ਜਉ ਸੁਖ ਕਉ ਚਾਹੈ ਸਦਾ ਸਰਨਿ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਲੇਹ ॥:
Jaou sukh kaou chaahai sadaa sarani Raam kee leh (sggs 1427).

To realize the Mool (Source, Origin, Pure Awareness, Reality...) is the ultimate goal and purpose of human life. For this to happen, the first process involves surrendering our falsehood to the Divine within (Saranaagati; also spelt Sharnaagati or Sharnaagat). Without such unconditional submission to the Inner Dweller, the Source, there is no chance for complete abidance in the Absolute Reality or Eternal Happiness.
  • ਠਾਕੁਰ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਸਰਣਾਈ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਉਤਰਿ ਗਇਓ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੰਸਾ ਜਬ ਤੇ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Thaakur tumh saranaaee aaiaa. Outari gaio mere man kaa sansaa jab te darasanu paaiaa ||1|| Rahaaou || (sggs 1218).
When we visit a place of worship, or when we see a Spiritual person, first thing many of us do is bow down or prostrate in reverence ("Namaskaar Dandaouti Bandanaa"). Muslims also bow down while performing Namaaj or prayer. Christians also bend down on knees with a bow in respect or submission . Why do people do that? Is there a hidden suggestion in doing so? What is the true meaning behind it? What really is surrender? Is mere ritual of bowing down a "surrender"? It is cultivation of utmost humility. And presence of utmost humility or humbleness means absence of false ego-sense or Haume. Both (Purity and filth) cannot coexist, for they are incompatible.
  • ਪ੍ਰਭ ਜੀ ਤੂ ਮੇਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਅਧਾਰੈ ॥ ਨਮਸਕਾਰ ਡੰਡਉਤਿ ਬੰਦਨਾ ਅਨਿਕ ਬਾਰ ਜਾਉ ਬਾਰੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Prabh jee too mere praan adhaarai || Namasakaar dandaouti bandanaa anik baar jaaou baarai ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 820).
  • ਕਰਉ ਬੰਦਨਾ ਅਨਿਕ ਵਾਰ ਸਰਨਿ ਪਰਉ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਇ ॥: Karaou bandanaa anik vaar sarni parou Hari raai (sggs 296).
This "Namaskaar Dandaouti Bandanaa" was originally meant to serve as a Spiritual practice for surrendering body and mind (egoism) to the Supreme Power. Although the act still prevails, but the true spirit behind it has disappeared! As a result, the doer of "Namaskaar Dandaouti Bandanaa" generally intends to deceive the object of worship by his act. This sort of act is not only delusive, it's also insincere and meant to cover up one's inner filth.

After doing "Namaskaar Dandaouti Bandanaa", the man assumes that he has surrendered himself to his God, and that the God has accepted it and that he is free to continue his crooked ways! Can the All-knowing and the Inner Dweller (Antarjaamee) be deceived by such acts? No, Antarjaamee is neither pleased nor fooled with such phony and empty acts. However, under the influence of material nature (Maya), many bend themselves and lie prostrate simply to deceive God; to spell out their worldly demands; or to file complaints for failures, sorrows, and sufferings in their lives. Apparently, "Namaskaar Dandaouti Bandanaa" has become nothing but an another ritual for many.

  • ਜੋ ਮਾਗੈ ਸੋ ਭੂਖਾ ਰਹੈ ॥ ਇਸੁ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਾਚੈ ਸੁ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਲਹੈ ॥: Jo maangai so bhookhaa rahai. Isu sangi rachai su kashoo n lahai (sggs 892).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮਨਹੁ ਨ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਮਾਂਗੈ ਦੰਮਾ ਦੰਮ ॥ ਸੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਚਿਤਿ ਨ ਆਵਈ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਹੀ ਕਰੰਮ ॥੧॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਸਾਥਿ ਨ ਚਲਈ ਕਿਆ ਲਪਟਾਵਹਿ ਅੰਧ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਚਰਣ ਧਿਆਇ ਤੂ ਤੂਟਹਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਬੰਧ ॥੨॥: Maya manhu n veesrai mangai damma damm... (sggs 1093).
The state of Pure Being (Joti-Svaroopa) is beyond the human apparatus of body-mind-intellect. Doubts, fear, and worries created by our mind keep us unaware of This Supreme Reality. Thus, man's identification with the body-mind-intellect personality gives rise to misidentification of the Mool within; causing separation between man and Truth. The real purpose behind bowing down is to renounce our limited intellect, false boundaries, illusions, wrong identifications and inflated ego-sense followed by dedication and surrendering of the mind and head to Mool, within.
  • ਮਨੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਸਿਰੁ ਸਉਪੀਐ ਭੀ ਕਰਤੇ ਕੀ ਟੇਕ ॥ ਧੰਧਾ ਧਾਵਤ ਰਹਿ ਗਏ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਅਨੰਦੁ ॥: Manu deejai sir saupeeai bhee karte kee tek || Dhandhaa dhaavat rahi geae man mahi sabadu anandu (sggs 934).
  • ਹੋਇ ਨਿਮਾਣੀ ਢਹਿ ਪਈ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥: Hoi nimaanee dhahi paee miliaa sahaj subhaai: In humility, I bow down in surrender to Him, and He naturally met me (sggs 761).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਅੰਧੁ ਕਰੇ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ॥: Manmukhu andhu kare chaturaaee (sggs 1064).
Simply put: self-surrender means to accept life as it presents itself. The Gurbani calls it doing God's Will (Hukam Mannanaa or Bhaanaa Mannanaa), that is, accept what comes without any concern with one's past, present, and future. When there is such true surrender of false ego-sense ("I-ness"), a new life dawns (the Gurmukh Life). However, this happens very rarely; for the willingness and earnestness is very rare!
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਕਰਤ ਭੇਖੀ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥੧॥: Haumai karat bhekhee nahee jaaniaa. Gurmukhi bhagti virle manu maaniaa ||1|| (sggs 226).
  • ਹੁਕਮੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਹੁਕਮ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੈ ਜੇ ਬੁਝੈ ਤ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਹੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Hukamai andar sabhu ko baahar hukam n koi. Nanak hukamai je bujhai ta houmai kehai n koi (sggs 1).
Becoming Pleasing to The Lord

In our mundane dealing, if we intend to please someone, then we must offer him something he likes which he does not have. If we do not, then we cannot expect to make that person happy. Also, giving him something he already has will not truly earn that person's pleasure either.

The Gurbani asserts that the Lord, the Inner Dweller, is full and filled. He is also mentioned to be Pure and Immaculate; free from defects, and conditionings. Now, is there something which we have and He does not have with Him? Yes, there is something we have which is very dear to Him, but He does not have with Him. And that thing is none other than our own mind (Antahkaran, Haume, false ego-sense)!

  • ਮਨੁ ਦੇ ਰਾਮੁ ਲੀਆ ਹੈ ਮੋਲਿ ॥੧॥: Manu de raam leeaa hai mol |1|| (sggs 327).
  • ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਅਰਪਉ ਪੂਜ ਚਰਾਵਉ ॥: Tanu manu arpaou pooj chraavaou (sggs 525).
  • ਕਰਿ ਪੂਜਾ ਹੋਮਿ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੂਆ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਗੁਰਦੇਵਾ ॥੩॥: Kari Poojaa homiihu manooaa... (sggs 614).
Man's all actions are guided by his mind. In fact, man's actions are his mind. Righteous actions lead man to purity, and impure actions to suffering. We humans have the ability to discriminate (Bibek-Budhi) between good and bad or true and false or right and wrong. Thus, we are not made like machines or robots. Also, we are not made like animals either, who are guided mainly by their instincts. Therefore, while we humans have this wonderful gift of Bibek-Budhi, we must accept the consequences of our choice of deeds. We suffer when we no longer do God's Will (Hukam).
  • ਮਨੁ ਅਰਪਉ ਧਨੁ ਰਾਖਉ ਆਗੈ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਮੋਹਿ ਸਗਲ ਤਿਆਗੀ ॥: Manu arpaou dhanu raakhaou aage man ki mati mohi sagal tiyagee (sggs 204).
  • ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਬਹੁਤਾ ਰੋਵੈ ॥: Hukamu n jaanai bahutaa rovai (sggs 85).
  • ਜੈਸਾ ਕਰੇ ਸੁ ਤੈਸਾ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ ਆਪਿ ਬੀਜਿ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਖਾਵੈ ॥: Jaisaa kare su taisaa paavai. Aapi beeji aape hee khavai (sggs 662).
The Gurbani urges us to offer our mind or falsehood (false ego-sense) to the Lord. But nobody seems to be prepared to do so, with earnestness. Who has done so, as the Gurbani says, will enjoy Bliss (Anand) with no bounds. Therefore, The Divine in us is eagerly awaiting for us to surrender our instinctive mind to Him! Truly, does the Lord need anything from us? No! Since the Lord is full and filling, He does not need any material stuff from us. However, the biggest gift and sacrifice we can offer Him is our Mayaic mind. The implication is that, if our mind is ever attuned to the Mool within, we would do His Hukam (Will, Bhaanaa...).
  • ਮਨੁ ਬੇਚੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਪਾਸਿ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਸੇਵਕ ਕੇ ਕਾਰਜ ਰਾਸਿ ॥: Manu baechai satigur kai paas. Tisu sevak ke kaaraj raasi (sggs 286).
  • ਕੰਚਨ ਸਿਉ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਹੀ ਤੋਲਿ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਦੇ ਰਾਮੁ ਲੀਆ ਹੈ ਮੋਲਿ ॥੧॥: Kanchan siou paayeeai nahee toli. Manu de Raamu leeaa hai moli ||1|| (sggs 327).
  • ਮੋਨ ਭਜੇ ਨਹੀ ਮਾਨ ਤਜੇ ਨਹੀ ਭੇਖ ਸਜੇ ਨਹੀ ਮੂੰਡ ਸੁਹਾਏ ॥ ਕੰਠ ਨ ਕੰਠੀ ਕਠੋਰ ਧਰੇ ਨਹੂ ਸੀਸ ਜਟਾਨ ਕੇ ਜੂਟ ਸੁਹਾਏ ॥ ਸਾਚੁ ਕਹੋਂ ਸੁਨ ਲੈ ਚਿਤ ਦੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਦੀਨ ਦਿਆਲ ਕੀ ਸਾਮ ਸਿਧਾਏ ॥ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਕਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਪਾਯਤ ਹੈ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲ ਨ ਭੀਜਤ ਲਾਂਡ ਕਟਾਏ ॥੧੦੦॥: Mon bhaje nahee maan taje nahee bhekh saje nahee moond suhaaye...||100|| (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Bachitra Naatak, Dasam Granth, 111-112).
Surrendering Process

It is rather easy to surrender something that is made of gross material. However, as the mind is made of subtle substance, how can one go about surrendering it? Furthermore, how can one be sure of actually done so?

TheGurbani has laid down a very clear surrendering process for us to follow. However, in order to follow this process, we need attain true Understanding of the Gurbani (ਸੂਜ-ਬੂਜ, aatam-Giaan...).

Until we have attained this qualification, we would not even know how to surrender! As we can see, walking on the path of Spirituality is a serious business; it is like walking on a two-edged sword. Only a Gurmukh (Spiritual being) knows how to walk on this path. A Manmukh(self-willed, material being...), on the other hand, cannot surrender because he does not have the this qualification.

  • ਸੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਜੋ ਸਬਦ ਨ ਪਛਾਨਹਿ ॥: Se manmukh jo Sabad n pachhaanahi (sggs 1054).
Symptoms Of A Surrendered Person

The mind of a surrendered person is completely subdued; fully absorbed in Bhagti. His craving for sense pleasures has ceased to be, as he is in a state where one's ego is completely silenced. Even though he may be perceiving the outer world with his senses, he has always an inward eye. He lives in this world, yet does not live in it (i.e., living Liberated). Though thinking, he is thoughtless, though notionless, he is thinking. He posses Divine Qualities such as goodness, fearlessness, mental steadfastness, tranquility, magnanimity, Spiritual Wisdom, detachment, selfless actions, true humility, contentment, love for all, compassion, sweet speech, and so on. As a fish can not live without water, such persons can not live for a moment without remembering Naam (Aatam-Giaan...). In spite of performing worldly duties and responsibilities, their mind is always in connected to their Mool within. In this context, here are some beautiful examples from the Gurbani:

  • A cow grazing several miles away keeps her mind fixed on her young calf whom she left home.
  • A mother engaged in house chores always keeps her mind in contact with her child laid in the cradle.
  • A boy, while flying a kite, may be engaged talking to his friends, but he keeps his mind fixed in the string.
  • A young girl places a pitcher filled with water on her head in perfect balance and carries it home. While walking with her friends, she laughs, talks, and makes merry but her mind is always fixed in the pitcher.
  • A lotus flower grows and lives in muddy water yet remains unstained, similarly, a surrendered person lives in this world unaffected.
  • Just as a bird's flight does not leave any mark behind, similarly, the surrendered person lives a Karma-free (bondage-free) life.
In essence, surrendering mind (or egoism) is nothing but witnessing the mind approaching its True Nature ("Joti-Svaroopa"), which is Pure Consciousness. It is to renounce limited intellect, material cleverness, worldly bondage, illusion of "I-am-the-body" idea, false pride, limited identifications, individuality, unspiritual association, material lust, expectations and desires, fear and worries, spiritual ignorance, duality, wickedness, false concepts, addiction to senses, evil passions, and so on; followed by dedication of the mind to Mool within. Thus, self-surrender is one's false ego bowing down to the Mool within (the Source, Origin...). To put it otherwise, self-surrender is to discharge one's river of separateness into the ocean of Infinite Consciousness, losing all notions of limitations. Without such total self-surrender, one can never completely abide in the Absolute Reality. This we must win by becoming the Gurmukh (Spiritual being...); not by material logic, philosophical speculations, or empty rituals (Manmukh lifestyle).
  • ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਸਉਪੇ ਕੰਤ ਕਉ ਤਉ ਨਾਨਕ ਭੋਗੁ ਕਰੇਇ ॥੧॥: Tanu manu saoupe kant kaou taou Nanak bhogu krei(sggs 788).
Last, but not the least, surrender is not a sign or a form of slavery. Instead, it's a sign of one's courage - courage to conquer the mind, courage to eradicate Haume (false ego-sense) and it's five (5, Panch, Panj ) faults such as lust, anger, greed, emotional attachment, pride, and their numerous variations.

— T. Singh