There is a story told of some Brahmins of Mathura, who in a state of intoxication got into a boat that was chained to the shore. After a night of vigorous rowing they found that they had not moved forward an inch. Exactly like that, devotion to God practised even for innumerabe lifetimes with the mind chained by attachments to wealth, children, spouse and so on, will result merely in attainment of the material world, because devotion to God did not factually take place. There was only some external act of prayer, worship or ritual. The result one reaps depends on the attachment of the mind.
The gopis expressed their devotional state to Uddhava very beautifully in the following lines: udho! mana ne bhaye dasa bisa . . . "O Uddhava! We have only one mind and that is with Shri Krishna. If we had many minds, then we could have used each one in different areas and managed both devotion to God and to the world." But God is aware of the fact that if each individual were to be given two minds, then no one would have been able to fulfil the condition of exclusive surrender to Him: mamekam sharanam vraja.
Surrender of the mind alone is true surrender to God, no matter what the physical actions may be. Now, we have to analyse the difficulties in bringing the mind to a state of complete surrender. The only difficulty is that the mind has been attached to the material world since time immemorial, and this attachment has become very firm. Had the mind been neither attached to the world nor to God, then surrender would have been very easy. Therefore, we need to understand the factual nature of the world . . .
An extract from:
Prema Rasa Siddhanta - Philosophy of Divine Love
Chapter Four, Surrender, p. 63-4
Originally written in Hindi by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj