In sanskrit the word “Sarana” has three meanings :- (a) one who protects or or protector. (b) Asraya : or shelter. (c) Ghar or home. A person needs some basis for sustenance. To be safe you need a protector. for freedom from anxities, a home and for various requirements of life a shelter of some completent person.
It is difficult to find a single person who can offer us all the three requirements in worldly sense, because the capacities of people as regards wealths and power are very limited.
Even the celestial Devies and Devatas, entities that belong to “Vyuha” or incarnations are not fully capable of providing shelter to mankind. Each has his or her limitations.
Devas are under the governance of Nature (Prakruti). Even the abode of divine being called “Aksharadham” enjoys only limited bliss calld ananda. Only Purna Purushottama Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the most distinguished person. He has unlimited capabilities. HE is the master of wealth of Ananda that can never be decreased.
HIs lotus like feet are our shelter or our home. HE can stand support to us in our joys and sorrows. HE alone can provide full protection to us. For this reason Sri Mahaprabhuji has recommended taking shelter of Sri Krishna alone. Then a person can be free from all anxities.
In the system of Bhakti the principle “sarana” takes the form of a foundation. A many stories building can stand firmly on a well prepared foundation. Hence bhakti should stand on a foundation of the principle “Saranagati”.
Hence Mahaprabhuji has treated “Saranagati” as a part or division of bhakti. Since bhakti is bifurcated into Maryada and Pusti Bhakti even the “Sarna” or shelter is divided into Maryada and Pusti. The “Sarana Marga advocated in Sri Gitaji is related to the Sarana Marga of Maryada. Sri Mahaprabhuji has pointed out to another Sarana Marga which has a bearing with Pusti Marga and is different from the otherone. For this reason Sri Mahaprabhuji is called “Pruthats Sarana MargoPadesakah”. Let us understand first the formof Maryada Sarana Marga.