Someone has asked this question about ātma-nivedanam: self-surrender. The ongoing topic is a bit different, the basic principles of devotion like humility and pridelessness; for a moment I will answer in regard to another aspect; full surrender to Śrī Kṛṣṇa. When there is full surrender, humility naturally manifests, that’s why it is not another topic, but similar to what I have already been discussing.
Shelter to God is of six kinds:
ānukulasya sankalpah prātikulyam-vivarjanam
rakshishyati iti vishvasah
goptaytve varnam tatha ātmanikshep
kārpanyai shad vidhah sharnagatih
1) One should always think in a favorable way to Kṛṣṇa.
2) Never have negative thoughts against Kṛṣṇa(to quit lust and anger).
3) There should be trust that Kṛṣṇa will always protect me.
4) We should always select Kṛṣṇa as our protector.
5) One should approach the Lord in full surrender.
6) There should always be humility(prayer).
When this six-fold shelter of God is established, then there will never be obstacles. That’s why there is no difference between this question and the previous subject matter. Shelter is like an earthen pot; any breakage will lose the water of spiritual power and protection. Here is the praman(proof) in the Srimad Bhagavat 4.14.41;
brāhmaṇaḥ sama-dṛk śānto
sravate brahma tasyāpi
bhinna-bhāṇḍāt payo yathā
The great sages began to think that although a brāhmaṇa is peaceful and impartial because he is equal to everyone, it is still not his duty to neglect poor humans. By such neglect, a brāhmaṇa’s spiritual power diminishes, just as water kept in a cracked pot leaks out.
A devotee who knows Brahman is a Brahmin. He is a perfect devotee, equipoised, equal to all, peaceful, and within his heart free from lust. But if he loses humility, his Vaiṣṇava effulgence is destroyed, as with the earthen pot, any hole will lose the water to the outside. That’s why compassion is necessary for the living entity in the perfect shelter of God. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has encouraged nāma-ruci and jīva-dayā, a taste for the name of God and compassion for all living entities.
When Dhruva became overly angry upon the Yakṣas the killers of his brother, Uttama, Kuvera came and instructed him.
prasaṅgād bahavo hatāḥ
My dear son, it has been proved that you are very much affectionate towards your brother and are greatly aggrieved at his being killed by the Yakṣas, but just consider—for one Yakṣa’s offense, you have killed many others, who are innocent.
Kuvera said, “Even if you have attained God, you should be careful not to fall down from the basic principles of pure devotion.” I have previously given the example of Hanumānji, and the gopis. In the middle of the maha-rasa, Śrī Kṛṣṇa left His intimate associates. Hanumānji, being such a great devotee of Śrī Rāma, was so powerful and, but became a little proud and said to Sītāji, “Mother I will place you upon my shoulder and take you to Śrī Rāma and if you order, I will break this Laṅkā like a gulab fruit,” Though Hanumānji had so much power, because of this, he became so weak that Bharatji knocked him down with a small arrow.
In talking to Sītāji, Hanumān spoke about his power in the Rāmacarita mānasa, Sundar-khāṇḍa 16th doha verse, he said, “By the rule of Lord Rāma, What is Laṅkā for me? There is no need of any God, right now I can carry you. In the Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, also this topic comes. But Sītā Herself refused to go. She said, “Son even if you can carry Me to Lord Rāma, I can not go, because I am loyal to Lord Rāma. When Rāvaṇa kidnapped me, by my desire, I did not touch him.” Sita also said this to Rāvaṇa, “Rāvaṇa if I like I can burn you right now but because of loyalty to Lord Rāma, there is no order of Lord Rāma to do this, otherwise I could immediately burn you into ashes. I have this power.”
Sītāji said to Hanumān, “By My own desire, I can not go with you because you have a male body,” so she refused to be taken by him. And then Hanumānji said, “For a mother there is no harm in going with a son, the loyalty to the husband is not violated.” But Sītā said, “This is not the order of Lord Rāma.” Sītāji had doubt that Rāma, would be able to kill so many demons, as she listened, she could see that Hanumān had a very tiny form. Then Sītāji said, “Oh son has Lord Rāma surrounded Himself with so many little monkeys?”
At that time Hanumān had taken the form of a little rat, a toy monkey. Sītā said, “How will the demons be conquered by an army of such monkeys? Will the army of Rāvaṇa fight with an army of rats?” Sītāji said, “In My heart there is so much doubt.”
Listening to this, the Hanumānji expanded his form, and then Sītāji saw there was a large golden mountain. His body was so large that each arm was greater than millions of demons; even Kumbhakarṇa was nothing before them. Now Sītā had trust and immediately Hanumān took a very small form.
Then Hanumānji said, “When a deer jumps, it does not run, the four legs lift together, go down and then lift again,” this is called chaukary. The deer does not run on one leg but runs on four legs, lifts them up and comes down, and again lifts and comes down. Jumping in this way, a deer escapes the lion, because a lion cannot move so fast. As the deer is the food of lion, in the same forest they live together in this way.
Once upon a time 60 years ago, I was wandering in the forest of Chitrakuta. I saw with my own eyes, that’s why I am telling you, that during that time there was such dense forests and at the present time Chitrakuta has become a big city. When I went there 60 years ago, this was the place where Lord Rāma went in exile.
The day I went there, at noon, a lion also came. I was living in a cave called Banke Siddha and this lion arrived and carried a buffalo from this place like a goat. At the present time all the forests have been destroyed and roads made there, ruining this Dadari forest area. There was a place there where the sage Markendeya performed austerity. This is called Markundi, there a mahant sādhu, had called me so I went there, and at night God protected me. That sādhu would not open his door in the forest and I was on the outside; at night there was so much fear in this place. He would not open the door because so many robbers and dacoits lived in the area, so it was not the mistake of that sādhu.
In the early morning, not knowing my way around, I thought that I would go to Markundi. When I approached, deers were running away from there, and at the base of the mountain was a deep ravine and a lion was approaching. I saw this, and then I went to the ashram of Markundi where this saint lived; then he opened his door because at night all the sadhus close their door. I said to that sadhu, “Today I am protected.” From below a lion was chasing the deer that were above. The sadhu confirmed because the lion was so aggressive in his activities; that is why the deer were running away.
When deers run, they prance, with the four legs spontaneously going upward and then coming down. In this way, they jump about and escape the lions because they are so swift.
Hanumānji told Sita, “I don’t have such a power, as the deer jump upon the earth, however, the Shakhamragas; we monkeys, jump upon the trees, and like me, have no intelligence”; such was his honesty in shelter.
As soon as you have false ego then you are finished, then surrender is undermined, that’s why I said I would reply to this question in regard to this topic. This was the nature of Hanumān’s full surrender and shelter.
When God gives mercy, then even a small snake can eat Garuda, that means in this world, no one has any separate power, all are dependent on Him, this is called taking shelter.
Due to an earlier offense, that same Hanumānji fell down due to a small arrow. Bharatji shot that arrow, Hanumānji was flying with a mountain and his body was higher than that mountain, but when Bharat shot the arrow, he fell to the ground; when shelter unto God is lost, then man becomes powerless.
Prahlāda described this same mood for shelter in the Bhāgavat.
Hiraṇyakaśipu asked, “Prahlāda, by whose power have you become so impudent? When I become angry, the three worlds tremble in fear. The demigods, Brahmā, and Śiva, also tremble with fear and before someone as powerful as I, you are standing fearless. You are not only standing fearlessly before me, but you have violated my rule, and you even sing the glory of my enemy, what power do you have?”
na kevalaṁ me bhavataś ca rājan
sa vai balaṁ balināṁ cāpareṣām
pare ’vare ’mī sthira-jaṅgamā ye
brahmādayo yena vaśaṁ praṇītāḥ
Prahlāda Mahārāja said: My dear King, the source of my strength, of which you are asking, is also the source of yours. Indeed, the original source of all kinds of strength is one. He is not only your strength or mine, but the only strength for everyone. Without Him, no one can get any strength. Whether moving or not moving, superior or inferior, everyone, including Lord Brahmā, is controlled by the strength of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
na kevalaṁ me bhavataś ca rājan; Here without addressing him as father, Prahlāda spoke to Hiraṇyakaśipu, the king of demons, “This question is wrong, the power one has, a devotee of God does not try see the power in anyone, but acknowledges the Source, this is the real surrender to God.”
We people think that we are a singer, a musician, a Bhāgavat kathā speaker, “Oh I am a good lecturer”; all these things are wrong. A devotee thinks not only within, but of any powerful personality of this world; everyone, the inanimate creatures, mountains, rivers, and animate creatures, seas, living entities, human beings, animals, and birds, have but one power and are controlled by the all powerful God. Therefore one who is a devotee does not contemplate any power within.
Hanumānji replied in the same way to Rāvaṇa as was spoken by Prahladji.
Hanumān said this to Rāvaṇa Sundara-khāṇḍa doha 21st doha. Meghnada, son of Rāvaṇa, arrested Hanumān and carried him into the court of Rāvaṇa. In service to Lord Rāma, Hanumān was suddenly bound. He was violent himself, all the demons came and brought Hanumānji to the court of Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa had so much opulence that you could not even describe. All the demigods were standing there with folded hands and they were careful to not ever make Rāvaṇa’s eyes twist in anger.
The father of Hanumānji, the Wind god, Pawana deva, was also standing there respectfully. They were all looking toward Hanumān. He saw that the demigods were suffering here, and with a signal he indicated, ‘Have patience, even today I will destroy your suffering.’ Hanumānji had no doubt. To see Hanumānji, Rāvaṇa laughed. He abused Hanumān and said, “Who are you? By whose power did you destroy my Ashok vatika garden? Don’t you understand my power; do I see that you have some doubt? You have killed many demons, why did you kill them? You have no fear of death.”
Hanumānji said, “Who is this Māyā that creates infinite universes, and by Whose power Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva, nourish, create, and destroy the universe, by Whose power Śeṣayī, the snake Śeṣa, possesses all the earth? From Whom there are many incarnations to teach the living entities, Who broke the bow of Lord Śiva, Who destroyed the arrogance of all the kings, Who killed powerful demons like Khardushan and Bāli?”
Then Hanumānji said, jāke bal lavles te jiteu charachar jhār; “By obtaining a little power from the same God, you conquered all the world. I am the messenger of that God Lord Rāma, Whose dear wife you kidnapped.
I have no power and neither you any power, no one has any power, and you think that I am powerful. You have been defeated by a very powerful King Sahasrabāhu and also you were defeated by Bāli; this is the truth.”
Listening to this Rāvaṇa laughed. Hanumān said, “I ate the fruits from this garden because I was hungry, this is the habit of monkeys to pluck the trees. But fear that Lord, which is feared by time and death. That God is the Lord of animate and inanimate creatures.” Here Hanumānji taught Rāvaṇa. “Don’t have enmity with this great God and on my request return Sītā to Lord Rāma. God protects each and every one of us, He is the ocean of mercy, you have kidnapped Sītā, but Rāma would forgive you.”
Hanumānji instructed Rāvaṇa in this way. So I told this because at three places, first Hanumān said to Sītā, Rāvaṇa, and then Lord Rāma. When Hanumānji reported to Lord Rāma after burning Laṅkā, then the Lord, in the Rāmacarita mānasa, Uttara-kāṇḍa 33rd doha, asked Hanumān, “When Rāvaṇa was present there, how did you burn Laṅkā?”
Hanumānji had no arrogance; Hanumān could have said that I burned Laṅkā. We say, “I did this”; this is false ego but a devotee who is really under the shelter of God, never appreciates himself, as we people appreciate ourselves. Everybody glorifies himself, “I have done this! This work was done by me.” If somebody does a little sweeping and says, “Baba, alone I have swept the temple.” All these things are wrong. False ego should not come at all; this is humility in shelter.
By false ego, lust and anger generate. When the false ego is not present, what ever you think, you take it as the inspiration of God. What ever you do you is by the desire of God, and all unfavorable things will gradually disappear, and unshakable faith will manifest, even if some one speaks many doubtful things, he will not misguide you.
You will accept God as a protector, not pay any attention to any rich man that comes, and flatter him. One will not consider the happiness of a woman, whether to get her love or some sexual gratification, this is not within the mind of a devotee. This is called surrender to God. A devotee does not possess an undermining mind, intelligence, nor false ego, he has nothing. He just surrenders everything to God.
Karpanya means humility, Humility means being devoid of false ego. Even falsely, he would not say that he did anything, as I gave the example of Hanumānji. In the Sundara-kāṇḍa verse 33, he said the same thing to Lord Rāma,
“I am a monkey, I am only the branch of the tree, and how can I burn Laṅkā? I only have limited power. From one branch, I jumped to another branch. The monkey jumps in such away. I am a monkey so I jumped as I crossed the sea and burned Laṅkā, which was made of gold.”
Sundara-kāṇḍa doha 33
nāghi sindhu hātak pur jāra
nisichar gana badhi bipin ujāra
Hanumānji said to Rāvaṇa, “I killed demons and I destroyed your Askok vatika garden. In reality I did not do all these things.
so sab tav pratāp raghurāi “Oh Lord all this is your power,”nāth na kachu mori prabhutāi, then there is the following doha ta kara chua kam nai470
tava prabhåva° baRavånalahi jåri sakai khalu tμula
The fires wihin the sea(volcanoes) consumes and absorbs the sea, and without which, on a cosmic scale, would cause a destruction, an inundation of the universe. As this fire can drink the sea, so also, some small cotton would decrease that sea.
It is very clear that no one has that kind of power. One may think that, “I am rich, and I am influential;” these things separate us from God. These are two points, Suradasji has written two precious verses;
apabal tapabal, bahubal, chotho bal hai dām sur kishor kripa te sab bal hare ko harinama
Special powers are obtained by the causeless mercy of Supreme Lord, but one will never consider them as his own. We think we are sadhu, we can go to any feast, we want 50 rupees as a donation, and we think that these 50 rupees are mine. Immediately, we become influenced by our false ego, there is no shelter in all this. A little acquisition is not ours, when money comes we think that this is our money; this wealth separates us from God. The human being forgets the Source of power.
So I gave three examples, the example of Hanumānji, Prahlādaji and all. And the same Hanumānji, by the attack of a little straw arrow, fell down because during that time, he thought, “I have so much power and so much speed, how can I be bothered by this arrow sent by a man.”
“I have so much money, I have so many people,” and all these things separate us from God. Now what is surrender, listen even though time has run out, but I will speak for a few more minutes. Kṛṣṇa says in the Gita what is surrender.
mayi sarvāṇi karmāṇi
nirāśīr nirmamo bhūtvā
Therefore, O Arjuna, surrendering all your works unto Me, with full knowledge of Me, without desires for profit, with no claims to proprietorship, and free from lethargy, fight.
Krsna says surrender all your actions upon me; mayi sarvāṇi karmāṇi. How should we do this? By ādhyātma-cetasā, by a spiritual mind, not by outer words, we surrender through words. “Maharaj, this house is yours, but don’t touch my money.” Words are not surrender. Surrendering through a spiritualized mind, this is real renunciation. Utilizing the body and what is within, the mind, intelligence, heart, and false ego, this form of surrender is spiritual.
That means if you attempt to serve God, and still your mind says, “Bring laddu, pera, and sweets,” then where is your mind? The mind has suddenly become separate, that’s why thinking of laddu and sense gratification is an outward affair, not spiritual. If the surrendering is genuine, nirāśīr nirmamo bhūtvā; then materialistic desires have subsided.
Even if there is a laddu before you, no desire for eating would come. Before you there is sense gratification, the objects of sexual intercourse, but you have no sensual appetite, our state is such; even if there is no laddu, just by listening to the name of laddu we become greedy. Then where is the surrender? When the ‘contemplating mind’ is not present, the mind, due to habit, would think of sense gratification.
It is an illusion to think; “That these are my sons, my wife, my money, my property, and this is my land.” We have to utilize these gifts through a spiritualized mind; this is called full surrender. When there is full surrender, submitting to God, even though ‘the laddu’ is before you, there is no active attachment. Even though the object of sexual intercourse is before one, which would naturally consume the ordinary mind, detachment is there because the false ego is not present. This is ātma-nivedanam surrender to God. This is my reply.