In one of the Empathic Communication workshops, an interesting question was asked: "Does Krishna demand us to surrender to Him as could be understood from Bhagavad-gita As it Is, 18.66?"
"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear."
Answer as well is found in Bhagavad-gita, 18.63:
"Thus I have explained to you knowledge still more confidential. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do"
In a purport His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada states:
"Here the words yathecchasi tathā kuru – “As you like, you may act” – indicate that God does not interfere with the little independence of the living entity."
In the purport of Srimad Bhagavatam, 3.5.28 Srila Prabhupada explains:
"All living entities are differentiated parts and parcels of the Personality of Godhead. Under the pressure of false ego, the conditioned souls, although parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, claim to be the enjoyers of material nature. This false ego is the binding force of material existence. The Lord again and again gives a chance to the bewildered conditioned souls to get free from this false ego, and that is why the material creation takes place at intervals. He gives the conditioned souls all facilities for rectifying the activities of the false ego, but He does not interfere with their small independence as parts and parcels of the Lord."
Based on this, we can conclude that Krishna doesn't demand surrender. He has given us, His tiny parts and parcels, "the little independence", or free will. So, we better do some internal inventory to discover our inner demands that are killers of joy and reclaim our power to choose!
A helpful practice can be:
For example, I notice telling myself "I have to chant my rounds."
Could it be my need for connection? Connection with my true self and my divine origin, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna? Maybe it's my desire for self-realization? My desire to serve and please my spritual master?
Having discovered these beautiful motivations as a driving force behind my choice to chant, I feel empowered, I pick up my japa-mala with renewed enthusiasm and keep chanting - Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare...
Gratefully in your service,
Madhuri Radhika dd