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he was prepared to forego his kith and kin in order to get away from the evil-doing Ravana. As soon as it was clear that Ravana was incorrigible, immediately he arose in the skies to forsake him and go to Rama.
3. The conviction that 'He will protect me under all circumstances'. (rakshishyatIti viSvAsaH). This conviction has to be a 100 per cent conviction, nothing less. It is a trust with total abandon. This is the abandon which forms the concluding part of His advice in the gItA. It is the abandonment of all dependence on anything other than the Lord. We certainly do it sometimes when we are in distress and when we have no hope of any earthly help. But the teachinbg of the Lord is that we should do it at all times!.
When Vibhishana abandoned Ravana to go and seek refuge in Sri Rama, he had no prior agreement with or assurance from Rama that the latter will accept him and protect him. Even then he had perfect trust in the goodness of the Lord and was confident that he will be taken in. Rama did not belie his expectations. This trust and confidence in the Lord is the one sure foundation on which the principle of surrender works.
4. Adoption of the Lord as the only Protector. (goptRtva-varaNaM). In our ordinary lives, when we have tried every means, when we are totally helpless, certainly we take refuge in Him, at least orally, though it is a moot question whether it comes from the heart. When the Doctor finally says: i have done my best, the patient now is in God's hands - at that time we no doubt pray to God and say to Him 'O God, you are my only refuge'. Can we have that attitude even when there is a so-called worldly help or alternative apparently available? That would be the true practice of SaraNAgati.
5. Laying of one's entire self at the disposal of the Lord. (Atma-nikshepaM). This and the previous one (No.4) are both insisted by the vaishnavite schools with a particular emphasis unique to them. The devotee realises in due time that whatever he may do his past karma and present obstacles to a spiritual pursuit do not giv e him the spiritual advance he yearns for, in spite of the regularity of his life and purity of conduct. He feels that something else other than his conduct, knowledge and faith is necessary. He realises that even if he surrenders to God he is not able to ingratiate himself into the Lord's favour. He needs somebody to intercede on his behalf with the Lord. This is the role of the guru. The Guru enables him to rid himself of the burden which he is unable to bear any more. This is technically called 'laying off the burden' or 'returning the burden to its rightful owner' and known as bhAra-nyAsa in Sri vaishnava jargon.
In the case of Satya Sai Baba, both the Guru and the Lord are
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