listening, listen, power of listening, meditation, motivational mondays, parenting

From Listening to Meditation

In Bhagwat Puran, once Hiranyakashipu asked “Prahlad, what is the best thing you have learnt? “. Prahlad beautifully enumerates the “Nava-vidha Bhakti “ as under:

Sravanam Keertanam Vishnoh Smaranam Paada-sevanam 
Archanam Vandanam Daasyam Sakhyam Aatma-nivedanam 

 Listening is the prime aspect and it requires cultivation or practice.
Nava-Vidha Bhakti refers to the nine different modes of devotional service to attain God and realize Him. It is said that out of these nine modes, Prahlad placed “Sravanam”- “listening” first before the others. On reflection, it is observed that there is a higher level of effort required in all the other eight modes compared to listening. To “listen”, we need to just lend our ears and get blessed hearing the stories and the glories of the Lord.

Nevertheless, do we really listen or hear? The ears are just a vehicle for us to take in and absorb the sounds or words, which may or may not make sense because there is another vehicle, our brain, which simultaneously understands and interprets it too. Moreover, to make the conversation interesting, we tend to jump in and offer our own bit of thoughts, through yet another vehicle, our tongue. In the entire process, we are not sure whether we have grasped everything that we have heard, since we were equally busy in offering replies. Even when we are in a lecture or discourse, we cannot confirm about listening everything completely, because our mind travels to compare similar things that we have experienced before. We then realize that listening is the prime aspect and it requires cultivation or practice. Therefore, Prahlad gave “listening” the priority among the nine modes to attain God.

A baby until he reaches two years to speak, is left with no choice but to listen. Scientific theories prove that while the child is in the womb, he develops the capacity to listen and therefore pregnant women are advised to listen to good stories or prayers for the well-being of the infant. We have heard through our epics about Prahlad being blessed with the understanding of the Self and Abhimanyu learning the art of entering the Chakravyuh, when they were in the womb. In short, it is clearly proven that when we are in no rush to respond, we are in a much better capacity to understand, interpret, absorb, and reflect whatever we listen or have listened and form much better impressions about people, situations, and life.
 Listening is the prime aspect and it requires cultivation or practice.
As we grew, we were also challenged to express and prove ourselves. In a bid to assert oneself, we end up challenging and fighting about everything without listening properly. We discern much later in life that had we restrained ourselves and given a chance to the other person to be listened, many situations could have been salvaged and better handled. We have experienced some of these with our own close relatives, friends, and colleagues, with whom we have ended up offending, had we chosen to listen.

It is amazing to note that the letters in the word ‘listen’, if re-arranged becomes ‘silent’. Possibly, we are supposed to listen with silence in our mind. The mind should be trained to be more passive in any situation in life so that we provide our entire attention to listening. When all the words and sounds are listened and there is no rush to respond, they slowly get dissolved into the heart and remain in a state of silence. There is a good chance that we could listen to our own inner voice, which will direct us on the right path. This entire “process of listening” and reflecting without offering a response is “meditation”.

Happy Diwali.

Comments (9)

Madhu Posted on Nov 09, 2018

Completely loved the article\'s quite different than I have ever read earlier. !


Aishwarya R Posted on Nov 08, 2018

I am an ardent yoga practitioner and trust me listening to yoga is one of the best things


Nisha Posted on Nov 08, 2018

Even I too have heard and read many times that a baby starts listening even while it\'s still in womb. That\'s why we must offer great environment to baby.


Mandira Adhikari Posted on Nov 08, 2018

I am totally into mindful meditation! Happy Diwali dear!\r\


Ootdiva Posted on Nov 07, 2018

I loved how beautifully explained the connection between listen and silence.


Deepa Posted on Nov 06, 2018

We often speak with out thinking but reflecting on our thoughts is very important. Meditation teaches us this.


Jhilmil D Saha Posted on Nov 06, 2018

I have been a good listener since my school days and a lot of my closed once had found solace in confiding in me. I was not knowing that this is a great ability.


Snehalata Jain Posted on Nov 06, 2018

Great post I never knew about this Facts at all. Superb post, best is listening one


Noor Anand Chawla Posted on Nov 05, 2018

Thank you for penning such an interesting article. In this crazy busy world, we often forget to listen and just rush and react in an inappropriate manner! We all must learn patience to listen silently.



A finance professional in a reputed organization with an experience of over three decades, he thoroughly enjoys the twin but taxing pursuits of music and reading and loves to live his life to the ful

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