Unfailing Refuge for the Surrendered
Be he one low-born, one encircled in vices, or one of ill-repute; should he but utter once: “I am Yours, O Lord”, him do You grant Your own “Kingdom”. Such indeed is Your declared vow. Therefore, You are my only refuge, O wielder of the Conch.
Points for Introspection
A true devotee is one who feels that he has nobody except God as his refuge. He considers God as the most near and dear one and feels absolutely close to Him. He calls out to God with earnestness and openness during every situation in his life. He talks to Him mentally, unburdens himself at God’s feet, shares his woes and afflictions, joys and delight. He places his doubts and apprehensions, his short-comings and success, at the holy lotus feet of the supreme Lord, surrendering completely in His reassuring hands.
Such a devotee is like a child on the mother’s lap. He finds the divine lap to be the most secure place. At times he even quarrels with or questions the Lord as one would his own parents. He is so free with the supreme Lord because he knows that there is no relationship greater than that with God. Every moment he lives with this strong feeling and conviction: “I am yours, O Lord!”
In the world there are many relationships with many people – father, mother, sister, brother, husband, wife, son, daughter, friend, neighbour, etc. However, even the closest relative may turn hostile, find fault with or abuse, when a point of dislike or disagreement crops up. A devotee understands the hollowness and superficiality of worldly relationships. He tells God: “People may say that I belong to them. But O Lord, I know I belong to You alone.”
This śloka is a heart-felt cry of a devotee, calling out to the supreme Lord in intense surrender: “O Lord, even if a person is low–born, sinful, or ill-reputed, it is your declared vow that if that person with his heart and soul, utters even once ‘I am yours, O Lord’, you take him in your lap and give him refuge.”
The devotee further submits: “Knowing your promise O Lord, I too surrender at Your feet so that You will lift me up and give me shelter on your comforting lap. I do so because I truly feel that I belong to You alone, and none else. I understand that all other relationships are hollow and superficial. The only relationship, the supreme one, is with You, O Lord!”
Chanting this śloka makes us feel very close to God as if He has taken away our burden, by lovingly giving a place on His lap where there is no fear or anxiety.
नीचः (nīca:) = one who is low on the social strata; अपि (api) = also; पापवलितः (pāpa-valita:) = one who is encircled with vices; अपि (api) = also; विनिन्दितः (vinindita:) = one who is ill-reputed; अपि (api) = also; ब्रूयात् (brūyāt) = utters; तव अहम् (tava aham) = “I am Yours”; इति (iti) = thus; यः (ya:) = who; तु (tu) = but; किलैकवारम् (kila-ekavāram) = even once; तं (taṃ) = to him; यच्छसि (yacchasi) = you give; ईश (īśa) = O Lord; निजलोकम् (nijalokam) = own kingdom; इति (iti) = this; व्रतं (vrataṃ) = vow; ते (te) = your; तस्मात् (tasmāt) = therefore; त्वम् (tvam) = You; एव (eva) = only; शरणं (śaraṇaṃ) = refuge; मम (mama) = my; शंखपाणे (śaṅkhapāṇe) = O wielder of the conch (Lord Vishnu).
नीचः अपि पापवलितः अपि विनिन्दितः अपि यः तव अहम् इति किलैकवारम् ब्रूयात्, तं तु (हे) ईश, निजलोकम् यच्छसि, इति ते व्रतं । तस्मात् (हे) शंखपाणे, त्वम् एव मम शरणं ।
nīca: api pāpavalita: api vinindita: api ya: tava aham iti kilaikavāram brūyāt, taṃ tu (he) īśa, nijalokam yacchasi, iti te vrataṃ. tasmāt (he) śaṅkhapāṇe, tvam eva mama śaraṇaṃ.
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