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I do not teach the ego, hence I cannot teach surrender, because surrender is nothing but the subtlest form of the ego. Surrender is not against the ego, it is in fact an act of the ego. Who surrenders? And by surrendering, who becomes humble? Who becomes meek? It is the ego standing upside down. It makes no difference whether the ego is standing on its legs or on its head. In fact it is more dangerous when it is on its head because then you will not be able to recognize it.

To teach surrender is to give you a strategy to hide your ego, to sublimate your ego. Yes, that's the right word, sublimation Freudian word, very significant. You can sublimate anything, so much so that recognition becomes impossible. You may even start thinking that this is the very opposite of the original thing. Meeting a humble man you will feel how egoless he is – he also feels how egoless he is. The ego has come from the back door and now it is no more condemned, but appreciated

I want you to understand it clearly: Ego and surrender are two sides of the same coin. I don't teach the ego, so how can there be any place for surrender in my religion? I don't teach you to be meek, I don't teach you to be humble.

I teach you to be authentic, integrated individuals with immense self-respect. The word self-respect may create doubts in your mind because self-respect seems to mean again the ego. It is not so. You have to understand both words, "self" and "respect"; both are significant.

Self is that which you are born with.
Ego is that which you accumulate.
Ego is your achievement.

To know the real self is enough: the ego falls flat on the ground without any effort to surrender it. Unless the ego falls on its own, without your effort, it is not going to leave you. If you make effort to drop it, and that is what surrender is....

All the religions teach surrender, hence I say they don't understand even the very basics of psychology.

All promises are poisons because they are political not religious. The people who have promised you that you have only to surrender to them and they will take you to the ultimate goal of light; you have just to follow them and they will take you to the kingdom of God... these promises have created a spiritually slave humanity. These promises have not helped anyone.

It is very significant to understand that no one can take you to the ultimate goal of light except yourself. That is your prerogative, your privilege. That is your freedom, your individuality and its beauty.

Nobody can interfere with your spiritual growth. You are not cattle that somebody can take you somewhere. But you have been insulted, humiliated so continuously, that you have become almost accustomed to it and you don't feel the insult of it. Somebody saying to you, "Surrender to me" – and you don't see the humiliation...?

There is no need for any surrender – the very word is ugly.

There is no criterion available, so you have been surrendering to people who are cunning enough to pretend to be masters. A real master will be so humble that he cannot call himself a master.

The very claim, "I am the master, and you are just a devotee, a disciple, a follower," is nothing but pure egoistic assertion. And wherever the ego exists one thing is certain: you cannot get any help towards light, love, life.

(The Sword and the Lotus #11)

Appadeepo bhav:- This statement of Gautam Buddha is one of the milestones in the history of human growth: Appa deepo bhava – be a light unto yourself. Nobody before him was courageous enough to say this. They were all trying to say, "We are the light, follow us. Be surrendered to us and whatever we say never doubt it." These people were not really for human freedom, human integrity, they destroyed all self-respect in man, they reduced him to a slave, a spiritual slave.

Gautam Buddha has brought a great revolution to the world. He says, "Be a light unto yourself" – because there is no other light. You are not to surrender to somebody because every surrender is slavery, and spiritual surrender is the greatest of all because it is so subtle. The chains are so invisible that you may never become aware of it, and the imprisonment is not something outside you, it is something imposed on the very being of your interiority. You are carrying your prison wherever you go, whatever you do.

People were very angry against Gautam Buddha. It is a strange story that people become accustomed to their slavery too!

When Gautam Buddha said, "appa deepo bhava" – be a light unto yourself – he was trying to take all the slavery, spiritual and religious, from humanity. People were really angry, so angry that the moment Gautam Buddha died... They could not do anything while he was alive for two reasons: one, he was the son of a king, the heir apparent; he was going to be the emperor. Secondly, because he was royal blood, people were again in the same slave mind and mentality – as if blood is also royal and unroyal.

People were not happy with this idea of "becoming a light unto yourself." Nobody wants that responsibility; everybody wants to throw the responsibility on somebody else's shoulders – a savior, a prophet, a messiah. It feels very good – he has taken all your responsibility. Now you have nothing to do, just worship Jesus Christ, worship Rama, Krishna... as if worship is the medicine for all your diseases, as if it is a panacea.

No savior has been of any help; all their promises have proved false. That's what Gautam Buddha is saying – be a light unto yourself. Don't throw the responsibility on anybody else. Take the responsibility, because it is by taking the responsibility on yourself you become mature. Otherwise you will always remain retarded, childish.

Growth means responsibility.
Growth means freedom.
And growth means that whatever happens to you, it is your doing. Neither is your faith against you, nor are your past life's evil acts, karmas, against you, nor is God trying to make a fire test of your trust. All these are bogus excuses! The reality is that you have not tried to change your life, to change your vision, to change your consciousness. You have not taken the realms of your life into your own hands! The only misery is that you are not a master of your own being.

(The Sword And The Lotus)

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