By Srila Gaura Govinda Maharaja
Saranagati is the chief symptom of a devotee. Saranagati should be complete. The symptoms of it are there. One should have firm faith, drdah visvas, that “avasya raksibe krsna”, Krishna will protect me. If you have no faith, you cannot achieve the goal; asraddhadanah purusah… says the Gita: You’ll have to come back in this mortal world. The Vedic siddhanta is that everything is based on firm faith, sastriya sraddha.
Saranagati, unconditional surrender, is the life of the devotee, through which the most difficult to achieve krsna-prema is obtained, by the mercy of the magnanimous Gauranga.
To be akincana, to have nothing in this world that you call yours, is one symptom of saranagati. Atma-samarpana is the same as saranagati…
Only a fully surrendered devotee sees Krishna; otherwise, He’s covered by yoga-maya.
Those who are fully surrendered are very dear to Krishna.
Krishna has not given prema in His Vraja descent, but as Gauranga he gives it freely. He teaches saranagati: Take full shelter of the holy name, then you’ll get prema, through offenseless chanting…
4 things develop pride and prevent from surrender: janma, aisvarya, sruta, sri. So one must become akincana.
Without surrender Krishna doesn’t listen to your prayers, to your chanting.
You’re not crying for Krishna therefore it’s the proof that you’re not surrendered. Your surrender is artificial, conditional or partial. So cry for Krishna. He may take everything away from you to force you to cry.
He’s giving, but you’re not receiving. Your surrender is only partial.
Accept it in the heart! Don’t say you understand, and accept with your lips but not with your heart! Don’t be pretenders!
What is to be given up is the sentiment that it’s your family, your wife, your children, your wealth. They’re all Krishna’s; they’re all meant to give Him pleasure, not to give you pleasure. You say you are the husband, responsible. No. You are the head of Krishna’s family. It’s His family, entrusted to you. He is responsible. He maintains. You think you’re maintaining, but unless He sanctions, how can you maintain? What can the jiva do without Krishna’s sanction?
A bewildered jiva says, “I do”, but it’s not true. If Krishna doesn’t sanction, what can the jiva do? Krishna gives energy from within, then one can act. That’s His mercy, krpa-bala. Otherwise, one can’t even lift his own hand. The 3 gunas act for the conditioned stage, and Krishna for the liberated stage.
Love is achieved by begging Krishna, crying for it. Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the acarya, is praying, “I’m so attached to this world! Please transfer this attachment to Your lotus feet. I beg You.” This crying, begging, is required. One must get the mercy of a pure devotee to develop that.
Narottama das Thakura’s mood expressed in his bhajan Gaura pahun should be adopted. Kena va achaye prana ki sukha lagiye: Why remain alive? What worth has this human life? Why keep it? For what happiness? Na gela mariye, it’s better to die.
Pray at the lotus feet of a pure devotee to get his mercy to be able to cry like that. Re-channel attraction towards Krishna.
When a devotee starts to develop that mood of Gaura pahun, in Goloka Vraja they make a festival, because it means that this jiva is on his way out of this world to that transcendental world…