SCSM Patrika

Teach me Sharanagati

Continuing our series on sharanagati and presentation of the content of the upcoming release of Sharanagati, this post completes the presentation of the book’s first song and includes some explanation of it by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj from his Editor’s Note in the original Bengali edition.

 dainya, ātma-nivedana, goptṛtve varaṇa

‘avaśya rakṣibe kṛṣṇa’—viśvāsa pālana

bhakti-anukūla-mātra kāry­era svīkāra

bhakti-pratikūla-bhāva varjanāṅgikāra

ṣaḍ-aṅga śaraṇāgati haibe yā̐hāra

tā̐hāra prārthanā śune śrī-nanda-kumāra

(Sharanagati: 1.3–5)

dainya–humility; ātma–self; nivedana—submission; goptṛtve–of guardianship; varaṇa–acceptance; avaśya–certainly; rakṣibe–will protect; kṛṣṇa–the Supreme Personality of Godhead; viśvāsa–faith; pālana–maintenance; bhakti–to devotion; anukūla–favourable; mātra–only; kāryera–of actions; svīkāra–acceptance; bhakti–to devotion; pratikūla–unfavourable; bhāva–nature, disposition; varjana–rejection; aṅgikāra–acceptance; ṣaḍ–six; aṅga (prakāra aṅgera dvārā)–aspects (by way of these); śaraṇāgati (prapatti)–surrender; ha-ibe–will be; yā̐hāra–whose; tā̐hāra–his; prārthanā–prayers; śune–hears; śrī-nanda-kumāra–Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Maharaj. [3–5]

“(1) Humility, (2) self-submission, (3) embra­cing the Lord’s guard­i­an­ship, (4) main­tain­ing the faith that ‘Certainly Krishna will pro­tect me’, (5) enga­ging only in activ­it­ies which are favor­able to devo­tion, and (6) utterly reject­ing everything unfa­vor­able to devotion—Sri Nanda Kumar hears the prayer of one who sur­renders in this six-fold way.”

rūpa-sanātana-pade dante tṛṇa kari’
bhakati-vinoda paḍe duhu̐ pada dhari’
(Sharanagati: 1.6)

rūpa–Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu; sanātana–Srila Sanatan Goswami 
Pra­bhu; pade–at the feet of; dante–in the teeth; tṛṇa–piece of straw; kari’–doing; bhakati-vinoda–Bhakti Vinod; paḍe–falls; duhu̐–both; pada–feet; dhari’–clasping. [6]

“Bhakti Vinod places a straw between his teeth and falls 
before Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu and Srila Sanatan Goswami Prabhu, clasping their feet.”

śrī-rūpa-sanātana: Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu and Srila Sanatan Goswami Prabhu are the two acharyas who teach sharanagati.

kā̐diyā kā̐diyā bale āmi ta’ adhama
śikhāye śaraṇāgati karahe uttama [7] (Sharanagati: 1.7)

kā̐diyā–crying; kā̐diyā–and crying; bale–says; āmi–I; ta’–certainly; 
adhama–fallen, lowest; śikhāye–by teaching; śaraṇāgati–surrender; karahe–please make; uttama–most exalted, beyond the darkness of illusion. [7]

“Crying incessantly, he prays, ‘I am so lowly! Please elevate me by teaching me sharanagati.’”

uttama: “Most exalted.” This refers to one who is qualified for the topmost form of devotion, prema-bhakti. In Srimad Bhagavatam (11.11.32), Krishna says:

ajnayaivam gunan doshan mayadishtan api svakan
dharman santyajya yah sarvan mam bhajet sa cha sattamah

“Realising the qualities and faults of the socio-religious system (varnashram-dharma) which I have instituted, one who completely abandons it and serves Me is the best of all sadhus.”

Explanation by Srila Govinda Maharaj
In order to learn sharanagati, one must first fall at the feet of Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur, the teacher of sharanagati to the jivas (non-different from the acharyas Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatan) who is the personification of the ideal of supramundane devotion, and pray:

kā̐diyā kā̐diyā bale āmi ta’ adhama
śikhāye śaraṇāgati karahe uttama
(Sharanagati: 1.7)

“Crying incessantly, I pray, ‘I am so lowly! Please elevate me by teaching me sharanagati.’”

We, as enjoyers who have forgotten the Lord, are perpetually burning in the blazing fire of the threefold miseries of this illusory universe. Various evil desires (anarthas) have made us forgetful of our true selves—that we are Sri Krishna’s servants and children of nectar—and turned us into slaves of maya.

Thus the magnanimous Thakur (Srila Bhakti Vinod), being sorrowful for the sorrow of others, has sung:

vinoda kahe haya! haya!
hari-dasa hari nahi paya

“Alas! Alas! The Lord’s servants have not obtained the Lord!”

We cannot obtain happiness in this world by our own persistent 
endeavours because we have rejected happiness Himself, ecstasy Himself, the personification of all rasa (Akhila-rasamrita-murti) Sri Krishna.

To obtain true happiness, we must serve that Supreme Person whom the Vedas have described with the expression ‘Raso vai Sah’. Thus, the great souls have said that there is no other recourse for the jivas than to become detached from this world (nishkinchan) and surrender to the lotus feet of that Supreme Person—ecstasy Himself.

Without sharanagati, the state of truly being ‘His own’ (‘tadiyatva’) is never realised. Thus, the learned profusely praise the unprecedented fruit of sharanagati.

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