October 20

Depend Entirely on God

A beautiful story in the ancient Hindu scripture, the Mahabharata, clearly teaches what is meant by real surrender to God.

A beautiful princess named Draupadi was brought to the king’s court. In the ancient days when you wanted to show that you had won a victory over someone, you did something that would damage his or her reputation. So the king decided to put Draupadi to shame by stripping her sari off. By doing this, he would ruin Draupadi’s husband’s reputation.

A sari is six or seven yards of material which is gracefully wrapped around and tucked in with delicate folds. The king began to pull Draupadi’s sari, and though she was clutching it tightly, very soon he succeeded in pulling out one round and almost a second round of the sari. Draupadi was so frightened; she was crying out to God, in the form of Lord Krishna. “Krishna, Krishna!” she cried, but her cries went unanswered.

In another minute, the entire sari would be pulled off. Her strength could never match the king’s. Realizing the situation she thought to herself, “This is the final round of my sari; if I lose this also I will be doomed.” In that moment a great realization dawned, “What am I doing? I cannot take care of myself anymore. Lord Krishna, if you want me to face this disgrace I will accept it. I totally trust you; my life is in your hands.” With that she let go of the sari and held her hands up and cried, “Krishna!”

Draupadi just stood there calling and crying to Lord Krishna while the king mercilessly pulled the last round of her sari. But as he pulled, the cloth kept coming. After the last round, there was another, and another and another. He pulled again and again, yet there seemed to be no end to the sari. He was pulling and pulling and pulling. Yards and yards and yards of sari seemed to be coming from somewhere. The king was soon exhausted and could pull no more. Draupadi was saved.

This story illustrates a great truth. Even God cannot come and help you as long as you have faith in your own strength. If you are not totally surrendered, God says, “Okay, you still have strength, then why don’t you take care of yourself.” Complete surrender means to give up totally and depend entirely on God.

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