The Essentiality of Listening
It is very hard for the mind to be focused on something divine when it is used to delving into worldly things for several crores of births. Everyone who falters knows very well that what they are doing is not right. But despite that, due to their latent tendencies, they are unable to stop themselves.
When a person visits a new place and vividly describes it to us, we also feel interested in going there, don’t we? When we read and see certain things also we get interested in them. But more than reading and seeing, our interest is kindled more through listening. So to get interested in the divine aspect of life, we need to listen about Bhagavan and mahatmas.
And it is not adequate to listen to or read about these things just once. The mind will get involved in such virtuous things for some time and then as usual, will move on to worldly things. Until the point where the mind never veers towards worldly things and stays firm on divinity, we should never let go of listening.
Listening is one of the nine types of bhakti. Moreover, King Parikshith attained liberation just by listening. It is wrong to listen from those who gossip or talk about unnecessary things. And it is also wrong to not listen to those who talk about divine virtues, Bhagavan and saints.
God has bestowed upon us humans the power of speech, that He has not blessed on other species. Why? Because we should use that ability to talk about Him and to reach Him.
May Goddess Saraswati, who is the Goddess of speech, bless us for this.
Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji
Originally published in the Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine, August 1995 issue.
Translated into English by Mangala Gowri Sridhar, Jacksonville, FL