Pure Sharanagati

Continuing our series on sharanagati and the verses which adorn the Temple of Love and Affection, this post presents Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj’s definition of sharanagati and an explanation of this definition by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj from the upcoming release Amnaya Tattva.

Temple of Love and Affection Verse Twenty-Two

bhagavad-bhaktitaḥ sarvam ity utsṛjya vidher api
kaiṅkaryaṁ kṛṣṇa-pādaikā-śrayatvaṁ śaraṇāgatiḥ
  (Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamritam: 1.35)

Having faith that everything is obtained by serving the Supreme Lord, abandoning subservience to even scriptural injunctions, and taking shelter of the feet of Sri Krishna exclusively, is known as sharanagati.”

Explanation by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

The qualities of sharanagati have been identified in the scriptures,

ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ, prātikūlyasya varjanam
rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāso, goptṛtve varaṇaṁ tathā
ātma-nikṣepa-kārpaṇye, ṣaḍ-vidhā śaraṇāgatiḥ
  (Sri Satvata-tantra: 73)

“Accepting everything favourable, rejecting everything unfavourable, being confident that Krishna will grant His protection, embracing Krishna’s guardianship, fully offering one’s self to Krishna, and feeling oneself to be lowly are the six aspects of sharanagati.”

Srila Guru Maharaj composed his Prapanna-jivanamritam according to these procedures for surrender that are given in the scriptures. I have read so many things about these qualities of sharanagati from so many places but what Srila Guru Maharaj has given is supreme. And in a shloka from his Prapanna-jivanamritam he has given us a very nice, clear explanation of sharanagati that is a perfect jewel you cannot find anywhere else. It is the most essential prescription given anywhere for everyone to enter the transcendental service world. If you can memorise just this one sloka and put it in your heart then you will receive everything ever given in any scripture.

bhagavad-bhaktitaḥ sarvam ity utsṛjya vidher api
kaiṅkaryaṁ kṛṣṇa-pādaikā-śrayatvaṁ śaraṇāgatiḥ
  (Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamritam: 1.35)

Here Srila Guru Maharaj expressed that sharanagati means faith that Bhagavad-bhaktitah sarvam, that through devotion to Bhagavan, Krishna consciousness, you will get everything. Bhagavan means the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna who possesses all worshippable qualities—the Akhila-rasamrita-murtih, the Emporium of all rasa. So everything you want and need—rasa, ecstasy, joy, full nourishment, etc.—will automatically come to you through His service. Your life will be glorious, successful and perfect through devotion to Lord Krishna. And not only will you receive everything you need internally, but full facility to serve Krishna will also come to you.

vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ cha yad ahaitukam
  (Srimad Bhagavatam: 1.2.7)

Automatically renunciation from this material world will come to you and spiritual knowledge will be revealed in your heart.

bhaktis tvayi sthiratarā bhagavan yadi syād
daivena naḥ phalati divya-kiśora-mūrtiḥ
muktiḥ svayaṁ mukulitāñjali sevate ’smān
dharmārtha-kāma-gatayaḥ samaya-pratīkṣāh
  (Sri Krishna-karnamrita: 107)

Moksha, liberation, will come to you with folded palms and ask, “What service shall I do for you?” Dharma, artha, and kam will wait by her side to assist you in your service of the Lord.

Through a mood of submissive surrender and devotion to Krishna everything will come to you. The Lord’s divine form and the prapanna-jivanamritam, the full nectar of a life of surrendered service, will appear in your heart. In this way we must understand that devotion for Krishna is all-in-all (Bhagavad-bhaktitah sarvam).

Then Srila Guru Maharaj said, ity utsrijya vidher api kainkaryam, even if we cannot follow so many rules and regulations written in the scriptures for the guidance of conditioned souls, even if we cannot follow the standards of vidhi-marga but we are surrendered to the Lord, then our devotional mood will purchase the Lord and we will get a good result.

This is one way of explaining Srila Guru Maharaj’s expression and it gives us much hope. But ity utsrijya vidher api kainkaryam also means that we must leave everything for Krishna. We must leave all of our mundane activity no doubt, but to exclusively worship Lord Krishna wholeheartedly we will also have to ignore the general rules and regulations given in the Vedas. We must fully surrender to Him: “I will utilise my full energy for Your service.” We must leave the service of all gods, demigods, demigoddesses, etc. Our only service target must be Krishna. When we can finally go beyond all types of formal religion and fully offer ourselves to Krishna He will give us entrance into such exclusive devotional life by giving us inspiration in our hearts.

yadā yasyānugṛhṇāti bhagavān ātma-bhāvitaḥ
sa jahāti matiṁ loke vede cha pariniṣṭhitām
  (Srimad Bhagavatam: 4.29.46)

When the Lord affectionately bestows His causeless mercy upon His surrendered devotees they naturally give up all mundane activity and ignore vedic religious practices to engage in His service.”

bhagavad-bhaktitaḥ sarvam ity utsṛjya vidher api
kaiṅkaryaṁ kṛṣṇa-pādaikā-śrayatvaṁ śaraṇāgatiḥ
  (Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamritam: 1.35)

So when a jiva-soul comes to this strong position of taking exclusive, unconditional shelter at the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna’s lotus feet with full chastity and sincerity, then he will be a pure sharanagata.

This is Srila Guru Maharaj’s explanation of pure sharanagati: Krishna-padaikasrayatvam, when a jiva-soul accepts Krishna’s lotus feet as his one and only shelter having faith that everything will be successful and fulfilled by His grace, and abandoning the shelter of vedic religion, demigods, selfish activity, etc., then he will be firmly surrendered.

So we must fully surrender to Lord Krishna and believe it! With that we will get super-benefit in our lives.

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