Mata Amritanandamayi: “This is not an easy path, and there is pain involved….Faith and self-surrender Have become limited to words. More speaking and less doing is the policy of the modern age, and the tendencies of the mind are stronger than before. No one wants to be disciplined. Everyone wants to keep their ego, it is so precious to them. People think that the ego is an embellishment; it is not considered to be a burden anymore. People do not feel the heaviness of their ego. They feel comfortable inside its small, hard shell. They feel afraid and insecure to come out of it. They think that they are well protected where they are. For them, what lies beyond the shell of their ego is frightening, it is unknown, and therefore, unsafe…

“Surrendering to a Master is not easy. It needs courage. It is like jumping into a flowing river. The Master is the flowing river. Once you jump in, the current will inexorably take you to the sea. There is no escape. You may struggle and try to swim against the current, but the river is so strong that it is bound to take you to the ocean — to God or the Self —that is your real dwelling place. To jump in is to surrender. It needs a courageous mind, because it can be compared to the death of your body and mind.

“You may not take the plunge now, because you are not yet ready to jump into the Deep waters of the river. For the time being, you may want to remain standing on the river bank enjoying the beauty of the river. You may want to enjoy the cool gentle breeze, the constant chatter of the running water, the power and charm of the river. That is fine. The river is not going to force you to jump in, and you can stand there for as long as you like, because it won’t send you away. It is not going to say, ‘Enough is enough! Go away! There is a long waiting list!’ Nor is it going to say, ‘Okay the time has come! You either jump into me right now, or I will force you!’ No, nothing of the sort. It is all up to you. You can either jump in or stay on the shore. The river is simply there. It is always willing to accept and to cleanse you.

“The river of the Master does not have an ego. It does not think, ‘I am flowing, I am powerful and beautiful. I have the power to take you to the ocean. In fact, I am the ocean. See how many people bathe and swim in me, and how they find delight in me!’ No, the river of the Master has no such feelings. It just flows because its nature is to do so.

“But once you dive in, the current is such that you will become almost like a corpse. You will find yourself so powerless that you have no other choice but to simply be still and let the river carry you wherever it wants. You have the freedom to choose. You can either remain on the shore, or dive in. But once you take the leap, you do not have a choice anymore; you will lose your individuality, you will have to give up your ego. At that point, you disappear, and you find that you are floating in pure consciousness.

“So, you are free to stay on the shore. But for how long? Sooner or later, you will either have to turn and go back to the world, or you will have to jump. Even if you return to the world, the beauty and charm of the river is so enchanting and so tempting that you will keep on coming back. The day will come when you will be tempted to take that final leap, and finally you will dive in — it has to happen.

“While standing on the shore, you may have many things to say about the river. You will sing its praises, you will describe its beauty, you will have many opinions about it, and you have unending stories to tell about the river, and its history. But you are describing the river, and telling stories about it without having taken a dip in it even once. And whatever you may say about the greatness of the river without having gone into it, is Simply meaningless. Once you finally dive in, once you surrender to the River of Existence – the Perfect Master – you will be silent. You will have nothing to say.

“Surrender makes you silent. Surrender destroys the ego, and helps you to experience your nothingness and God’s omniscience. Once you know that you are nothing, that you are totally ignorant, then you have nothing to say. You have only unconditional and undivided faith; you can only bow down in utmost humility. In order to really know, one should be humble. The ego and real knowledge are not compatible. Humility is a sign of true knowledge.

“There are people who are good speakers. They tend to have big egos. There are exceptions, but the general tendency is to speak more and do less. Why? Because they haven’t surrendered to a higher reality, to the higher values of life. They have not really accepted God’s all-powerful nature, and become aware of their own nothingness, even though they may speak about it.Such people may do a lot of good for the world, but they also do a lot of harm…

“When you surrender to a higher consciousness, you give up all your claims; you Release your grip from everything that you’ve been holding on to. Whether you gain or lose, it doesn’t matter now. You don’t want to be something any longer. You long to be nothing, absolutely nothing. So you dive into the River of Existence.

“The ego, or the mind, is that which makes you feel that you are something. Unless it is eliminated, you cannot dive deep into your own consciousness. you have to become nothing. Not even a trace of, ‘I am something’ should remain. If you are something, there is no entry into the realm of pure consciousness.”

(pgs. 159-163, Awaken, Children! Vol 7)

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