By Ashmin Singh
Ishvara Pranidhana is the preparation for the final surrender to God. The surrender itself is termed Ishvara Pranidhana as well, and so the term refers to both the evolutionary process and the act of surrendering. How long does it take to become prepared for this amazing experience? The venture into yoga and the progress made over time is unique to the individual. The length of time it takes will depend upon the degree of devotion to the art of yoga, the time committed to yoga practice and the quality of instruction given to each yoga student. This is also true of any pursuit.
Ishvara Pranidhana can be equated to the third step of all twelve step programs. This vital step requires that a devoted student turn his or her life over to the care of God. Essentially, compliance is what is being asked at the moment of final surrender for the student of yoga. “Whatever I do, I do it for you.” This is the final statement and the core essence of that final surrender. If it is truly an act of surrender, then the person never has any doubt that whatever thoughts or deeds follow this moment are truly what God desires.
Why is this act presented as the third step of twelve and not the last? In God’s great wisdom, he knew that the addict would have a difficult time giving up control and succumbing to his will. The steps that follow are the real preparation for letting go. The practitioner of yoga does preliminary preparation through a gradual, yet insidious process before being asked to do that final surrender. The surrender is the blossoming of a beautiful flower. In the twelve step programs, step three plants the seed that allows God’s will to operate in the life of an addict. The seed blossoms through the other seven steps.
The final surrender in yoga is an act of total faith in God and a belief in one’s self. The big ego has dropped away and arrogance no longer exists. Life is now begetting a greater life of awareness and one of divine operation. The circle that is created between the practitioner and God himself truly fulfills that need to be complete.
© Copyright 2011 – Ashmin Singh