Maharshi Patanjali, the great exponent of yoga, recommended Ishwarpranidhan or devotional surrender to the Almighty as the way to union with the Absolute. Jesus uttered his sincere prayer, “Let thy will be done.” Mystic poet Tagore wrote, “Let Thy intentions be fulfilled throughout my life.”
In fact, life is so much so impermanent, full of uncertainties and constant anxieties that we are always keen to seek refuge and rely on safe hands.
The task is easier to utter as an intention than to practise. Each life-breath is telling us to be egoistic and self-centric, telling us to be independent, grabbing more and more with our own potential. Hence, surrender continues to remain a far cry and only a momentary resort during some insoluble crisis. But repeated experience of suffering redirects us towards the sadhana of surrender for spiritual progress with Divine grace.
Our consciousness is intimately connected with breathing and so the practice of sadhana is usually breath-centric. It may be noted that our inhalation fills the system with fragmented ego and attachment with peripheral consciousness while exhalation draws us back to the centre of core consciousness. Practice of surrender as a matter of principle needs to be accelerated, implemented, based on this breathing principle.
The Buddhist meditation practice of anapan sati or perpetual watchfulness of breathing keeps us continuously conscious of ourselves. Let us take a few deep abdominal breath and practise progressive relaxation of the whole body from the crown to the toe in slow succession, inducing a feeling of deep relaxation in each body part. When the entire body completely relaxes, be watchful of our incoming and outgoing breath without any effort to control or regulate the natural flow of breath.
When appropriately established in this practice, utter “I” at the time of inhalation and “surrender” at the time of exhalation. Thus, we must continuously utter “I surrender” with devotion to the Almighty to remain constantly in a state of surrender, counter balancing the ego. This affirmation works excellently on the body-mind complex and operates at the sub-conscious level as well for entire assimilation of the sadhana.