In this post we are continuing our series on sharanagati by presenting an excerpt from the upcoming release Amnaya Tattva wherein Srila Govinda Maharaj describes an ideal example of surrender to Krishna which is well suited to this month of Kartika when we daily sing the Damodarastak.
Devotee: I have heard of two different analogies for surrender, marjjara-kisora-nyaya, the surrender of the kitten who is carried by his mother, and markata-kisora-nyaya, the surrender of the baby monkey who holds on to his mother. Which is the perfect example of surrender? Which example is the proper conclusion in the line of Krishna consciousness?
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Neither of these are perfect examples of surrender. We have seen cats carrying their kittens but we have also seen monkeys carrying their babies when they are sick. A baby kitten and a baby monkey are not actually surrendering to their mothers, they are simply continuing their lives in a natural way. A baby monkey naturally holds on to his mother and a mother-cat naturally protects her kitten. In these examples there is no consciousness, the baby and mother are simply living in a natural way.
We must surrender to the Lord with consciousness. A mood of surrender is what is actually necessary for us. We must always be consciously dependent on Krishna and fully surrendered to Him. And according to our understanding we must always try to satisfy Him with all of our energy.
Prabhu’s question actually is, “Who is responsible, the Lord or the jiva-soul?” The full responsibility is actually ours but when we try to approach Krishna He will also see us and help us.
Krishna has given us freedom and we have misused that, we have come into great difficulty and become bound by Maya. So it is now necessary for us to stop misusing our freedom and surrender wholeheartedly to Krishna. When Krishna sees that we are fully surrendered to Him He will be eager to take us out of our very low position, bring us to a high position and give us His service. If we sacrifice our freedom and surrender at His lotus feet then Krishna will see that and help us.
kṛṣṇa āmāya pāle rākhe jāna sarva-kāla
ātma-nivedana-dainye ghuchāo jañjāla
(Śrī Prema-vivarta: 7.7)
Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur explained that if we humbly and fully surrender to Krishna with the mood that, “Krishna will always protect me,” then all obstacles and other obligations will be ousted from us by the grace of Krishna. We need this mood of perfect surrender.
The jiva-soul’s duty is to be active for the service of Krishna in a surrendered mood. Here is a perfect example of how Krishna bestows His mercy upon a surrendered soul:
sva-mātuḥ svinna-gātrāyā visrasta-kabara-srajaḥ
dṛṣṭvā pariśramaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ kṛpayāsīt sva-bandhane
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.9.18)
“When Krishna saw His mother was trying so hard to bind Him and becoming exhausted, when He saw that the flowers in her hair were falling down and her whole body was covered with sweat, He became merciful to her and allowed her to bind Him.”
Mother Jashoda tried so hard to bind Krishna with a rope, she tried many times and collected more and more rope each time but her rope always ended up two fingers too short and she failed to bind Krishna. Only after she tried so hard and became very tired did Krishna finally allow her to bind Him.
This is a perfect example. The jiva-souls will try as far as possible by them to satisfy the Lord and when even with their full eagerness they are not successful, then Krishna will come to help them. Krishna wants to see how much you will give of yourself to Him. He wants to see that you start out with a pure desire to satisfy Him, then He will respond to you. Depending upon how perfectly you start your approach to Krishna with a pure mood of surrender He will bestow His mercy upon you. In this way we can understand the process of surrender, sharanagati, in the line of Krishna consciousness.