The Doctrine of Surrender



Dhanuh paushpam maurvee madhukara mayee pancha viskikhaa

Vasantah saamanto Malaya-marud-aayaodhana rathah;

Tatah-api-ekas sarvam himagiri-sute kaam-api krpaam

Apaangaat-te labdhvaa jagad-idam-anango vijayate


What the grace of the Divine Mother can achieve is illustrated by Sri Sankara Bhagavathpada in this verse occurring in Soundarya Lahari. Ananga, Cupid, is able to conquer this world, though he is equipped only with a bow of sugarcane, whose string is composed of a row of bees, with five arrows of flowers, with only Vasanta or Spring as his lieutenant, and with the Malaya-breeze as his chariot. Thus ill-equipped, from the standard of a warrior, he is able to achieve the feat of conquering the world, because he has obtained the grace of Sri Parvati, daughter of the snow-capped mountain, conveyed through the glance from the corners of Her eyes.


In this Anangas conquest of the world, the bow is sweet and brittle and the arrows are fragrant and soft. The person who wields the weapon is Ananga, one without any form. Yet, he derives his strength from the source of all strength, the grace of the Divine Mother.


Sri Parvati as Daakshayani consigns Herself to the flame of the Yaaga of Her father, Daksha, unable to bear the abuse heaped upon Her Lord, Siva, by Her own father, and earned the name of Sati. From this, the expression Sati came to be used when any woman immolated herself in the funeral pyre of her husband.


The function of a Prabhu, Lord is both protection and punishment. Siva saved the world from disaster by swallowing the poison generated when the Ocean of Milk was churned. In other words, He took upon Himself the sins of the world in order to save humanity. It is this function of God which Christians attribute to Christ, namely, saving the sinners. Lord Siva punished Cupid (Kaama) when the latter disturbed His penance; but restored him to life, though without form, at the entreaty of Rati and the intervention of Parvati. Sri Parvati as Sri Kamakshi or Sri Sivakamasundari, is depicted as holding the bow and the arrows of Kamadeva, controlling Kaama within Her eyes. Hence Kamakshi. She holds the sweet sugarcane bow representing the five senses through which the mind is influenced and is functioning, and won the grace of Lord Siva, who alone, as the destroyer of Kaama and Kaala, is capable of saving us form the cycle of birth and death. If we surrender ourselves at the feet of the Divine Mother, in the manner in which Sri Adi Sankara has taught us in Soundarya Lahari. She will help us to keep the mind and the senses under control and purify our heart, so that we may attain perfection without being afflicted by kaama and lobha (lust and desires) and realise the Ultimate Truth and achieve sublime peace and happiness.


November 8, 1957