Acaryas Quotes Bhakti Quotes If There Is No Saranagati, There Is No Bhakti

If There Is No Saranagati, There Is No Bhakti

In the beginning of bhakti, we must know the principles of saranagati (surrender) and follow them. If there is no saranagati, there is no bhakti, nor is there even a shadow or semblance of bhakti. We should know the six limbs of saranagati. Have faith in Krsna, that He is protecting and saving you, supporting and nourishing you, and He is worried for you. You need not worry, because Krsna is worried for you. Your maintenance and everything else in your life depends on Krsna. If you are going to be sick or in any accident, Lord Krsna knows this. He knows what will occur; you don’t know. Surrender, and He will take care of you. This strong faith should come, otherwise there can be no bhakti.
All devotees – sannyasis, brahmacaris and general devotees – should avoid thinking, “I am the doer.” Give up this idea. This is false ego. What you are doing is by the inspiration of Gurudeva and Krsna. Always remember this, otherwise false ego will come and you will go down.

I have explained that in anyabilasita-sunyam bhakti, there are many gradations, but we will learn all the truths in that regard by serving Gurudeva and fulfilling his desire. This is the root of all bhakti; the backbone of bhakti. If you have no guru-nistha, faith in Sri Guru, you cannot develop even an inch in the bhakti line. In Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta and all other scriptures, the glories of Guru have been given, as well as the glory of the services he performs to his Gurudeva and Sri Krsna.

In Srimad-Bhagavatam we see that only by the grace of his Gurudeva, Narada Rsi, Sri Vyasadeva knew so many truths. He is a manifestation of Krsna Himself, but he had some doubts. He could not understand, “Why am I not satisfied? Why is my soul not satisfied and happy?” Knowing everything, Narada Rsi at once came to him.

Narada Rsi has many manifestations. One manifestation is a servant of Narayana, one is an associate of Krsna in Vraja, one is Naradi-gopi and one is Madhumangala. There is one Narada, but he has many manifestations. Sri Narada can remove the doubts of Krsna Himself (in His manifestation as Srila Vyasadeva). If he will come before Mother Yasoda, she will place her son Krsna’s head on his feet, and he will bless her son, saying, “Be happy.” This is a very wonderful thing!

Sri Vyasadeva is a manifestation of Krsna. He divided the Vedas into four parts – Rg, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. He wrote the essence of Vedanta, which is Brahma-sutra. He compiled a very large book called Mahabharata, and within Mahabharata he revealed the Bhagavad-gita, the words and teachings of Lord Krsna. He wrote many Puranas – 36 Puranas.

Once he was sitting on his asana (seat) on the bank of the Sarasvati River and not feeling happy. He was thinking, “Why am I not happy? I have written down all knowledge for the benefit of the world, including dharma (religion), karma (fruitive activity and elevation to heaven), varnasrama-dharma (the means by which the social castes and spiritual asramas can advance in spiritual life), and bhakti (devotion to the Supreme Lord). But I am not happy. Why is that?”

Volgograd, Russia: September 14, 2004

Must Read

Kaliya’s Embrace – Candana-yatra

Akṣaya-tritiya is the beginning of Candana-yātrā. Where does this festival come from? How did it begin? Our guru-varga ācāryas...


On the way, however, he again became attracted to a lady. remembering his gurudeva's advice, the prayed to God, "why do I, again and again, become attached to these physical bodies? My material body and senses keep disturbing me time and again." He decided to no longer follow his mind, and thus he pierced out both his eyes. He then entered into samadhi-yoga and came to Vrndavana.

He Feared Glorification, But We Desire It

In this world, if guru has some opulence, if he is preaching throughout the world with vast wealth and a good position, then everyone will know of him. Lokanatha dasa Gosvami always desired to remain very far away from reputation, name, fame, and position. If he sprinkled mercy upon someone, he would always tell that person, "Don't glorify me. Let me remain calm and quiet. This is my final order..."

Breakfast for the Soul – Govinda-lilamrta

When a person wakes in the morning, feeling rested and refreshed, he completes his duties such as bathing and is soon ready for breakfast. Many people arrange their breakfast the night before. They have tea, snacks, drinks and ice cream ready to quickly take in the morning. But Kavirāja Gosvāmī says that this food and drink is not helpful. It is for the body but not the soul. If you do not give the soul nectar first thing in the morning then it will suffer and become dry. All dealings and experience the entire day will be bitter. Tama, raja, and sattva—the three modes of material nature and any substance comprised of these qualities will disturb the soul. However, by accepting nirguṇa-tattva—by drinking līlā-rasa, the soul is nourished. Even a little of this can make the soul well, happy and strong. This is called soul food and it is very necessary. Food for the body is not everything. Serving this body does not result in any eternal benefit. The body always has desires and demands satisfaction, but really, these desires are endless and their fulfillment can never be had. We must give nectar to the soul. This nectar must be the drink we take upon the coming of each new day. Where can we collect this from? The guru-varga gives this soul nectar. If you are connected to the flow of līlā-śakti then that flow will naturally continue from you to others. All souls that come in contact with līlā-śakti will be very pleased. If you are connected to this flow, then the body will no longer disturb you. The body will know that you only give him or her nectar, and thus become peaceful. Millions of lives have passed and millions more will pass in service to the body and mind. If we take from God but do not serve Him—if we simply take His gifts and use them to serve our body then we will suffer. This is why many our lives are full of diseases and pain. Unless one gets this special mercy of the guru-varga, all of this will not stop. After being dressed and decorated, Kṛṣṇa and Balarama come for breakfast. They meet with the sakhās and together they sit in rows. Yaśodā Mātā brings many golden cups and tells Citrā Devī, "First give them drinks." There is coconut water mixed with sugar cane juice as the first drink. If a person drinks this his throat becomes very smooth. This is followed by many fresh fruit juices and refreshing beverages that cool the stomach. Śrīmati Rādhārānī and the Vraja-devīs have cooked so many preparations that it seem impossible to serve them all in one meal. During breakfast, Rādhārānī looks to see if Kṛṣṇa is eating. She and all the sakhīs are very happy to see Kṛṣṇa eat. They give Kṛṣṇa rice with ghee and on the side they serve, ginger, neem leaves, jute leaves, some more ghee lemon, ginger and salt on the side. Yaśodā Mātā says, "O Kṛṣṇa, this is very healthy prasāda, You should eat a lot.” Kṛṣṇa says, "If I eat too much what will be left for my friends?" As Yaśodā Mātā walks away a little Kṛṣṇa quickly distributed everything from His to His friends. All the sakhās laugh, and Kṛṣṇa says, "Why are you laughing? Just eat." Yaśodā Mātā looks back and sees that Kṛṣṇa was not eating. Then Madhumaṅgala says to her, "Mother, Kṛṣṇa is not eating anything. He distributes anything you give Him." Śrīmatī Rādhārānī sends many kinds of laḍḍus that Ranga-devī and Citrā-devī serve from gold plates and distributed them. Kṛṣṇa’s sakhās continue to joke with Him. "Kṛṣṇa, You must be sick or something,” they say. “Why aren't You eating these nice sweets? We'll call the doctor. That will be good for You. We will tell Yaśodā Mātā to call a doctor who will give very bitter juice. Then will You be happy?" "I'm not sick,” Kṛṣṇa retorts, “You are sick. You should drink neem juice!” “Why don't You eat then?” Then Kṛṣṇa’s plate is re-filled and He eats something. While breakfast is being served, sometimes Madhumaṅgala says, "Kṛṣṇa is very skinny. He cannot digest anything. He has no fire in His stomach. How can He eat rich foods like this, cooked with ghee, butter, and honey? How can He eat these sweets and drinks you are serving Him? These things are for His healthy sakhās like me." When Madhumaṅgala teases Him like this, Kṛṣṇa grabs handfuls of ghee rice from Madhumaṅgala’s plate. Madhumaṅgala then cries out, "Hey! Kṛṣṇa is stealing all my breakfast! O Yaśodā Mātā, I'm so hungry. Give me something more." Then Vrajeśvarī piles Madhumaṅgala’s plate with more prasāda. Madhamangala becomes very happy, but he says, "Eating this rice and dāl is not befitting for brāhmaṇas. Where is the halavā, laḍḍu, barphi, rabaḍi and kṣīra?" Why does Madhumaṅgala speak like this? He wants Kṛṣṇa to eat nicely. When these preparations come, he simply needs to tease Kṛṣṇa to make Him eat with gusto. If Kṛṣṇa is given these things calmly He will be uninterested. If someone gives Him a plate and says, “O Kṛṣṇa, please take this,” He will not want it. He will say, "I'm not hungry." Kṛṣṇa is given so many offerings by His millions and millions of affectionate devotees starting from even before the sun rises. Why would be hungry and thirsty for more? How much will He eat? Furthermore He is ātmārāma, self-satisfied, and āptakāma, without desires.

Questions from the Readers

We study scripture to establish paramarthika-sraddha and relationship with Hari, Guru, and Vaisnavas. We receive transcendental knowledge through scripture. The Srimad-Bhagavatam teaches that the people in Kali-yuga, their minds and memory are not very sharp, so for the benefit of the people, Vedavyasa gave the teachings of the Supreme Lord in the written form...

More Articles Like This