The Highest Quality of Surrender

Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj illustrates the spirit of surrendered soul.

Surrender should be considerate and must be durable. Surrendering today in one place and the next day in another place is pollution of surrender. Surrender is surrender: no withdrawal is possible. It is very unhappy if we are to retreat after surrender. It is a most unhappy thing. It is not surrender. Especially in the case of the Omniscient and Almighty, a very disastrous reaction will come back to us.

Śrīman Mahāprabhu said the purity of surrender must be of this type:

āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām
adarśanān marma-hatāṁ karotu vā
yathā tathā vā vidadhātu lampaṭo
mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ

Āśliṣya vā: He may embrace me with much adoration, or pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām: He may cast Me away, throw Me away from Him although I hold fast to His feet. He may trample me down under His feet. Adarśanān marma-hatāṁ karotu vā: He may also be totally indifferent towards me. That is more intolerable. That He may punish me is tolerable, but Him becoming indifferent to me is more serious. Furthermore, yathā tathā vā vidadhātu lampaṭo: He may show me He is adoring another. That my quota is given to another person is even more intolerable. But whatever He may do, I have no alternative but to remain wholly under His guidance.”

That should be the highest quality of our surrender. Under no circumstances shall we have to go away from our Lord. This quality of surrender is recommended to be the highest for our life. In another place, Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī says:

virachaya mayi daṇḍam dīna-bandhu dayāṁ vā
gatir iha na bhavattaḥ kāchid anyā mamāsti

O Lord of the wretched, Dīna-bandhu, Master of the humble, of the poor, of the mean, Friend of the mean, You may punish me or You may show Your kindness to me. You are at liberty to do anything and everything with me. Gatir iha na bhavattaḥ kāchid anyā mamāsti: but in no case, do I have any alternative but to stick strictly, sincerely, and faithfully to Your divine feet. You may punish me or You may adore me. Nipatatu śata-koṭir nirbharaṁ vā navāmbhas tad api kila payodaḥ stūyate chātakena: there is a kind of bird that drinks only rainwater and never water touching the ground, neither water from a river, nor a fountain, nor the ocean. This bird is the chātaka; the Sanskrit name is chātaka. They are always expectant with their face up for a drop of water. The sound of their call is like this, “Koṭir jal! Koṭir jal!” which means “Pure water! Pure water!” The sky may grant sufficient rainwater to them or thunder may come down and finish them, leaving them nowhere. Still, they always have their head up and call out: “Water! Water! Water! Pure water! Pure water!” That should be the attitude of a surrendered soul. 

To surrender, to get a Guru, is such a grave thing. With such gravity, purity, and sincerity, we must believe, “Well begun, half done”, is it not? So, to get a real Guru, a bona fide Guru, is a great thing, a great achievement in one’s life. He will surely guide one to the proper destination. It is very hard to achieve.


Spoken 2 January 1982.