Setting aside all Dharmas, just surrender to My Will. I shall liberate you from all sins or bonds of Karma. Do not grieve. (Gita Verse 18.66)
We interpret the meaning of setting aside all ‘Dharmas’ as neither giving up various spiritual paths or practices such as service, charity, austerity, meditation, yoga, rituals, worship, efforts etc. nor giving up one’s prescribed duties in life, but embracing a spirit of renunciation in all actions. Some commentators feel it means giving up all acts of righteousness. Setting aside all ‘Dharmas’ also means perform all duties (Dharmas) setting aside doership, attachment and ego or the false notion that an individual soul (Jiva) is separate, independent and different from Brahma. Ego stands on our way to God. It is not possible to progress on our spiritual journey without first renouncing ego, the origin of doership, ownership, and attachment to all works.
Ego is very difficult to get rid off. One cannot fight ego and win, just as one cannot fight against darkness, because ego runs the show of life. Jnāna or ParāBhakti is the only way to break the wall of ego that stands between Jiva and Ishvara. After this mental wall of separation is gone, “Jiva is Brahman”. It is just like when the wall of pot is broken, there is no pot space—pot space becomes free! Saint Jnaneshwar defines surrender to God as firm intellectual conviction that there is nothing but Brahman (Gita 7.07 and 7.19) and Jiva and Brahman are non-different. It is surrendering of the ego, the individual existence, and individual will. Thus, our only effort should be the acquisition of Jnāna which is also not an easy task. It is well known that Jnāna dawns in a man through the Grace of God only. And the Grace can come only after one has done selfless service or any other Sādhanā such as contemplation on Brahman or devotional service in countless births with the feeling that he is an instrument of the Lord and the work is an offering to the Lord. The following discussion is a detailed elaboration of the principles of surrender that will expedite the process of surrender. Gladly bearing all that fate imposes is taking refuge in the universal laws of Karma.