Saranagati and Sadhana

The basic idea of surrender in the Gita—sarva dharman parityaja—is to give up on religious pursuit (dharma)—the worship of any other god or goddess—and serve only Krsna. Krsna calls upon us to serve him alone. Faith that by doing so one is relieved of any other debt amounts to eligibility for treading the path of bhakti. In this sense, bhakti proceeds from saranagati. As we engage in hearing, chanting rembering, etc. under the care of a guardian, gradually as our taste for hearing and chanting increases and sambadha jnana both theoretical and practical is acquired, saranagati intensifies. So our concern should be towfold:

1. Take exclusive shelter of Krsna, forgoing other spiritual practices, etc.

2. Begin a guru-guided life of hearing and chanting, and evaluate your progress by the extent to which your interest in hearing and chanting is increasing. A saranagata will feel himself making progress daily. If you do not feel like this, you have to do whatever it takes to focus your mind (give your heart) to your nama japa, mantra and kirtana. Nama and mantra are the real gifts of Sri Guru. Use them wisely, they are your real wealth.

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