Surrender to Krishna is difficult, but surrender to the body is doomed
Surrender is a word that often brings negative connotations, making us imagine that it involves forced submission to an aggressor.
But surrender is simply a fact of life. Every time we get a call of nature, we pause whatever we are doing to respond – that is surrender to the body. While such surrender to the body for basic bodily functions is necessary, we go much further than necessary in our surrender to the body. We often pander to its many demands for gratification.
Such pandering is neither essential nor desirable. We have to eat to live, but we don’t have to eat each time we get the urge to eat and we don’t need to eat whatever catches our fancy. And the same applies to the many other extravagant demands of the body.
Though the body promises that such pandering will lead to pleasure, sooner rather than later, that pleasure degenerates into an insatiable and irresistible demand – a demand that shackles us in suffering. Further, surrender to the body is doomed because the body is temporary. As the body ages and its capacity to enjoy declines, still the desire for enjoyment remains, making us increasingly frustrated. To avoid such frustration, the Gita (05.23) asks us to tolerate bodily urges for pleasure.
We are at our core eternal souls meant to relish everlasting love for Krishna, the source of all happiness. To delight in that happiness, we need to surrender to Krishna as an expression of our love. When we mistakenly reject such surrender as denigrating, we unwittingly end up surrendering to the body, and courting misery.
Surrender to Krishna, though it may seem difficult, becomes progressively joyful as we start relishing the sweetness of devotion. And ultimately it becomes supremely fruitful as it takes us beyond the temporary body to eternal spirit.