The beginning is to hear about Kṛṣṇa—anything about Kṛṣṇa. But first thing we want to hear . . . if we want to know Kṛṣṇa, naturally we are inclined, "What is Kṛṣṇa? What is Kṛṣṇa?" Just like our Kṛṣṇa book is now selling. Because the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is there, so people are, I mean to say, eager to know, "What this Kṛṣṇa is?" Naturally they want to purchase some Kṛṣṇa books. Actually, that is the first business. Just like we are speaking about "In God We Trust," this slogan of the American people or American government.
So naturally, people should be inquisitive to know actually what is God, scientifically. We say: "In God we trust," but we do not know what is God. Then where is the question of trust? Suppose if you, if somebody, friends, say that, "You can trust the Bank of America." But if he does not know what is Bank of America, then how he can trust? How he can deposit his money? So that is the difficulty. This is simply slogan. Otherwise, everyone should have been inquisitive, "What this government has made this slogan, 'In God We Trust'? " What is God? Nobody knows. Then where is the question of trust? Therefore it has become everything humbug.
But if you are serious to know about God, there is science, there is teacher. Everything is there. God Himself is there within your heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). So actually, if you are serious to know God, so God is within himself. He can understand, "Now this living entity is serious to know about Me." So He will help you, immediately. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
- bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
- buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ
- yena mām upayānti te
- (BG 10.10)
Teṣām, "such persons," satata-yuktānām, "always very much anxious to know about God." So God can understand. God is omnipotent. He can understand that "This living entity is now serious. He wants to hear about God."
So this inquisitiveness is very good. My Guru Mahārāja accepted me as a disciple because he saw in the beginning I was very inquisitive to hear him. So in the beginning, when many gentleman . . . I was one of them, was introduced to my Guru Mahārāja, that "They are to be initiated. They want to be initiated, to become your disciple." So when my turn came, he immediately said, "Yes, I will accept this boy as disciple because he is very inquisitive to hear." That was my recommendation. And actually, I was very inquisitive. I could not follow what Guru Mahārāja was speaking, but still, I was asking others, that "When Guru Mahārāja will speak? I will hear." I could not follow. He was speaking in a very high philosophical term. So at that time I had no capacity to under . . . still, I wanted to hear him, I understand or not understand.
So this is very good qualification. So those who are coming here to listen about God, they are very fortunate. Kṛṣṇa will help them. Śravaṇam. The beginning of bhakti-yoga is started from the practice of śravaṇam, aural reception, ear. Therefore the mantra is given through the ear, initiation mantra. Then kīrtanam.
- śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
- smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
- arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
- sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
- (SB 7.5.23)
There are nine different processes. The most important process is hearing. And as soon as you want to hear, that means you have to concentrate your mind. So naturally the mind becomes, I mean to say, locked. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. But if we sleep, that is another thing that, "Let the lectures go on. Let me have some rest." That is another thing. But if you hear, if you are anxious to hear, then mind has to be engaged. Without attention, you cannot hear. If your mind is something doing, you are thinking of marketing something, or sometimes . . . so you can hear, make a show of hearing, but you are not hearing. Therefore mind is the first thing. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane (SB 9.4.18). If you engage your mind in hearing, then you can describe the things in the Vaikuṇṭha, in the spiritual world. Vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānu . . .