.Your getting dreams like the great seers. I wish I got dreams of that sort. I get only crazy or mundane dreams.

    Like

    1. Oh I get those all the time. But sometimes a coherent one appears and one with some message, very rarely, if ever 🙂

      Like

  16. G.N. Balakrishnan · · Reply

    Congratulations Zephyr for the eloquently written article on Faith and Belief. Charity seems to begin at home and extends a little further as we progress in life, but apparently ends there. Maternity is a fact, which none of us witnessed, but are prepared to accept the woman, who gave birth to us as one’s own mother at first, accept another as our father and then blindly accept our parents identifying our elder siblings, all of which is based on hearsay and faith reposed in the mother. As we progress in life, after adulthood, at the time of elections, we are prepared to believe in the election manifestoes of the political party we fancy and pledge our lives for the next 5 years purely in the firm belief that they will fulfill their election promises. It is quite another matter, most them fail miserably but our indomitable faith in democracy forces us to exercise our franchise every 5 years religiously . We firmly believe our Cricket Board Selectors in choosing Tendulkar & Dhoni etc for the Test Team, even though they belie our expectations often times. We choose to accept the assertion of our astronauts when they declare that the Earth is spherical, when we spend our waking hours on the flat surface we live in. Life itself is a gamble based on beliefs and faiths.. Why not we be more charitable and accept the tradition of faith and beliefs in one’s religion and implicitly accept here also the sane advise of our elders and surrender ourselves at the feet of God or any other name we call him at moments of crises?

    Like

    1. You have perfectly argued the case of faith and surrender by giving all those examples. This is why I leave many things unsaid in the post. My intelligent and intellectual readers fill in the blanks and make it whole. As you have rightly pointed out, when we have faith in all these cases, why indeed not in God or the Universal consciousness? Thank you so much for the comment, GNB.

      Like

  17. There are so many situations we come across in life when no matter what we do, how hard we try… we feel helpless and things seem to be bouncing out of our control. It’s in these times that lessons like these turn into magical healing potions. Faith and surrender are beautiful things and if we add to these the belief that – whatever happens, happens for a reason – living a life can suddenly become so much more easier and troubles don’t seem to trouble us anymore. Guess, completeness comes when one can let go each and every moment of one’s life including the happy ones as well and attain a balanced state of being.

    I loved learning this lesson today, it’s truly wonderful and more so because it comes from none other but a beautiful soul like you. Thank you 🙂

    Like

    1. You have summed it all perfectly, Arti. And I am sure you practice what you are talking about. And as you have pointed out, it is important to let go of the happy moments as well as the trying ones to be able to achieve a sense of balance. I am still a student, not qualified to teach anyone the lessons of letting go!

      Like

  18. I think I am a living proof of the fact that good things will happen to you if you have the courage to stand up and face bad times. There was a time when I almost buckled under the pressure and was about to give up. Now when I look back, the life which came after that bad phase was the best part of my existance. What would have happened if I had given up? It was after I let go and life turned better that I understood that there is a grand scheme of things which I am not capable to understand and it is wise to let the river carry you at times.
    Thanks for this post Zephyr. My mind is cluttered with thoughts about ‘what I must do’ and ‘what I really want to do’. I needed this.

    Like

    1. I am happy to know that this post has come at an opportune time for you. Though we know many things we sometimes need to keep reminding ourselves about them to be able to take the right decisions. Like me, you had also given up the burden after it became unbearable and then discovered the joy of doing it. But blessed are those who do it without letting evehttps://cybernag.in/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?paged=1#comments-formnts overwhelm them. Wonder when I will reach that happy place.

      Like

  19. When the whole world seems to be rational and all, I understand your apprehension in posting this but believe me there are many believers today than other times for the simple reason that faith does wonders to the being. It is just wonderful to think that there is something higher which will take care of you no matter what. I used to be one of those rationalistic scholar types until I realised that I just cannot do it without being assured of a higher power being there for me. The feeling of letting go and being confident that everything that happens will end in good is just awesome. A lovely post to be reading on a lazy afternoon.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    P. S: Glad that you emailed me and let me know 🙂

    Like

    1. I am glad you came here, Susan! You are right about faith making a comeback. And sometimes I feel that there are many closet believers amidst us. As narrated in the post, even I have been one of those people who believed everything is in my grasp and power to fix but sooner than later it is apparent that giving up the struggle and letting go can be infinitely liberating and also empowering, right? I hope the email glitch will be fixed soon. I am glad I sent out those mail notifications personally 🙂

      Like

  20. Bad times make stronger people.And leaving the rest to God is so peaceful that it feels like the day after the storm.Light,clear and much much clean.

    I think those dreams of yours are God’s way of telling that He is watching over you and that you are never alone in your struggles.

    Like

    1. Good to see you here after so long! You are right, even the strongest need an anchor once in a way and none but a superior power to humans can be a better entity for that purpose. I do feel God’s presence many a time, and when bad things happen, sometimes due to my own carelessness or ignorance, I feel He had a purpose in making me do it. But again, only after the water has gone over my eyes 😀

      Like

  21. “‘Why do you need to breathe, when I am breathing for you?’ he asks me simply. Indeed, why was I struggling to breathe when He was doing it for me? What a wonderful lesson in surrendering! Like the girl who fell backward trusting her classmates to hold her, I let go and stopped struggling to breathe, with the water literally over my head.”
    I can’t even begin to tell you the goosebumps I got from reading this. I have been struggling with my inability to surrender and I am yet to find those blissful moments of letting go.

    I love the part about the lotuses blooming in the dirt. That’s what a lotus is all about. “Pankaja” – born of mud!
    Love your writing Zephyr.

    Like

    1. How lovely to see you here, Maya! I am so happy that you liked the post and the feelings I have shared here. Surrender comes hard for me even today, so many years of that dream. I have a long way to go yet. Come again 🙂

      Like

  22. Truly wonderful post, Zephyr. One of your best. Your writing has a certain authenticity and bareness to it that I love and aspire to having myself. That’s what makes me a faithful reader of your blog, even if I don’t comment on every one of your posts.

    Letting go is a powerful concept. You’ve explained it so well with personal examples.

    Too add a few of my thoughts –

    There’s a rational side to each of us and there’s an intuitive side as well. The rational mind is constantly “calculating” what’s advantageous to us. It tells us to not believe things that cannot be perceived by the senses. The mind keeps asserting our identity and getting us to believe that we’re in control . A closer examination reveals the fragility of this notion of control. The rational mind is our greatest ally when it comes to matters of survival. It makes us competitive, tells us that we make our own destiny, about the power of positive thinking, and helps us achieve things and gain power. It’s not a bad thing. But it gets in the way of finding our happiness for it looks at the world as a place where some one has to lose for some one else to gain. In other words, it keeps us mired in our own selves.

    The intuitive mind senses something larger than ourselves, makes us wonder about the insignificance of our existences in the big picture and leaves us in awe of everything around us. The universe is truly an amazing thing .. where it came from, how it formed ..how things came about .. it’s absolutely spell binding. Logic tells us that there is no concrete evidence that suggests that this universe has a purpose or anyone may have created it. Yet our intuition tells us that something else may be going on.

    I might sound like a drug smoking, long haired hippy liberal (which is true – only the liberal part though 🙂 ) when I say this, but your dreams could be manifestations of your intuitive sensing of this ‘power’ or ‘spirit’ and your affinity for it. It’s my personal opinion that the power of intuition – which leads to things such as compassion, empathy, creativity etc – might perhaps be the greatest power given to us.

    I’ve mulled a bit about the notions of surrender and letting go and what they actually mean. About the questions of “ok, so what do I do now? what do I let go?” To me, at this time, letting go has come to simply mean being fearless. To let go is to annihilate the notion of fear within oneself. (Which is not the same as being rash and reckless, by the way.) A complete absence of fear, which can only stem from total destruction of self regard, ego, etc leads to an unbelievable lightness of the being, which is also called happiness.

    This is the sort of thing we should discuss over cups of hot chai! I look forward to that happening one of these days!

    PS
    I frankly don’t deserve the recognition you’ve given me, alongside Mitch Albom who I think did an amazing job with ‘Tuesdays’.. But I am so thankful that you enjoyed 3 Lives.

    Likewise, all you guys are just too amazingly kind. Thanks Purba for saying what you did! Means a lot.

    To those who haven’t read the book, I’ll be only too happy to gift you a copy. Any friend of Zephyr is a friend of mine. Please feel free to drop me a note with your mailing address and a phone number and I’ll send the book right away. This is a standing offer you can take up anytime. cheers.

    Like

    1. Thanks for this lovely long comment that has added what my post lacked. The clarity and perspective are hallmark Srini 🙂 I loved the explanation for letting go — fearlessness. That is how children let go, because they can be absolutely sure that their parents and elders will take care of things for them and not let them suffer. So they are free.

      As for my dreams, even if I sensed the power, how could my brain ‘manufacture’ those words and images? That is what is inexplicable. There was no message for me to take a course of action, but just that — have faith and surrender.

      Haven’t I told you many times that I would love to understand Hindu philosophy from you because you make it so easy? Looking forward to that cup of chai and the discussion 🙂 As for quoting from your book alongside Tuesdays, they both are of different genres and each perfect in its place. And hope my readers avail of your generous offer of free copies 🙂

      Like

      1. I agree with Srini. Zephyr, this is your best post ever for me. I love the movement of words, the current of your thoughts, the authenticity with which you have written–it is moving and inspiring and more importantly–it calls me to, once again, practice “letting go.” It is a hard practice I have found, Zephyr, but the moment I succeed, it is so blissful. But I fight hard before that like that dream of being in water you had, of being unable to breathe. I thrash around so much. But then slowly, ever so slowly I am reminded like your beautiful dream of Baba who breathes for me. I will remember your dream always, Zephyr, through trying times–to know I am protected and loved and taken care of. And yes, Zephyr, I too took away precious many gems from Srini’s book. There is a lot in it I can keep coming to. And Srini, what a deep comment. Every thought you present is brilliant, utterly different and so full! Thanks both of you for enriching my evening today!

        Like

        1. Srini, I still have to read your book (beat me!), but I would buy it and hopefully take your autograph some day on it :). Since we live in Bangalore, it shouldn’t be very difficult right?

          Like

          1. Absolutely Rachna! Would love to hear what you think.

            Like

        2. Thank you, Bhavana! Each of us seems destined to struggle before we break through (if at all).. The (cliched) expression of the joy being in the journey, and not the destination, is so true!

          Like

        3. Alas, for all my best intentions, I am still unable to let go at will and feel free and have to wait for the water to rise dangerously above my eyes before I can do it 😦 but the effort is on. And yes, it is very liberating and empowering to let go and as Srini has pointed out in his book, ‘you have it all when you want nothing.’ That dream makes me want to let go every minute of the day, but I find it so hard. The ego has to die first, I guess for me to be able to do it. Thanks for appreciating the post. Yes it came from the gut and it was to remind myself that I am holding on — to the muck and the ego and that I should give up both.

          Like

      2. Thanks again, Zephyr.

        I should have included my email address in my response. Here it is: srinic2 at gmail dot com. Please feel free to email me. Cheers.

        Like

        1. thanks for sharing the email here, Srini. I wish I had felt confident enough to do a review, because 3 Lives…deserved more space.

          Like

    2. Thanks Srini for this deep comment.And no, you do not sound like a “drug smoking, long haired hippy liberal” You sound perfectly logical.Your comment has helped me. one thing that I still am unable to figure out is whether a withdrawal from the arena a surrender to higher consciousness or just an ostrich like escape.

      Like

  23. phoenixritu · · Reply

    Total surrender is not something I have been able to achieve. I am deeply spiritual – but would prefer to take a different path – the path of karma. I can not let go and trust. I can do, and then move on. People say it is bliss to surrender – I do not like the sensation of free fall. Wow! What a post! You got me to introspect

    Like

    1. It feels good to know that my ramblings have made you introspect. Thanks Ritu. When you are doing and moving on, you are actually surrendering — to your karma, right? Just as there cannot be a state of no belief as Alka pointed out, there cannot be a no surrender state either. But sometimes it is hard to accept things as they occur. The only thing that comes readily to mind is when we see our children suffer and there is nothing we can do about it — that is after doing everything our rational minds and practical minds tell us to do. Then what? Do we move on? Do we surrender to some Higher power and are ready to accept what happens? I find the latter option easier and more conducive to my peace of mind.

      Like

      1. phoenixritu · · Reply

        I don’t know Zephyr. I suffer with the kids when they go through a bad patch, I suffer intensely. I know I can’t live their lives for them (as if they would let me LOL) but I suffer. I wish I could leave it on God, I wish I could rationalize. The saints always said that one should leave moh-maya. I can’t. To me moh-maya is the world as I know it, the reason I exist. I better stop before I get too metaphysical 🙂

        Like

        1. You certainly should hold on to what makes you go! If it is moh-maya, then moh-maya it has to be, right? 😀 As for living the kids’ lives, perish the thought. I should know? 😀

          Like

    2. Ditto!!!!!!!

      Like

  24. wonderful post Zephyr !and wonderful lesson and nobody needs to be qualified specially to do such post..its personal experiences which make this post so meaningful..you are lucky to have such dreams..

    I always believe that its our trust which has all the power, we say in hindi..maano to shiv hain nahi to patthar..

    Like

    1. Thanks Renu. Coming from you, it means a lot to me. Dreams are manifestations of what we subconsciously believe and practice, aren’t they? But I am still stumped by the message! I agree about trust. I know of people who have such implicit faith that things will turn out well that they are not even surprised when they do. How I envy their faith!

      Like

      1. and BTW Mitch Albom is my favourite write, i keep telling everybody to read him:)..he is so amazing…

        Like

        1. I have got another book by him as a gift too. Yet to start reading that.

          Like

  25. hmmmm let me go on tangent why do we hav faith in religion/god.. and not in human.. when they say god resides in every human .. so by not having faith in human’s we are actually not having faith in god too

    Like

    1. It is not about not having faith in humans or ourselves. That is what the whole discussion is about. And there are times when no human including us, can do something. It is at such times, when we have exhausted all avenues for help that we turn to this super power — call it anything — to find some reserves within ourselves to get through. My post is all about faith. I have not said, follow some guru or God. By all means have faith in another human, if you can implicitly trust that person and if that person is all powerful to find solutions to everything that we face. That is what Morrie tells his students, right?

      Like

  26. Awesome post, Zee. I agree with every single word of what you have said. I have been reading about surrender so much of late that this one resonated so completely with me.

    Like

    1. Lovely to see you here after a long time, A-Kay! We do have a lot of common thoughts, don’t we? 🙂

      Like

  27. What a lovely post – so profound and meaningful.

    Your dreams were so beautiful!!

    I think different people find their way differently into spirituality. It appears different to different people. It is something that cannot be taught or explained, one has to experience, learn, make mistakes and re-learn in order to find what works for him/her.

    My quests about leaving everything to an identity called God started quite early on in life. I have definitely become wiser and more mature over the years. I started letting go and having faith – in myself, by continuing to do what efforts I can, and in life, that whatever happens will lead me someplace good, if not give me what I want. I haven’t been disappointed with the results of doing that. I would say, though, that I am still learning to have faith in the difficult times, and figuring out how I can keep it up.

    Like

    1. Thanks TGND for liking the post. Usually when we are younger we think that we have all it takes to solve all our life problems and often we can too. But when we are overwhelmed by them after trying everything possible, we have two options — to go to pieces or to turn towards a superior power, which can be variously called God, Providence or the conscience/subconscious mind. And when we do, we find the reserves we never thought we had in us to deal with anything. And that power liberates us. Paradoxically, surrender is strength here.

      Like

  28. Beautiful Post….and as always your post come at a time when I would be going through the subject in my mind and you would have written it…So I call you my Divine Intervention 🙂

    Trust and Faith….two words I am coming to terms with in my conversations with God every day since the past few months….

    In recent times I have learnt that whatever happens…God will never break our trust and faith in him….but people in our life always will..

    It is very difficult to let go and trust in an unknown supreme being when you are grappling emotionally within yourself having lost faith in yourself and everyone around you….Its a task to give in or surrender when you have fallen and there has been no one to pick you up…

    Letting go by far is the most difficult task….and anyone who can overpower this pain has then the ability to find peace and happiness within themselves and be free in mind and heart.

    You said it right “To have it all, you have to want nothing”….

    Thanks again for the motivation to believe in the power of faith!!! 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you for calling me your Divine intervention 🙂 I believe it is karma that makes me do it and you read it when you need it 🙂

      You are right about God never breaking our trust. As for people, well they are people, aren’t they? 😀 It is only when mortals fail you that you realise the fickleness of human relationships and it helps to turn to God, because you know that He won’t fail you. There is a story that goes that God is constantly at the beck and call of the one who trusts Him completely to safeguard him because He feels that His devotee who trusts Him implicitly should not be let down.

      Like

      1. Thanks for the reply 🙂

        Thou I love all your posts…but this is by far you best post…. very thought provoking…It was on my mind all thru yesterday….Had a sense of happiness and a smile within me 🙂

        I shared it with quite a few friends….and they too loved it…we discussed it over dinner last evening…got into a debate…in the end we each carried back with us the belief in faith n trust…which we all have given up at sumtime in our lives…

        Thanks again for the simplicity u bring in your writings….humble an earthy posts are so good to read!!!

        Like

        1. Every time I find the need to let go, it is a struggle between my ego and the situation which demands to be let go. How I wish it came naturally to me and not after so much struggle! Thank you for the appreciation, Dimpzzz.

          Like

  29. Thoughtful post, and thought-provoking as usual!

    Surrender, and saying “Thy will be done”? Yes, this is very possible. But only if we have done all we can do. Then it is easy to leave the rest upto God/ The Universe/ Destiny/ whatever we believe in.

    If we have NOT done our part, if we have shirked our duty, then it is more difficult.

    “Karmanye vadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachan” – this is our tradition. What and how much we receive- that is not upto us!

    Colourful dreams indeed! And interesting that you remembered them so clearly after waking up!

    ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ I’ve read- and was very moved by it. The other, I’ve not read- I’ll see if I can get hold of it- sounds interesting.

    Like

    1. The whole idea of surrender is based on our actions preceding the surrender. The person who doesn’t want to do anything because he or she is lazy will not have the faith in others either and this includes God. So the question of surrendering does not arise at all. While I know all this, I still worry even while doing what needs to be done. That is one thing that I need to get over. Knowing somehow that my burden will be taken care of, why do I still worry that things should get done properly? Doesn’t it show lack of faith? Perhaps those dreams came to show me my errant ways 😀

      Tuesdays…has some simple truths well told and 3 lives has some profound truths simply told 🙂

      Like

  30. Lovely post Zephyr.

    Faith and trust , two important aspects , have supported me all through. Letting go.. is simply wonderful. Makes me feel so free.

    Like

    1. I am sorry, I had somehow missed this comment, so the delay in replying. Thanks for appreciating, Pattu. Faith and trust indeed are the grounding factors in our lives. The comment by G.N.Balakirshnan illustrates it so beautifully. Surrender makes us finally free.

      Like

  31. I believe struggle and tough spots are a part of life and they come in waves. I don’t know if they make you stronger or not.
    Letting go and surrendering to god’s will is indeed wonderful and helps you focus on other things. When we carry a burden we cannot concentrate on anything else other than the burden.
    Lovely post Zephyr..just what I needed to read.

    Like

  32. wonderful post, as usual, Zephyr, and on something that I have been thinking about for a while now….. i have belief in god, or rather, some higher power. i feel rituals are simply things which help give us confidence, that make us feel better in times of stress, which give us the mental strength to cope with troubles…. but i still feel i havent come to the stage where i can completely surrender.. esp as i see my mom who has completely surrendered herself.. she has complete faith in Him and that He will make things work out, no matter what! She once told me, long back, that she herself had no such faith, till the time she met her Guru.. he is no more now, but she says he will always be there and she feels his presence, which gives her the strength to hold on to her complete faith. She told me that I would believe to, when I met my own guru.. and that the time would come, someday,,, which is why i shouldnt reject anyone or any beliefs outright.. because you never know… its been years and years since then, and i still have doubts every now and then, but of late, i have realised that there are times when i have no doubts at all.. when i truly feel His presence in my life.. when I believe and am ready to surrender… but those times are rare.. they arrive at the most unexpected moments.especially in some ancient ruined temples, out out on a deserted place, where there is no one but me, my thoughts, and nature.. and thats what makes me want to go and travel more and more… to explore places, to explore temples.. in search of that elusive thing which will help me eventually surrender myself completely to him…

    and this comment has got almost as long as a post… and reading it over, feels like i have rambled on and on and on…. but i dont feel like deleting any of it… so, sorry for the rambling 😀

    Like

    1. You know what Anu? I measure the success of my posts by the length of the comments 🙂 Because when my readers relate to the post, they share the most wonderful insights with me. So feel free to write post-length comments 😀

      It must be truly wonderful to experience the nearness of God when you are on your travels. And a guru need not be someone special. sometimes even your maid can become a guru. After all aren’t gurus someone who teach us something profound about life, ourselves and others? So don’t worry about finding one. As for rituals, they are more for us, as you have said. I feel they bring a modicum of discipline in our lives, regulate our habits and give us a feel good feeling. And when they are part of some celebrations, their importance and significance take on an added dimension.

      Like

  33. Many inherit the concept of faith from their family. But true faith comes only when one hoes through testing times. There is no state of mind as ‘No Belief’. Even when one does not believe in God , he/she believes in non-existence of God. It is impossible to exist without faith. It does give strength to survive all odds.

    Saw Life of Pi, yesterday. Do watch it, if possible.
    A very insightful post, as always.

    Like

    1. I agree that faith is often inherited from one’s family, but equally often one is turned away from it too. I know of many who turned away from it all but found their way back later (I know because I am one of them 😀 ) Faith has to come from within, whether it is in oneself or in someone else or in a Supreme power. It can’t be taught or thrust upon but experienced. That is a very nice observation that there is nothing called ‘no belief’. I mean to see the movie. Just haven’t found the time to do it yet.

      Like

  34. It is very very difficult to let go. And sometimes, after one has struggled , mostly mentally, we are blessed with dreams which teach us and guide us into a happier , more peaceful phase.

    Some have a guiding guru in realty, some have a spiritual internal guide. Some have no guiding entity as such, but follow something their parents taught them. Put in your best and honest effort at whatever, without causing anyone any hurt. Then let go, and leave the rest to the Superbeing /Fate/God. You will get your answer, and peace.

    Unfortunately, today, one sees a lack of effort and just a desperate wish for something, where people promise all kinds of stuff in religious worship. All about wanting more and more.

    I wish they had read your post. And the key sentence , ““To have it all, you have to want nothing” ”

    Great post !

    Like

    1. We all need some guiding spirit, and it is best when we find it within ourselves, isn’t it? I agree with you about the fake gurus and those out to make a quick buck in the name of religion and teaching. It is indeed the dil maange more factor. We should undoubtedly strive to get the The key sentence is not mine, Suranga. It is Srini’s from his book 😀

      Like

  35. Oh what a lovely post…I read it twice 🙂

    To have it all, you have to want nothing

    How lovely is that!

    Like

    1. Read it twice because it was confusing or because you liked it? 😛 The wisdom of the books have to be read to be savoured. Do try them.

      Like

  36. Beautiful post! Telling me exactly what I needed to hear now.
    “To have it all, you have to want nothing” – profound! so true, so simple and yet so difficult to practice.

    Thanks for the beautiful post!

    btw how did you know email notification is not working?

    Like

    1. Thanks for liking the post, Sapna. I am sure you will find more gems when you read the book. Tuesdays is very good too. As for the mail notifications, some of my friends told me that they are not getting them 🙂 I am asking my blog manager to fix the problem.

      Like

  37. Beautiful post Zephyr. And yes I did not get any notification. Thanks for your email or else I would have missed it. I also do the same, wait for water to get over my eyes and then reach the state where I leave everything to God.

    I am really glad you reminded me of this book. I almost forgot how I wanted to read this one few months back.

    Like

    1. I got to know that mail notifications weren’t going and seeing how many people didn’t see my previous post, sent mails to my friends 🙂 Glad you liked the post. If we are able to leave everything to the Almighty before the water reaches even our chest, we can call ourself free. But that state is yet to come even at my age, for me 😀

      Which books did you mean, Tuesdays or 3 Lives? Read both of them. They are lovely.

      Like

      1. Tuesdays.. I have heard quite a lot about the book. Will keep 3 lives in my list too 🙂

        Like

        1. You should read 3 lives too. It is very good.

          Like

  38. I do think the lessons of faith and surrender are learnt gradually, with experience and age. When we are younger..really young as kids these lessons are inborn..we have complete faith in our parents, grandparents etc. But then comes the rebellion years and a phase where we are adults and have to act like one (meaning we lose faith and trust in everyone except ourselves). In times like these, yes, it is the Almighty who seems to be the most trustworthy even though we cannot see him/her.
    I loved the way your dreams ultimately led you to the lessons you learnt and have now shared with us. I agree whole heartedly.

    Like

    1. How well you put it Atula! I mean the growth from faith in others to faith in ourselves and then faith in the Almighty. In our youth, we are indeed able to get things done, because most of it is within our capability, but even then when we are overwhelmed, we we need a source of strength and who better than God, who would not make us feel small, obliged or beholden, right? At least that is the way I look at it. Those dreams were too powerful and even today I marvel at the messages.

      Like

  39. Very thoughtful post with a deep message of Surrender:) The surrender before faith yields fruits like nothing else! Have you seen a jawan willing to lay down is life just at the command of his superior! It is the faith and trust that makes him do so besides his own valor! Just adding another perspective, Zephyr!

    Like

    1. That is a wonderfully fresh perspective, Rahul! I love all these comments that enrich me so much 🙂 We all have to have such faith in another person — like the time we subject ourselves to the scalpel on the operation table, not knowing the outcome, but having faith in the surgeon’s skill….Many such examples abound,but when it is God, it is some unseen power, but one which gives immense strength.

      Like

  40. I believe the worst moments of our life come with a purpose – they make us stronger and we learn to appreciate what we took for granted. The unbearable lightness of being when we finally learn to let go of our expectations.

    Such a simple thought yet so difficult to achieve.

    I remember feeling deeply moved while reading Srini’s book. It had some of the most beautiful thoughts.

    Like

    1. Agree about the worst moments making us strong. But the agony of going through them definitely lessens when we transfer some burden to God or the Universal power or our subconscious…More than letting go of expectations, it is letting go of the pain of suffering. That liberates us more. Srini’s book is a goldmine of philosophy made easy 🙂

      Like

  41. What you have spoken about is surely in every way spiritual. Sometimes we look for a God when he is residing right inside us, and at other times while he is inside us we are just ignoring him all the time. I too have had such visions which essentially has led to a call for Shirdi. I have so far unfailingly left the very same day after such dreams/visions.

    I really do think there is a deeper meaning to all this, and which science or reason can’t explain. It might be our faith and unconditional surrender which could be at work; but that is one question I really am not looking for an answer too. It doesn’t matter.

    The best post yet on the blog!

    Like

    1. You are perfectly right in not looking for answers because there are some things that are beyond all that and are very deep. And about those sudden Shirdi trips! Don’t I know those and the experiences you have had. God does reside inside us and we only have to feel Him, nothing more. Do you really think this is my best post? Thanks a ton 🙂

      Like

  42. “You cannot have it all, Anwer. To have it all, you have to want nothing.”
    Powerful words. So true!

    Like

    1. That is the ultimate in contentment and renunciation but the state is very hard to attain. Srini’s book is a treasure trove of such gems, do read it.

      Like

  43. Hi Zephyr

    I dont think spirituality is reading books, doing yoga or attending sermons….What you have quoted here is a very simple yet highly profound…You are definitely into spirituality …This is what spiritual leaders try to get their disciples to follow….Superb Post!

    Like

    1. Your comment made me feel great, Jayashree 🙂 I am just taking baby steps and find myself slipping at every step 😦 Maybe I have to yet learn the lesson of faith properly, but I will keep trying to.

      Like

    2. Precisely,attending sermons or keeping fasts is not an indication of faith–this is something internal.But i have found Yoga to be elevating & helpful in my own evolution as a human being.Meditation also imparts concrete benefits.

      Like

  44. The surrender to god should be total without having alternative plans.In times of deep crisis when you have exhausted all efforts to save yourself,you surrender to god totally helpless much like Draupadhi of Pandavas.She was disrobed by Duschasana and her pleas to all those present in the court were in vain and she threw up both hands without holding the cloth chanting the name of Achyudha.God’s help came instantaneously.The surrender and faith was total and it is at that moment He came to her rescue.and not earlier.
    One need not follow rituals but the faith in god should be without a trace of doubt and be total.
    An excellent post,Zephyr.

    Like

    1. That example from Mahabharatha is certainly the best example of total surrender. And for us humans too, that is when it happens — when we can’t do anything about the situation though the really evolved ones are able to just let go from the outset. Rituals are more for self discipline than a way to please God, according to me. Also, when rituals become an obsession, they are counter productive. Thanks for the comment and also for liking the post, KP.

      Like

  45. To me Faith or Trust is not only related to religion….but There is FAITH in almost everything we do and in the reasons why we do it.
    There is Faith when we decide to believe, act and expect something when against our reason and all logical arguments. But it is also an act of Faith to follow reason as if it would be impossible for it to get wrong. When we choose to believe in something, when we decide to trust, when we do something but we really don’t know why we do it or why it is important.

    BTW a wonderfully write up…beautifully written 🙂

    Like

    1. Your comment is very profound despite its simplicity, Irfan! We sometimes do indeed do things that defy logic or reason only because we believe it needs to be done or some unexplained thing that impels us to do it. And then we have to trust our actions. Faith is certainly not related only to religion as you have rightly pointed out. It is much beyond that.

      Like

  46. In a way the first time rappeller needs to learn to lean back and trust in the rope to hold him. Without that trust he cannot rappel and does end up with scrapes 🙂 So, as a metaphor, the rope is the Lord and your trust in him is the only thing that will allow you to enjoy the rappelling we call Life 🙂

    I still remember the day when I put pen to paper and bid goodbye to what people thought was a promising career – not knowing what the future would hold. It has given me great experiences like trekking and blogging as well as added innumerable treasured friends.

    All the best experiences and joys of life come from letting go and trusting – in God or in your subconscious or in fortune! All troubles seem lighter when you stop thinking of yourself as being responsible for the outcomes and take responsibility only for the efforts and leave the outcome to God or Providence.

    Like

    1. That is the core lesson of Gita, isn’t it? “karmanyeva…..’ do your duty and leave the fruits to God or Providence. And when one is constantly looking for the right actions, one is guided accordingly. Taking chances then becomes easy because one is prepared for the outcome, no matter what it is. As you have rightly put it, we have to trust the Lord and take that chance, do that deed and hope for the best. And when it does not turn out as we take that too — as our karma.

      Like

  47. Very good post, Zaphyr!

    I have a relative who is Ammachchi’s (Mata Amruthanandamayi) strong devotee. I have seen her facing so many problems but she never complained about anything. Her husband lost jobs often and it was very difficult to take care of the family. But she was never harsh with him too. Once I asked her how she copes up with the problems. She said that whatever we are facing is our destiny. She often visits Vallikkaavu ( Ammruthanandamayi’s ashram in Kerala) before taking any new decision. She takes permission from Amma and does what she says. We have seen that some were wrong decisions. But her faith in Amma never diminished. She always keeps smiling. Yes, faith gives us strength. But the first step of keeping faith on god or saint doesn’t come for everyone. I believe in destiny. Whatever we do, the destiny takes us to the place we deserve without our effort. I believe in not hurting anybody knowingly! I just pray to god (not any particular god) to take care of everyone in my language, Tulu…’Mantherenla porludu ijila’! Oh, I talk to him in singular…Yenga yellaaraiyum kaappaaththu, not kaappaaththungo!

    Many of my family members are Sathya Sai or Shirdi Sai devotees. I am yet to join that group…is something wrong with me? I wonder!

    Like

    1. Asking for actual guidance and then following it from the guru takes a lot of faith. I have seen this kind of implicit faith too. I would rather leave it to the unseen force to make my decisions when I am physically unable to deal with them. Because then, I get the strength to find a way out from within or from some other source I had not explored. I pray for strength too and of course at the end of it all, it is our karma that makes us do what we do sometimes, despite the best of intentions. And when we suffer or find joy, it is also due to our karma. These days I have learnt to say, ‘That is one less bad karma that has got cancelled out. Whew!’ 🙂

      Like

      1. Yes, Zephyr, sometimes things start moving on a wrong direction without our effort. When we are sure that no action of ours has created the problem, it is very difficult to solve the problem. I just remind myself ‘time will take care of everything’…is it time or god? Or any super power? This has happened with me. Again I tell myself that I didn’t hurt anybody knowingly and I won’t face serious problems in life!

        ‘That is one less bad karma that has got cancelled out’! Good idea to console ourselves, Zephyr!

        Like

        1. Time, God, conscience, subconscious — all mean one and the same Sandhya. As long as we have the faith in any one of these or our own ability to solve our problems and come out of situations, things will work for us. Karma theory is the best antidote for all ills, believe me 😀

          Like

          1. Sighhh…, I agree with you, Zephyr!

            Like

  48. Wow Zephyr your dreams were real gems-no words for them!
    It is very difficult to pen my views on this subject.Like you i too was not outwardly religious to begin with.I have come to have some faith in His benevolence.But like Rachna,i also feel that He resides in my conscience & dictates the dos & don’ts to me.He has been very kind &for me,doing my duty & not harming anyone is my top priority.I have a niggling doubt that i lack shraddha or faith;even though i reap all His rewards.What is the cure,i wonder.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the compliment, Indu. It means a lot when someone whom you look up to, likes something you write 🙂 Actually this is not just about what to do and how to do, but dealing with situations when we are helpless and when we have done everything we possibly can. Like a serious illness or like the fact that my sight is going. One tries everything possible and then finally leaves the responsibility to a Higher Power because mortals are unable to help or there is nothing more they or we can do. I remember the cliched dialogue from Hindi movies here, ‘Ab inko dava ki nahi, duva ki zaroorat hai’. 😀 If you are getting all the rewards, the shraddha is there. Also God is not too hot on rituals and outward show. A good heart and karma is all He wants. Hugs.

      Like

      1. I have been thinking about this since yesterday.You are bang on that when we have tried all our resources then we turn to God & He is very magnanimous.I am sure there is respite waiting for you.
        I have come to the conclusion after some thinking,that what i don’t like are meaningless(to me) rituals & these God Men & gurus etc.AND superstitions!

        Like

        1. Rituals have their own place in the scheme of things and when forced or are empty, have no meaning. you know what I feel about them too, don’t you? 🙂 When we are overwhelmed, we do need some anchor and that is what the Higher Power or Providence or God offers us. You indeed have done a lot of thinking over this post Indu. That makes me feel great 🙂

          Like

  49. A beautiful post, and this is just a placeholder to tell you that I have read it. A detailed note follows once I get home.

    Like

    1. Awaiting that comment Harshal and knowing you, I am sure it would provide some great insights 🙂 And oh, thanks for the compliment. I was a little unsure about this one.

      Like

  50. Faith is a very strong motivation.

    Like

    1. It is not just about faith, but surrender and the attendant feeling of freedom and joy. Thanks for the comment 🙂

      Like

  51. Let it go, BM…let it go..but sometimes, letting it go is not easy. right? Faith gives hope. You know what I feel, to have faith, one needs to have strength. A positive strength.
    Btw, I love Tuesdays with Morrie. I think time to re-read it again. Heard about Srini’s book. Have to pick it up soon.

    Like

    1. Just FYI…I didn’t get the email notification. Sorry for giving you wrong info. I told you, my mind was fragmented… 🙂

      Like

      1. Welcome to the club, girl with a fragmented mind 🙂

        Like

    2. What a great interpretation, Latha! And to think you felt you couldn’t comment on it 🙂 That is what Tuesdays… is all about, isn’t it? Only a strong person can have that faith and trust, both of which are positive feelings contrary to the belief that to depend on someone else is weakness.

      Do read Srini’s book and read it slowly to assimilate what has to say. I took a fortnight and more. But I feel it gives the entire philosophy in such a simple and easily understood form. Maybe I should do a review? I might just, when I pick up the courage to deal with it. I don’t want to give a half-baked review 🙂

      Like

  52. Very well written. I like it. When you talked about faith, this story came to my mind.

    Adi Shankaracharya went to Kasi. He pretended to be having a “fit” and fell on the street. Many people came to help him. Shankaracharya said “only those who have committed no sin should touch me. Otherwise, that person’s head will be cracked into several pieces”. Everybody backed off. An untouchable cobbler came to help him. Shankaracharya asked him if the cobbler has not committed any sin. The cobbler said “no I don’t have any sin”. Shankaracharya asked why he is saying that. The cobbler replied: I just returned from taking a holy dip in the Ganges. You were the one who told that all sins will be washed away if we take a holy dip in the Ganges. So I don’t have any sin.

    Like

    1. Welcome here, SG and I am glad you found the post good 🙂 That anecdote about Adi Shankara was wonderful. That belief in a Guru’s words is itself an edification, isn’t it? Bhagyashree’s story in her comment is also about the reiteration of faith and God’s readiness to stand by His devotees, even lifting their burdens for them. Thanks for the comment and sharing the story.

      Like

  53. Yes, faith can move mountains. And faith is a huge healer when you let go and rest yourself in someone else’s hands. But faith must not lead people to do foolish and nonsensical things. Faith also must not blind people from doing the right thing for eg. have faith but be a good person. I have a lot of faith in the power of a Supreme Being. But that faith does not distil down to deities. I have faith in my own self and those who are close to me. I haven’t read the books you’ve mentioned but hope to read them soon. And, I love to delve deep within myself. I am my own reality check ;-). A nice post!

    Like

    1. There is a difference between letting go and resting on someone’s hands and the Supreme being, Rachna. While the things that others or even we ourselves do to help is in a tangible form, the help we get from the Unseen Power is intangible, often in the form of bolstering our inner resources to cope with the situation. And more often than not, this solution is much better than what we might have found had we not lifted up our. And unlike humans, God is not vindictive to make us feel small if we fall foul of them. As I said in the post, we do try our best to solve a situation and only when we are at the end of the tether, when there is nothing we can do to make things better that we turn to God because there is literally nothing else to be done. I have done all you are doing and been where you are, so I can understand perfectly how you feel about this 😀 Faith need not be on deities or even religious beliefs. But that is fodder for another post 😀

      Like

      1. Basically what you are saying is that faith in an unseen entity is actually faith in our own inherent ability to achieve the impossible. When we consign ourselves to a Higher Being, aren’t we actually summoning our internal strengths, power of the unconscious, our very soul to rescue us? Isn’t this what spirituality is all about? Explore the unknown and be in touch with yourself.

        Like

        1. Exactly! We are all not so evolved as to have God physically guiding us through our difficulties, but sure as anything we get some help, either from within ourselves or from some source totally unexpected that solves our problems. And you got it bang on. Explore the unknown to be in touch with yourself.

          Like

          1. Finally got it and it makes sense :). Thanks for the discussion.

            Like

          2. Glad to be of help 😀

            Like

  54. What a reassuring piece, one that I would read over and over! And the fact that you have referred to Tuesdays With Morrie, makes me so happy and you know why :))

    Faith really does move mountains. I think it’s God’s way of keeping us focused on what we want or whatever we are hoping for. Sometimes, faith in people is enough to keep us going. Knowing that there’s someone to fall back upon, to count upon is enough. Having faith in Him is far more reassuring. Faith banishes fear, completely.

    Like

    1. Oh I sure know why you are happy about Tuesdays… 😀 Faith is very much needed if we are to survive in this world, on ourselves, on those whom we trust and of course God. If nothing, it gives us the strength to go forward knowing that there is help around, should we need it. We might never call in the help, but the fact that it is there, is most reassuring, isn’t it?

      Like

  55. Faith is a very very powerful thing …Many times in my life I have struggled to find solutions and understand the difficult circumstances in my life and many times I have realized that sometimes its better to let go and wait to see what the good lord does !!

    Like

    1. Exactly, Ruchira! Have you noticed how we are able to find a solution or a way out of a situation when we do that? It is nothing but the confidence that our problems would be solved somehow and we find reserves of strength and ideas to tackle them. Sometimes it is simply stepping away from the problem which also helps us find a solution.

      Like

  56. “To have it all, you have to want nothing” – This is a sentence with profound implications. If people can understand the significance of that single line, our world will be much more peaceful and inclusive, than what it is now! Excellent post, so different…

    Destination Infinity

    Like

    1. To tell you the truth, I was a little nervous posting this one, because I felt I was not qualified to write on such subjects, but have wanted to share those wonderful dreams for a long time now, which is why I did 🙂 Have you read Ramana Maharishi? His teachings are all so simple too. Srini’s book is wonderful for he has managed to condense the complex eastern philosophies into an understandable form. I am glad you liked this post. Thank you 🙂

      Like

      1. No, I don’t generally read spiritual/philosophical writings. I can actually write some philosophy, if required 🙂

        Destination Infinity

        Like

        1. Oh ok. It would be nice to read your philosophical writings, I am sure 🙂

          Like

  57. Even though my opinions on this subject may be very agnostic in nature, I agree on almost everything you said, Zephyr. It’s easier to project belief in an entity that’s ‘Superhuman’ because it is difficult to envision a mortal body possessing such power. I believe, it’s the lack of trust in ourselves that seems to be the culprit and not trusting another individual. Like some believe, “God resides within us” and we hardly recognize even half our true potential due to the lack of self-belief. Afterall, a prayer is nothing but our way of talking to the soul (subconscious mind) within.

    I was extremely moved by your dream where you were drowning. It’s almost like an answer to all questions in life 🙂

    Like

    1. I am glad that you agree with the tone and contents though not the underlying sentiments. I love comments from those who have a different viewpoint from me and tell me that. It helps me learn more. Thanks a lot 🙂 You are so right that God is the subconscious and in fact, the conscience that we each possess. And Ani, if you remember, I have said that when I had the strength mostly physical, I thought differently since I could mostly get things done but even then there were things beyond me as when my baby was suffering from pneumonia and struggling to breathe and other occasions when I was helpless. Those were times to call upon that Supreme force to help me bear it.

      I shared that dream because it was so powerful, something beyond even my fertile imagination. It could have only come from a super being and drilled into my head 🙂 I still shake my head in wonder when I think of the message.

      Like

  58. Beautiful post Mami and a post after my heart.
    Surrender is such an easy word and yet so difficult. And once we have faith and we surrender, doors open, sunshine peeps in.
    Allow me to tell a story. A brahman was reading the Bhagvad Gita when he came to the text 9.22 ananyas cintayanto mam ye janah paryupasate
    tesam nityabhiyuktanam yoga-ksemam vahamy aham

    (But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form–to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.)

    How can it be, he said, Vahamy aham is a wrong word here he said and scratched the word with a pen. He then left for his morning-bhiksha of begging at five. households.

    After some time there was a knock at the door. The brahman’s wife opened the door to find a young man with a sack full of provisions, he said that the master has sent this for you. When he put down the sack the wife noticed two red lines on his back. The wife asked who did that to him. ‘The master’, the boy said. She made him sit and said that I will fix up a meal for you, don’t leave.

    The brahman came back in some time, the boy had left without eating anything. And guess what the lines on the Bhagvad Gita had erased too.

    The Brahman had doubts about the Lord carrying his ‘weight’ and there had been the Lord himself to carry his load.
    Sorry for the long comment but I thought it was relevant
    .

    Like

    1. I knew it would appeal to you, but unlike you I am not into spirituality so deeply, so I posted it with a lot of apprehension wondering how it would be received. And thanks to some problem with the email notifications, not many of my readers seem to have got it 😦

      You are right, that was an apt story for a comment, Bhagya. God indeed is ready to take on our burdens if we are able to completely transfer them without the slightest doubt. And that is a big IF which is why most of us crib that God never listens to us 🙂 It is a pleasure to get these nuggets from you. 🙂

      Like

Enter the discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: