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Chapter 13: The New Man: Intellect in Harmony with the Heart

I am surprised by Krishna’s demand, and that too of an intellectual like Arjuna. Can’t he see that this man is not a gullible type? And even if you can find a gullible type - a man who cannot live totally, cannot do anything totally, can he be expected to surrender totally? Moreover, can surrender be an act on the part of the disciple?

One young man used to come to me; he was a very gullible, believing, devotional type. The situation between me and him was just the reverse of that between Krishna and Arjuna. He would just hold my legs and sit on the floor; and he would say, “Accept me. I want to surrender totally to you.”

Once I said, “You want to surrender totally to me, but I don’t want your surrender! Are you going to force your surrender upon me? What am I going to do with your surrender? - I don’t need it. You may need it somewhere else; don’t waste it totally. Save it for some emergency. Somewhere somebody may demand surrender with a gun, then what will you do? You will say, ‘I don’t have any surrender left, I have surrendered all to one person.’ You will be in danger - you keep it.”

He said, “You are strange. Every master asks, ‘Surrender.’ And I come to you; I believe in you, and I want to surrender.”

I said, “Listen, today you have come to surrender; tomorrow you can come and say, ‘Give my surrender back.’ I will unnecessarily have to take care of your surrender so that it is not lost. I may put it somewhere, and one day you may appear and suddenly ask, ‘Give my surrender back.”‘

He said, “You are joking.”

I said, “I am not joking! If you are surrendering, you have the right to take it back. you are the master, I am not the master. You are surrendering to me - who is the master? It is your act, I am simply outside your act. I am not doing anything, you are doing it - but tomorrow you can cancel it. You can find a better master; you can find some fault in me, and you can take your surrender back.”

I said, “I don’t ask anything from you. I don’t need your surrender, all I need is a hypothetical trust. Do what I say; it may prove right, it may prove wrong. So there is no need to trust me, just do it with a ‘perhaps.’ I have no interest in deceiving you. By your sitting in silence, meditating, I am not going to gain anything. So let it be clear that I am not going to gain anything by your sitting in silence, by your becoming enlightened; I am not going to have any share in it.

“So just hypothetically.. And why should I send you in the wrong direction? I have no investment. I am not a priest, I don’t live on any priesthood. How in the world, for what reason would I misguide you? So just hypothetically, that’s enough. More than that I don’t want, because more than that is dangerous. Today you say, ‘I surrender totally,’ and then you think you need not do anything. What else can you do? - you have done all, you have surrendered totally.”