sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Year 2, Issue 8, Amāvasyā
Posted: 19 August 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 2 of 3)
Jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām. Sādhus are maunī (silent). How? They do not speak grāmya-kathā (mundane talks). If someone comes [to speak such things], the sādhus become silent. They do not talk all about those things to that person. They have no interest in speaking mundane topics. This is why they are known as maunī. But as soon as they see any ‘calf’ – any person with śraddhā – then san-mukharitāṁ; they become mukharita, talkative, or vocal, and hari-kathā begins to flow automatically from their mouth, just as Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī did on seeing Parīkṣita Mahārāja.
Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī is stimulated [to speak hari-kathā] even without seeing a calf. Is it not true? Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is also like that. Even if there is no calf present, their udder is filled with so much milk that it automatically begins to leak. That leaked rasa is their Bṛhad-bhāgavatamrta, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi and so forth. San-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām. Your līlā-kathā begins to swell in the hearts of sādhus saturated with prema. Just as [boiling] milk brims over a pot, hari-kathā automatically issues from the sādhus.
tasmin mahan-mukharitā madhubhic-caritra-
pīyūṣa-śeṣa-saritaḥ paritaḥ sravanti
tā ye pibanty avitṛṣo nṛpa gāḍha-karṇais
tān na spṛśanty aśana-tṛḍ-bhaya-śoka-mohāḥ
[In assemblies of saintly people, unlimited rivers of pure nectar emanate from the mouths of great souls in the form of descriptions of the transcendental character, pastimes, and qualities of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Those who are never satiated when they drink these nectarean glories through their ears with rapt attention can never be subjected to hunger, thirst, fear, grief, delusion, and other anarthas.]
What does gāḍha-karṇah mean? I have told it many times.
Devotee: It means “with śraddhā”.
Śrīla Gurudeva: In the morning, I was peeping from there, sitting on the chair. Sometimes I peep through. I don’t come often, but sometimes I do come and peep and somewhat listen to what hari-kathā is spoken. So, when I peeped [this morning], I saw some percentage of listeners had their eyes closed and were like this [Śrīla Gurudeva drops his head down, as if sleeping], some percentage were looking here and there, some percentage were looking at the speaker but without interest, and some percentage, I saw, were listening very nicely [attentively].
In other places, the speakers add spices to their kathā. But here, pure hari-kathā is spoken; therefore, people do not feel interested. If one hears with śraddhā, he will be able to understand [such hari-kathā], otherwise not.
What does nṛpa gāḍha-karṇah mean? To hear hari-kathā with extreme craving, thirst and hunger, drinking each and every word through our ears. This is how it should be. What will happen by doing this? Hunger, thirst, distress, misery, etc., whatever is there will go away; it will end. And within one’s heart, tattva-jñāna, sambandha-jñāna, sādhana-bhakti, then, bhāva-bhakti and then, prema-bhakti will automatically manifest. If one doesn’t do anything, and just keeps on hearing hari-kathā and offering praṇāma falling to the ground – with śraddhā – to the hari-kathā itself, to the speakers, to the place [where it is spoken], to the book [from which the kathā is spoken] and to the listeners, and continuously glorifies their qualities, he’ll control the uncontrollable Bhagavān, from wherever he is situated. It is said that those who labour hard to restrain the tendency of the mind (citta-vṛtti) by engaging in intense study of śāstra will not be able to do so by this or by other methods such as homa (sacrifice) and self-control (sāyam). The same has been said even for visiting pilgrimages.
[For example] Hari-kathā is going on but we have vowed to daily do parikramā of Girirāja Govardhana, Vṛndāvana or of Mathurā. Some people do parikramā here of Ṭhākurajī, during the hari-kathā. Although they have some interest in Ṭhākurajī, they do not have interest in hari-kathā. The eventual fruit in ten to twenty births [of following such vows] will be that they’ll develop some taste in hari-kathā.
It is not definite that they will develop a taste for hari-kathā even after ten to twenty births. To have taste in harināma and hari-kathā is the fruit of sukṛti (spiritual merit) obtained in many many births. What is the significance of doing parikramā? It nourishes one’s sukrti.
But in that place where a direct aṅga [of bhakti] is being practised, that is, where hari-kathā is being spoken, a much greater thing happens than just strengthening one’s sukṛti or acquiring sukṛti. But one should hear. If one doesn’t hear hari-kathā with profuse śraddhā, it is better to do parikramā. Something is better than nothing.