This is a complicated question and I shall put the arguments for and against. I start with correspondence that I had with Ratikala at Religions Forums:
Shantanu said: ↑ If God gave us a life to live like human beings, he created us to live in particular ways. This is known as dharma. The question then is what is dharma, how does one determine the dharma that is blessed by God. If you are saying that the only dharma that is blessed by God is one that surrenders all ones actions to Him, it must be a very selfish and self-infatuated God who is not worth worshipping because of His narcissism: do you agree?
Ratikala said: ↑ namaskaram Shantanu Ji , …
We should all perform our Dharma acting as part of a whole rather than acting independantly , …if we act as a whole there is harmony this pleases Sri Krsna , if one acts independantly there is friction , this is good for no one , ..it is not that Sri Krsna is self infatuated , He is just pleased with his devotees because their actions are in harmony with all creation therefore they are in Harmony with Sri Krsna himself , ……Surrendering ones actions is the point of realisation that we must work as one rather than to act independantly for our own interests.
Who am I to tell anyone that submission or surrender to God is right or wrong? It is for each individual to work out his need for himself or herself. At one stage I had engaged in total surrender to God, then lost faith and became an atheist even; finally I reverted to studying God through total surrender again; then toyed with going it alone and only submitting sporadically when I had finished all my work that I wanted to do, only to find that He still needed/wanted me to do certain other things. Whether He wanted these were for my benefit or for His benefit I do not know, it may be for both our benefits. What was certain is that I benefitted from these guidance that I carried out as instructions, so He knew what was better for me more than I knew myself. I did not have the intelligence to work out what was best for me to help me survive in dignity in this world where there is terrific evil that one has to resist in order to live in dignity.
In order to maintain ones integrity and live a dignified existence the crucial point is that one must never get into a position/situation where one might in one’s mind start blaming God for one’s own misfortunes in terms of the failure of faith. If we chose to consult Him, that is our own decision for which we alone will pay the price or reap the benefits as the case may be. He has given us our own free will to take actions independent of Him.
When we surrender to God and find that things do not always work out well for us one has to learn the lesson and distance myself from Him so as to take our destiny in my own hands. From my experience it was clear that He never forcefully asked me to or made it clear to me from incidents, events and consultations that I must surrender to Him from which it was clear that He does not want to be responsible for our destinies as individuals or collectively as a human species. He created us to live our life our own way as human beings, not as servants of God.
Of course, if one feels that one’s own actions can be reinforced into positivity by seeking God’s guidance in one’s day to day decisions on any aspect of living, He may come to assist the person in this quest for help whether the help is asked for or not. Whether He comes to assist or not will depend on a person’s own philosophy, actions and intentions for himself or herself, for mankind, and the planet and its inhabitants that is our home. I feel that if He thinks that a person’s motivations in his or her own mission in life are honorable and worth supporting He may bless the individual with the right thoughts into his or her mind to assist the person in his or her decision-making process thereby fulfilling their missions or raison d’etre. When one realises that this is happening, that is to say that one’s thoughts are coming from God and are not ones own, one knows that one is getting revelations from the Divine Power and then one is at the final stages of realising God and coming to know His Nature.
Man must get to know his distance from God. This will be different for different people but even when one is the most blessed person, he is still a only a human being living a human life and this means free from God’s interference or influence. Further, I and not God am the explorer of this universe: I had to live by earning my own living and planning all the other mundance things that go to sustain my life and it is I who explore the entirety of the universe which led to the discovery of the existence of God who, in turn, I needed to explore to determine His true Nature. To do that I could not unconditionally surrender to Him. I needed to use my own probing techniques to determine the Reality that existed.
Thus, one should acknowledge God but never assume that He will help or bless a person in what he or she does. We must not even pray for this to happen for that is trying to impose on God to give a person something that he or she may not deserve or something that He does not wish to grant the individual. When I sought His guidance on how to live my life I found that ninety per cent of the time He would not say anything to guide me so that I learnt that the correct way to live was not to give up my freedom to take one’s own decisions. When one talks about taking refuge in God, this distancing of Himself from me even as an avatar was a reality that I had to accommodate myself in. He did this with me I believe to show that being independent of Him is the way that we are truly liberated and attain freedom from bondage which must be the ultimate goal as moksha. Only by total surrender to truth (not God but God bestows truth into the individual, the truth that is right for the individual) does one get to this destination. I have doubts whether He would come through to other people in the same way as He came through to me for I regarded myself a special case, an avatar with a mission to reveal the truths of our existence, which led to the discovery of God’s intention for me to crush the evil I faced in humanity. To determine that this was the mission I surrendered to the principles of satya-advaita, that is to the Reality thereby facilitating God into doing what He wished to do in humanity. Until all the truths are written down by me I do not have peace of mind. He would facilitate this to give me knowledge and liberation through knowledge which gave peace of mind.
What we get in our material destiny is what we deserve from our own actions on this planet in relation to our dealings with our fellow human beings. We must make our own mistakes and learn from these to get into knowledge that will help us improve our lives. The way to improve our lives is through the process of satya-advaita in which one seeks the truth and accommodates oneself in the revealed reality. It is also the path that is blessed by God and takes one to the realization of God. One must never be afraid of determining truth by expressing ones doubts. Covering up in order to become a more socially-acceptable person is not conducive to truthseeking and truth accommodation. Evil needs to be treated as such without fear with the harshness needed to survive in dignity.
If one pursues satya-advaita one will have to surrender to God if He has messages for the truthseeker in His search for the meaning of his life and so that He will be able to protect the person and let him pursue his mission. There are issues that only God knows the truth of and if one does not surrender one will never know those truths. This when living immersed in truth to guide one the question of surrendering to God becomes a non-issue because He is the source of the blissful living that arises from experiencing truth in all its enticement and beauty. To live in truth means once one has discovered God one must wait for God to finish all that He has to say to the person for how can a human being not pay attention to his own creator and especially since that Creator lives within the person monitoring the jiva and doing things like giving thoughts and revelations as well as looking after all the other things that go to assist the person in his daily activities so that he can stay on the path of truth. Truth alone protects. When you realize all these things it means that one has no option but to surrender to that Reality for without it living is incomplete. This line of argument is accentuated when considering that God does take action to protect individuals and punish evil doers. I have no reason to think that this process only works for someone who is an avatar. As an avatar I have discovered these truths and feel that the principles of satya-advaita would apply to any individual who wishes the ideal way to live in the reality that exists.
So the question one asks is what is one’s mission in life and whether that is a self-imposed mission or one directed by God, that is to say is it a personal mission or a Divine mission. If one feels that it is a divine mission one is considering whether one has been selected to be an avatar. The person must realize that he has a divine mission to be called an avatar.
Was there a mission in my case? Or was His presence in my life just a normal part of His influence upon mankind. He has shown me that He does not need to come through to me and for me to consult Him through the clock checking mechanism. He can still get what He needs done through the normal living process that I have. So He does not need anyone to surrender to Him such is His power. The only reason He would wish this is to make people realize that He exists and His true Nature. Once this is known one should live to one’s dharma.
Am I an avatar?: what is an avatar? If He can accomplish things without a person realizing that He is doing what He needs to through the person, the only point for an avatar is to get the message to the world that He exists and this is what He can do. Why do we humans need to know that? To teach the bastards in humanity a lesson to stop their evil ways or they will be punished by God. Because I have spread this word through my Blog extensively, it makes me an avatar.
In the final analysis, surrendering to God 24/7 is wrong because it is cowardice that one has not got the conviction that truth is one ones side and ones principles (dharma) are correct in helping us in our decision making and being able to deal with human beings as a human being and not as God.
The question to ask then why do you need God in your life? What do you know about God that you need Him to surrender to? The answer then should be obvious. One cannot surrender to someone who you do not know personally. What has God done for you that convinces you that you must surrender to Him? How do you know that God wants you to surrender to Him? He does not. We do so of our own free will. For me He gave me courage to fight my enemies in order that I would live in dignity. This was a good enough reason for wanting to surrender.
One also surrenders to God if one feels that one has a mission from Him that one is obliged to fulfill regardless of whether one sees if one has still something to benefit from the continuation of this association. To carry out a mission directed by God is a big thing especially if one realizes that what is being attained is something good for the world and the planet that we live in. While that work was still in progress, I had no choice but to surrender to God especially since I saw that He was bestowing me with knowledge in the process and protected my dignity. Beyond that or if one has fulfilled all that one could possibly do towards that goal the aim is to go for freedom, that is, to be totally free to live one life in peace. If one has done all that one can do in society to attain justice and there is no scope for further actions one has to resign oneself to that reality and do the best that one can to survive with ones family, a kind of sanyassi life in which one is ticking along happily.
It was only by not seeking Gods blessings that I could determine whether He wished to still protect me with Divine thoughts for my actions thus confirming my avatar status. There were no halfway points to seeking Gods blessings, it had to be backed up by clock checking for confirmation that He was still protecting and looking after my interests even when I went on my own path to see if this would work to my benefit. It is wrong to check for messages from God thinking that God needs me to check as if He has a mission yet unfillfilled. If He wants me to check for messages He will make it known to me through thoughts or through nudges on my physical body. So it is I who definitely has the free will to check of not depending on my needs. Once the mission is over, one lives like a human being.
vita-raga-bhaya-krodha man-maya mam upasritah bahavo jnana-tapasa puta mad-bhavam agatah
Being freed from attachment, fear and anger, being fully absorbed in Me and taking refuge in Me, many, many persons in the past became purified by knowledge of Me-and thus they all attained transcendental love for Me. …Bhagavad Gita , …Ch ..4 V ..10
In conclusion, when one knows that a God exists who resides in the human being and through this residence can have total control over the person, it makes sense to listen to that God and surrender to His wishes. That is just the reality of life. For this you need to know if He is calling you to do something for Him. If your boss calls then you a person has no choice but to follow Him. For this one needs to appreciate that He can provide the person with all kinds of material and spiritual benefits that makes him survive in dignity.
1. ratikala said: ↑ certainly we must seek to know truth and to understand the Supreme, but those who through such searching come to understand the true glories of the Supreme will naturally surrender to that Greatness, …..agreed it would be wrong to surrender if it were not for genuine reasons .
In effect one serves God if you understands His true Nature and likes what one knows because one thinks that this is really what God should be like. Besides, one needs to surrender if one wishes to understand God and get to know what He is like. It is quite amazing to have a facility in place with the digital clock checking mechanism for correspondence with God for He guards me and brings me to Reality when my intelligence to deal with complex issues would be too slow for the situation that I face even if I might eventually figure out what is needed. This is why I surrender: for safety.
Ultimately when there is common purpose in the jiva’s intentions and mission and God’s outlook, one cannot do any wrong whether one consults God or not through the clock checking mechanism that I developed for this purpose. That is the height of avatarhood.