Sharanagati in Srimad Bhagavad-gita

Temple of Love and Affection Verse Twenty

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye ‘pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās te ‘pi yānti parāṁ gatim
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 9.32)
“By taking shelter of Me in all respects, even those who have been born as untouchables, women, merchants or labourers certainly reach the supreme destination.”

Verses from Srimad Bhagavad-gita cited in the introduction to Sharanagati:

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.”

tam eva śaraṇaṁ gachchha sarva-bhāvena bhārata
tat-prasādāt parāṁ śāntiṁ sthānaṁ prāpsyasi śāśvatam
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 18.62)
“Oh Arjun, surrender unto the Lord in all respects. By His grace you will obtain His eternal abode and supreme peace.”

daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 7.14)
“My alluring, trimodal māyā is impassable. Only those who surrender unto Me (her master) can transcend māyā.”

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 7.19)
“After many births, an enlightened soul surrenders unto Me, realising, ‘Vāsudev is everything’. Such a great soul is extremely rare.”

Explanation by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
(excerpted from the upcoming release Amnaya Tattva)

Krishna gave His guidance to the conditioned souls in different stages throughout Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Krishna presented all knowledge, from karma-yoga, to jnana-yoga to ashtanga-yoga, to bring all the different jiva-souls whose minds and mentalities are attracted in different ways, to the devotional platform. But finally He showed His greatest mercy in His very nice and very happy conclusion. He said,
sarva-guhyatamaṁ bhūyaḥ śṛṇu me paramaṁ vachaḥ
iṣṭo ’si me dṛḍham iti tato vakṣyāmi te hitam
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 18.64)
“Because you are so dear to Me I will now tell you the most hidden treasure of all I have to share with you. Hear My advice with full faith and determination and you must be super-benefited.”
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te pratijāne priyo ’si me
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 18.65)
“Because you are very dear to Me I am telling you very clearly, ‘I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whatever you do, do it for Me. Think of Me always, devote yourself to Me, worship Me and bow to Me, and surely you will come to Me; your whole account will come to Me. I promise you this, because you are dear to Me. Other practices will not be truly fruitful for you. But the practice of bhakti-yoga must be fully fruitful for you and that fruit will give you supreme benefit.’”

Within bhakti-yoga all the rules and regulations of the various forms of yoga merge together for the satisfaction of Krishna. In bhakti-yoga the action, the result, everything, goes to Krishna. Here we find the full meaning of buddhi-yoga, the yoga of wisdom, and yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam, “Yoga is the art of all activity.” That is, through bhakti-yoga, everything is perfectly adjusted for the satisfaction of Krishna.

There are eighteen chapters in Srimad Bhagavad-gita and externally they are named Karma-yoga, Jnana-yoga, etc. But what is actually inside those chapters? We see that within all eighteen chapters of Srimad Bhagavad-gita the fully enlightened form of Krishna consciousness expressed as bhakti-yoga is present. All the other forms of yoga—karma, jnana, etc.—are actually dependent on bhakti-yoga.
ei saba sadhanera ati tuchchha bala
krishna-bhakti vina taha dite nare phala
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 22.18)
“Without the presence of devotion, that is, Krishna-bhakti, the practices of karma, jnana, etc. will not be fruitful. They have no real power to act alone.”
In every chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita Krishna connects the jiva-souls’ activity within the different forms of yoga with bhakti, devotion. And the results the jiva-souls may get from the various lower forms of yoga—karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, etc.—are actually produced by the presence of bhakti within those practices. So the practices of karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, etc. are actually mixed with bhakti-yoga.
The main heart of all the jiva-souls’ spiritual activity is always bhakti-yoga. Everything Krishna explained in Srimad Bhagavad-gita from beginning to end, is actually about bhakti-yoga. This also means that nothing within Srimad Bhagavad-gita can be ignored, every chapter is important for everyone, including those who practise bhakti-yoga.
I have been reading Srimad Bhagavad-gita all my life as well as practising bhakti-yoga, and through that I have understood that everything within Srimad Bhagavad-gita is important for everyone. I have read Srimad Bhagavad-gita so many times and every time I read it new meaning comes to me. But the general meanings of the slokas do not become suppressed either, rather more and more meanings continue to overflow, and I am so satisfied with that. From deep to deeper to deepest, everything is presented in Srimad Bhagavad-gita. It is necessary for everyone to read Srimad Bhagavad-gita every day attentively. Day by day I am more and more enthusiastic to preach the conception taught in Srimad Bhagavad-gita because it is very essential for the primary religious education of all people.

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