Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Path is the Goal

My main project now is çaraëägati, the way of taking shelter of the Lord. I mean this in (at least) two senses: I'm engaged in a writing project focused on çaraëägati,
and my prime task in life is putting çaraëägati into action. In the introductory song to his Çaraëägati, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura calls taking full shelter of Krishna, also sometimes called surrender, çaraëägati or prapatti, the life of the devotees. He writes,

çré-kåñëa-caitanya prabhu jéve doyä kori
swa-pärñada swéya dhäma saha avatari

Çré Kåñëa Caitanya Prabhu descended from the eternal spiritual world along with His personal associates and divine abode, incarnating in this temporary material world out of compassion for the fallen souls.

atyanta durlabha prema koribäre däna
çikhäya çaraëägati bhakatera präna

In order to freely distribute the gift of ecstatic love of God, which is very difficult to obtain, He taught the path of çaraëägati, devotional surrender to the Supreme Lord. This çaraëägati is the very life of the true devotees.

dainya, ätma-nivedana, goptåtve varaëa
'avaçya rakñébe kåñëa'-viçväsa, pälana

bhakti-anuküla-mätra käryera svékara
bhakti-pratiküla-bhäva varjanäìgikära

The six ways of surrender through çaraëägati are (1) dainya-humility, (2) ätma-nivedana-dedication of the self, (3) goptåtve varaëa-acceptance of the Lord as one's only maintainer, (4) the consciousness of 'avaçya rakñibe kåñëa'-'Kåñëa will surely protect me'-which is viçväsa (faith) in Kåñëa's pälana (protection), (5) bhakti-anuküla-mätra käryera svékara-execution of only those acts favorable to pure devotion, and (6) bhakti-pratiküla-bhäva varjanäìgikära-renunciation of conduct adverse to pure devotion.

ñaò-aìga çaraëägati hoibe jähära
tähära prärthanä çune çré-nanda-kumära

Çré Nanda-Kumära, the youthful son of Nanda Mahäräja, hears the prayers of anyone who takes refuge in Him by this six-fold practice of surrender.

rüpa-sanätana-pade dante tåëa kori
bhakativinoda poòe duhuì pada dhori

Bhaktivinoda prostrates himself at the feet of Çré Rüpa and Çré Sanätana Goswämé, places a straw between his teeth, and clasps their lotus feet with his hands.

käìdiyä käìdiyä bole ämi to' adhama
çikhäye çaraëägati koro he uttama

Weeping and weeping, he tells them, "I am certainly the lowest of men! Oh please make me the worthiest by teaching me the ways of çaraëägati!"

It's likely that the writing will appear here and other places as it develops. The life work is manifesting now.

Due to a confluence of events that seems providential, my wife and I are leaving our home here in Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii. Satyaki has accepted a post teaching at the devotional school in ISKCON community in Alachua, Florida. I will go with her; however, my own surrender will soon take me other places, to a life of what Srila Sridhar Maharaja calls "deep engagement in responsible service." I'll post more about that later.


Anonymous said...

This photo reminded me of one of my recent blogposts :). Although change can be very difficult, it is inspiring to see you do it. From my own experience, saranagati is heavy as it entails giving up parts of the ego we are so attached too. I'm sure you'll make it!

Babhru das said...

In fact, Syama Gopala, the title and the photo were inspired by your recent blog.

The changes that are coming are terribly exciting, and I look forward to sharing them with you.

Priya said...

Hari bol Babhru,
I just found your blog spot. Nice to read your writings and realizations. Keep it up. It helps us all in our processes of sarangati.