Surrender vs. Control: Navigating the Path to Spiritual Growth

In this insightful conversation, we delve into the profound concept of surrender in yoga philosophy. Join us as we explore the essence of surrender, its significance in spiritual growth, and how it can transform our lives. Whether you're a seasoned yoga practitioner or a newcomer on a spiritual journey, you'll gain valuable insights into surrender and its role in deepening your connection with the divine.


HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Greetings, everyone, and thank you once again for being here for our community conversation on this Wednesday October the 11th. By popular request, we're going to speak about the concept of surrender today, and we'll just see where this takes us. I am very grateful that so many of you shared your thoughts about what we ought to speak about, and this topic came up fairly consistently and with some different angles about what it means. So I want to begin by asking you the not so rhetorical question. What do you think of when you hear the word “surrender”? Let's just let's just start right there. When you hear the word “surrender”, what does that mean to you? What does that sound like to you? And just unmute yourselves and tell us. Tell us what you think.

SRI RADHA: Give up everything.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: What is that?

SRI RADHA: Give up everything.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Give up everything. That's a pretty major league surrender. Thank you Sri Radha. What else?

HENRY: It has many meanings for me. One of them that I am fond of is going over to the winning side.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Going over to the winning side. That's an interesting take. Yeah, okay. All right. Thank you. I'm going to think more about that. Go ahead. Glenna.

GLENNA: Let go.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Let him go. All right. Letting go of anything in particular? I mean, Sri Radha is talking about letting go of everything, but I'm wondering if there's anything in particular.

GLENNA: I don't think of it quite so global. I think of I think of it more, probably in more specific situations as opposed to letting go or surrendering to everything.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Okay. So letting go selectively according to what a particular situation requires, perhaps. Okay. All right. Great. Thank you. All right other thoughts on this? Idea of what we mean when we hear “surrender”.

KRISTA: I would say for me, letting go of control or of thinking I can control every situation or the need to control certain situations.


MICHELLE: Acceptance. Accepting things for what they are. Regardless as to what type of personal implications there may be regarding that, just accepting what is currently.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Okay. Yeah. Accepting reality as opposed to the way we wish things were. Yeah. I find that particularly challenging. All right. Good. Michelle. Thank you. And, Krista, thank you. Any other thoughts about what you think of when you hear this word.

MATTHEW: I get a sense of being fully present in the moment without any other intrusions. Something along those lines.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: All right. That's an interesting way to think about it. Surrendering to being present in a particular moment. I think that kind of relates to what Michelle was saying about accepting reality, because oftentimes our minds wander to worrying about or thinking about the future or dwelling on the past as opposed to being in the present moment. So letting go of that tendency to future surf or dwell in the past. That's an interesting way of thinking about surrender. Thank you. Matthew. Jill. Go ahead.

JILL: I also like I love all of these answers, but I like to add one more. I like to think about it as submitting.


JILL: I think it goes hand in hand with acceptance. Right. But from the yogic perspective, where we're going to head today, I'd like to think about it as submitting to something more than what it is that I have planned for me.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Yeah. Okay. Thank you. Jill, you're pointing out an interesting thing about the kinds of answers that we're hearing. One answer that I think we're hearing is that there's a passive kind of surrender, a letting go kind of surrender an acceptance, kind of surrender. And then there's an active kind of surrender moving over to the winning side or submission to X. 

And that brings us to the next question that I wanted to throw out to you is who or what are we supposed to surrender to? Let's explore this part of the question, who or what are we supposed to surrender to when we hear the word surrender used in the context of yoga philosophy? Thoughts on that?

ANANDA: This question takes me to the 15th chapter of the Gita. Text three four. I think where? It speaks about the weapon of detachment, where we are asked to, with the use of the weapon of detachment, to be able to sever ourselves from the modes of material nature of the material world. And then, once we've done so, to seek the place and surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And that is all wonderful and beautiful. But what does that really mean for us in this, in our earthly form? For me, it means to listen to paramatma. It means to accept that the world that I'm living in day to day, is the divine creation exactly as it is. And to be able to constantly keep a consciousness where Krishna is prevalent.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Ananda, thank you. I'm going to unpack that a little bit for everyone. So this verse in the 15 chapter of the Bhagavad Gita it speaks about there's a metaphor of the material world as a banyan tree with its roots upward, branches downward. And it's a metaphor for the material world and in a couple of different ways. The main wave is that it's impossible to find your way around this tree to figure out where it begins, and where it ends. But one can cut through the entanglement of material life with the weapon of detachment. 

And I want to come back to this idea of the relationship between surrender and detachment because there's the detaching from the material world and the attaching or surrender to the Supreme Person who is understood to be the origin of everything and the maintainer of everything. And the phrase “listening to paramatma” refers to the localized aspect of that Supreme Being within the heart of all beings. 

Now let me go ahead and share what we've got in the chat window. Ron suggests that surrender means just let go. Sarah, being humble or taking a humble position. Sri Radha, just the first thing that comes to mind, not that I agree.

Oh, yes. Surrendering everything. Not the easiest thing to do. Calmly accepting what is and working within the parameters that we have… Marjorie, thank you. Marty, letting go of outcomes. Jennifer: I work in a 12 step program. Surrender is the bones of my daily practice, giving my experience over to how I am best used by a higher power. And Jill puts in same here. Jennifer: Ishvara this corresponds to what we just heard in this verse from the Bhagavad Gita. Ishvara, we hear as a non-sectarian philosophical terms for God, for the Supreme Being in the Yoga Sutras. And the word Ishvara also shows up as part of compound words in the Bhagavad Gita when Krishna says, I am the Lord of all beings and such like that. So let's go on. 

So now we have this idea of surrendering to the Personality of Godhead, from whom everything began and from whom everything has extended since time immemorial. How do you all feel about that idea of like, that's how you know, that's who we're surrendering to a supreme source of everything. The beginningless endless being from whom the world comes and in whom the world ultimately is resolved. Any thoughts about that? Henry. Go ahead. 

HENRY: First, I want to thank Jill for her comments. That brings me back to the Yoga Sutras and the Yoga Sutras. I looked it up. 123 talks about the cittas can be quieted when we engage in meditation and surrender completely to Ishvara. Why do I think about it? Do we have any choice? I so can I fight all that is? Or do I accept it? And for me If I accept things as they are, life goes a little more easy and I like the easier, softer way.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Okay. Lulu. Go ahead.

LULU: It sounds like when I give up control that I just become a puppet. Like, what's the point here if I'm just being used by another power?

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Okay. So surrender to divine will means becoming a puppet, letting go of one's own sense of agency to become an instrument of someone else's agency. That I would think would require a very high degree of trust in the puppeteer, in the intentions of the puppeteer for us. And for what purpose that would serve or what meaning that would give to our own lives. 

It's a really interesting point. My paramaguru Srila Prabhupada wrote a poem when he came to America to teach, and I'll paraphrase it a little bit. He said, I don't know exactly what I'm doing here or what I'm going to do. I don't know how I will. He's now speaking… the poem is a prayer to Krishna, his Ishtadevata, his worshipable deity… and he's praying I really don't know how I am going to accomplish, my mission here. But if you like, you can make my words such that they will be comprehensible to the people in this foreign land, even though I am not expert in their language. So now I am a puppet in your hands, and you can make me dance as you like. 

So this was his mood of full surrender. He had complete confidence that he could allow himself to be made a puppet. By the Supreme Person, and his conception of the Supreme Person was such that not only did he have no fear of being an instrument of divine will, as he understood it. But the idea that he would become a puppet of divine will was part of what made him fearless on his own. He didn't feel capable but giving himself over to the Supreme puppeteer, he felt that that would empower him to achieve his goal, which was to serve the mission of his own guru. Anyway, there are some thoughts about that that inspired me based on what you said. So thank you for offering that. 

Michelle. And then Matthew.

MICHELLE: I think it's comforting to, like, know that I'm not the end all be all of things. And, you know, there's a lot of control that I have to maintain in my material existence. So on the opposite end of that, I feel at peace knowing that there is more than just me.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: All right. Thank you. I think I also find some reassurance in that. Yeah. Matthew. Go ahead.

MATTHEW: If I'm being honest, I would say my initial reaction to your question was feeling a little bit uncomfortable. I feel like I'm comfortable with the idea of that, but maybe not those words. And like the more I read about it, the more I might not use those same kind of words. And whether or not they're correct or not. 

The phrase that has resonated more with me comes from a Buddhist monk. So it's more of like a Buddhist interpretation of the Yoga Sutras. But this idea of shifting from a self-centered point of view to a nature centered point of view. So it's this sense that there is like we're all part of nature, and I don't know if it's the same sort of nature as like prakriti or whatever. We're talking about the technical terms here. But for me, this just this idea of shifting from being really focused on myself to recognizing I'm part of a much bigger thing is, is more is comforting when I think about it in sort of different words, which to me sounds similar to how other people might talk about surrendering to Ishvara as an all creator God.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Right. Matthew, I think what you said just kind of relates to what Michelle was saying a moment ago. In the devotional aspect of yoga philosophy, surrender in one sense, means taking ourselves out of the center, thinking that everything revolves around us, that you know that we are the end all and be all of everything that we should do and say and think and taking ourselves out of the center and putting ourselves in a position where we are revolving around the actual center, which again, now relates to the idea of, surrender means acknowledging reality rather than thinking about the way we would prefer things to be or wish things were. 

So just starting out with the idea that there is something bigger than us and we are meant to revolve around that which is greater than us rather than having or trying to get the world to revolve around us. 

There's a portion of the Srimad Bhagavatam, the Bhagavat Purana, there's a chapter in one of the early cantos called The First Steps in God Realization. And it begins with associating material nature with the supreme divinity. So what you were speaking about in terms of being kind of nature oriented? In devotional yoga as well as in the Buddhist idea, this first step of taking ourselves out of the center is or involves seeing the natural world as divine and seeing ourselves as part of that natural world. Which shrinks us down to a realistic size, as opposed to the size that our ego would like to think we are. 

So yeah, that's what you made me think of when you brought that up. The idea of being nature oriented. Thank you. All right. Other. Other thoughts? Ananda. Go ahead. 

ANANDA: I was thinking, I remember when I look back on this spiritual journey about the concept of surrender, and I remember, okay, okay, I can give up all the things that happen, all the circumstance, the bad things that I can let go of and attribute to the way things are.  

Where I really struggled was in the concept of interpersonal relationships and the attachments thereof. When you think about things in terms of, for example, children. My children, my role as mother. It's the most important job to date that I had had on this earth and during this lifetime. And then to really begin to understand that that part of my identity is one that is, of course, biologically ingrained, but also socially and culturally ingrained deeply into who I think I am. And being able to understand that even my own children don't actually belong to me, that those individual souls, my partner's soul. Anybody that I'm intimately related with or connected to, they aren't mine.

I struggled in that area of understanding for a very long time, and being able to surrender the concepts of that deep, you know, and not to diminish the nature of those very deep and personal relationships, but ultimately, ultimately. They are Krishna's children. They are not mine. I don't own them. They don't own me. And what their service is here on this planet is for them to figure out. And my role now as a devotee is to hopefully guide them in ways that are conducive for their own understanding of the presence of paramatma within them and beyond that. 

I can cook them a mighty fine meal. Still gather at the holiday tables. I just wanted to share that. That was a really challenging aspect for my growth and journey. I don't know if anybody else had experienced that.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: I can assure you that there are others here who are finding themselves, dealing with a similar challenge. And before we're done here today, I'm going to come back to this very issue. But the idea of surrendering conceptions of who we are in relationship to others that are biologically and socially imposed on us is, I think, one of the most challenging aspects of the idea of surrender. So Ananda, thank you very much for sharing. I hope others will comment on what you shared. Meanwhile, Marty and then Jill.

MARTY: I don't know if this is kind of this is sort of tangential to that, maybe, but I was just thinking about how I feel like surrender is difficult when I'm conflating material experiences I have with the spiritual.  Like when I realize that, like, my mistrust of Krishna is actually coming from a mistrust that may be originated, like with a relationship that I had with a material relationship that I had with a person. 

And then the more that I bring awareness to that, to those things, the more it feels like it opens up space for Krishna. I don't know if that makes sense, but it helps me to surrender. I feel like I almost like I catch myself like on these little footholds or something will catch me and I'll realize I'm holding back but it has a lot more to do with my material experience.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Yeah. That just for your sake of your reassurance. That does make total sense. Bhakti yoga is the yoga of relationships. And there's an emphasis on this idea that we can have spiritual relationships, the primary spiritual relationship being between us and the source of our being: the one being who is the sum total of all being and all beings. 

And there's this idea that we are an integral part of a complete whole. And that complete whole has the aspect of personality, of person-ness. And therefore, the emphasis is on the relationship between the infinitesimal part and the infinite complete whole. And one of the practical connections between spiritual experience and material experience is that our relationships here in the material world can be ways to practice having that ultimate relationship. You know, if we see the person we're in relationship with as a spiritual being rather than a material being, also connected to that supreme, ultimate source of being that spiritualizes the relationship. 

However, not all relationships in the material world go all that smoothly. And when things go wrong, we think, well, that's just the nature of relationships. And therefore a spiritual relationship will be kind of the same as material relationships or the spiritual relationship we have with the complete whole, with the Personality of Godhead. 

Another way to put it, we can worry that it can also be fraught with these same kinds of material difficulties or misunderstandings. So relationships are tricky. They're hard. They demand things from us that are not always easy to give. Surrendering to the idea that relationships are inevitable can be difficult when we have difficulty with relationships. So navigating that space between material relationship and spiritual relationship can be challenging. 

Marty, thank you very much for sharing that. All right, Jill, go ahead.

JILL: I'm really appreciating this dialogue today. I have a couple of thoughts, but to start with, Ananda as a mother of four, I too am literally this week just starting to understand the difference between ownership and stewardship of my children. And it's been an eye opener to kind of be ever more aware that they're not mine. That there's a plan for them and I could very well be a stumbling block to them. 

But the comment I wanted to share before that was about this idea of being a puppet, because I definitely had have felt in my life that there was a time where I would have thought of it as a puppet. And so when the comment was made, I really could identify with that. But almost immediately in in my mind came this idea that that really we can like be the hands and feet of God. So rather than, rather than being driven like a puppet to do his will without our submission to that, when we choose to be God's hands and feet, then it gives us the choice to do his will. And I think that that's where the real aspect of surrender and submission comes in for me.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Yeah. This is thinking about surrender in an active way insofar as it's a choice. Our agency and free will is in play by making a choice to become an instrument as opposed to the idea that we would become an unwilling instrument - that we're forced to surrender rather than we voluntarily surrender. 

It's a really good point. And I think it speaks to the fear that people have of surrender: thinking that it's involuntary or that we'll be taken advantage of, or that we will be obliged to act in ways we would choose not to, that sort of thing. Yeah. Thank you very much for speaking to the idea from that angle. Glenna. Go ahead.

GLENNA: Well, I have kind of two things I want to say. One is in relation to ownership versus stewardship. And I know that was spoken of in the context of children, but I think of it in a larger context, too, because I think of it as far as our own relationships to really pretty much everything that exists, including animals in the planet that, the kind of the tendency to overuse and waste and cause harm to animals in the planet from a I own, you know, I can do whatever I want because I'm a person versus a four legged creature. So that's one area that, you know, I wanted to expand the conversation about.


HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Oh, no. That was an unfortunate bit of timing for the internet. Hopefully Glenna will come back to be able to finish sharing her thoughts with us. Meanwhile, Henry. Go ahead. 

HENRY: Thank you. I'm glad the concept of will came up in the concept of surrender. One of the guiding things that's influenced me over the years is it comes out of an 18th century American freed slave and on his tombstone. And I'll send you a copy of the tombstone, and you can share it if you like. He writes, God wills us free. Man wills us slaves. God's will be done. 

So my agency is to choose to do God's will. And as someone just said, I love the comment about being the hands and feet of God. There was a wonderful cartoon family circus this past Sunday where little Dorothy, the little child, was going around hugging people because she's God's hugger.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: Mm hmm. That's a nice designation to have. I think one of the reasons we resist the idea of surrender to God's will is because we're afraid God might act like people. And surrendering to people often is a really dangerous idea, or we are obliged to do it unwillingly. 

So we resist not only the idea of surrender to divinity, but also resist the idea that divinity must be a person or have that attribute of being a person, because our experience of people is not always so great. Anyway, Henry, thank you for sharing, Glenna. Welcome back. The internet decided to interrupt you. Please continue. 

GLENNA: Yeah. Thank you. The second thing I was wanting to mention was when you were asking about our reaction about surrendering to a higher power or the Supreme Being, I, I just wanted to say that I've had a lot of issue since the beginning of starting to study the Gita. And it's because it triggers in me a lot of kind of energy I have around the concept of God and the concept of religion from an organized religion standpoint. 

Because my own perception and experience is there's a lot of harm that has been caused to varieties of people, groups of people, women in particular, other groups as well. So this has been a journey for me, trying to be able to surrender and let go of all of that to be able to be more open to the the idea of kind of the divine and what that means to me. And it doesn't mean God, you know, and it doesn't mean a patriarchal kind of being.

But I still I still struggle with this to some extent, because I have a lot of I have a lot of feeling and it's not so much in my personal experience. It's just more what I observe in the world. And, you know, the, the damage that I see being done. So, you know, I've come to an okay place with Krishna at this point but I think it's, you know, I see the Gita more in terms of a metaphor. 

I, like Matthew, have a more comfort level with more looking at things from a nature, a nature standpoint. And I have no problem seeing myself as being just part of the collective. And what I do in my part of it matters to everybody in that collective. And my own freedom is tied to everybody else's. I have no problem with all of that. But when we start, when it when it starts smacking of God, all my little antenna react. And so this is still part of my journey that I'm trying to reconcile.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: I think that there are plenty of people who share that element in their spiritual journey that, you know, we have a conception of God, and our conception of God determines our faith, or lack of or absence of in a Supreme Being. And in yoga philosophy in general, and in Bhakti yoga philosophy, as we hear it, in books like the Bhagavad Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam the concept of the Absolute Truth is very different from the concept of God. 

That's where the Bhagavad Purana, the Srimad Bhagavatam, begins with this definition and of the absolute truth and how and its distinction from the concept of God, and particularly the concept of God that we get from the monotheistic religions that have kind of given us a kind of baked in conception of God for those of us here in the West who grew up in the Western monotheistic traditions.

So many of us have that experience of associating the Western monotheistic tradition with everything that's wrong with religion and what it leads to, and letting go of that conception of a Supreme Being in order to feel comfortable surrendering to a Supreme Being is a very, very challenging thing for anybody who is was brought up surrounded by or within Western monotheistic conceptions of the Creator God. 

So I'm certain that you have plenty of company, Glenna, insofar as this particular challenge on your spiritual journey is concerned… how to reconcile this idea of the theistic aspect of yoga philosophy with our experience of Western theology

Shayna, you had your hand up. Thank you for being here.

SHAYNA: I'm going to be that person and ask a question that may be completely extraneous. So just, you know.


SHAYNA: With it, okay. Or just shut it down. My question that is I've been thinking about, like, searching for like a teacher, possibly even a guru. Like, how does that complicate this question of surrender? And I do think that what you just talked about, about like people's concepts of God or the divinity and how sort of warped they can be. And I think that seeking out a teacher can either help or make that worse. 

My understanding in this tradition is there is an emphasis on finding a guru and surrendering to that that person as well. And I know that that can be really problematic and complicated also. And these are just things I'm thinking about in my life lately because I am looking for a teacher. So I wonder if you could speak to that a little bit. If it relates, if it doesn't just it totally relates.

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: It's actually really important, so Shayna, thank you for bringing this up. Up to this point, one of the aspects of surrender being surrender to Ishvara or the Supreme Being or whatever, is your conception of a Supreme Absolute Truth totality. But who's the representative of that? Who is a genuine authority on the topic of how you constructively surrender to the Supreme, whatever your conception of a Supreme Absolute is. 

In the yoga tradition, that's the one of the roles of the guru is to be that person, the transparent via medium to the highest truth. And our experience once again of relationships where there is an imbalance of power is not always great. It does not always encourage surrender. 

There is advice in the Bhagavad Gita if you want to understand how sacrifices work in order to elevate your consciousness and purify your heart, you find someone who has seen the truth, a seer of the truth. And then you surrender to that person, you offer them service, you hear receptively from them, etc. Well, that means that person has to be really qualified. And you have to know what their qualifications are or should be, and then see if they meet that, that qualification. That's one of Arjuna's very first questions in the Bhagavad Gita is, how do I recognize someone who is at this level of spiritual understanding that you're describing? So Krishna responds by giving a whole long list. Of attributes of someone who is the real deal, someone you can actually trust, to give yourself over to as a student. But even then we have to develop a relationship of trust.

It can't just be, you know, you just throw yourself all in and do whatever someone tells you without understanding the epistemology of yoga, which is if the guru says something, they have to back it up with a scriptural reference. That scriptural reference also has to play out in the example of the lives of previous sadhus, people on the path of, of yoga. So there's a check and balance there. 

Then it also has to make sense. Logic is the second element of evidence in yoga epistemology. Is it sound? Which means, does it have any circular reasoning or does it have any internal contradictions? Is it complete? Can you practically apply it in all relevant circumstances? And then direct perception. That's the third element of evidence. Does it correspond to your lived experience? Or when you do what the guru says, do you get the result that the guru promises? 

So blind following is never encouraged in a relationship in yoga philosophy, but this idea of surrender to a genuine source of spiritual wisdom. Appropriate surrender, I should say, that is there. In this day and age, as probably in every day and age, one should probably proceed with caution in developing a relationship of trust that supports that kind of surrender. So, Shayna, thank you so much. 

All right, Jill, I'm going to come to you in a second. But Carla threw a few things or something, came up in the chat. Why does one have to surrender? Aren't we the spark of divine? 

That's a really good question. Why? Why is that even a thing: surrender? Why do we have to surrender?  Because time is a thing and time will make us surrender everything in due course of time. The question is not whether or not we will surrender. The question is what will we surrender to or who will we surrender to? 

We can resist the idea of surrendering and then eventually surrender to time. Or we can ask ourselves the question, where does time come from? Who created that along with everything else that time effects? Surrender will happen one way or another at one time or another. It's just a case of using our free will, our agency to decide. Will I surrender to time? Will I surrender to my mind and senses which make all these demands of me? Will I surrender to this or that impulse? Or is there something higher that I can be of service to? Is there a purpose my life can serve? And can I surrender to that higher calling? 

Thank you for your question. That was a really good question. Okay, Jill, sorry to keep you waiting. Go ahead.

JILL: So to back up to what we were previously talking about, doesn't Krishna say in the Gita that something to the aspect that one needs to reject all religion and or put it off? If I understand it correctly, he's not looking for religion to surrender to a religion, any of them, but to seek in that surrender a relationship between inviting direct, you know, relationship and, moving forward in, in somewhat of a God union together rather than submitting to religion?

HARI-KIRTANA DAS: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ 

So this is the 66th verse of the 18th chapter of Bhagavad Gita. And one that I know just because I've repeated it so many times in my head. It is often misunderstood as something that encourages us to abandon religion, although what you have said about it is correct. Here religion means dharma, universal principles of religion, or those principles that bring about the experience of reunion, of with the source of our being, which invites that intimate relationship with the source of our being as opposed to “a religion”. 

So for example, when Krishna says sarva-dharmān parityajya abandoning all varieties of religion is one way this is translated. It doesn't mean that if you're Jewish, stop being Jewish. If you're Muslim, stop being Muslim. If you're Hindu, stop being Hindu. What it means is abandon all lesser principles of religion and just adopt this one overarching ultimate principle of religion, which is surrender or taking shelter of Me, the Supreme Being. And if you do that, then I will protect you from all karmic reactions to anything you may have done in the past. You will be free from karma by offering yourself to me. And then he gives the guarantee do not fear. Don't worry, don't lament. 

The Bhagavad Gita begins with Arjuna's lamentation for what's about to happen on the battlefield, and Krishna ends by saying, do not lament. Go forward with the battle as an instrument of divine will. I have my own reasons for this to go on, and you will be an instrument of reestablishing universal principles of religion in society that are universal, meaning they don't depend on any particular form of faith. But rather that all forms of faith ultimately find their ultimate resolution in this principle of surrender to ultimate divinity. So Jill, thank you for sharing your observation. There are a couple more in the chat, and then we're running out of time, so I'm going to wrap things up quickly. 

Jennifer offered us surrender is where the magic happens. I think of it as my tiny human will meeting divine will like a confluence of rivers. That's a great way to think about it. And then, Michelle, we are a spark of the divine, but not as individuals, the entirety of it. For me, surrender means acceptance of this. I am inclined to agree, but that is a very nice way of summarizing the essence of Bhakti yoga philosophy. 

And that's all for this time. Thank you all very, very much for being here and for your enthusiastic participation in our conversation. Uh, please email me if you have anything you want to follow up on. And I look forward to seeing you all again soon. Have a wonderful rest of your day.

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