So, of course, reading or hearing. You may not have time to read, but time, you are hearing. We are publishing, we are publishing literature, books. I am trying to speak to you. That is also understanding, studying Krsna science. Rather, hearing is better reception. If you hear... That Vedas are therefore known as sruti. Sruti means it is received through hearing. Real process is hearing. And this age, Kali-yuga, people cannot study so much.

(Gen Lec 68’)

That is the difference, hearing from devotees, the sound vibration coming from the realized person. Reading the book is the same thing . . . tattva-darsana--hearing from one who has seen the truth. Reading or hearing from the realized person there is no difference, but hearing the sound vibration from the realized soul is still more effective, better.

(Punjabi premanand, S.P.L. 16th October, 1976)

In these quotes Srila Prabhupada explains that to read his books or to hear his sound vibration are non-different, although he gives stress to hearing the vibration as a better, more effective means to gain transcendental realization. He explains this as the real Vedic process and says in Kali yuga people cannot study so much.


Why they are going? They are busy in some other work? Eh? Ugra-karma. Without hearing, what he will do, nonsense? Sravanam kirtanam, this is our main business. Sravanam. If you don't hear, what you will do. You will do simply sense gratification. That's all. So this is difficulty, that we are not very much interested in hearing. And that is the main business. Our bhakti begins: sravanam kirtanam visnoh. We have to hear and we have to speak. But if we are not interested in hearing and speak, then it will be the same thakura-bari, simply formula. That's all. And gradually it will be stopped. Unless there is life of sravanam kirtanam, these big, big buildings, temples, will become burden. So if we are, if we want to create burden for future, then we may give up this hearing and chanting and sleep very nicely. It will be burden. Galagraha. Not Sri-vigraha, but galagraha. Galagraha. Sri-vigraha means worshipable Deity. So if we give up this sravanam kirtanam visnoh, then it will be thought that "Our guru maharaja has given a burden in the neck, galagraha." This is the danger. So we must be very much alert in sravanam kirtanam. Otherwise all this labor will be futile. This building will be only the nest, nest for the doves and the pigeons. That is the danger. That is being done.

(S.B. Lec., 1.8.19, Mayapura, 29th September, 1974)


The devotional service of the Lord consists of nine principles of service activities, and they are (1) hearing, (2) chanting, (3) remembering, (4) serving the lotus feet, (5) worshipping, (6) praying, (7) executing the orders, (8) fraternising, and (9) fully surrendering. Any one of them or all of them are equally competent to award the desired result, but they require to be practised persistently under the guidance of an expert devotee of the Lord. The first item, hearing, is the most important item of all, and therefore hearing of the Bhagavad-Gita and, later on, Srimad-Bhagavatam is essential for the serious candidate who wants to attain the stage of Bhismadeva at the end.

(S.B. 1.9.43)


The bhakti-yoga process is practised by the devotees in different methods like hearing, chanting, remembering, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, worshipping, praying, rendering service in love, becoming friendly, and offering all that one may possess. All nine methods are bona fide methods, and either all of them, some of them or even one of them can bring about the desired result for the sincere devotee. But out of all the nine different methods, the first one, namely hearing, is the most important function in the process of bhakti-yoga. Without hearing sufficiently and properly, no one can make any progress by any of the methods of practice.

(S.B. 2.2.36)


The beginning of Krsna consciousness and devotional service is hearing, in Sanskrit called sravanam. All people should be given the chance to come and join devotional parties so that they may hear. This hearing is very important for progressing in Krsna consciousness. When one links his ears to give aural reception to the transcendental vibrations, he can quickly become purified and cleansed in the heart. Lord Caitanya has affirmed that this hearing is very important. It cleanses the heart of the contaminated soul so that he becomes quickly qualified to enter into devotional service and understand Krsna consciousness.

(N.O.D. Ch 10)


Just like if you get a nice seed, you have to sow it and pour little water... Then it will grow. Similarly, anyone who by great fortune has come into Krsna consciousness, the seed of devotional service, he should water it. And what is the water? Sravana kirtana jale karaye secana. This is watering. This hearing and chanting about Krsna. This is watering. Don't be absent from the class. This hearing and chanting is watering the seed of devotional service. If you make it official and be absent from hearing... This is most important thing. Sravanam kirtanam Visnu. This is most important thing. To hear.

(B.G. Lecture Vol. 2. Lec 2.30 B.G., 31st August, 1973)


But for all devotional service, the main pillar is sravanam, hearing. Without hearing, other processes of devotional service will not be perfect. Therefore hearing is most important. Hearing, according to our Vaisnava philosophy, especially Lord Caitanya's, this hearing and chanting are two main pillars for devotional service.

(Lecture B.G. 3.18-30, Los Angeles 30th December, 1968)


One begins spiritual activities for advancement in Krsna consciousness by hearing. Hearing is the most important method for advancement, and one should be very eager to hear favourably about Krsna.

(T.L.C. p125)


One particular word is used herein for proper guidance. This word is susrusu. One must be anxious to hear this transcendental message. The desire to sincerely hear is the first qualification.

(S.B. 1.1.2)

By the hearing process, as mentioned herein before, this realization of the presence of the Lord in the temple is made possible. As such, the first process in the routine work of devotional service--hearing--is the essential point. Hearing by all classes of devotees from the authentic sources like Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam is essential.

(S.B. 2.3.21)


A sincere devotee must, therefore, be prepared to hear the Vedic literature like the Upanishads, Vedanta and other literature’s left by the previous authorities or Gosvamis, for the benefit of his progress. Without hearing such literature’s, one cannot make actual progress.

(S.B. 1.2.12,)


One should therefore begin yoga practice as directed in the last verse of the Sixth Chapter. Concentration of the mind upon Krsna the Supreme is made possible by prescribed devotional service in nine different forms, of which sravanam is the first and most important.

(B.G. 7.1)


Any of them, either these nine processes or eight or seven or six or five or four--take at least one and make your life successful. Everyone can. Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore prescribed the most important one: sravanam, simply hear. That's all. That will make your life successful

( S.B.Lec. Bombay, 3.25.28)


These are the nine different processes of bhakti-yoga, of which the most important thing is sravanam, hearing.

(S.B. Lecture 1974)


Translation. It is only by devotional service, beginning with hearing, that one can approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the only means to approach Him.

Purport. One can directly approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead simply by executing the nine kinds of devotional service, of which hearing about the Lord is the most important (sravanadi). Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has very favorably stressed the importance of this process of hearing. According to His method, if people are simply given a chance to hear about Krsna, certainly they will gradually develop their dormant awareness or love of Godhead.

(C.C. Adi Lila.7.141)


If he has actually heard our words, then immediately he will agree. It is not very difficult thing. So hearing is so important thing. Sravanam. Sravanam means hearing.

(B.G. Lecture 7.1. San Diego, July 1st, 1972)


So this hearing... We are talking of the hearing. The hearing process is so important. All our, this institute, Krsna consciousness movement has spread because the students who have joined us, they have given aural reception, by hearing. The hearing, everything was changed within themselves and they have joined with full, whole-heartedness, and the... Going on. So hearing is so important.

(B.G. Lecture 7.1. San Diego, July 1st, 1972)


So hearing is very important. Therefore our bhakti process, bhakti-yoga process is hearing. The more you give aural reception to the transcendental message, more you become expert. You haven't got to become a Ph.D. or very learned fellow, or very scholar. No. Even a child, without any education, he can also become Krsna conscious simply by hearing.

(B.G. Lecture 7.1. San Diego, July 1st, 1972)


So the most important item is sravanam, or hearing. If you do not do anything else, if you simply sincerely hear about God, then gradually you will be God conscious.

(Initiation lecture. Caracas. Feb 22nd, 1975)


But by hearing only, they are now coming to God consciousness and devotees. Therefore this sravanam item, or hearing item, is very, very important.

(Initiation lecture. Caracas. Feb 22nd, 1975)

"Please come and sit down and hear about Krsna." Sravanam. If you simply continue, if you do not do anything, I guarantee that if you simply come here and hear about Krsna, you will be liberated. If you do not do anything, if you kindly come here and hear about Krsna. Here or anywhere, sravanam.

(B.G. Lec. 4.23 Bombay April 12, 1974)


We should follow the mahajanas and the sadhus, sastra. And they recommend... The most important process is sravanam. Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah. If we don't hear about Krsna, then how we'll make advance? We have to hear. My Guru Maharaja was very kind upon me because I was very much interested to hear him. That you know. I hear him. I did not understand him, actually. In the beginning I could not understand him. He was speaking in so high philosophical way that it was not... Still, I wanted to hear him. That was my only qualification.
So the... It is the process. During lecture time, if we don't care to hear or we do other things or take rest, that is not very good sign. We should be very much careful. Then we shall remain mudha-drsa. Nato natyadharo yatha. We have taken the vow to see Krsna or to understand Krsna. We should be very, very serious and do the needful. Then our life will be successful.

(S.B. Lecture 1.8.19 Mayapura, September 29, 1974)

The above quotes are taken from the book ALL OF US SHOULD HEAR PRABHUPADA [First Printed 1992] which is a compilation of quotes from the teachings of HIS DIVINE GRACE A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA on the importance of hearing from a self realized soul. The simple practice of hearing Srila Prabhupada lecture twice daily in association, puts His Divine practically in the center of all our lifes. By hearing from Srila Prabhupada all misconceptions will be cleansed from our hearts. Then we can unite and spread the Sankirtana Movement in every town and village in the world.


"Every devotee who follows Prabhupada's teachings should have this book!" 

 Rukmini Devi Dasi (USA)


We must admit that we have realized definitely that the divine message from his holy lips is the congenial thing for suffering humanity. All of us should hear him patiently. If we listen to the transcendental sound without unnecessary opposition, he will surely have mercy upon us. The Acarya's Message is to take us back to our original home, back to God. Let me repeat, therefore, that we should hear him patiently, follow him in the measure of our conviction, and bow down at his lotus feet for releasing us from our present causeless unwillingness for serving the Absolute and all souls.

(Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa Puja offering, 1936)


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