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If you hear, if you are anxious to hear, then mind has to be engaged. Without attention, you cannot hear

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Expressions researched:
"if you hear, if you are anxious to hear, then mind has to be engaged. Without attention, you cannot hear"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

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.


Lecture on SB 1.15.41 -- Los Angeles, December 19, 1973:

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 . . .

So we have to practice. This is bhakti-yoga. First of all we have to engage the mind. Mind. And as soon as you engage the mind in hearing about Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa will help you in cleansing your mind. That is the opinion given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). Because everything . . . we cannot understand about God, or we cannot see God, or we do not know what is God, because there are so many dirty things on the mind. Otherwise, as soon as the mind is clear, devoid of all dirty things, you can see. You can understand what is God; you can see God every moment. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilo . . . (Bs. 5.38).

So there is no difficulty. God is here, Kṛṣṇa. But one's mind is not clear. He cannot see God; he sees a statue of stone. He sees a statue of stone. And whose mind is clear, like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as soon as He sees Jagannātha, immediately fainted, "Here is Kṛṣṇa." Actually, that is the fact. Here is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is omnipresent. That is God's one qualification: omnipresent. He is present everywhere. So why not present in the temple? He is present here. But we have no eyes to see, because our mind is not clean.