ALL OF US SHOULD
HEAR HIM PATIENTLY
IF WE LISTEN TO THE TRANSCENDENTAL SOUND
WITHOUT UNNECESSARY OPPOSITION
HE WILL SURELY HAVE MERCY ON US
Dear prabhu's please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Recently there has been some opposition by IRM devotees about a new book called ALL OF US SHOULD HEAR PRABHUPADA. I would like to clear up a few misunderstandings, which are the cause of these opposing views.
1. Hearing Srila Prabhupada's lecture tapes during the morning and evening class is introducing something new. It is a speculation and unauthorized.
As everyone is well aware Srila Prabhupada lectured twice daily while he was physically present. Hearing Srila Prabhupada lecture now is continuing that process not introducing something new. Let us consider the following.
He reasons ill who tells that Vaisnavas die when thou art living still in sound. The Vaisnavas die to live and living try to spread the holy name around.( Bhaktivinode Thakur.)
According to Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, Srila Prabhupada's preaching will increase now by his presence in transcendental sound. So whatever Srila Prabhupada was doing when he was physically present shall increase. Srila Prabhupada is now available to lecture daily, in many many places simultaneously.
Another point is that we are already hearing Srila Prabhupada when we read his purports.
These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing.(S.P.L. to Rupanuga dasa, 19th October, 1974)
So there is no question of introducing something new. There is no difference between hearing Srila Prabhupada's lectures and reading his purports.
Reading or hearing from the realized person there is no difference, but hearing the sound vibration from the realized soul is still more effective, better.
(S.P.L. to Punjabi premanand, S.P.L. 16th October, 1976)
Although there is no difference, Srila Prabhupada says the sound vibration from the realized soulis more effective. This is confirmed by the following.
So, of course, reading or hearing. You may not have time to read, but time, you are hearing. We are publishing, we are publishing literature, books. I am trying to speak to you. That is also understanding, studying Krsna science. Rather, hearing is better reception. If you hear... That Vedas are therefore known as sruti. Sruti means it is received through hearing. Real process is hearing. And this age, Kali-yuga, people cannot study so much.
(Gen Lec 68’)Therefore what is the problem if we take advantage of more purport from Srila Prabhupada's lotus mouth ?
There is so much benifit to be gained. For example when I heard Srila Prabhupada lecture on all the verses of the first chapter of Bhagavad Gita as it is and then discussed this in the association of devotees during class, my understanding of this chapter became much more clearer than before.
If somebody criticizes, "Oh, Caitanya Mahaprabhu walked on leg and you are travelling in the jet plane?" Shall I have to take that ideal? These are rascaldom. When you have to work, you have to work with the greatest facility. That's all. Now I have got the facility of the talking in microphone, and... So why should I not take it? It will be recorded. It will be heard by so many others. I am speaking to four, five men. It can be heard by a big crowd of four hundred men.
(S.P.C Vrindavana, 4thMarch, 1974)
So let us concentrate on training our devotees very thoroughly in the knowledge of Krishna Consciousness from our books, from tapes, by discussing always, and in so many ways instruct them in the right propositions.(S.P.L to Hamsaduta, Los Angeles, 22nd 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 Sept, 1975)
Interviewer: I think the first question is kind of basic, is why is everything always taped at all the...
Prabhupada: Because we have got so many branches, they want to hear me, my singing, my speech, therefore they record it and send it to different branches.
(Interview February 1, 1968, Los Angeles)
2. If nobody can speak other than Srila Prabhupada then how will we train to be preachers. And if we don't train any preachers that will be a disservice to Srila Prabhupada and his mission will be frustrated.
At the Prabhupada Sankirtana Society centers after we read the sanskrit all together, word for word meaning,translation, purport and hear Srila Prabhupada's lecture, a devotee leads a dicussion and gives elucidation on all points. So devotees are speaking after taking advantage of hearing more purport from Srila Prabhupada.
It is important that we practice speaking, but unless we hear properly from Srila Prabhupada we will not be fit to preach.
After receiving the spiritual master's mercy, one must repeat his instructions, and this is called sravana-kirtana--hearing and chanting. One who has not properly heard from the spiritual master or who does not follow the regulative principles is not fit for chanting (kirtana). This is explained in Bhagavad Gita (2.41): vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana. One who has not listened carefully to the instructions of the spiritual master is unfit to chant or preach the cult of devotional service.
(C.C. Mad. 19.152)If we hear nicely from Srila Prabhupada then even without been learned scholars we will become preachers. That will be the natural result.
It does not require that he is very learned scholar. No. Simply he must hear from the authority. Srotriyam. You have... Krishna has given you, God has given you the ear. This is our system. Simply they hear and they become big, big preacher. It doesn't require that he has to pass M.A., C.B.A.C., or Ph.D. examinations. Hearing is sufficient.
(S.B. Lecture 3.254. Bombay, Nov 4th, 1974)
This is the way of the parampara system. Although Sanat-kumara, the well-known great saintly Kumara, was in the perfect stage of life, still he heard the message of Srimad-Bhagavatam from Lord Sankarsana. Similarly, when he was questioned by Sankhyayana Rsi, he spoke to him the same message he had heard from Lord Sankarsana. In other words, unless one hears from the proper authority one cannot become a preacher. In devotional service, therefore, two items out of the nine, namely hearing and chanting, are most important. Without hearing nicely, one cannot preach the message of Vedic knowledge.
TRANSLATION. In spite of my inability, whatever I have been able to hear [from the spiritual master] and whatever I could assimilate I am now describing in glorification of the Lord by pure speech, for otherwise my power of speaking would remain unchaste.
PURPORT....Maitreya's statement is that in order to avoid unchaste conscious activities, he was trying to describe the unlimited glories of the Lord, although he did not have the ability to describe them perfectly. This glorification of the Lord is not a product of research, but the result of hearing submissively from the authority of the spiritual master. It is also not possible to repeat all that one has heard from his spiritual master, bu one can narrate as far as possible by one's honest endeavour. It does not matter whether the Lord's glories are fully explained or not.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is real preacher. That is explained in the Vedic literature, sravanam kirtanam. First of all he becomes perfect by hearing. This is called sravanam. And when he is perfectly situated in spiritual life by hearing perfectly from the perfectly authorized person, then his next stage begins, kirtanam. That is preaching. That sravanam kirtanam, everyone is hearing in this material world. Everyone is hearing. Even this material educationist, he also hears from the material person, professor. That hearing is there. Then he acts when he is grown-up, passed his examination, sometimes acts as professor. The same process: if one hears from the perfect spiritualized person, he becomes perfect, then he becomes actual preacher.
(Philosophical discussions- Origen)
He does not have to be a very learned scholar, but he must have heard from the proper authority. God gives us the ears to hear, and simply by hearing we may become great preachers. We don't need Ph.D.'s or academic examinations.
So therefore sravanam, hearing, is so important. So in the devotional service the first step is hearing, hearing submissively from the authoritative source and just to assimilate it and grasp it with our body, mind and intelligence. In this way you shall be able to conquer the unconquerable. And when you are able to do such, then you can make kirtana, kirtana.
(B.G. Lec. 9.15 1st December, 1966)
One who has perfectly heard from the perfect source becomes convinced about the all-pervading Personality of Godhead and thus becomes enthusiastic in glorifying the Lord.
This yoga practice begins simply by hearing. You have got these ears. You simply just lend your ears and you become yogi. And as soon as you become experienced in hearing, you become a preacher--kirtanam. Immediately. One who has heard nicely, he will try to become a kirtaniya, or preacher. That is natural. That is natural.
(B.G. Lecture, Los Angeles, 21st March, 1970)
To hear and explain them is more important than reading them. One can assimilate the knowledge of the revealed scriptures only by hearing and explaining. Hearing is called sravana, and explaining is called kirtana. The two processes of sravana and kirtana are of primary importance to progressive spiritual life. Only one who has properly grasped the transcendental knowledge from the right source by submissive hearing can properly explain the subject.
Kirtanam means chanting. Kirtanam actually means describing. You can describe with music. You can describe with words. You can describe in speeches. Any sort of describing, that is called kirtana. And sravanam. Unless you hear, you cannot describe. What you shall describe? If you do not know anything about the Supreme Lord, then how can you describe? Therefore hearing is the first item, sravanam.
(B.G. Lec. 9.15 1st December, 1966)
So this Krishna consciousness movement is to give chance to everyone to hear about Krishna. This is the first process, sravanam. And when one has heard very nicely about Krishna, they can.., then he can speak about Krishna. And he must speak. You cannot remain without speaking. That is the result of sravanam. Sravanam kirtanam. One who has heard nicely, he must speak or preach.
(B.G. Lecture 4.12, 1st April, 1974)
The beginning is hearing. Hearing, just you all ladies, gentlemen, you have come here to hear.
Then hearing, if your hearing is perfect, then kirtanam, means describing or preaching.
So our, this movement, Krsna consciousness movement, we are first giving chance to the people in general for hearing.
(S.B. Lec. 6.1.15 Nellore 8th January, 1976)
So bhakti-yoga begins with hearing, sravanam, sravanam kirtanam. And if you have heard from the right source and if you are convinced, then automatically you will try to perform kirtana. Kirtana means glorifying. If you have attained like... Or to preach. Anyone who has listened from right person, authority, about Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam, about Krsna or about Rama, he would like to preach that. That is automatic, glorifying. That preaching is equal. That is called kirtana.
(S.B. Lec. 3.25.44 Bombay Dec. 12th, 1974)
This is the example Srila Prabhupada gave us to follow in his own life
So he marked it that "This boy is interested to hear me." So hearing is very important. Hearing. Just like Arjuna heard from Krishna. Come on. (People entering) (Break) ...because I was serious for hearing, and therefore now I am serious about kirtanam, means speaking, or preaching. Do you follow what I say? Yes. So one who is serious about hearing, he can become a future nice preacher. Sravanam kirtanam. Next stage is developed. That is development. If one has actually heard nicely, then he will speak nicely.
(S.P.C. Columbus 10th May, 1969)
So at the Prabhupada Sankirtana Society there is no question of speculating or adding anything new.We are only trying to learn the spiritual art of submissive hearing.
The transcendental message of the Absolute is not understandable by those who are materially absorbed. Under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master, one becomes gradually purified. Therefore, one must be in the chain of disciplic succession and learn the spiritual art of submissive hearing.
In the following quote Srila Prabhupada explains why the devotees where sacrificing everything for him.
God has given you these two ears and if you kindly submissively hear from the realized soul, then your life will be successful. Actually, that is happening. All these boys and girls who have come to me in different parts of the world, simply by hearing... I have not bribed them, I have no money. So they are sacrificing their everything for me. Why? Simply by hearing me. That's all. So the hearing is so strong.
(S.P Lecture. New Vrindavan, August 31st, 1972)
The same sacrifice can be attain by all of us today, if we assemble and hear from Srila Prabhupadaas the devotees would do during his physical presence.
Look forward to hearing any comments the assembled Vaisnava's may have.
Your servant Mukunda dasa.
Prabhupada Sankirtana Society (Oldham)
P.S. If you are interested in getting a copy of
ALL OF US SHOULD HEAR PRABHUPADA
please contact Mukunda dasa atPSSHearing@prabhupada.freeserve.co.uk