The Hare Krishna Maha-mantra has been prescribed by Lord Brahma in the Kalisantarana Upanishad (5; 6) of Krishna Yajur Veda as follows:
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare | hare rAma hare rAma rAma rAma hare hare ||
iti shodashakam nAmnAm kali-kalmasha-nAshanam | nAtah pArataropayah sarva-vedeshu drishyate ||
Lord Brahma instructs his son and disciple, Narada Muni as follows:
“The sixteen words of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra - (Hare Krishna Hare
Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare) -
are especially meant for counteracting the sins of Kali-yuga. To save
oneself from the contamination of Kali-yuga there is no other
alternative, but to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra.After searching
through all the Vedic scriptures one cannot find a method of religion
for this age (Kali-yuga) so sublime as the chanting of the Hare Krishna
You have mistaken considering path of surrender to be higher than bhakti. Surrender is a limb of Bhakti Yoga.
The next verse states:
This conﬁdential knowledge may never be explained to those who are not
austere, or devoted, or engaged in devotional service, nor to one who
is envious of Me.
In fact, in the very beginning Krishna has spoken to Arjuna that the qualification to get the revelation of Bhagavad Gita within the heart, as Arjuna got it, is through bhakti ONLY.
That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is
today told by Me to you because you are My devotee as well as My
friend and can therefore understand the transcendental mystery of this
To clarify any misconception or jugglery of grammar to show Bhakti as inferior to Gyana, etc or a part of it Krishna has spoken the following verses:
And of all yogīs, the one with great faith who always abides in Me,
thinks of Me within himself and renders transcendental loving service
to Me – he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the
highest of all. That is My opinion.
My dear Arjuna, he who engages in My pure devotional service, free from the contaminations of fruitive activities and mental speculation, he who works for Me, who makes Me the supreme goal of his life, and who is friendly to every living being – he certainly comes to Me.
Fruitive activities points to Karma Kanda and mental speculation to Gyana and Dhyana Yoga. Devotional service undoubtedly is Bhakti Yoga.
So there is no difference between Bhakti Yoga and Surrender. Surrender is the topmost limb of Bhakti Yoga. Surrendering by following the instructions of Lord Shri Krishna is Bhakti Yoga.
So I would recommend you to become well versed with Bhagavad Gita first. That is sufficient in itself in this age of Kaliyuga. Too many shastras means too much of jugglery as I often read here. That's why for Kaliyuga, Bhagavad Gita was delivered, personally spoken by the Lord Himself, right before it's start.
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