Sunday, 16 June 2013

Of Tears, Bubbles, Drops, and the Mighty Sea: Reflections on Surrender

A revised form of this post was re-published as an article in Next Future
Click here to read the revised article.

"True Surrender enlarges you; it increases your capacity; it gives you a greater measure in quality and in quantity which you could not have had by yourself. This new greater measure of quality and quantity is different from anything you could attain before: you enter into another world, into a wideness which you could not have entered if you did not surrender. It is as when a drop of water falls into the sea; if it still kept there its separate identity, it would remain a little drop of water and nothing more, a little drop crushed by all the immensity around, because it has not surrendered. But, surrendering, it unites with the sea and participates in the nature and power and vastness of whole sea.” (The Mother)

What imagery! What a perfect way to describe what happens when the surrender is complete from top to bottom. A drop becomes a sea. The essence of the drop’s existence is in becoming the sea. 

Gustav Klimt – Freya’s Tears

I remember that evening from several years ago. Sitting near the sea and thinking if all the water from everywhere somehow ends up into the sea, do the drops of tears falling from our eyes also somehow find their way into the mighty ocean? Now after re-reading these words of the Mother I feel I may have an answer to this rather strange question. Perhaps they do, because otherwise they don’t find their inherent value or purpose of existence. And if they don’t they also get crushed by the immensity around, but this immensity is not outside of us, it is within us. If the tears carry with them the oppressive and suffocating pain of the unmet desires, unsatisfied preferences, and discontented egos, the immensity of all these desires, preferences and egos will itself crush the tears and not allow them to help purify the mind and vital. But the tears that bring with them a hint of a glimmer, however disguised, of the flame that is struggling to keep itself burning amidst the thick clouds of the vital-emotional-mental variety, those tears carry with them the potential to wash us clean and by their eventual journey into the sea show us the path to surrender, to become one with the sea.

May be this analogy is not making too much logical sense, but as I am writing this it feels right to me.

Another image comes before the eyes. Of a star and the sky. A star is just another huge piece of matter – something to which nobody would have paid any attention if it just lied there all by itself. But only when surrendered to the immensity of the dark sky it becomes a star. Something that we look up to, something so beautiful. Something heavenly. A star is a star only when it is enveloped by the vastness of the sky.

A human becomes human only when immersed in the Sea of Divine.

Here is another thought inspired by this imagery of drop becoming the sea. The other day I was listening to some ghazals written by Gulzar and one of the verses goes like this –

aadmi bulbula hai paani ka
aur paani ki behti satah par
tutta bhi hai dubta bhi hai  
phir ubharta hai phir se behta hai
na samandar nigal saka isko
naa tawaarikh tod paayi hai
waqt ki mauj par sada behtaa....
aadmi bulbula hai paani ka

Here is my quick attempt at translation –

man is nothing but a bubble of water
and it floats on the surface of water
it also breaks, also sinks
yet it rises again, floats up again
neither the sea has been able to swallow it
nor the History has broken it
floating eternally on the waves of Time
man is nothing but a bubble of water

This is one imagery of what it may mean to be a human, struggling to keep the individuality alive. And what the Mother gives us in the quote cited earlier is a way to become the Universal Individual. An individual that is no longer struggling with the tides of the sea and waves of the Time, but one that has become united with Sea and has become an individual of the Future, has freed himself from the chains of the History – of his own, of his times and circumstances, of his ego. 

Both images are true in their own way. But on a deeper subtler level, there is perhaps a difference between a bubble and a drop. One is more flaky than the other, is more “on the surface”, more empty and shallow, hollow in fact. The other, the drop carries within itself the potential of becoming the Sea. The bubble is floating on the top for ever and ever, never really existing fully. The drop on the other hand carries the sea within on some level. We first become a drop from the bubble (“individualization” in the truest sense), only then we can become the Sea. But becoming the drop is possible only when we carry within an Aspiration for the Sea, when we reject the flakiness of a bubble, and progressively prepare ourselves for a complete Surrender to the vastness of the Sea.  

Perfect Surrender: The indispensable condition for identification.
(Botanical name: Rosa ‘Paul Neyron’)

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