Surrender:
"You Are Not Independent"

By His Divine Grace
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham
29 May 2013

 

What does surrender mean? When you want to take initiation, you must first surrender (saranagati)—you must give everything to your Guru, or the Lord, Bhagavan. This is the main thing.

We always say, "Surrender", "Surrender", "Surrender"... Sometimes, we say we have surrendered, or we are surrendering, we say we have renounced everything, but it may be false renunciation, false surrender.

When we lie down and pay a full obeisance (sastanga dandavat), we fully surrender—we give our mind, body, everything to our Guru—"Prabhu, I am giving you a sword, and you can cut me if you want. I am not looking—my eyes, my head, my ears, everything is down, I cannot see what you are doing." This is called surrender.

We can understand what surrender is from Mahaprabhu's teaching also. Sanatan Goswami is a bona fide Vaishnav, a bona fide associate of the Lord—even in the Dvapar-lila, he was Lavanga Manjari. His Vaishnavism, his teachings are very nice, and Mahaprabhu taught him so much. One time, Sanatan Goswami was suffering very much with his body, he had a skin disease, and he thought, "This body is useless, I cannot serve with this body any more. I better commit suicide..."

Our mind is naughty, it always changes, but following your mind is not surrender—you must follow your Guru's instruction, not your mind's. However, sometimes we follow our mind, and it happened so that Sanatan Goswami wanted to commit suicide.

He came to Puri and said to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, "When the Ratha-yatra time comes, I will come in front of the chariot and give up my body there, under the chariot. I will commit suicide..." At that time, Mahaprabhu taught him what is called surrender:

দীক্ষাকালে ভক্ত করে আত্মসমর্পণ ।
সেইকালে কৃষ্ণ তারে করে আত্মসম ॥

diksa-kale bhakta kare atma-samarpana
sei-kale krsna tare kare atma-sama

"At the time of initiation, when a devotee fully surrenders to the Lord, Krishna accepts them as His very own."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 4.192)

Mahaprabhu explained: "When you surrender, when you take initiation, Krishna thinks, 'Your everything is now My property—your body is not your body any more, it is My body!' So, how can you now destroy My property? You are going to destroy My things! You are shameless! You have no idea. You are going to destroy others' property—your body is not your body, it is My property, and I will use your body for the service to the Lord."

So, you cannot do what you want, you cannot do what your mind tells you to do... Mind is always blind, it takes you to many bad places, many good places, but you do not know what is the best place, what is a good place, what is a bad place, you do not know what is good for you—only the Guru, Bhagavan know it. When they give some instruction, you must follow it, but you are always giving food to your mind, you are following your mind, and the mind becomes strong, it takes you to many bad places, takes you in the wrong way—that is why we fall down, we feel our mind disturbs us, etc. The main thing about surrender is not to follow your mind, but to follow your Gurudev's instruction.

Also, dainyata, atmanivedana (humility, surrendering yourself), goptritve varan, you are not independent; you must think that Krishna will protect you; you must accept what is favourable to devotion; you must reject what is unfavourable to devotion—these are the six types of saranagati. If you follow that, Krishna will listen to you:

ষড়ঙ্গ শরণাগতি হইবে যাঁহার ।
তাঁহার প্রার্থনা শুনে শ্রীনন্দকুমার ॥

sad-anga saranagati ha-ibe yahara
tahara prarthana sune sri-nanda-kumara

"Sri Krishna hears the prayers of those who surrender in this six-fold way."

Then, whatever you pray to Krishna for, Krishna will fulfil your desire.

Actually it is not necessary to pray for anything. What will you pray to Krishna for? "Krishna, I want only You"—then you will get everything. Do not ask Krishna for anything. "Krishna, I want only You"—this is our prayer. It is necessary to have faith, a strongest faith. Faith depends upon a devotee, and what you get depends on the kind of faith you have. If you have 20% faith, you will get 20%; if you have more than that, you will get more than that.

 

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Setting on the Right Track (Part 1)
'How much can we proceed in our spiritual life and why did we come to Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math? Again and again we do Nabadwip Dham Parikrama, but how much can we use ourselves for the service to the Guru, Vaishnavs, Bhagavan?'

 

Sri Sri Damodarastakam
'O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to you for the boon of impersonal liberation, nor the highest liberation of eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon [which may be obtained by executing the nine processes of bhakti]. O Lord, I simply wish that this form of Yours as Bala Gopala in Vrndavana may ever be manifest in my heart, for what is the use to me of any other boon besides this?'
শ্রীশ্রীদামোদরাষ্টকম্

Both the guru who gives initiation out of affection or greed and their disciple
get a curse from the demigods and go to hell.

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"