sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!

Rays of The Harmonist On-Line Centennial Edition

Year 2, Issue 9,  Amāvasyā
Special Edition
Posted: 17 September 2020

Dedicated to and Inspired by
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Māhārāja


Everything is Accomplished by Hearing Hari-kathā (Part 3 of 3)

From a discourse by 

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Māhārāja 

April 22, 1994, Mathurā


Gurudeva smiling

jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva
jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām
sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
ye prāyaśo ’jita jito ’py asi tais tri-lokyām

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.3)

[Śrī Brahmā is eulogizing Śrī Kṛṣṇa: O unconquerable one, in this universe there are those who do not make even a slight separate endeavour to obtain knowledge of Your nature and form, Your majesty and Your greatness. They maintain their existence by staying near Your bhaktas and hearing and serving with their body, mind and words the narrations of Your names, forms, qualities and pastimes, which automatically flow from Your bhaktas’ lips. Although You are ordinarily unconquerable, meaning no one in the three worlds can defeat You, You are conquered by such individuals.]

What is the meaning of san-mukharitāṁ? Samyaka rūpena mukharita. Out of utmost mercy, the sādhu speaks hari-kathā. The sādhu should also be a pure sādhu. He should also be rasika (expert at relishing transcendental rasa) and bhāvuka (endowed with bhāva). If he is not [If we don’t get to hear from a sadhu who is so advanced] like this, then a madhyama-adhikari is no less [can also benefit us]. One should accept the hari-kathā spoken even by him. The association of a person who is trying to remove his own anarthas is also helpful.

Sthāne sthitāḥ. Whether he is a gṛhastha, tyāgī, a student who wishes to be a householder, a naishthika-brahmacārī, a vanaprastha, a female, a male, a karmī, or jñānī, a yogi, whatever he may be, if he continues to serve [hear] hari-kathā, the fruit of that will progressively increase, according to his qualification. 

Moreover, If he has śraddhā and honours hari-kathā, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says that he’ll first offer praṇāma to that place [where hari-kathā is spoken] and then to the speaker. He’ll then acknowledge the glories of hari-kathā.  “Aho, this is the only hari-kathā that can deliver one from the cycle of birth and death. Only from this hari-kathā can I receive kṛṣṇa-premanot from anywhere else. Oh, how beautiful his hari-kathā is! How glorious this place is, where Bhagavān’s līlā-kathā is being spoken.” In this way, he’ll extol the qualities of hari-kathā. He’ll repeatedly offer praṇāma to the listeners, thinking, “They are blessed to be able to hear such hari-kathā.” In this way, he’ll offer his praṇāma to everyone. Or, one may be in any varna or asrama – married, unmarried, renounced, a householder – anything, from that position one honours them [the hari-kathā, speaker, place etc.] 

Jīvanti. Although he has not yet attained Bhagavān, if he simply lives his life while continuing to hear hari-kathā, what will happen to him? Tanu-vāṅ-manobhir. If he continues to honour that san-mukharita kathā [with his mind, body and words], that has entered his ears – śruti-gatāṁ – then after some days – ye prāyaśo ’jita jito ’py asi tais tri-lokyām – ajita (unconquerable) Bhagavān will be jita, instantaneously controlled by him. How? Why? Bhagavān will enter his heart through the medium of hari-kathā and remove all the contamination there. He will then make his heart pure like water [in ponds] in the autumn season and manifest His prema there. Everything will be done by that [hearing hari-kathā]. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has very beautifully described it.

Therefore, leave everything at that time [when hari-kathā is being spoken]. Leave even your harināma at the time of hari-kathā, when the speaker is more advanced than we are, else you won’t be able to hear. When the speaker is not more advanced, we can hear some hari-kathā while chanting harināma. But when the speaker is more advanced and the hari-kathā he speaks contains instructions for us, we should hear his hari-kathā with one-pointed attention. At that time leave parikramā and whatever else. Do parikramā, but when? Do it at another time. That is all right. “Now hari-kathā is not being spoken, so I can do parikramā while chanting harināma.” You can do parikramā of Girirāja Govardhana; he bestows prema. If one does parikramā of Vṛndāvana-dhāma, prema manifests within him. Yamunājī is there. If one faithfully offers praṇāma, stuti (glorification) to her, bathes in her waters and so forth, prema manifests in him. One should perform such activities, but not at the time of hari-kathā. A person who can do this [hear hari-kathā with faith in the manner described] controls Bhagavān, who is not conquered by anyone in the entire three worlds.


Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist team

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