Bhagavad-Gita As It Is

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Chapter 18 Verse 66

sarva-dharmān parityajya

mām ekaḿ śaraṇaḿ vraja

ahaḿ tvāḿ sarva-pāpebhyo

mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

SYNONYMS

sarva-dharmān — all varieties of religion; parityajya — abandoning; mām — unto Me; ekam — only; śaraṇam — for surrender; vraja — go; aham — I; tvām — you; sarva — all; pāpebhyaḥ — from sinful reactions; mokṣayiṣyāmi — will deliver; mā — do not; śucaḥ — worry.

TRANSLATION

“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.” Spoken directly by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, five thousand years ago, in erstwhile India.

PURPORT

“The Lord has described various kinds of knowledge and processes of religion — knowledge of the Supreme Brahman, knowledge of the Supersoul, knowledge of the different types of orders and statuses of social life, knowledge of the renounced order of life, knowledge of nonattachment, sense and mind control, meditation, etc. He has described, in so many ways, different types of religions. Now, in summarizing Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord says that Arjuna should give up all the processes that have been explained to him; he should simply surrender to Kṛṣṇa. That surrender will save him from all kinds of sinful reactions, for the Lord personally promises to protect him.

In the Seventh Chapter it was said that only one who has become free from all sinful reactions can take to the worship of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Thus one may think that unless he is free from all sinful reactions he cannot take to the surrendering process. To such doubts it is here said that even if one is not free from all sinful reactions, simply by the process of surrendering to Śrī Kṛṣṇa he is automatically freed. There is no need of strenuous effort to free oneself from sinful reactions. One should unhesitatingly accept Kṛṣṇa as the supreme savior of all living entities. With faith and love, one should surrender unto Him.

The process of surrender to Kṛṣṇa is described in the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (11.676):

ānukūlyasya sańkalpaḥ

prātikūlyasya varjanam

rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāso

goptṛtve varanaḿ tathā

ātma-nikṣepa-kārpaṇye

ṣaḍ-vidhā śaraṇāgatiḥ

According to the devotional process, one should simply accept such religious principles that will lead ultimately to the devotional service of the Lord. One may perform a particular occupational duty according to his position in the social order, but if by executing his duty one does not come to the point of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all his activities are in vain. Anything that does not lead to the perfectional stage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness should be avoided. One should be confident that in all circumstances Kṛṣṇa will protect him from all difficulties. There is no need of thinking how one should keep the body and soul together. Kṛṣṇa will see to that. One should always think himself helpless and should consider Kṛṣṇa the only basis for his progress in life. As soon as one seriously engages himself in devotional service to the Lord in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, at once he becomes freed from all contamination of material nature. There are different processes of religion and purificatory processes by cultivation of knowledge, meditation in the mystic yoga system, etc., but one who surrenders unto Kṛṣṇa does not have to execute so many methods. That simple surrender unto Kṛṣṇa will save him from unnecessarily wasting time. One can thus make all progress at once and be freed from all sinful reactions.

One should be attracted by the beautiful vision of Kṛṣṇa. His name is Kṛṣṇa because He is all-attractive. One who becomes attracted by the beautiful, all-powerful, omnipotent vision of Kṛṣṇa is fortunate. There are different kinds of transcendentalists — some of them are attached to the impersonal Brahman vision, some of them are attracted by the Supersoul feature, etc., but one who is attracted to the personal feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and, above all, one who is attracted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Kṛṣṇa Himself, is the most perfect transcendentalist. In other words, devotional service to Kṛṣṇa, in full consciousness, is the most confidential part of knowledge, and this is the essence of the whole Bhagavad-gītā. Karma-yogīs, empiric philosophers, mystics and devotees are all called transcendentalists, but one who is a pure devotee is the best of all. The particular words used here, mā śucaḥ, “Don’t fear, don’t hesitate, don’t worry,” are very significant. One may be perplexed as to how one can give up all kinds of religious forms and simply surrender unto Kṛṣṇa, but such worry is useless.”

Q. What is a mantra?
A. The word mantra comes from the ancient Sanskrit language. Man means “mind,” and tra means “release.” So a mantra is a combination of transcendental sounds meant to release the mind from all the anxieties of material life. The Hare Krsna mantra is known as the maha-mantra, or great mantra. It is the essence of all mantras.

Q. What is the Hare Krsna maha-mantra?
A. A mantra is a transcendental sound vibration that delivers the mind from material anxieties. Of all mantras, the Hare Krsna mantra is the maha-mantra, the great mantra. Composed entirely of God’s names, it appears in the ancient Sanskrit scriptures called the Upanisads: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. The name Hare addresses the spiritual energy of God. It’s like calling out “O energy of God!” The name Krsna means “all-attractive” and thus calls upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Rama, another name of God, means “the highest pleasure.”

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Chapter 4: Transcendental Knowledge

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 4.10

vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhā

man-mayā mām upāśritāḥ

bahavo jñāna-tapasā

pūtā mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ

SYNONYMS

vīta — freed from; rāga — attachment; bhaya — fear; krodhāḥ — and anger; mat-mayā — fully in Me; mām — in Me; upāśritāḥ — being fully situated; bahavaḥ — many; jñāna — of knowledge; tapasā — by the penance; pūtāḥ — being purified; mat-bhāvam — transcendental love for Me; āgatāḥ — attained.

TRANSLATION

Being freed from attachment, fear and anger, being fully absorbed in Me and taking refuge in Me, many, many persons in the past became purified by knowledge of Me — and thus they all attained transcendental love for Me.

PURPORT

As described above, it is very difficult for a person who is too materially affected to understand the personal nature of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Generally, people who are attached to the bodily conception of life are so absorbed in materialism that it is almost impossible for them to understand how the Supreme can be a person. Such materialists cannot even imagine that there is a transcendental body which is imperishable, full of knowledge and eternally blissful. In the materialistic concept, the body is perishable, full of ignorance and completely miserable. Therefore, people in general keep this same bodily idea in mind when they are informed of the personal form of the Lord. For such materialistic men, the form of the gigantic material manifestation is supreme. Consequently they consider the Supreme to be impersonal. And because they are too materially absorbed, the conception of retaining the personality after liberation from matter frightens them. When they are informed that spiritual life is also individual and personal, they become afraid of becoming persons again, and so they naturally prefer a kind of merging into the impersonal void. Generally, they compare the living entities to the bubbles of the ocean, which merge into the ocean. That is the highest perfection of spiritual existence attainable without individual personality. This is a kind of fearful stage of life, devoid of perfect knowledge of spiritual existence. Furthermore there are many persons who cannot understand spiritual existence at all. Being embarrassed by so many theories and by contradictions of various types of philosophical speculation, they become disgusted or angry and foolishly conclude that there is no supreme cause and that everything is ultimately void. Such people are in a diseased condition of life. Some people are too materially attached and therefore do not give attention to spiritual life, some of them want to merge into the supreme spiritual cause, and some of them disbelieve in everything, being angry at all sorts of spiritual speculation out of hopelessness. This last class of men take to the shelter of some kind of intoxication, and their affective hallucinations are sometimes accepted as spiritual vision. One has to get rid of all three stages of attachment to the material world: negligence of spiritual life, fear of a spiritual personal identity, and the conception of void that arises from frustration in life. To get free from these three stages of the material concept of life, one has to take complete shelter of the Lord, guided by the bona fide spiritual master, and follow the disciplines and regulative principles of devotional life. The last stage of the devotional life is called bhāva, or transcendental love of Godhead.

According to Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.4.15-16), the science of devotional service:

ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-

sańgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyā

tato ‘nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt

tato niṣṭhā rucis tataḥ

athāsaktis tato bhāvas

tataḥ premābhyudañcati

sādhakānām ayaḿ premṇaḥ

prādurbhāve bhavet kramaḥ

“In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually elevated. In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material attachment, attains steadiness in self-realization, and acquires a taste for hearing about the Absolute Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is matured in bhāva, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life.” In the prema stage there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage, being freed from all material attachment, from the fearfulness of one’s individual spiritual personality, and from the frustrations that result in void philosophy. Then one can ultimately attain to the abode of the Supreme Lord.

Buy Online Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

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