Markata ( Monkey ) reeti sharanagati and Marjala ( Cat ) reeti sharanagati – explained by Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
A baby monkey holds on to its mother tightly when she swings from branches to branches , trees to trees. The baby monkey also swings along with the mother. But the baby monkey can hold on to its mother only for amount of strength it has. Sometimes the baby monkey loses its grip and falls down. But the cat baby is not like that, a kitten cannot hold on to it mother tightly like the baby monkey. The kitten just meow’s from its place and the mother cat knows what the baby wants and lifts her baby by its neck with love and takes it from place to place. The mother holds the baby cat.
In the case of the monkey the baby holds on to the mother ( markata reeti ) , in the case of the cat the mother holds on to the baby ( marjala reeti ). The reason why Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa gives these two examples is because when people say that I on my own with my own efforts and will, shall realize God, its like the baby monkey holding the mother. We can only reach to the extent of will and effort we have in realizing God. If our effort, will power, is shaky then we will fall down, just like the baby monkey. Its because we trust in our own will, efforts, might. When we are proud and trust our own will we can fall down at times.
If we surrender to God and and say that nothing is in my hands and that God you are the one. Only if you show compassion I can realize you. Leave everything to God just like how the baby cat trusts its mother to take care of it. It leaves the responsibility is in the hands of the mother cat. We don’t have to know to do any rituals, penance, prayers, bhakti yoga, karma yoga, jnana yoga etc. A sharanagat is like the baby cat who trusts that our Guru / God will save us, take care of us.
Another example – A father is taking his two children for a stroll. One child is holding the father’s hand with one hand, the father is holding the other child in his arms. As he is walking they all notice an aeroplane in the sky. The kids are thrilled and start clapping their hands. The child who is holding the father’s hand suddenly leaves the grip in order to clap his hands. Just as he did that he stumbles and falls down on the stone that was on the street. The child who is in his father’s arms also claps both his hands but he does not fall down because the father is holding the child. The child was not holding but the father was holding the child. Thus this is the difference between the person who surrenders and the person who doesnt. If we surrender completely our Guru/ God will take care of us even when we are in trouble.
— Courtesy – As narrated by Vishakha Hari in her discourse