13 June 2012

Listening: an Art

On the Bhakti marg, Shravan is given immense importance: Listening.
Our Rishi's and Sages of yonder knew its value thousands of years before. That's the reason  in navadha bhakti the first place is given to Shravanam.   

Sukadevji  narrating Bhagvat
                       In Bhagavad Mahapuran, king Pariksit has simply done shravanam. He sat down to hear Sage Sukadevji, during the last seven days of his life. 

In the Manas, Tulsidasji gives a beautiful metaphor and compares human ears to cups.
In Uttara-kanda, Parvatiji says, her ears have become 'Cups' through which she is drinking the nectar-like story of Sri Rama narrated by Shiv Bhagwan.
                    नाथ  तवानन ससी श्रवत  कथा सुधा रघुवीर I 
                             श्रवन पुटन्हि मन पान करि नहीं अघात मतिधीर II  


Master says the aim of every art form and all learning should be the attainment of the Supreme.
In his usual all-encompassing and all-embracing nature he goes a little further and states: do not limit yourself to Granth; Scriptures only. Listen to the flow of river, the waves of the ocean, the chirping of the birds....Nature speaks to us , if only we could listen.

In contemporary  world too, the science of listening is considered valuable. In fact management classes are held to teach this art. What Goswami Tulsidas did almost five hundred years ago, is used now, in our times. 
The picture below is from a workshop, held for monks to teach them the science and art of proper Listening, using a cup exercise.

sound cups monks
workshop at Deer Park Institute
If I may use Tulsidasji  image and take our ears as cups, then three things need attention: who? what? how?
~ we need to be alert of who we allow, rather who we listen to.
~ what is being served  in our cups.
~ and how we understand and comprehend it.    
This simple technique might help us in being careful of avoiding some Manthara (queen kaikeyi's maid) from pouring venomous portions in our cups. 
Instead why not use these cups to drink only what is pure, serene and worthy.

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