Surrendering everything to the Lord

This is the first step towards the path of Devotion because if everything is surrendered to Him in all humility, we are released from the load of karmas and become worthy of realizing Him within. But so long as the record of karmas is not obliterated internally by destroying our ego, we cannot go beyond the three gunas (qualities), and consequently cannot become actionsless. Actions are pure only if performed without any desire for reward. And one who performs his actions in this manner is actionless even while action. Such a person achieves God-Realization.

How can we attain this re-actionless state? How can a person be released from the bondage of attachment? How can the cycle of births and deaths, which is the necessary consequence of our actions, be made to cease? And who can understand the enigma of ‘re-actionless action’ even while action? All these questions are answered in the Scriptures by a simple reply to the effect that these things can be understood only if one becomes a Gurmukh.

What is a Gurmukh?

One who surrenders himself to a Guru - Master -; that is, one who livingly and implicitly follows the instructions of a Guru. The Guru bestows the Gift of Naam, by the practice of which one goes beyond the reach of the three gunas - qualities -, burns away his ego, and attains the true state of “Actionlessness". Thus, by the Grace of the Master, the load of karmas is lightened.

Karma or action, is of three kinds:

  1. Sanchit
  2. Pralabdh and
  3. Kriyaman.

Sanchit is the store karma; Pralabdh is the fate karma; and Kriyaman is the fruit karma.

  1. Store karmas are the results of actions of past lives, which have not yet been paid for nor assigned.

  2. Fate karmas constitute that portion of the results of actions in past lives which have been allotted to our present life, and on account of which this human body has been given to us, that is, for undergoing the results of good and bad karmas according to our fate.

  3. Kriyaman constitutes the new karmas resulting from actions which we perform in this life. In other words, while undergoing our destiny - fate karmas - we are daily incurring new karmas as well, the results of which will be undergone in the next life as fate, or part as fate and part as Sanchit, in some future life.

Our own actions are responsible for the good and the evil, the pleasure and the pain that we undergo, as well as for our being born into this world in a high or a low species.

Christ said:

As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

We are happy as a result of good actions, because we must bear the fruit of our own actions in thought, word and deed. One cannot escape the result of his actions by performing them in secret. The consequences of such actions have to be borne some time or other. It is therefore clear that whatever weal or woe, joy or sorrow we experience, it is all due to our own actions, and we should not blame anyone else for it. How can a person hope to achieve good results out of bad actions? Anyone who does so is labouring under a mistaken idea.

Dhrita-rashtra - a king who was blind from birth - was once asked to what action in a past life he ascribed his blindness. He replied that he could see as far back as all the actions of his past one hundred lives, and in all these lives there was no act which could have resulted in his blindness. Lord Krishna then granted him his own inner vision for the purpose of seeing beyond his last one hundred lives. Only then did Dhrita-rashtra find that in well over a hundred lives back he had performed a bad deed for which he was born blind in this life.

What can one do about the store of karmas lying latent through hundreds of past lives? The cycle of karmas is constantly on the move, and the results of our actions are brought forth and have to be paid for even after hundreds and thousands of lives.

The ocean of karmas is fathomless. It is almost impossible to obliterate all the store karmas. But when we meet a true Master, He clears the accounts of all our karmas by inculcating in us the spirit of doing actions without any thought of reward. When we do our spiritual practice according to the instructions of the Master and surrender ourselves completely to Him; we cheerfully undergo our fate karmas and create no new karmas to be undergone in a future life. The store karmas are gradually destroyed by the practice of Naam or Shabd. Sometimes the Master helps us in bearing the load of our fate karmas so that what might have been a fatal stab becomes a pinprick, with the result that we undergo our karmas without much pain or mental anguish. In this manner all our karmas are eventually liquidated by the Grace of the Master. At last we are relieved of the load of karmas and achieve Salvation by crossing the ocean of Life. Only while living in this world and doing desireless actions do we become ‘actionless’.