Engaging our Senses in Bhakti - Part 4

Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Hare Krishna. Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

In continuation of the mail on "Engaging our Senses in Bhakti",  let us learn from pure devotees like Maharaj Ambarish and Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev as to how we can use our ears in Krishna's service. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 9.4.18-20 Sukadeva Goswami has said that Ambarish Maharaj used his ears in  his ears in hearing the words spoken by Krishna or about Krishna.

śrutiṁ cakārācyuta-sat-kathodaye - Ears in hearing the words spoken by Krishna or about Krishna.

Ears are wonderful senses provided by the Lord. In fact, hearing is the first sense that starts as early as when we are three months old in the womb of the mother and it is the last sense to leave us when we are in death-bed. That is why so much importance is given to pregnant mothers to hear about Krishna Katha and live in a sattvic environment. Not just the child in the womb, it is important for our own selves as well to always hear the words of Krishna or about Krishna as it has a great impact on our thoughts and behaviour.  In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 2.3.20 Shaunaka Muni says,

bile batorukrama-vikramān ye na śṛṇvataḥ karṇa-puṭe narasya

One who has not listened to the messages about the prowess and marvelous acts of the Personality of Godhead and has not sung or chanted loudly the worthy songs about the Lord is to be considered to possess earholes like the holes.

In the purport to above verse, Srila Prabhupada very nicely says - "If the ear is not engaged in the service of the Lord by hearing about Him from Bhagavad-Gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam, certainly the holes of the ear will be filled with some rubbish. Therefore the messages of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam should be preached all over the world very loudly. That is the duty of a pure devotee who has actually heard about them from the perfect sources."

1. Krishna katha is the precious, most important, nutritious, enlivening rejuvenating food for our soul. If we feed this nectarean food for our ears, then all our anarthas will be cleansed. On the other hand if we simply feed garbage (atheistic,violent speech, gossips etc) our behaviour also be like rubbish. Garbage in - garbage out.  Of the 9 process of bhakti - sravanam or hearing is listed as the first process. Parikshit Maharaj went back to Godhead simply by earnestly hearing about Srimad Bhagavatam. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 10.1.13 he says,

naiṣātiduḥsahā kṣun māṁ tyaktodam api bādhate
pibantaṁ tvan-mukhāmbhoja- cyutaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam

Because of my vow on the verge of death, I have given up even drinking water, yet because I am drinking the nectar of topics about Krishna, which is flowing from the lotus mouth of Your Lordship, my hunger and thirst, which are extremely difficult to bear, cannot hinder me.

Parikshit Maharaj was doing nirjal fasting for 7 days. We hardly do nirjal for 3 days in a year. All these small austerities remind us how even for doing that austerity, the source of strength is Krishna. We have in a humble manner practically experienced that whenever we sit and study with Bhagavatam - many elderly devotees (in the age range of 60-70) being absorbed in studies forget hunger and thirst.

2. Irrespective of whether we are fasting or feasting, we should definitely hear Krishna katha daily. How can we practise this in our lives? The first excuse we give for not hearing is that we don't have time. Honestly speaking if we intropsect ourselves, even if we are working for 12 hours at work, definitely we spend couple of hours at home cooking, eating, bathing, driving etc. Since we are so fortunate to have the vāni of Srila Prabhupada with us in the form of his books and lectures, we should spiritualise all these activities by hearing about Krishna in all these activities.

3. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 2.8.4 Parikshit Maharaj says,

śṛṇvataḥ śraddhayā nityaṁ gṛṇataś ca sva-ceṣṭitam
kālena nātidīrgheṇa bhagavān viśate hṛdi

Persons who hear Srimad-Bhagavatam regularly and are always taking the matter very seriously will have the Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna manifested in their hearts within a short time.

The quality of hearing is very nicely emphasised in this verse. Sometimes we put the lecture tapes on and keep thinking or talking about something else. Such negligent and ignorant hearing is not recommended by Parikshit Maharaj. The words "śraddhayā" (earnestly), "nityaṁ" (regularly) and "gṛṇataś ca sva-ceṣṭitam" (taking the matter seriously by one's own endeavour) are very important to remember and practise. Only when we do this Supreme Lord Sri Krishna will appear in our hearts.

On this most auspicious occasion of Sri Krishna Janmashatami, let us welcome the Lord in our hearts on this and every day by hearing about the Supreme Lord Krishna and His words.

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