Self-Surrender

“Prapanna” is a common terminology in the sect of the Sri Sampradaya of Ramanuja to describe Self-Surrender. The Dasya Bhava of a devotee in the Ramanuja sect becomes complete when Prapatti is accepted by the living entity in front of the Acarya or a representative of God belonging to the Sampradaya. Such a person is believed to be free of anxieties and should act according to the edicts of Prapanna.

The act of self-surrender is very much complicated in Sampradayas other than that of our Mahaprabhu sect which prescribes Acintya Bheda Abhed. Just by accepting self-surrender one cannot become free of anxieties and worries. Practically one’s heart is immersed in worldliness and problems of the world impinge the very marrow of one’s consciousness. Sriman Mahaprabhu has sorted this problem out by introducing the chanting of the holy name in the initial phase. By chanting the holy names for a few years, the living entity gets strength to face the problems of the world. Hidden fears and compulsive behaviours are balanced simply through the continuousi-surrender-all chanting of the holy name. Even under this condition , the living entity can be full of deviant behaviours incapable of surrendering to the will of the Lord. The Holy Name is still sufficient to hold the living entity afloat. After sufficient practice of chanting the holy name , when the living entity has developed faith in Mahaprabhu and the holy name , the jeeva becomes eligible to accept a Deeksha Guru. When the jeeva accepts a Deeksha Guru , the process of surrendering only starts . The jeeva accepts the Gopala Mantra, Radha Mantra and other mantras and follows the instructions of the Spiritual master or the Deeksha Guru. This is the time when the jeeva becomes ready to let go of its compulsive worldly behaviour and enter the realm of true surrender. Having said this , the surrender process has just only begun. Surrender does not happen at once. Unless the jeeva gets beyond the plane of compulsions and fear , there cannot be true surrender. As the jeeva undertakes sadhana , a heap of impressions gets exposed. The path of Sriman Mahaprabhu culminates in Vishuddha Sattva where Braja Prema is the goal. As one undertakes sadhana , the material ego transmutes itself as the spiritual ego . The living entity identifies itself as the servant of the Spiritual Master and the Lord. The aspect of Das anu Das becomes prominent in the consciousness of the living entity. Instead of the Ego getting effaced as expected in other systems of spiritualism, in this system the mode of servitude to Sriman Mahaprabhu and Krishna dominates. This is the stage when the living entity gets free of all worldly shackles and gets established with a new spiritual and even worldly identity. The Supreme Lord , based on the spiritual desire of the living entity completely releases the living entity and connects one to the Holy Land of Braja. The process of surrender gets complete when the Lord awards the spiritual form to the living entity as a result of the continuous and unabated sadhana and Guru nishtha of the living entity. Thus true surrender of the living entity is only achieved through various stages and can never happen at once as is the system in other Sampradayas.

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