Continuing our series on sharanagati, this post presents an excerpt from Amnaya Tattva in which Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj explains the significance of offering oneself wholesale unto the Lord.
We can understand the seriousness of the mood of a genuine surrendered soul through the story of Vibhishan in the Ramayana. During the battle between Lord Ramchandra and Ravan, Vibhishan, the brother of Ravan, came to take shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Ramchandra. He prayed to Ramchandra, “I am here to take shelter at Your lotus feet, please accept me as Your own. I am Yours.”
Hanuman and other associates of Ramchandra were very angry when they heard this and heavily chastised Vibhishan. They thought that Vibhishan was a spy coming to harm Lord Ramchandra and they told Ramchandra, “Don’t give him shelter at Your lotus feet, he cannot be trusted.”
Then Ramchandra took a vow in front of everyone. You will find His vow expressed in this shloka from Prapanna-jivanamritam in the section on atma-nivedana, self-surrender.
sakṛd eva prapanno yas tavāsmīti cha yāchate
abhayaṁ sarvadā tasmai dadāmy etad vrataṁ mama
(Ramayana: Yuddha-kanda, 18.33)
Lord Ramchandra vowed, “If anyone comes to Me and once says, ‘My dear Lord, I am Yours, I am taking shelter at Your lotus feet,’ I promise for all time to come that I will never leave him.”
Here Lord Ramchandra removes all possible fear from the hearts of the surrendered souls. He gives them 100% confidence and assurance that He will accept them as His own and never abandon them. He gives them the faith that He will forever take their charge.
So we can have full faith that if anyone will sincerely take shelter of the Lord He will never abandon them. Any and all circumstances may come to them but if they once sincerely surrendered to the Lord then they are permanently in the Lord’s charge. This is a very heavy thing.