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In the Hari-bhakti-viveka, there is a statement regarding how one can offer his body in self-surrender

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"In the Hari-bhakti-viveka, there is a statement regarding how one can offer his body in self-surrender"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion

In the Hari-bhakti-viveka, there is a statement regarding how one can offer his body in self-surrender. There the devotee says, "My dear Lord, as a sold-out animal has no need to think about his maintenance and sustenance, so, because I have given up my body and soul unto You, I am no longer concerned with my maintenance and sustenance.

This self-surrender is called ātma-nivedana. According to different authorities, "self" is differently defined. "Self" is sometimes considered to refer to the spirit self, or soul, and "self" is sometimes considered to refer to the mind or to the body. Full self-surrender, therefore, means not only surrendering one's self as spirit soul, but also surrendering one's mind and body to the service of the Lord. Śrīla Bhaktivinode Thākur has sung a nice song in this connection. While offering himself as a fully surrendered soul, he said, "My mind, my household affairs, my body, whatever is in my possession, my dear Lord, I offer to You for Your service. Now You can do with them as You like. You are the supreme possessor of everything, so if You like You can kill me, or if You like You can give me protection. All authority belongs to You. I have nothing to claim as my own."

Śrī Yāmunācārya, in his prayers to the Lord, has expressed a similar idea in the following words: "My dear Lord, I may be living within some body as a human being or as a demigod, but whatever mode of life, I do not mind, because these bodies are simply by-products of the three modes of material nature, and I, who am in possession of these bodies, am surrendering myself unto You."

In the Hari-bhakti-viveka, there is a statement regarding how one can offer his body in self-surrender. There the devotee says, "My dear Lord, as a sold-out animal has no need to think about his maintenance and sustenance, so, because I have given up my body and soul unto You, I am no longer concerned with my maintenance and sustenance." In other words, one should not bother about his personal or family maintenance or sustenance. If one is actually surrendered in body and soul, he should always remember that his only concern is to be engaged in the service of the Lord.

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī says that devotional service in friendship and devotional service in self-surrender are two difficult processes. Therefore such relationships with the Lord can very rarely be seen. Only for the advanced devotees are these two processes easily executed. The purport is that it is very rare to see surrender which is mixed with sincere ecstatic devotion. One must give himself completely to the will of the Lord.

In the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 40th verse, 11th Chapter, Lord Kṛṣṇa tells Uddhava: "My dear friend, if someone offers Me the best thing in his possession, or anything which is very pleasing to him, he will be eternally benefitted."

In the Nārada-pañcarātra there is a statement of how one can act in all spheres of life for the satisfaction of the Lord. It is stated there that a person who is actually in devotional service must be engaged in all kinds of activities, those prescribed in the revealed scriptures and also those which are accepted for livelihood. In other words, a devotee should engage himself not only in the prescribed duties of devotional service which are mentioned in the revealed scriptures, but he should also perform the duties of his practical life in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. For example, a devotee who has a great establishment, or factory, may offer the fruits of such a material possession for the service of the Lord.