Subservience vs Surrender

Playing Kirtan for Anandamayi Ma
October 23, 2019

Shambhavi talks about the dark side of subservience and the deeper meaning of surrender. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

Podcast First Words

I want to continue the discussion that we’ve been having about the difference between subservience and surrender. What people are sometimes afraid of in Eastern type spiritual traditions, or even in Christian traditions, is that they’ll have to be subservient. That they’ll have to give up their freedom, or their free will, or come under the sway of someone who is demanding some sort of obedience or obeisance. And that can happen. But subservience is very, very different from the type of surrender that we’re talking about when we’re talking about waking up.

Subservience, or even obsequiousness, is a bargain. It’s a bargaining situation for the person who’s being subservient or obsequious. There’s a very fine line between those two from my perspective. You’re trying to strike a bargain with the person that you’re being subservient to. You’re saying: I’ll give away my freedom. I’ll give away my independence. I’ll give you what I think you want—some sort of adoration, admiration or something like that. And in exchange, I want you to save me, love me, like me, admire me, approve of me, put me in the number one position, show everybody that you think I’m great, or whatever it is. We all have our own flavor of bargain.


Satsang with Shambhavi is a weekly podcast about spirituality, love, death, devotion and waking up while living in a messy world.