So freedom is not freedom of the ego. Freedom is freedom from the ego. And if you can understand this – that freedom is freedom from the ego – then surrender and freedom become one, then they mean one. But if you take the ego as the standpoint from which to think, then the ego will say, “Why surrender? – because if you surrender, then you cannot be free. Then you become a slave. When you surrender, you become a slave.”
But really, you are not surrendering to someone. This is the second point to be understood: you are not surrendering to someone; you are simply surrendering. There is no one who will take your surrender. If there is someone and you surrender to him, then it is a sort of slavery. Really, there is not even a god to whom you are surrendering. And when we talk about a god, that is just to find you something to help you to surrender.
In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, God is talked about just to help you to surrender. There is no God. Patanjali says there is no God, but it will be difficult for you to surrender to one ; it will be difficult for you to simply surrender. To help surrender, God is talked about. So God is just a method. This is rare, very scientific – God is just a method to help you surrender. There is no one who is going to take your surrender. If there is someone and you surrender, then it is a slavery, a bondage. This is a very subtle and deep point: there is no God as a person; God is just a way, a method, a technique.
Patanjali relates many techniques. One of them is ishwara pranidhan – the idea of God. There are many methods to reach the surrender; one method is the idea of God. That will help your mind to surrender, because if I say, “Surrender,” you will ask, “To whom?” If I say, “Simply surrender,” it will be difficult for you to conceive. Try to understand in a different way. If I say to you, “Simply love,” you will ask, “Whom? What do you mean by “simply love”? If there is no one to be loved, how to love?” If I say, “Pray,” then you will ask, “To whom? Worship to whom?” Your mind cannot conceive non-duality. It will ask, it will raise a question, “To whom?”
Just to help your mind, so that the mind’s question is satisfied, Patanjali says that God is just a way, a technique. Worship, love, surrender – to whom? Patanjali says, “To God.” Because if you surrender, then you will come to know that there is no God – or you yourself are that to which you have surrendered. But this will happen when you have surrendered. God is just a trick.
It is said that even to surrender to a god who is nowhere seen, who is invisible, is difficult, so scriptures say, “Surrender to the guru, to the master.” The master is visible and a person, so then the question becomes relevant – if you surrender to a master then it is a slavery, because a person is there and you are surrendering to him. But then too you will have to understand again a very subtle point – even more subtle than the notion o God. A master is a master only when he is not. If he is, then he is not a master. A master becomes a master only when he is not. He has achieved non-being; there is no one.