Our latest niyama for study is Ishvara Pranidhana, loosely translated as Surrender or “offering the fruits of one’s actions to the Divine.” This is one of those esoteric terms in spiritual philosophy like “Truth”, where it can appear to be fairly straight-forward. However, this one is likely to marinate for a lifetime, since it runs contrary to our Western traditions. Our culture has tended toward a concept in which surrender implies weakness; results must be achieved and glorified. So, relinquishing control to a “higher power” may seem as if one is unwilling to accept responsibility. To recognize, embrace and worship our Higher Self, as if it were a Deity, may appear narcissistic. But, If we broaden our definition and exposure to the concept of Surrender, we may find a welcome respite from the never-ending list of To-Dos.
Over the course of my Yoga study, I have read and heard a lot of information about the Ego – “I” “Me” “Mine” – and how it controls the mind and self-view. I am one of those people who intellectualizes subjects and conclude that I “know it all.” While I have acquired knowledge and information about Yoga philosophy, until recently, I had not truly absorbed it into my heart and soul. My very capable brain was storing it all, at-the-ready, in the event that I am quizzed.
This week I plan to Surrender to my Inner Divinity, shed all the conclusions and “knowledge” that my Ego has accumulated about Yogic Spirituality. In doing so, I will practice making contact with that part of my Soul that already “knows” and does not require an academic understanding. I am charting unknown territory, which is a bit daunting and directionless, but I’m just going to give it up to the Light.