Atma-niksepa

graphic footer

The fifth division of Sharanagati, atma-niksep or full self-surrender, is of great importance and is also the last limb of Navavidha bhakti, as taught by Prahlad Maharaj. This complete self surrender has also been advised by Sri Krishna himself in the Bhagwat Gita,

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear. (18.66)

Complete self surrendered refers to engaging all ones senses, mind, intelligence, body, speech and one’s entire self in the service of the Lord, for his pleasure. Srila Bhakti Vinod thakur has also given a beautiful bhajan expressing the same mood;

mānasa, deho, geho, jo kichu mor
arpilū tuwā pade, nanda-kiśor!

Mind, body, and family, whatever may be mine, I have surrendered at Your lotus feet, O youthful son of Nanda!

sampade vipade, jīvane-maraṇe
dāy mama gelā, tuwā o-pada baraṇe

In good fortune or in bad, in life or at death, all my difficulties have disappeared by choosing those feet of Yours as my only shelter.

mārobi rākhobi-jo icchā tohārā
nitya-dāsa prati tuwā adhikārā

Slay me or protect me as You wish, for You are the master of Your eternal servant.

janmāobi moe icchā jadi tor
bhakta-gṛhe jani janma hau mor

If it is Your will that I be born again, then may it be in the home of Your devotee.

kīṭa-janma hau jathā tuwā dās
bahir-mukha brahma janme nāhi āś

May I be born again even as a worm, so long as I may remain Your devotee. I have no desire to be born as a Brahma averse to You.

bhukti-mukti-spṛhā vihīna je bhakta
labhaite tāko sańga anurakta

I yearn for the company of that devotee who is completely devoid of all desire for worldly enjoyment or liberation.

janaka, jananī, dayita, tanay
prabhu, guru, pati-tuhū sarva-moy

Father, mother, lover, son, Lord, preceptor, and husband; You are everything to me.

bhakativinoda kohe, śuno kāna!
rādhā-nātha! tuhū hāmāra parāṇa

Thakura Bhaktivinoda says, “O Kana, please hear me! O Lord of Radha, You are my life and soul!”

 Therefore, while performing sadhana, one should always endeavour to imbibe this mood of complete self surrender, for this atma nivedanam is all auspicious and grants one entry into the realm of love of Godhead.