To achieve such a state of surrender, one has to be free from selfish desires, unaffected by dualities, and devoid of all false prestige. Dualities are born of false ego, the worst enemy of surrender. One who transcends false ego, and with it the effects of duality, is very easily freed from material desires, and then he vanquishes hate, greed, anger, fear, and so on. In the stage of full surrender to the Lord, even negative qualities like mundane desire and envy, along with dualities like hunger and thirst, heat and cold, joy and sorrow, loss and gain, sin and piety, and honor and dishonor, are converted into spiritual energy by being brought into contact with the Supreme Lord. Saintly, blissful personalities who are devoid of undesirable characteristics like lust and envy are found especially in India. One can conquer duality, illusion, and so on only by spiritual elevation to the state of directly perceiving the Supreme Lord and seeing everything in relation to Him. The only method of achieving this state of consciousness is buddhi-yoga.
For the devotee of the Lord, this kind of vision develops easily. Conversely, the empirical philosophers, fruitive workers, and gross materialists cannot possibly attain this stage. The devotees are inspired by Him to develop spiritual perception, and thus the dualities fade into inconsequence. Such a state is the ultimate result of their devotional surrender and love for the Lord. In the Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa describes the neophyte stage of such divine consciousness:
- brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
- na śocati na kāṅkṣati
- samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
- mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
- (BG 18.54)
One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.
The living entity becomes bound up by the ropes of ignorance, duality, and illusion as soon as he sees this material world through the coloured crystal known as "me and mine." To nullify such false ego and contaminated consciousness, one must follow the process of buddhi-yoga, which is uncontaminated by the three modes of nature (ignorance, passion, and goodness). Otherwise superconsciousness is unattainable.
The state of pure goodness is marked by pure knowledge of the Absolute. But when this knowledge is pervertedly reflected in the material world, it becomes mundane and empirical, and the jīva is thrown into the whirlpool of dualities, which condition him. The mode of passion increases attachment, sense gratification, and material desires, and the jīva becomes entangled in fruitive activities. The mode of ignorance induces illusion, covering the jīva's intelligence; then he slides down to the lowest consciousness, spending time only in sleeping and laziness. And the material mode of goodness also turns the jīva away from the Absolute Truth and makes him conditioned. With an increase of the mode of passion, goodness and ignorance both decrease. When the mode of goodness increases, passion and ignorance decline. In this way the material modes wax and wane in varying degrees. The mode of goodness promotes mundane knowledge and elevated material consciousness, the mode of passion produces untiring energy for work and insatiable desire for results, and the mode of ignorance drags the jīva down to nescience, laziness, sleep, and delusion. The jīva in goodness moves up to more elevated consciousness, one in passion remains suspended in the mediocre state, and one in ignorance descends to the depths of depravity.
Therefore, it is a hazardous path of elevation that depends on personal characteristics within the jurisdiction of the three modes of nature. Without transcending these three material modes, a person will find himself securely in their clutches, and thus deluded, he will think that all his activities are divinely inspired. He will then broadcast this false concept, considering himself an advanced devotee and everyone else inferior. Impressed with his own knowledge, he will try to see God by dint of this knowledge instead of acting in such a way that God will want to see him. Intoxicated by false ego, he will see his activities, which are motivated by passion, as divine. Those who are proud of their knowledge do not surrender to the Lord; instead, they try to attain the Supreme Lord's mercy by the inductive method and thus exhibit an obnoxious mentality. One should constantly remember the Lord and pray to Him for mercy. The Lord, situated in the devotee's heart, responds to such a prayer and illumines his heart with knowledge, which dissipates the darkness of ignorance.