Srila Govinda Maharaj Parityajya

Abandon All Religions!

In this post we are continuing our series on saranagati and presenting a verse from the Temple of Love and Affection accompanied by an explanation by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj.

Temple of Love and Affection Verse Eighteen

sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śuchaḥ
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 18.66)
“Abandoning all forms of religion, surrender exclusively unto Me. I will liberate you from all sin. Do not despair.”

Explanation by Srila Govinda Maharaj
(excerpted from the upcoming release Amnaya Tattva)

Question: I read in Srimad Bhagavad-gita that Krishna says, “Abandon all religions and come to Me.” Can you clarify the meaning of this?
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes. All religion is actually one—the jiva-souls must be attracted to their Lord who is like an all-attractive magnet. The purpose of all the different kinds of religion practised within this material world is to give the jiva-souls consciousness about this, their main religion, their natural religion—divine attraction and service to their Lord.
So we are not actually Hindu, we are not Muslim, we are not Christian or anything. We are all actually jiva-souls who are covered by the illusory environment. As jiva-souls we have the capacity for thinking, feeling and willing. And when our natural conscious capacity will come into its own clean, transcendental position then we will automatically feel attracted by the divine form of the Lord and be inspired to engage in His service. That is the main and real religion of all jiva-souls and in remembrance of that eternal, spiritual religion Krishna said to Arjuna,
sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śuchaḥ
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 18.66)
“I shall give you the supreme in life if you take shelter of My lotus feet. So give up all forms of religion and surrender exclusively to Me. I will liberate you from all sin, have no fear.”
What Krishna means is that the different kinds of religion practised in this material world are not perfect forms of religion’s actual identity, and that actual religion is to surrender to the lotus feet of the Lord and engage eternally in His service.
So Krishna is teaching the conditioned souls, “You are nonsense. You are tiny, insignificant jiva-souls. You cannot understand what is what, what is good, what is bad, etc. You should always avoid irreligion, that is never worshippable. But not only that, even your own good knowledge, even your understanding of religion, even your idea of proper religious life for peace and harmony in this world, that you should also leave behind.
“Just surrender to Me. I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead and I control everything. I will take care of everything for you as well as everyone else. I will take care of the results of all your activities whether they are religious or irreligious, good or bad. So you have nothing to fear. I give you this assurance and you should not be fearful. Just surrender to Me. Because you are very dear to Me I am advising you in this way. I am only the Person who can give everything to you. So surrender to Me and act according to My direction and in that way you will be fully satisfied with your service.”
The Lord Himself knows how He will take the surrendering souls back to the transcendental world. He knows how He will promote them from the material world to the spiritual world. And the surrendering souls will feel that, they will feel the Lord’s guardianship.

To be continued…

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