All of us Should Hear PRABHUPADA
The following quotes stress the importance of hearing the transcendental sound vibration of Srila Prabhupada. They do not give direct reference to hearing his recitation of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. However, if we acknowledge the importance of hearing the sound vibration of the Jagad Guru, we cannot minimise this process, and only hear from him in a casual fashion while engaging in other activities. His lectures should be attentively heard and discussed in an assembly of devotees, this is the recommended process.
One can attain to the highest perfection of life simply by attentive hearing of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord from the right sources, as Sri Narada heard them from the pure devotees (bhakti-vedantas) in his previous life. This process of hearing in the association of the devotees is especially recommended in this age of quarrel (Kali).
The more one hears about the Supreme God, the more one becomes fixed in devotional service. One should always hear about the Lord in the association of devotees; that will enhance one's devotional service. Discourses in the society of devotees can take place only among those who are really anxious to be in Krsna consciousness. Others cannot take part in such discourses. The Lord clearly tells Arjuna that because he is very dear to Him, for his benefit such discourses are taking place.
Therefore we could all take advantage of the morning and evening programme and all hear Prabhupada lectures in association.
Gentlemen, although it is imperfectly that we have been enabled by his grace to understand the sublime messages of our Acaryadeva, Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, we must admit that we have realized definitely that the divine message from his holy lips is the congenial thing for suffering humanity. All of us should hear him patiently. If we listen to the transcendental sound without unnecessary opposition, he will surely have mercy upon us. The Acarya's Message is to take us back to our original home, back to God. Let me repeat, therefore, that we should hear him patiently, follow him in the measure of our conviction, and bow down at his lotus feet for releasing us from our present causeless unwillingness for serving the Absolute and all souls.
(Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa Puja offering, 1936)
On the other hand, one who has received the transcendental knowledge by aural reception from the bona fide preceptor in the disciplic chain, and who has sincere regard for the real acarya, must needs be enlightened with the revealed knowledge of the Vedas.
(Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa Puja offering, 1936)
We cannot know anything of the transcendental region by our limited, perverted method of observation and experiment. But all of us can lend our eager ears for the aural reception of the transcendental sound transmitted from that region to this through the unadulterated medium of Sri Gurudeva or Sri Vyasadeva.
(Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa Puja offering, 1936)
TRANSLATION. My dear Lord, You are glorified by the selected verses uttered by great personalities. Such glorification of Your lotus feet is just like saffron particles. When the transcendental vibration from the mouths of great devotees carries the aroma of the saffron dust of Your lotus feet, the forgetful living entity gradually remembers his eternal relationship with You. Devotees thus gradually come to the right conclusion about the value of life. My dear Lord, I therefore do not need any other benediction but the opportunity to hear from the mouth of Your pure devotee.
PURPORT. It is explained in the previous verse that one has to hear glorification of the Lord from the mouth of a pure devotee. This is further explained here. The transcendental vibration from the mouth of a pure devotee is so powerful that it can revive the living entity's memory of his eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In our material existence, under the influence of illusory maya, we have almost forgotten our eternal relationship with the Lord, exactly like a man sleeping very deeply who forgets his duties. In the Vedas it is said that every one of us is sleeping under the influence of maya. We must get up from this slumber and engage in the right service, for thus we can properly utilize the facility of this human form of life. As expressed in a song by Thakura Bhaktivinoda, Lord Caitanya says, jiva jaga, jiva jaga. The Lord asks every sleeping living entity to get up and engage in devotional service so that his mission in this human form of life may be fulfilled. This awakening voice comes through the mouth of a pure devotee.
A pure devotee always engages in the service of the Lord, taking shelter of His lotus feet, and therefore he has a direct connection with the saffron mercy-particles that are strewn over the lotus feet of the Lord. Although when a pure devotee speaks the articulation of his voice may resemble the sound of this material sky, the voice is spiritually very powerful because it touches the particles of saffron dust on the lotus feet of the Lord. As soon as a sleeping living entity hears the powerful voice emanating from the mouth of a pure devotee, he immediately remembers his eternal relationship with the Lord, although up until that moment he had forgotten everything.
For a conditioned soul, therefore, it is very important to hear from the mouth of a pure devotee, who is fully surrendered to the lotus feet of the Lord without any material desire, speculative knowledge or contamination of the modes of material nature. Every one of us is kuyogi because we have engaged in the service of this material world, forgetting our eternal relationship with the Lord as His eternal loving servants. It is our duty to rise from the kuyoga platform to become suyogis, perfect mystics. The process of hearing from a pure devotee is recommended in all Vedic scriptures, especially by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One may stay in his position of life--it does not matter what it is--but if one hears from the mouth of a pure devotee, he gradually comes to the understanding of his relationship with the Lord and thus engages in His loving service, and his life becomes completely perfect. Therefore, this process of hearing from the mouth of a pure devotee is very important for making progress in the line of spiritual understanding.
TRANSLATION. My dear King, in the place where pure devotees live, following the rules and regulations and thus purely conscious and engaged with great eagerness in hearing and chanting the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in that place if one gets a chance to hear their constant flow of nectar, which is exactly like the waves of a river, one will forget the necessities of life--namely hunger and thirst--and become immune to all kinds of fear, lamentation and illusion.
PURPORT. The cultivation of Krsna consciousness is possible where great devotees live together and constantly engage in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. In a holy place like Vrndavana, there are many devotees constantly engaged in chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord. If one gets the chance to hear from pure devotees in such a place, allowing the constant flow of the river of nectar to come from the mouths of pure devotees, then the cultivation of Krsna consciousness becomes very easy. When one is engaged in constantly hearing the glories of the Lord, he certainly rises above the bodily conception. When one is in the bodily conception, he feels the pangs of hunger and thirst, fear, lamentation and illusion. But when one is engaged in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, he transcends the bodily conception.
The word bhagavad-gunanukathana-sravana-vyagra-cetasah, meaning "always eager to find the place where the glories of the Lord are being heard and chanted," is significant in this verse. A businessman is always very eager to go to a place where business is transacted. Similarly, a devotee is very eager to hear from the lips of liberated devotees. As soon as one hears the glories of the Lord from the liberated devotees, he immediately becomes impregnated with Krsna consciousness.
This is also confirmed in another verse:
satam prasangan mama virya-samvido bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah taj josanad asv apavarga-vartmani sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati
"In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and to the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin." (SB. 3.25.25) In the association of pure devotees, one becomes attached to hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. In this way one can cultivate Krsna consciousness, and as soon as this cultivation is advanced, one can become faithful to the Lord, devoted to the Lord and attached to the Lord, and thus one can very quickly attain full Krsna consciousness. The secret of success in the cultivation of Krsna consciousness is hearing from the right person. A Krsna conscious person is never disturbed by the bodily necessities--namely eating, sleeping, mating and defending.
Persons who hear from a spiritual master with great labor and for a long time must hear from the mouths of pure devotees about the character and activities of pure devotees. Pure devotees always think within their hearts of the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, who awards His devotees liberation.
It is therefore the duty of the transcendental students to hear of pure devotees, as explained by similar devotees of the Lord, because one cannot explain about the Lord or His devotee unless one happens to be a pure devotee himself.
If he is actually advanced and so ordered by his spiritual master, he should preach Krsna consciousness with logic and understanding, and if one is not so advanced he should not accept the renounced order of life. But even if one has accepted the renounced order of life without sufficient knowledge, he should engage himself fully in hearing from a bona fide spiritual master to cultivate knowledge.
So he is authority, who does not say that "I am God," but he says, "I am servant of God. I am son of God. I am devotee of God." He is representative, real representative. So we have to hear from him. Jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva. I am just trying to explain to you the process of hearing. The process of hearing. So submissively, submissively we shall try to hear from the authorized source, representative of God.
(B.G. Lec, 9.15, New York 1st December, 1966)
So one should not adopt the means of ascending process. Jnane prayasam udapasya. Udapasya means "Give it up." And namanta eva: "And be submissive." Namanta eva jivanti san- mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam. In this way, if one lives and hears, san-mukharitam, from the realized soul...Just like Arjuna is hearing from Krsna, from the perfect person, san- mukharitam. Krsna or His representative. His representative is a devotee of Krsna. Krsna is just like... Arjuna. Arjuna was made representative of Krsna. How? Because Arjuna, Krsna said, bhakto 'si: "You are My devotee." So nobody can become representative of Krsna, or God, without becoming His devotee.
(B.G. Lec, 9.15, New York 1st December, 1966)
Abandoning the endeavor to understand the Supreme by limited knowledge or mental speculation, we should become submissive and hear of the Supreme through the authoritative sources such as Bhagavad-gita or through the lips of a realized soul.
TRANSLATION. O my Lord, Your devotees can see You through the ears by the process of bona fide hearing, and thus their hearts become cleansed, and You take Your seat there. You are so merciful to Your devotees that You manifest Yourself in the particular eternal form of transcendence in which they always think of You.
PURPORT ...... On faith one associates with bona fide devotees, and by such association one can become engaged in bona fide devotional service, which includes proper initiation and the execution of the primary devotional duties prescribed in the revealed scriptures. This is clearly indicated herein by the word sruteksita. The sruteksita path is to hear from bona fide devotees who are conversant with Vedic wisdom, free from mundane sentiment. By this bona fide hearing process, the neophyte devotee becomes cleansed of all material rubbish, and thus he becomes attached to one of the many transcendental forms of the Lord, as described in the Veda.
You should engage yourself to receive spiritual knowledge from the authority, reliable source. Spiritual knowledge is understood through the ear. Therefore the Vedas are called sruti. San-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam. This is recommended, that Krsna's katha should be heard from the realized source. San mukharitam. San means devotee. Sat. Om tat sat. San-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam. Then sthane sthitah, you can remain in your place. It doesn't matter whether you are a brahmana or a sudra or American or Indian or... It doesn't matter. You keep yourself in your position. Simply go there. Where these things are discussed authoritatively, you hear. Sruti-gatam. Sruti-gatam. Sruti means the ear. You just give the aural reception of the words of realized soul. San-mukhairtam bhavadiya-vartam sthane sthitah sruti gatam. You can keep yourself... It doesn't require that you have to change your position. Simply you have to hear from the right source.
Then what will be the result? The result is by hearing, hearing, hearing, one day you'll be able to conquer over the unconquerable, Krsna. Krsna is unconquerable. Nobody can conquer Him. But you hear, you'll be able to conquer Him, simply by hearing about Him. Therefore this hearing process is so important from the right source.
(S.B. Lec, 1.10.5, London 28th August, 1973)
One should submissively approach the spiritual master. Jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva. Namanta eva means submissively, offering respect, obeisances. And after that, if you hear from the self-realized soul, jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva san-mukharitam. San-mukharitam means self-realized soul. From his mouth one has to hear.
(Initiation Lecture, 1975)
You use your ear. That ear is bestowed upon everyone, either fool or learned. So use that ear, sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhih, and hear attentively, and mold your life as you hear from the realized soul. Sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-mano. One who remains like this, although he is imperfect fool, whatever he may be, he can conquer the ajita. Ajita means God. Nobody can conquer Him, but a devotee who sincerely hears about Him from the realized soul, he can conquer even Ajita, Krsna. Just like gopis. (General Lecture, 1975)
Devotee (1): ``The Lord therefore says to Arjuna, tac chrnu, or `Hear from Me.' ''
Prabhupada: Yes. ``Hear from Me.'' And hearing from whom? From a loafer? No. From Krsna or Krsna's representative. That will effect. Hearing, there must be hearing process also from the authorized person. Just like if you take electricity. You should take electricity where the electric point is there. Electric is everwhere; that's nice. Everyone accepts there is electricity. But you have to take electricity from the plug where the electricity current is going on. Then you get electricity. Therefore sravanam, hearing, from whom? From Krsna or His representative. Then it is perfect. Not from Dr. Radhakrishnan and any other nonsense, because they are not devotee. They are not representative of Krsna. What you will derive? You cannot derive any benefit because there is no electricity. It is simply plug, looking like plug. If you take some white lime water, lime, just like whitewash, it looks like milk. Is that milk because it is white? ``All is not gold that glitters.''
Therefore you have to seek person, from where you have to hear. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet. Therefore you have to select person, from where to hear. That is the... Either you search or by Krsna's grace you get a person who is authorized. Then your life is successful.
(B.G. Lec. 7.1, Los Angeles, 12th March, 1970)
Actually, there is no question of ill fortune for anyone who sees the lotus feet of Lord Krsna, yet when Lord Krsna, as a matter of etiquette, inquired from King Yudhisthira about his welfare, the King became very happy by such a reception and addressed the Lord thus: "My dear Lord Krsna, great personalities and devotees in full Krsna consciousness always think of Your lotus feet and remain fully satisfied by drinking the nectar of transcendental bliss. The nectar which they constantly drink sometimes comes out of their mouths and is sprinkled on others as the narration of Your transcendental activities. This nectar coming from the mouth of a devotee is so powerful that if one is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to drink it, he is immediately freed from the continuous journey of birth and death.
(Krsna Book, Chapter 83)
In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said, sravandi-suddha citte karaye udaya. Krsna is there, in everyone's heart. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam. But we do not know. But Krsna and Krsna consciousness can be awakened simply by hearing from the realized person. Satam prasangad mama virya samvid bhavan hrt-karna-rasayana-katha. Satam prasangat. From the lips of devotees, when it is heard, then it becomes hrt-karna-rasayana. It becomes very pleasing to the ear and to the heart. Taj-josanad, if one cultivates in that way, asu apavarga vartmani sraddha bhaktir ratir anukramisyati. These are the formulas. (B.G. Lec. 2.26 Hyderabad, 30th November, 1972)
All right, I shall become humble. Then how I shall make progress?" Now, namanta eva san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam. "Just hear the message of God." "From whom?" San-mukharitam: "through the mouth of the devotees," not professional, not gramophone, through the mouth of, through the lips of real devotee. "So then? Next. I will have to become sannyasa or grhastha or what?" "No." Sthane sthitah. "You remain wherever you are. Either you are a grhastha or a vanaprastha, or apart from that, either you are a medical man or engineer or politician or businessman or shopkeeper--something your position is there--so you remain in that." Sthane sthitah. "You remain in your position. Simply you have to hear the message of Godhead, Krsna, through the realized saintly person." This recommendation. "If you go on speculating, you will never be able to understand. Therefore give up this practice." Jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva. "Be submissive." If you think, "Oh, I am so much advanced. I can speculate. Why shall I go to a devotee and hear from him?" No. You have to adopt this. Why? If you want to conquer the ajita. Ajita, ajita means Krsna, or God. Nobody can conquer Him. But you can conquer Him. How? By this process. Remain your process.., remain in your situation, in your occupation, but try to hear from the realized soul. Very simple thing. So this process is recommended to realize God. Yadi... If somebody follows this process without mental speculation and if he has got intelligence, by hearing from the realized soul, he will realize everything. Krsna will also help him from within. Guru means Krsna without, and Supersoul means Krsna within. So Krsna is so kind that He is ready to help us from within and without, both ways. We have to take advantage of this.
(S.B. Lec. 6.1.24, 8th July, 1975)
In a surrendering spirit, in a humble spirit, try to hear about the Supreme from the realized souls. This is the process. San-mukharitam. Not professional. One who has actually realized, from him, if you hear, meek and humble, without speculating mentally, then by this process only, one can realize the Supreme Lord very easily. Supreme Lord is called Ajita; nobody can conquer Him. But if one adopts this process, hearing from the realized soul in an attitude of humbleness, then he can conquer the ajita. He can understand. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu immediately accepted this process, iha haya, age kaha ara. Iha haya ``This is nice.''
(S.B. Lec., 1.2.8, Vrndavana, 19th October, 1972)
The surrendering process is completed by the influence of association. The Lord has suggested, therefore, that by the influence of the speeches of saintly persons who have actually realized the Supreme, men are engaged in His transcendental loving service. The conditioned soul gets a taste for hearing about the Lord, and by such hearing only he is gradually elevated to the platform of respect, devotion and attachment for the Lord.
Try to hear about Krsna. Satam prasangad mama virya-samvidah. That is very, what is called, potential. Simply if you hear from the right source of Krsna. Not from the professional, or from jnanis, karmis, or politicians. No. Pure devotee. Satam prasangad. In pure devotional service, in pure devotional mood. Then the potency will act and you will, we shall become more devotees.
(N.O.D. Lec. 1972)
One must hear from disciplic succession. Anu means following, and anu means always. So one must always follow the disciplic succession and not hear from any stray professional reciter, Mayavadi or ordinary man. Anusrnuyat means that one must hear from an authorized person who is in the disciplic succession and is always engaged in Krsna consciousness. When a person wants to hear in this way, then the effect will be sure. By hearing rasa-lila, one will be elevated to the highest position of spiritual life.
(Krsna Book, Vol 1, P223)
Persons are called budha, or really learned, when they fasten themselves to the worship of Krsna only. This conviction is established when one hears the transcendental message from the undisturbed acarya with faith and love. One who has no faith in or love for Lord Krsna cannot be convinced of this simple truth. Those who are faithless are described in Bhagavad-gita as mudhas, fools or asses (Bg. 9.11). It is said that the mudhas deride the Personality of Godhead because they do not have complete knowledge from the undisturbed acarya.
(Iso. Mantra 13)
Vidura particularly came to enlighten Dhrtarastra and to give him a lift to the higher status of spiritual cognition. It is the duty of enlightened souls to deliver the fallen ones, and Vidura came for that reason. But talks of spiritual enlightenment are so refreshing that while instructing Dhrtarastra, Vidura attracted the attention of all the members of the family, and all of them took pleasure in hearing him patiently. This is the way of spiritual realization. The message should be heard attentively, and if spoken by a realized soul, it will act on the dormant heart of the conditioned soul. And by continuously hearing, one can attain the perfect stage of self-realization. (S.B. 1.13.14)
This is the process. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya. Then you can derive some benefit from the realized person. Upadeksyanti tad jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah. Knowledge can be distributed by a person who has seen what is.., who has experienced seeing... Seeing and hearing, these are the sources of gaining experience. So the sruti means hearing. And by hearing you will see. By hearing about God, Krsna, ultimately you will see Him. When, by hearing, hearing, you'll develop your Krsna consciousness... Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sanga. Hearing is possible by association with devotees, sadhu-sanga. You cannot hear from the rascals. You have to hear from the superior person, one who is self-realized. Hearing. Satam prasangad mama virya-samvido bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah. Satam prasangat. By association with superior devotees.
(B.G. Lec., 13.24, Bombay 23rd October, 1973)
TRANSLATION. I have fortunately been instructed by you, and thus great favor has been bestowed upon me. I thank God that I have listened with open ears to your pure words.
PURPORT ....Manu said that since he was advised and instructed by Kardama Muni, he was very much favored. He considered himself lucky to receive the message by aural reception. It is especially mentioned here that one should be very inquisitive to hear with open ears from the authorized source of the bona fide spiritual master. How is one to receive? One should receive the transcendental message by aural reception. The word karna-randhraih means "through the holes of the ears." The favor of the spiritual master is not received through any other part of the body but the ears.
If you cannot read, if you are illiterate, it doesn't matter. You hear. Satam prasangan mama virya-samvidoh. You hear from the realized soul. God has given you ear you can hear. It doesn't require education. Formerly everyone was taking education simply by hearing. There was no book. Formerly everyone was taking education simply by hearing. There was no book. Therefore all the Vedic knowledge is called sruti. Srutibhir apanya.(?) Sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhih. Sruti. So this Krsna consciousness movement is opening centers just to give you chance to hear about Krsna, only hearing. Sthane sthita sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhih. Simply by hearing, you become perfect. Just like Pariksit Maharaja. At the time of point of his death, he had no time to perform any yajna or any big, big thing. He simply heard Srimad-Bhagavatam carefully. Sri-visnu-sravane pariksid abhavad vayasaki kirtane. And he became perfect simply by hearing.
(B.G. Lec. 4.14. Bombay 3rd April, 1974)
One should become submissive, jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva, that very submissive to hear from the right person. So hearing is so important. Therefore our all Vedic literature is called sruti. So the subject matter which is beyond our sense perception, avan manasa gocara, that cannot be understood by using our imperfect senses. Now the question is: from whom to hear? So in the sastra it is said, san-mukharitam: "You have to hear from realized saintly person." It is said in the Bhagavad-gita, tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya, upadeksyanti tad jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah. You have to hear from a person who has seen or who has understood the Absolute Truth and who is tat, sad-guru.
(S.B. Lec. 6.1.15 Nellore 8th January, 1976)
Therefore it is concluded that we have to hear the transcendental message of Krsna from a realized soul, a devotee. So this hearing process is recommended that you should hear from a realized person who is sadacara-sampanna-vaisnava. So who is a bhakta? Because you have to learn from a bhakta, so who is a bhakta? That is also described. So it is stated in the sastras and the Gosvamis as sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat- paratvena nirmalam: "anyone who has no more designation and he is pure from material contamination.
(S.B. Lec. 6.1.15 Nellore 8th January, 1976)
Simply sit down and hear about Krsna. That's all. But that hearing must be from a person who is realized. Then it will act. Krsna bhakti nitya siddha sadhya kabhu naya, sravanadi suddha citte. By hearing, the more your heart will be cleansed of all material infection, you will understand what is Krsna.
(S.B. Lec. 2.3.15 Los Angeles, 1st June, 1972)
It is stated, therefore, that all men should take advantage of hearing from realized souls and gradually become able to understand everything. The worship of the Supreme Lord will then undoubtedly take place. Lord Caitanya has said that in this age no one needs to change his position, but one should give up the endeavor to understand the Absolute Truth by speculative reasoning. One should learn to become the servant of those who are in knowledge of the Supreme Lord. If one is fortunate enough to take shelter of a pure devotee, hear from him about self-realization and follow in his footsteps, one will be gradually elevated to the position of a pure devotee. In this verse particularly, the process of hearing is strongly recommended, and this is very appropriate. Although the common man is often not as capable as so-called philosophers, faithful hearing from an authoritative person will help one transcend this material existence and go back to Godhead, back to home. (B.G. 13.26)
This is the statement, that remain in your place, but hear from the authorities about Krsna, then everything will be clear. Srnvatam sva-kathah krsna punya sravana kirtanam. Even if you do not understand a word, but if you hear from the realized soul about Krsna, then, hrdy antah hy stho abhadradni vidhunoti suhrt-satam. Krsna is situated in everyone's heart. Isvara sarva bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati. If we become sincere to hear about Krsna, then Krsna will help us.
(S.B. Lec. 1.7.6 Vrndavan 5th September, 1976)
When by good fortune one comes in contact with a pure devotee and hears from him patiently, one begins to follow the path of devotional service. Such an opportunity is offered to a person who is sincere. (N.O.I.)
Simply you have to increase your attachment for hearing. That is, that qualification required. Not that first of all you pass M.A. examination, then you come here and you can understand. No. Simply by hearing, hearing, hearing, you will become expert. Kovidah. Simply. That... This process has been approved by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhih. You can remain in your position, but try to hear the transcendental message from realized soul. Then gradually you will be enlightened and you will be free from this knot, this material bondage
(S.B. Lec., 1.2.15 Los Angeles 18th August, 1972)
One should hear from authentic sources how to advance in spiritual life; such instructions should be taken from the acarya and should be assimilated. (S.B. 3.29.18)
The Lord can be realized through the aural reception of the transcendental message, and that is the only way to experience the transcendental subject. As fire is kindled from wood by another fire, the divine consciousness of man can similarly be kindled by another divine grace. His Divine Grace the spiritual master can kindle the spiritual fire from the woodlike living entity by imparting proper spiritual messages injected through the receptive ear. Therefore one is required to approach the proper spiritual master with receptive ears only, and thus divine existence is gradually realized. The difference between animality and humanity lies in this process only. A human being can hear properly, whereas an animal cannot.
Sri Narada Muni personally experienced that the most feasible and practical way to open the path of salvation or get relief from all miseries of life is to hear submissively the transcendental activities of the Lord from the right and bona fide sources. This is the only remedial process.
So this is the process of getting knowledge, to approach the proper person, guru, and submissively hear from him about transcendental knowledge. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya.
(S.B. Lec. 3.25.4, Bombay 4th November, 1974)
Sravanam, or hearing, is the first step in acquiring transcendental knowledge. One should not give aural reception to unauthorized persons, but should approach the proper person, as recommended in Bhagavad-gita (4.34):
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also. He never asked anybody to change his position. He simply recommended that you associate with pure devotees and hear from him. That's all.
(B.G. Lec. 3.1-5 Los Angeles 20th December, 1968)
So we cannot accept the theories or the statement of some defective person. We should hear from the person who is not defective, perfect. Therefore our process of hearing or getting knowledge is from the perfect person.
(B.G. Lec. 7.1, London 9th March, 1975)
Even a politician, if he talks, many millions people gather to hear him. But what is the benefit of such hearing? First of all we have to see what is the benefit. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh. If you are interested of hearing lectures, then sastra says that "Hear of Visnu," not of any rascal. Hear from Vaisnava. Then you will be benefited. Otherwise you will not be benefited.
(S.B. Lec. 3.26.27, Bombay 4th January, 1975)
So tyaktva deham. Krsna says that "Anyone who understands Me in truth ..." So how you will understand? Simply if you hear about Him, then you will understand. Then you will understand. So hearing is not very difficult job. But you must hear from the realized soul. That is... Satam prasangan mama virya-samvidah. If you hear from a professional man, that will not be effective. Hearing must be from sadhu, from devotee, from the lips of the devotee. Just like Sukadeva Gosvami was speaking to Maharaja Pariksit. So ... Or even if you hear yourself, you read books, you will save your life.
(S.B. Lec. 2.3.17, Los Angeles 12th June, 1972)
The process for Krsna consciousness is that we control the mind through hearing and chanting. We hear the maha mantra, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare and we hear the lectures from the spiritual master and read his books. Also we speak by preaching and by chanting. This is the easy method for controlling the mind, by hearing and chanting.
(S.P.L. to Sharon Suzuki 4th September, 1975)
You remain in your position. It doesn't matter what you are. Simply you hear about Krsna. There are so many things about Krsna we can hear. Even if we are not educated, we can hear from a person who can speak rightly. But that person must be selected, not ordinary person, not professional person, but here it is said, tattva amnayam. Amnayam means by disciplic succession. We have to accept a positive party.
(S.B. Lec. 3.25.31, Bombay 1st December, 1974)
Our system, the Vedic system, is to approach the right person and hear from him exactly as Arjuna listened from Krishna. Mental speculation will not help. Hearing is the main point. In the Bhagavad-gita, it is written, dharmaksetre kuruksetre . . . when you hear from a realized soul, a person who knows things, he'll explain that Kuruksetra is a place where religious ritualistic ceremonies are performed from time immemorial, from the time before the Battle of Kuruksetra.
(S.P.L. to Punjabi Premananda 16th April, 1976)
Thus one must hear submissively from the dhira in order to attain actual education.
(Iso. Mantra 10)
The system of hearing from undisturbed authorities is approved in this mantra. Unless one hears from a bona fide acarya, who is never disturbed about the changes of the material world, one cannot have the real key to transcendental knowledge. The bona fide spiritual master, who has also heard the sruti mantras, or Vedic knowledge, from his undisturbed acarya, never manufactures or presents anything which is not mentioned in the Vedic literatures.
(Iso. Mantra 13)
The purport is, don't become over intelligent. Just hear from the self-realized soul. If you sincerely, seriously hear from the realized soul, then one day, although nobody can conquer Him, you will be able to conquer Krsna.
(S.P.L. to Vasudeva Dasa 23rd January, 1977)
In the Fourth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Twenty-ninth Chapter, verse 40, the importance of hearing of the pastimes of the Lord is stated by Sukadeva Gosvami to Maharaja Pariksit: "My dear King, one should stay at a place where the great acaryas [holy teachers] speak about the transcendental activities of the Lord, and one should give aural reception to the nectarean river flowing from the moonlike faces of such great personalities. If someone eagerly continues to hear such transcendental sounds, then certainly he will become freed from all material hunger, thirst, fear and lamentation, as well as all illusions of material existence."
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also recommended this process of hearing as a means of self-realization in the present age of Kali. In this age it is very difficult to follow thoroughly the regulative principles and studies of the Vedas which were formerly recommended. However, if one gives aural reception to the sound vibrated by great devotees and acaryas, that alone will give him relief from all material contamination. Therefore it is the recommendation of Caitanya Mahaprabhu that one should simply hear from authorities who are actually devotees of the Lord. Hearing from professional men will not help. If we hear from those who are actually self-realized, then the nectarean rivers, like those which are flowing on the moon planet, will flow into our ears. This is the metaphor used in the above verse.
(N.O.D. Chapter 10)
An example of rising to the stage of ecstatic love by executing the regulative principles of devotional service is given in the life story of Narada, which is described to Vyasadeva in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Narada tells there of his previous life and how he developed to the stage of ecstatic love. He was engaged in the service of great devotees and used to hear their talks and songs. Because he had the opportunity to hear these pastimes and songs of Krsna from the mouths of pure devotees, he became very attracted within his heart. Because he had become so eager to hear these topics, he gradually developed within himself an ecstatic love for Krsna. This ecstatic love is prior to the pure love of Krsna, because in the next verse Narada confirms that by the gradual process of hearing from the great sages he developed love of Godhead.
(N.O.D. Chapter 17)
This statement is also confirmed in the Third Canto, Twenty-fifth Chapter, verse 25, of Srimad-Bhagavatam, where Lord Kapila says, "My dear mother, when a person is actually in association with pure devotees, the sublime potency of My devotional service can be experienced." In other words, when a pure devotee speaks, his words act upon the hearts of the audience. What is the secret of hearing and chanting? A professional speaker cannot impress transcendental ecstasy within the hearts of the listeners. However, when a realized soul who is engaged in the service of the Lord is speaking, he has the potency to inject spiritual life within the audience. One should, therefore, seek the association of such pure, unalloyed devotees, and by such association and service a neophyte devotee will certainly develop attachment, love and devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
(N.O.D. Chapter 17)
If one develops love for Krsna by Krsna conscious activities, one can know the Supreme Absolute Truth, but he who tries to understand God simply by logical arguments will not succeed, nor will he get a taste for unalloyed devotion. The secret is that one must submissively listen to those who know perfectly the science of God, and one must begin the mode of service regulated by the preceptor. (C.C. Adi. 1.35)
These are the qualification of the person who can actually do benefit to the human society. Not that everyone can do. That is the mistake of the... Everyone is giving some idea and some theory that "This way there will be peace, there will be nice thing in the world.'' But he does not know that he has to receive from the pure source by aural reception. One has to hear from the pure source what is actually benefit to the human society.
(S.B. Lec. 1.5.13 New Vrndavana 13th June, 1969)
You have to hear from the pure source, give aural reception, and think of it, meditate upon it. Simply by doing this, you are liberated. These are not bluff. Here is the evidence. Simply receive the message from the right source and contemplate and meditate upon that instruction. You are liberated. Chanting and hearing. Hearing and... Sravanam kirtanam. First hearing, then chanting. Hear from the right source and discuss amongst yourselves. Isthagosthi. Then the perfection.
(S.B. Lec. 1.5.13 New Vrndavana 13th June, 1969)
Just like Krsna danced with so many girls, but there was no sex appetite. That is called dhira. So you have to hear from such person, dhira. Here it is stated, iti susruma dhiranam. Dhiranam. Then your knowledge will be perfect. If you hear from adhiranam, those who are not controlled, then it is useless knowledge.
(Iso. Lec. 1970)
Krsna has given you the ears. Therefore Vedic knowledge is called sruti. You go to a proper person, guru, and hear from him. Therefore this word is used. Sruyamanayam. If you hear from the right person, then krsne parama puruse bhaktir utpadyate. Then you develop your Krsna consciousness.
(S.B. Lec. 1.7.7 Vrndavana 6th September, 1976)
One can attain to the highest perfection of life simply by attentive hearing of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord from the right sources, as Sri Narada heard them from the pure devotees (bhakti-vedantas) in his previous life. This process of hearing in the association of the devotees is especially recommended in this age of quarrel (Kali). (S.B. 1.5.26)
So in order to get out of this blazing fire of material existence, which is a combination of rajas-tamah-sattva-guna, one has to take to this devotional service, and that can be achieved only by hearing from munibhir mahatmabhih, those who are munis. Munis means they are silent about material affairs.
(S.B. Lec. 1.5.28 Vrndavana, August 8, 1974)
Anyone can take advantage of hearing about Krsna consciousness from a pure devotee and thus gradually become purified. (C.C.Mad Lila 15.106)
Therefore this class is held to awaken jnana. Either you read these books, you hear from realized soul--that will awaken your jnana, knowledge. Or otherwise if you cannot do this... Both things should be done. You chant Hare Krsna. Very simply.
(S.B. Lec. 3.25.27 Bombay Nov. 27, 1974)
San-mukharitam means just try to hear about the glories of the Supreme Lord from the mouth of realized souls. Don't go to the unauthorized persons. Now, how you can know what is the difference between unauthorized and authorized? That you can know also. There is description. That, in Bhagavad-gita you'll see, who is authorized, who is not authorized. The Lord says, evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh. This authority is handed over by disciplic succession.
(B.G. Lec. 10.2-3 New York Jan. 1st, 1967)
God can be known by the meek and humble who is submissive and who takes the shelter of a God-realized person and tries to hear from him.
(B.G. Lec. 13.6-7 Montreal Oct. 25, 1968)
Krsna's another name is Ajita: He is never conquered. But any person who hears about Krsna, jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam, simply mental speculation, giving up this bad habit, jnane prayasam udapasya, leaving aside, namanta eva, very humbly and meekly, if one hears from the realized soul about Krsna, then in any position, sthane sthitah, because he is hearing from the realized soul, then one day it will be possible to conquer the unconquerable.
(B.G. Lec. 4.12 Bombay, April 1, 1974)
So even one is not very learned scholar, Sanskrit scholar, everyone has got this ear. He can hear from Krsna and Krsna's representative and assimilate what is spoken by Krsna, and he can repeat the same. Then he becomes guru. That is the mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
(S.B. Lec. 3.25.13 Bombay, Nov. 13, 1974)
To follow in the footsteps of the Mahatmas means to give submissive aural reception to the words and instructions of the bonafide Spiritual Master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself.
(S.P.Letter to: Yamunacarya Tittenhurst 21 October, 1969)
Therefore it is concluded that we have to hear the transcendental message of Krsna from a realized soul, a devotee. So this hearing process is recommended, that you should hear from a realized person who is sadacara-sampanna-vaisnava.
(S.B. Lec. 6.1.15 Nellore 8th January, 1976)
He says that "You do not try to hear from a person who is avaisnava hari-kathamrtam." The hari-katha, the message of Krsna like Bhagavad-gita and other, Bhagavata, Srimad-Bhagavatam, you should not hear from a person who is not a Vaisnava. In the Bhagavata also it is said, satam prasangat mama virya-samvido bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah-kathah. When we hear from sad-vekti(?), or Vaisnava, then we get real effect.
(S.B. Lec. 6.1.15 Nellore 8th January, 1976)