Definition - What does Surrender mean?

Surrender can be described as the practice within yoga of letting go of struggle and control. It is linked to the concept of trust. Surrender, as a practice, is referred to by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras as the niyama of ishvara pranidhana, which means "to surrender to God [or higher power]." It is said that this is a crucial step on the path to samadhi, which is the ultimate goal of yoga.

Surrender, as a practice, is also said to help the practitioner to feel more peaceful, less agitated and less fixated on the self and the ego.

Yogapedia explains Surrender

The practice of surrendering to a higher power does not have to mean the worship of a god or separate supreme being. It can simply be to surrender to the inner teacher of the Divine within oneself. It is said that when one surrenders the ego identity to this higher Self, one transcends feeling of separation from others. One devotes one's life to serving the Divine within all beings and, in doing so, is freed from anxiety, self-doubt and negative karma.

An attitude of surrender is not the same as giving up. A person can still fight for what is right, work hard, and strive for meaningful goals, but with an attitude of surrendering to and accepting whatever outcome arises. Essentially, it is about doing the work without attachment to any one particular outcome; but, instead, simply surrendering to what comes.

Surrender may be the key to curing mental suffering because it directs the focus away from selfish desires and wants. It is in this way that the goal of experiencing unity with all can be achieved.

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