सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज।
अहं त्वा सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः।।18.66।।
।।18.66।। सब धर्मों का परित्याग करके तुम एक मेरी ही शरण में आओ? मैं तुम्हें समस्त पापों से मुक्त कर दूँगा? तुम शोक मत करो।।
The phrase sarva-dharmam parityajya means renouncing all conceptions and methods of religiosity completely. Whatever is authorised in Vedic scriptures as righteous may be utilised in worship and propitiation to the Supreme Lord by karma yoga or facilitating communion with the Supreme Lord by prescribed Vedic actions, by bhakti yoga or facilitating communion with the Supreme Lord by exclusive loving devotion or by jnana yoga facilitating communion with the Supreme Lord by spiritual knowledge. But all other methods and conceptions must be renounced and relinquished along with phala tyaga or expectation of rewards, karma tyaga or identifying oneself as the owner of the result and kartritva or believing oneself to be the author of the act. The phrase mam ekam saranam vraja means to take exclusive shelter in the Supreme Lord Krishna understanding that He is the most worthy, most desirable and most worshipable of all that exists. That this is the quality of renunciation warranted in the Vedic scriptures that is required was evidenced by the Supreme Lord in the beginning of this chapter. In verse 4 He stated: Hear the truth about renunciation which is threefold. In verse 9 He stated: Actions are deemed as renunciation in sattva guna the mode of goodness when desire for rewards are abandoned. In verse 11 He stated: One is known as renounced who renounces the rewards for actions. Lord Krishna is promising His devotees that He will personally redeem and deliver from all sins His devotee who lives their life in the manner just explained. This includes sins of commission and sins of omission that accumulated over uncountable lifetimes from time immemorial. Past sins are immense burdens and obstacles in achieving moksa or liberation from material existence. Then to assure that what He has stated is a surety He states ma sucah meaning there is no need to despair. Another interpretation is that Lord Krishna consoles His devotees who may be stricken with grief by the thought of so many sins committed and omitted in countless past lives. For karma yoga and jnana yoga there is no restrictions in performing actions and acquiring knowledge respectively; but for bhakti yoga which is exclusive, personal loving devotion unto Lord Krishna or any of His authorised avatars or incarnations and expansions such as Rama, Vamana, Narasingha, etc. to be performed all ones sins must be entirely dissolved and one must have great love for the Supreme Lord as well. A devotee may have great love for the Supreme Lord but eradicating all ones sins is another matter. There are only two ways to eradicate all sins. Either by the acceptance of the Vaisnava spiritual master in authorised disciplic succession who takes all ones sins and transfers them upwards to his guru who transfers them upwards to his guru and so forth and so on all the way back to Lord Krishna who personally dissolves them all immediately is one way. The other way is by personal effort. Reflecting on all the sins one has accumulated since the beginning of time and then not even the committed sins but only just the omitted sins like not fasting from grains on Ekadasi when all sins of the world enter grains on the 11th day of the new and full moons is enough for a devotee to become quite dismayed. In a human lifetime of Earth it is not possible to exhaust by expiatory rituals and austerities all the sins hoarded over innumerable lifetimes. There is not enough time so contemplating their lack of qualification a sincere devotee would despair. To console His devotees Lord Krishna omnisciently understands that to eradicate all the myriad of sins accumulated over unlimited lives by expiatory ceremonies would be futile in the short span of life a human being has. Such ceremonies are difficult to conduct successfully, are costly and time consuming and so any chance of successfully eradicating all ones sins in this way is out of the question. To alleviate this difficulty Lord Krishna reveals the solution which grants success in order to be able to embark upon bhakti yoga is to exclusively take complete refuge in Him. There is no cost whatsoever for admission. The Supreme Lord who is the creator, maintainer, protector and sustainer of the total creation, most magnanimously and compassionately gives exclusive shelter to those who seek Him exclusively and irrevocably promises to eradicate all ones sins which are the awesome barriers prohibiting one from communion with the Supreme Lord and the ambrosial bliss of bhakti.