ददाने दीनेभ्यः श्रियमनिशमाशानुसदृशीं
अमन्दं सौन्दर्यप्रकरमकरन्दं विकिरति।
तवास्मिन् मन्दारस्तबकसुभगे यातु चरणे
निमज्जन्मज्जीवः करणचरणः षट्चरणताम्॥

dadāne dīnebhyaḥ śriyamaniśamāśānusadṛśīṁ
amandaṁ saundaryaprakaramakarandaṁ vikirati |
tavāsmin mandārastabakasubhage yātu caraṇe
nimajjanmajjīvaḥ karaṇacaraṇaḥ ṣaṭcaraṇatām ||

dīnebhyaḥ - for the sake of impoverished; āśānu sadṛśīṁ - according to their rightful hopes; śriyam aniśam – perpetual wealth; amandaṁ - intensely; saundarya prakara makarandaṁ - plentiful nectar of beautiful flowers; vikirati – scattered everywhere; asmin tava caraṇe – Your feet; mandāra stabaka subhage – beautiful cluster of mandāra flowers (celestial flowers); nimajjan majjīvaḥ - let my soul immerse; karaṇa caraṇaḥ - antaḥkaraṇa as feet; ṣaṭ caraṇatām – being a bee with six feet; yātu – to become.

“Your feet are capable of fulfilling the rightful needs of poor perpetually. From Your feet flows the Divine nectar, just like plenty of nectar secreted from the bunch of celestial flowers.  Let me become a six footed bee and surrender unto Your feet with my sensory organs and antaḥkaraṇa.”

This verse conveys two subtle messages. One has to surrender unto Her totally. Total surrender is conveyed through surrendering through sensory organs (both organs of perception and organs of action) and antaḥkaraṇa (mind, intellect, consciousness and ego). Surrendering through organs of action and perception is conveyed through caraṇa and surrendering through antaḥkaraṇa is conveyed through karaṇa. It is said that from Her feet secretes Divine nectar, which is nothing but Divine Bliss. This nectar is compared to the nectar of celestial mandāra flowers. The reason for comparing Her feet to celestial flowers is to indicate the permeating fragrance from Her feet into the universe. Śaṃkarācārya wants to become a six footed bee and remain in Her feet always.

There are a few things that are expressed by Śaṃkarācārya in a sequential order. First, one has to surrender unto Her. In order to surrender to Her, the concept of surrender is to be understood. He subtly conveys about two types of surrender, which is to be done one after another. First, one has to surrender ritually. There are certain procedures, through which one surrenders unto Her. Normally, these types of surrenders are done through one’s Guru, who acts as a medium between the Divine and the devotee. This is the first step, which lays a strong foundation to surrender through antaḥkaraṇa. The second part of surrender is through antaḥkaraṇa, which refers to four inner psychic and subtle organs - mind, intellect, consciousness and ego. Kṛṣṇa explains śaraṇāgati in at the end of Bhagavad Gītā (XVIII. 64 – 66)*. Surrendering through antaḥkaraṇa means surrendering through one’s mind and intellect, shedding his or her non-essential ego by uniting individual consciousness with Supreme Consciousness (he becomes a yogi).

The second part explains śaraṇāgati and its consequential result, the Bliss. This resultant Bliss cannot be experienced through continued association with the material world and hence Śaṁkarācārya chooses celestial flowers to draw comparison to the unfoldment of Bliss in the mind of that yogi. When this Bliss is experienced, one cannot move away from this experience, which is addictive in nature.  He will continue to exist in the same state till his death. Hence bees are drawn as comparison. When bees taste the finest nectar, they eat beyond their capacity. As result, either they perish or unable to move away from that flower and swoons. Once Her nectarous feet is tasted, we cannot move away from Her feet and this state is compared to the state of bees due to their perpetual presence in the nectar secreted from Her feet. This is called Bliss. What will happen to that yogi who perpetually dwells in Her Bliss. Vivekacūḍāmaṇī (verse 271 and 277) explains this state. “Desire to run after the society, passion for too much study of scriptures, desire to keep the body in good shape, go away. His mind dies, being constantly fixed on his own Self (the Self within).” What is the final result of śaraṇāgati? There cannot be any final result for śaraṇāgati, as after one surrenders through his mind, ne should not look for results. If one asks for the result of śaraṇāgati, it clearly means that his surrender is not complete. Mind continues to exist for the one who has surrendered. But this mind is pure and devoid of any thought processes. He simply cannot think because he is now Brahman.  Vivekacūḍāmaṇī (488) explains his state. “Blessed I am; I have attained the consummation of my life and I am now free from the clutches of transmigration; I am the Essence of Eternal Bliss, I am Infinite...”

Only Her feet are capable of offering this Bliss. If Her feet alone are capable of offering Bliss, it is worthwhile in contemplating what Her Grace can offer to us.

{*Further reading on śaraṇāgati: Reproduced from my book “Essence of Bhagavad Gītā” (chapter XVIII. 64 – 66)

Listen to My supremely secret words again, the most secretive of all.  You are extremely dear to Me, and I shall only say what is beneficial for you.  Fix your mind on Me, worship Me and bow down to Me. By doing so you will come to Me alone.  I promise you.  Resigning all dharma, take refuge in Me alone.  I shall absolve you of all your sins. Do not worry.”

This is almost the concluding statement of Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad Gītā. After having explained to Arjuna, the elaborate steps to attain liberation, Kṛṣṇa conclusively says that surrender unto Him is the best choice for liberation.  Kṛṣṇa gives importance to friendship by saying to Arjuna that he is very dear to Him.  Both Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, studied, played and grew together.  Though, Kṛṣṇa was moving with many others, He had a special interest in Arjuna, not just because he was a noted warrior, but also because of his ability to understand.  Added to these qualities, Arjuna never deviated from the scriptural dictums and always followed the path of virtuousness.  It is like the Lord extending His hands to those who are spiritually well advanced.  This does not mean that the Lord follows the path of partiality.  The Lord takes a special interest on those, who truly seeks Him without the handful of prayers and favours.  Such yogis are taken over by the Lord Himself, who ultimately leads them to liberation. Even then, the Lord does not dissolve their karmas. He only tells them the ways and means to dissolve their karmas quickly.  Karmas can be dissolved only by one’s experience in this world and not otherwise. 

The entire Bhagavad Gita is the Lord’s message to these yogis and not just Arjuna alone.  Subsequently, He says that Gita should not be imparted to those who are not interested in pursuing the path of righteousness. When the world is totally immersed in darkness of ignorance, the Lord incarnates and sets the world in the right path; as otherwise, the world would sink deeper and deeper without any plausible redemption. All those, who follow the path of virtuousness, will also get sunk along with the demons.  If virtuous men are punished, then the sayings of the Scriptures would be falsified. In order to avert the complete catastrophe, the Lord takes avatars and infuses confidence in the hearts of those virtuous men  Kṛṣṇa avatar is purely towards this goal only and obviously, the goal has been totally achieved by the Lord. Towards the closing chapters of Gita, Kṛṣṇa becomes too compassionate.  He says to Arjuna and through him to the entire humanity, “You have suffered enough.  I do not want you to suffer any longer.  I am your Lord.  Surrender unto Me by thinking about Me all the time.  I will give you liberation. You have come very close to Me.  Just a few steps, you will attain Me. Please do not go back.” Even after these compassionate words, one is unwilling to surrender his ego to Him, then, nobody can save him.  He will continue to undergo the pains of birth and death repeatedly. 

When a person had fallen into a deep pit, one can throw a rope to save him.  If he is not willing to take that rope and claim up, what can one think about him?  This is the kind of situation, the humanity is in. The Lord says I am giving you the rope to claim up and even promises that he would be taken to safety. Even then, the fallen person is not acting it means that he is resigned to his fate.  The Lord says that one should set aside his ego and surrender to Him through one’s mind.  He does not even want a person to suffer physically. Just developing the quality of renunciation, through his mind, is more than enough to attain liberation. Sacrifice is the sole essence of Gita.  One can perform any actions without intent on the fruits of actions.  Nothing is barred and the only requirement is to stay connected consciously with the Lord all the time.  If one takes refuge in the Lord, the Lord will take care of his liberation.  He will find the ways and means to absolve all his sins, purify him and ultimately makes him one with Himself.  After all, the Lord is the embodiment of compassion and love. 

Kṛṣṇa once again tells Arjuna not to worry and asks him to surrender in entirety to Him. The Lord also gives a promise that he will be absolved of all his sins and liberated.  He says, “Do not get repeatedly entangled with duties that may be either right or wrong.  I am above all the scriptural dictums. When you aim to attain Me, dharmas have no significance. Get out of your ego and come to Me is all that I need from you.”