Lessons from the Twenty-Four Gurus - Part 27

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev!
This is in continuation of the offering, "Lessons from the Twenty-Four Gurus", where in we were discussing on the wonderful lessons learnt by the avadhuta brahmana from the various people whom he met in his life.  In this offering, let us learn from the next spiritual master of the avadhuta brahmana - deer. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 11.8.17, Lord Krishna says

grāmya-gītaṁ na śṛṇuyād yatir vana-caraḥ kvacit
śikṣeta hariṇād baddhān mṛgayor gīta-mohitāt

A saintly person dwelling in the forest in the renounced order of life should never listen to songs or music promoting material enjoyment. Rather, a saintly person should carefully study the example of the deer, who is bewildered by the sweet music of the hunter's horn and is thus captured and killed.

Everyone of us like to hear music. But we must be careful in hearing the right kind of music. In the purport to the above verse it is nicely mentioned as to what kind of music we should hear and what we should avoid. "If one becomes attached to the sense gratification of materialistic music and songs, one will develop all the features of material entanglement. One should hear Bhagavad-Gita, or the song sung by the Supreme Lord." As we know hearing is the first sense which we get in the mother's womb and the last sense to leave us when we leave the body. So what we hear has a very great impact in molding our life. We may think that there is nothing wrong in listening to cinema songs etc once in a while. But even when we were students, we had experienced how songs heard weeks or months before the exams also suddenly pops up in the mind and distract us even when sitting in the exam hall. With great struggle and prayers we used to force our mind to concentrate on the exam. The point is music remains in our sub-conscious mind for a longer time and so we have to make sincere endeavour to always ensure that we follow, "hear no evil".   

As Lord Krishna warns us in Bhagavad Gita verse 2.62

dhyāyato viṣayān puṁsaḥ saṅgas teṣūpajāyate
saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ kāmāt krodho ’bhijāyate

While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.

Songs pertaining to material enjoyment will deviate us from the ultimate goal of life and can never give us permanent bliss.  If we keep habituating ourselves to such music then even during our final exam, death, we will be remembering only these songs instead of Supreme Lord and so we would definitely keep continuing the miserable cycle of repeated birth and death again and again. Like the deer we would also be misled by material music and be caught by the hunter of death. As our beloved spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj  says - "The real meaning of initiation is to change the vibrations that are coming from our homes into transcendental vibrations."  Spiritual vibrations alone have such a subtle powerful effect that it cleanses all our anarthas and gives us "bliss" which can only be experienced simply by repetitively hearing such vibrations.

Material vibrations need not necessarily limit to cinema songs and other music alone.  Even words of praise and appreciation are also sweet music to our ears. When we keep hearing such praises more and more we become falsely proud and tend to forget the reality that whatever abilities are currently appearing to be present in us, are not our own. The real source for all our ability, prowess and strength is the Supreme Lord Krishna and only if He sanctions, we can take even a single step. So we should be careful not to listen to this kind of music as well. Prthu Maharaj very nicely shows by his personal example in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 4.15.22 as to how to deal with praise and appreciations.

prthur uvaaca
bhoh suta he maagadha saumya vandin
loke 'dhunaaspashta-gunasya me syaat
kim aashrayo me stava esha yojyataam
maa mayy abhuvan vitathaa giro vah

King Prthu said: "O gentle Suta, Magadha and other devotee offering prayers, the qualities of which you have spoken are not distinct in me. Why then should you praise me for all these qualities when I do not shelter these features? I do not wish for these words meant for me to go in vain, but it is better that they be offered to someone else."

So let us be careful to use our ears, only in hearing the music pertaining to glorification of the Lord, be it either in the form of His Names (Mahamantra) or His pastimes and instructions (Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavatam etc). By doing so we will be making the right use of ears and thereby purify our existence.

We pray at the lotus feet of Srila Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada and Sri Krishna that we hear only the right kind of music and never ever forsake the transcendental vibrations.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krishna das and Sudarshana devi dasi.