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For Self-Knowledge Total Surrender of the Mind is Required

Once a person has offered up his mind, and with it all his words, deeds and thoughts, then he will not have the authority or the power to perform any actions without the permission of the one to whom he has surrendered his will. As was the case with Astavakra and Janaka, so also with Krishna and Arjuna. Krishna told Arjuna, "Arjuna, offer everything to me. Surrender all your actions to me. I will take care of you and I will guide you towards liberation and deliverance." So also, you need to offer all your physical, mental, spiritual and worldly duties, all your various actions, thoughts and words, to the Lord, the inner director installed in your heart.

But, you may wonder, if every duty and desire is relinquished and offered to the Lord, then does that mean that even the desire for liberation has to be given up? After all, that is also a type of thought. No. The real meaning is that when you offer up your load of desires and duties and responsibilities to the Lord, and allow him to make all your decisions, then he will carry all your burdens. And then you can be one-pointed in the one worthwhile goal of life, that of self-realization.

All this education that you acquire, all this learning that you pursue, is associated with the three qualities of delusion. Only when you transcend these three qualities will you be able to gain self-realization. In celebrating a marriage, a benediction is given so that the couple might be blessed with a successful career, with material prosperity, and with a fine family. These are three of the four primary goals of human life. The first refers to duties and responsibilities and position, the second refers to the accumulation of wealth and the third refers to the desire for progeny and the continuation of the family line. All three of these goals have to do with the worldly life. But there is a fourth goal of human life. That final and most important goal is liberation. The fourth goal relates to the spiritual life. The first three of these goals of human life cannot be considered equal to the fourth, which is liberation. Offer up all your little acts involving these first three goals. Give them all to the Lord, and trade them in for the one priceless treasure which he will give you in return, namely, liberation. Consider the following example.

In Indian currency, the smallest denomination is a paisa. It is a small metal coin. One hundred paisa is equal to one rupee. Conversely, 100 rupees is equal to 10,000 paisa. If you should have to carry these 10,000 paisa around with you, it would become a very large unwieldy bundle. Also, it would be quite difficult to hide and protect such a big bag of coins. If you were to heap all of these 10,000 paisa into one small cloth, the cloth would soon get torn and before long the coins would fall out.

Krishna told Arjuna, "Arjuna, I will give you a hundred rupee note. You give that whole pile of change that you are carrying, consisting of 10,000 paisa, to me. This one 100 rupee note and these 10,000 paisa are equal in value, but what a great difference there is in the burden of carrying them around with you. It is the same with all these many little duties and worries and thoughts of various types that burden you. Offer all 10,000 to me; I will give you a single 100 rupee note and relieve you of your load."

All your various thoughts, all your wishes and wantsŠ all these small desires may be compared to individual paisa. When you have so many small paisa, unless they are all put together, they will not be equal to a one rupee note. Krishna said, "Arjuna, all these small desires can never be equal to the grace that I can shower on you. So give them all to me." This is how King Janaka was able to attain liberation after he had offered up his entire mind, all his thinking and doing and speaking, to Astavakra.