I am neither wholesomely dedicated to dharma (morality), nor am I a knower of the Self. I have no devotion to your lotus feet either. Having nothing in my possession, having no other shelter, I surrender at your lotus feet, the refuge of all.
Points for Introspection:
This is a sincere cry of a devotee from the depth of his heart calling out to the Supreme Lord and surrendering himself completely in his divine reassuring hands. To surrender to God no qualification is necessary. One must become like a child who knows the mother and mother alone. When the child feels helpless or fearful he runs to the mother’s lap knowing that that lap is the supreme shelter. Similar should be a devotee. He should take complete refuge at the Lord’s feet.
A devotee should call God in all openness and earnestness. He should place before God all his shortcomings, his inabilities, his doubts and apprehensions, but laden with the sincere feelings that he has nobody else except God for his refuge.
In this shloka the devotee is crying out to God: “I know I have no qualification to please you, neither I am a follower of dharma, nor have I attained the knowledge of the Self. I also do not have any devotion at your holy lotus feet. Do I deserve to be called yours and be protected by you O Lord? But still I, who has no possession to call my own, who has no source of support anywhere else, simply take shelter at your feet O Lord. I do not know what is good or bad for me. I know that you alone are my only refuge. In spite of whatever shortcomings I have O Lord, I know you will surely give me place in your lap and remove my helplessness and fear.”
This shloka when chanted again and again, contemplating on each and every word, melts the heart with the feeling of belonging to God completely and to none else. It gives the feeling of total surrender at the Lord’s feet in spite of all the shortcomings one has. One feels a sense of relief having placed all burden at the Lord’s feet.
न (na) = not; धर्मनिष्ठः (dharmaniṣṭhaḥ) = wholesomely dedicated to dharma (morality); अस्मि (asmi) = I am; न च (na ca) = not even; आत्मवेदी (ātmavedī) = Knower of the Self; न (na) = not; भक्तिमान् (bhaktimān) = one with devotion; त्वत्-चरणारविन्दे (tvat-caraṇāravinde) = at your lotus feet; अकिंचनः (akiṁcanaḥ) = one without any possession; अनन्यगतिः (ananyagatiḥ) = having no other shelter; शरण्यं (śaraṇyaṁ) = the refuge; त्वत्-पादमूलं (tvat-pādamūlaṁ) = your feet; शरणं प्रपद्ये (śaraṇaṁ prapadye) = I surrender, I seek refuge.
धर्मनिष्ठः न अस्मि, आत्मवेदी न च (अस्मि) । त्वत्-चरणारविन्दे न भक्तिमान् (अस्मि) । (अहं) अकिंचनः अनन्यगतिः । शरण्यं त्वत्-पादमूलं शरणं प्रपद्ये ।
dharmaniṣṭhaḥ na asmi, ātmavedī na ca (asmi). tvat-caraṇāravinde na bhaktimān (asmi). (aham) akiṁcanaḥ ananyagatiḥ. śaraṇyaṁ tvat-pādamūlaṁ śaraṇaṁ prapadye.
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