Clarifies your doubts: «What is the delivery ('surrender' in English) which talk about teachers?»

In this section Javier Ruiz Calderón offers answers to our doubts about yoga, its philosophy and its techniques from an updated and critical view of the yophytic tradition. We are all invited to write to Javier raising our doubts or uncertainties.

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Question: "What is the delivery ("surrender") that teachers speak of?"

Answer: The essence of the religious attitude or (for those who don't like the word "religion") of spirituality is dedication to the divine. The divine is a reality or process transcendent to the ordinary experience that has the ability to save us or free us from our limitations and negativity when we surrender to it. In the tradition of yoga there are many different ideas of the divine: different forms of a personal God (or Goddess), such as Shiva, Krishna, Devi, etc.; superpersonal Absolute (Brahman); experience of emancipation (Kaivalya), etc.

The delivery has two aspects: passive and active. Passive surrender consists in seeing all that exists as a manifestation of the divine or his will and, consequently, accepting it with joy and trust as a divine gift or gift (prasad). (That's why what happens to us is now called the "present.") Even if it does not match our desires or we do not understand it, everything that happens to us is always the best for us, and the most coherent attitude since the practice of yoga is not only that of equanimity in the face of our circumstances but that of its joyful and grateful celebration. It's what Yogasutras they call santosha (content) and ishvarapranidhana (delivery to God).

That is passive dedication, essential for true spirituality. But it's not enough. Delivery must also be active so as not to fall into Setamic stillism or "spiritualism", which is the caricature of spirituality. Active surrender consists in fulfilling the divine will, that is, to respond dynamically to the call of Freedom (mukti) as transmitted to us by the traditions of yoga. This answer is practice (Sa'hana) or spiritual discipline. Each yoga tradition has its own specific set of practices, and many schools and teachers teach some form of integral yoga that combines practices from different traditions. Enthusiastic dedication (en-theós: poseído por un dios) a la práctica de nuestra forma de yoga es, pues, la manera activa en la que los aspirantes a yoguis nos entregamos a lo divino.

En resumen: la entrega o «rendición» (surrender) a lo divino que nos piden todas las espiritualidades, incluida la del yoga, consiste inseparablemente en 1) la aceptación gozosa y agradecida de lo que nos sucede y 2) una dedicación «intensa y continua» (YS) a la práctica espiritual.

Javier Ruiz Calderón (Shánkara) es doctor en filosofía especializado en filosofías y religiones de la India. Lleva cuarenta años estudiando y practicando yoga, vedanta y meditación. Enseña esas disciplinas, así como hinduismo, sánscrito y canto védico, y ha publicado seis libros y docenas de artículos sobre esos temas.

Upcoming activities: 8-12 julio: Curso de verano en El Escorial: «The India of Gandhi and the India of today». 30 becas para oyentes ( Octubre 2019 – junio 2020: Madrid y a distancia, sábados: «Study of the scriptures of yoga and vedānta: The Bhagavadgītā» ( and 'Introduction to the Advaita vedānta. The yoga of knowledge» ( Entre semana: «Yoga, filosofía y meditación» (

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By • 3 Jul, 2019 • Sección: Javier Ruiz Calderón