Saranagathi or surrender is the approach in Srivaishnavism for god. There are no restrictions. Any one irrespective of caste,creed,age or sex can follow. One can perform Saranagathi not only for himself but also for others including animals, birds, plant etc.The individual surrenders to the Lord expressing his limitations of yogic path.The process is simple with huge benefits. Therefore , the god expects the individual to follow a few rules during the tenure of current life.
Resolve to do only such acts as are favourable to supreme god.
Resolve to avoid all actions nor favoured by the Lord.
Have full faith in the Lord that he will protect the individual.
Confess to Lord one's inability to do anything except surrendering at the Lord's feet.
Express one's total dependence on the Lord for protection.
The act of Saranagathi or surrender is done through Mantras only- Chanted with pure devotion. There are three modes by which one can do Saranagathi.
Swanishte : One who has full knowledge of Saranagathi and has realized God , can do saranagathi directly to Lord.
Uktinishte : One who cannot do Swanishte , should approach an "Acharya "or teacher and request his guidance. Acharya recites sentences conveying full surrender , and the sentences uttered by Acharya are repeated by the individual.
Acharyanishte : One who cannot do any of the above methods , will surrender to the Acharya himself.
For "Moksha" - God realization , Saranagathi is essential. All modes of Saranagathi are equal.
PanchaSamskara and Srivaishnava mantras :
Panchasamskara are five purificatory ceremonies which one should go through to become a Srivaishnava . These are performed by one's Acharya. They are
Embossing the impressions of conch ( Sankha ) and wheel ( Chakra ) on the left and right arms by an Acharya.
Wearing twelve Srivaishnava marks on the body reciting appropriate names of the Lord as taught by Acharya.
Adding " Dasa " to one's name.
Learning from the Acharya the three Srivaishnava mantras with their invocatory slokas. The three Srivaishnava mantras are
This is an important Samskara and should be performed with full devotion .These mantras connote Saranagathi . Chanting these mantras with devotion everyday will enable to earn the grace of the Lord.