Śaraṇāgati has six limbs. First of all, ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ: one should make a very strong, determined, unbreakable vow to except those things that are favorable for devotional service. Pratikūlyasya varjanam: one should leave anything that is unfavorable or detrimental to devotional service. Even if you know someone who is most dear to you, but his association is unfavorable, he must be given up. Rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāso: at the time of danger, who will protect me? I have very strong confidence that Śrī Kṛṣṇa will protect me. Then goptṛtve-varaṇaṁ: who will maintain me? Who will maintain my life, now and in the future? If a lady gets a husband she may think, “Oh, my husband will maintain me,” and forget Kṛṣṇa. This is not Śaraṇāgati. Śaraṇāgati means, “I have very strong faith that Kṛṣṇa will maintain me at every step of my life.” Then, ātmā-nikṣepa-kārpaṇe: kārpaṇe means to always be very meek and humble and to consider oneself more insignificant than a blade of grass. Ātmā-nikṣepa: this means to have no independent desire. Śaraṇāgati is actually not bhakti—it is the step leading towards bhakti; it is the door through which one must go to enter into the realm of bhakti.
August 10, 2004 Purī