Total Abandonment

In this post we are continuing our series on sharanagati and the Temple of Love and Affection by presenting Krishna’s instructions to Uddhava about sharanagati that shed further light on His instruction to Arjun sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja.

Temple of Love and Affection Verse Nineteen

tasmāt tvam uddhavotsṛjya chodanāṁ pratichodanām
pravṛttiṁ cha nivṛttiṁ cha śrotavyaṁ śrutam eva cha
mām ekam eva śaraṇam ātmānaṁ sarva-dehinām
yāhi sarvātma-bhāvena mayā syā hy akuto-bhayaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.12.14–15)
“Oh Uddhav, totally abandoning the Vedas and their auxiliaries, all of their prescriptions and prohibitions, and everything you have ever heard or may come to hear, take exclusive shelter of Me, the life of all beings, with all your heart. By My grace you will become completely fearless.”

Explanation by Srila Govinda Maharaj
(excerpted from the upcoming release Amnaya Tattva)

Krishna first gave a clue about His own revolutionary teachings to Arjuna at the end of Srimad Bhagavad-gita with His shloka: sarva-dharmān parityajya, Mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. But Srimad-Bhagavatam begins from that stage. Srimad-Bhagavatam begins from Krishna’s own teaching not of a subjective evolution of consciousness but a subjective revolution of consciousness. And in Krishna’s instruction to Uddhava in Srimad-Bhagavatam we find Krishna’s revolutionary teaching from the conclusion of Srimad Bhagavad-gita expressed more clearly,
tasmāt tvam uddhavotsṛjya chodanāṁ pratichodanām
pravṛttiṁ cha nivṛttiṁ cha śrotavyaṁ śrutam eva cha
mām ekam eva śaraṇam ātmānaṁ sarva-dehinām
yāhi sarvātma-bhāvena mayā syā hy akuto-bhayaḥ
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: 11.12.14–15)
Krishna’s first condition in His instruction to Uddhava was, “Uddavotsṛijya! Uddhava! Whatever rules and regulations that were given by the Vedas, everything that was given for the spiritual evolution and upliftment of the conditioned souls to the transcendental abode in the Vedas, all of that you should avoid! And not only avoid, if it happens to come to you, throw it away!” Prabhupad Srila Saraswati Thakur explained the word utsṛijya in this way. I heard from Srila Guru Maharaj that Srila Saraswati Thakur used a word in the Oriyan language, phaphadiba, that meant, “You throw it away!” And what is being avoided and thrown away?
Krishna says, “Chodanāṁ pratichodanām, the inspiration given in the scriptures for following the perfect evolutionary vedic line, both the sruti and the smriti, that is to be avoided. And pravṛttiṁ cha nivṛttiṁ cha, both your attachment and your detachment, leave them both. If you have attachment for some type of food, leave that type of food. If you have detachment from wealth, you leave behind that mentality also so whether wealth comes to you or not, you won’t care for that. Śrotavyaṁ śrutam eva cha, what you have heard before, śrutam, and what you will hear in the future, śrotavyam; what knowledge you have gathered before and whatever knowledge you may collect in the future—you should avoid all of it. Anything that you have heard or will hear other than the consciousness of eternal service to Me, that you must leave behind and avoid.
“And what should you do? What should be your mood? Mām ekam eva śaraṇam Ātmānaṁ sarva-dehinām, surrender to Me! Who am I? I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Emporium of all rasa, an ecstatic ocean of rasa. All your necessity, everything, will be fulfilled when you come to Me, take shelter of Me and surrender to Me, Mām ekam eva śaraṇam. And actually you will not lose anything by that because I am all-in-all—I live in the heart of everyone. Not one jiva-soul can exist alone without My power, without Me.”
dvā suparṇā sayujā sakhāyā
samānaṁ vṛkṣaṁ pariṣasvajāte
(Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad: 4.6)
“I live with all the jiva-souls like a bird next to them on a tree branch and I watch all of their activity. Ātmānaṁ sarva-dehinām yāhi sarvātma-bhāvena, so surrender to Me! That means you will be fully occupied by Me. I am so powerful. Sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam, I can do anything, everything, something and nothing—all power is within Me, so you have nothing to fear.”
In this way Krishna expressed His revolutionary advice, “The laws, rules and regulations, the procedures beneficial in the lives of practitioners given in the Vedas, you can ignore all of it and come exclusively to My channel, that is, surrender to Me and serve.”

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