Episode # 208 – “SHRAVANAM” – First step towards attaining spiritual progress!!!

Little Krishna

As we’ve commenced the eighth “Skandha” of the “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana”, we had so far witnessed twenty-two different aspects of “Dharma” as narrated by Sage Sukhaachaarya to King Parikshit. We still have a long list of various aspects of “Dharma” to discuss, and as part of this list, in the yesterday’s episode we had witnessed that we should highly regard and respect people who are “Bhaagawathas”, or “Gurus” or “Spiritual Masters” as equivalent of Bhagawan Himself. In due course of yesterday’s episode, we had witnessed four important people whom we should respect very highly in our life – Our Mother, Father, Guru and Bhagawan. It is very interesting to see here that as per the sequence, our parents come first, then the Guru and finally Bhagawan. Bhagawan is pushed to the last! 😊 What does this mean? It simply implies that if we respect the first three categories of people, it is automatically inferred that we’ve respected Bhagawan. This is the most important point that all of us should understand from this aspect of “Dharma”. Even though we might have high respect for Bhagawan, if we tend to disrespect or disregard the “Guru” or our parents in whatever way, there is no spiritual progress that is going to happen. We should be very clear in this.

Adding to this point, in the last episode, we had witnessed some important pointers as to what is the significance of a “Guru” or a “Spiritual Master”. Of course, we’ve already witnessed this in many other contexts beforehand as well, in the likes of Prahlaada in the previous “Skandha” – How was Prahlaada, a “Mahatma” or a “fully-realized soul”, in the likes of Hanuman in the Valmiki Ramayana, etc. Although we’ve witnessed many examples in the past, it is always good to have a recollection of whatever important things that we’ve discussed. In this context wherein Sage Sukhaachaarya explains the significance of respecting “Bhaagawathas” as equivalent to Bhagawan, he is indirectly explaining the significance of a “Guru” and why is a “Guru” occupying a paramount position in a person’s life. We should thus understand the significance and pay our respects duly to our “Guru”.

Moving on further thus, Sage Sukhaachaarya narrates the next aspect of “Dharma” to King Parikshit as follows:

“Shravanam keertanam chaasya smaranam mahataam gatehe!!”

Here, Sage Sukhaachaarya talks about a very important aspect of “Dharma” called “Shravanam”. Now what is this “Shravanam” all about? It means that we should make it a practice of listening to Bhagawan’s divine slokas, stories and names all the time or whenever possible. This is of prime importance here. We should understand that if we’re getting into the practice of “Shravanam” or “listening” to Bhagawan’s “Charithra”, our mind would automatically enter the path of “Bhakti” or “Devotion”. This is not a rocket science at all! This is perhaps the simplest aspect of “Dharma” that all of us can readily implement, starting from this minute itself!

To elaborate this aspect a little more, “Shravanam” is perhaps one of the best ways to align ourselves to the path of “Moksha”. Of course, “Shravanam” might not directly take us there, but it makes sure that many things fall into place! As mentioned earlier, the moment we start listening to Bhagawan’s stories or names or slokas, or whatever, our mind starts calming down. If we’re focusing on this aspect of “Dharma” meticulously, our mind would slowly start getting detached from worldly affairs and objects. Once our mind starts getting detached from worldly affairs, slowly as days or months pass by, we would fall on the track of doing whatever further activities that are required to attain our ultimate goal of “Moksha”. This is like a piece of magnet trying to attract a group of iron pieces together. Bhagawan’s stories and His divine names can be integrated into the “spiritual magnet”. Our minds are like the iron pieces. When the “Spiritual magnet” called “Shravanam” is brought closer to our minds, just like how the iron pieces align themselves and get attracted to the magnet, our mind would also slowly start aligning and get attracted to the “Spiritual Magnet”. Once the attraction happens, all other things would follow automatically. Our mind would become channelized and we would be able to think of the spiritual path ahead of us clearly.

However in the modern-day scenario, we are amidst innumerable aspects of life that are potential disturbances, preventing us from getting closer to Bhagawan. If one has to succeed in his/her professional career, what should be done? He / she might overcome all the potential challenges that might come by and only then would be able to taste success isn’t it? Similarly here too, we should develop the maturity to overcome potential disturbances that might prevent us from undertaking the spiritual path. We should always remember that threading the spiritual path is perhaps one of the toughest things to do in a person’s life. We’ve to develop that “Vairaagya” or “Perseverance” to undertake the spiritual path. For this “Vairaagya” to develop, we should first cultivate the interest and passion for it, isn’t it? Even in our day-to-day life, if we’ve to achieve something, we would take steps towards it only if we have the interest for it. Similarly here too, if we’ve to thread the spiritual path with the required “Vairaagya”, we should cultivate the interest for it, and the only way to do so is “Shravanam”. The moment we start listening about Bhagawan, our mind would slowly start developing that interest towards the spiritual path.

Hence for today, let us ponder over this important aspect of “Dharma” and since this is one of the easiest things that we can follow, let us start immediately without any further delay! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next important aspect of “Dharma” as narrated by Sage Sukhaachaarya! Stay tuned! 😊

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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