Surrender Once, Get Shelter Forever

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

We were seeing a few beautiful instructions from some of the incidents in Ramayana. Here let us see another beautiful lesson taught by Lord Rama to Sugriva.

When Lord Rama was building the bridge across the ocean to Lanka with the help of the monkeys, Vibhishana, after being shunted out by his brother Ravana, took the opportunity to come to the Lord and surrender at His lotus feet. At this time, however, Sugriva and a few other leaders were suspicious of Vibhishana's commitment and were against Lord Rama giving him shelter.

At that time Lord Rama, who was determined to give shelter to anyone who surrenders to Him even once, told Sugriva and other monkey leaders the story of a Pigeon from the shastras. Once there lived a male and a female pigeon in a tree. One day a hunter came there and killed the female pigeon with his arrows. The male pigeon was left alone. After some months had passed, on a rainy day the hunter came to the same tree, drenched and shivering in cold. He was very hungry because he could not get any food from hunting. The male pigeon was sitting in the same tree. To get rid of the cold, the hunter had lit fire near the tree. On seeing that the hunter is starving of hunger, the pigeon decided to serve the guest by falling into the fire and became the hunter's food.

Lord Rama stopped and told Sugriva, "The male and female pigeon are Myself and Sita. Ravana is the hunter. In the story the female pigeon was killed, but here Sita was only kidnapped. That's all! In the story the same hunter came back to the tree, but here only Ravana's brother has come. There, the hunter did not come to surrender. But here, Vibhishana has come to surrender to Me. In the story, the pigeon had to give up his life. But here, I do not have to give up my life, just I have to accept him." Then Lord Rama continued further, "Sugriva! if Ravana had killed Sita and had come here but not to surrender to Me, and if I had given up My life, even then, the world will say, 'What is the big deal, all Rama did was nothing more than what the pigeon did.' I do not want to become lower than a pigeon." Saying this, the Lord gave shelter to Vibhishana.

The Supreme Lord says in Ramayana, Yuddha kanda 18.33,

sakṛd eva prapanno yas tavāsmīti ca yācate
abhayaṁ sarvadā tasmai dadāmy etad vrataṁ mama

If one surrenders unto Me sincerely, saying, 'My Lord, from this day I am fully surrendered unto You,' I always give him protection. That is My vow.

Giving shelter to someone is not an easy task. We can do that only if we take complete responsibility of the surrendered soul, in the sense that whether they advance in devotional service or not, still one has to help in all ways and means at all times, and without any expectation in return. This is possible only for the Lord and that is why, He is able to care and protect so many zillions of living entities from time immemorial. Lord Rama saying something unique - that even if a person surrenders once to Me, I will give him fearlessness at all times. This is my promise.

Let us pray to the all-merciful Supreme Lord Rama and surrender at His lotus feet eternally. That will rid us of all fears and anxieties.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.