My Home, My Family, My Place
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Sometimes Indian people see a sannyasi's mother leaves, but the sraddha ceremony is not done properly, and they ask me, "Maharaj, what can I do?" Some householder people also do not follow these rules properly. The Vedas say that if your mother or father dies, there are some rules and regulations for that time, but Krishna said, "Leave all rules and regulations—throw them into the Ganges and follow Me."
সর্ব্বধর্ম্মান্ পরিত্যজ্য মামেকং শরণং ব্রজ ।
sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja
"Give up all kinds of religion and surrender to Me alone. I will liberate you from all sins, do not despair."
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 18.66)
"I will take all kinds of your sins."
For example, when my mother died, somebody said to me, "Maharaj, why did you not do anything? You did not even change your clothes, did not do anything." I replied, "What?! We always do service of the Lord, we always do service of the Guru. Why is it necessary to change my clothes or do anything?" If my mother dies, there is only a little blood connection with me, we can do a simple Vaishnav seva (offer bhog to the Lord and give the prasadam to the Vaishnavs), that is sufficient for her. Why will I do the sraddha ceremony? Why will I do some Hindu, Muslim, Buddhism or any other ceremony? We serve the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Besides, actually no one from my family died, so why are we going to do a sraddha ceremony? Why will we do some Hindu ceremony? My mother was not my family member! Who are my family members? The devotees of Krishna are the members of my family. So, if somebody dies from my family (Krishna's family), then I will do something for the benefit of their jiva soul.
This is how we should practise Krishna consciousness; this is how we must surrender everything to the Lord. These are the main things, and you if can understand what I am saying, you can understand everything easily. This is what is called full surrender, full saranagati.
There is a very nice song in the Saranagati book,
সর্ব্বস্ব তোমার চরণে সঁপিয়া
sarvasva tomara, charane sapiya,
"I have offered everything at Your feet and taken shelter in Your home."
If you think about the meaning of this song, then you can understand what saranagati is.
"তুমি ত' ঠাকুর, তোমার কুকুর, tumi to thakura, tomara kukur: you are the master, I am your dog. Tie me in front of your door, and when your enemy comes, I will bite them, I will keep them away from your house boundary."
তব নিজ-জন প্রসাদ সেবিয়া
tava nija-jana, prasada seviya,
"After your devotees take prasadam, I will take the remnants of their prasadam."
নাচিতে নাচিতে নিকটে যাইব
nachite nachite, nikate yaiba,
"When you call me, I will come to you, dancing!"
This is how we should practise saranagati, surrender.
My main message for you is that it is necessary to have the strongest faith. "তুমি ত' রাখিবে যারে, কে তারে মারিতে পারে, tumi to rakhibe yare, ke tare marite pare: if You protect me, who can kill me? No one can kill me if You protect me." Gurudev also told the story how you are going with Gurudev and say, "Gurudev, there is a big snake!" but Gurudev says, "No, it is not a snake. It is a piece of rope," and you must believe it. That kind of strongest faith is necessary for your spiritual life: through such strongest faith, devotion will increase in your heart. The less faith you have, the less devotion you have—have the strongest faith, then the strongest devotion will come in your life.
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