Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Types: Listening - sravanam

We have been seeing a series of qualities that we are supposed to develop in order to progress in spirituality through Bhakti route.
Now onwards we will see the several types of bhakti that exist with exemplary stories.
The is no hard and fast rules as to how the form of Bhakti should be. It is something entirely between the person and his God. therefore it is natural that there are various way of expressing it.
The first is called sravanam which means listening. Not listening to any cinema songs or something like that!
It is listening to the Lord's praise and stories related to him. Through this we will come know His qualities and also how some people progressed spiritually by this methods. We can emulate them and we can also progress. Listening to anything about Him makes us want to see him; so we will be able to concentrate. This is remove the attractions on mundane things and helps us to go to the higher steps.

Oh do you mean we can listed to stories about Him and go to swarga or get moksha?

:-) it is not a joke! A person did indeed listen to stories about the Lord and obtain moksha.

Oh really? Let us listen to that story then.

Here it is!
The King Parikshit is a descendant of the Pandavas.
Once he went on a hunt. Once in the forest they are parted by chance and parikshit was left alone. After a few hours of hunting, he got thirsty. There was no one to fetch him water. So he went back the way he came and presently arrived at an ashram. The ashram belonged to a risi named sameeraka. Sameeraka was sitting under a banyan tree and was immersed in meditation. The King asked for water but the risi was in no state to hear him. Already hungry and thirsty the king got angry. A dead snake was lying around. The king lifted it with his sword and put it around the neck of the risi and then went on his way.
After some time sameraka's son came along. Seeing the snake around his father's shoulders he wa enraged. Though young he was a great thapasvi. He discerned what happened by his spiritual powers. When he realized what had happened he was even more enraged. Saying this is not how a king should behave he cursed that the king will die from snake bite within a week.
After a few minuted sameeraka came down from his meditative state and seeing his angry son nearby inquired what the matter was. Learning what had happened he chided his son for cursing the king like that. “ whether it is a garland or snake it is the same to me. Why curse the king for a matter like that? Now nothing can be done about it. By cursing you lost a lot of power from tapas. Go to the king and inform him that he has just seven days of life left.”
learning that he has just a week of life time left, the king was repentant. I acted in haste and that act doesn't behoove me. What can i do to wash my sins within a week? He decided to go to the banks of Ganges and fast to death. The news spread fast and several risis arrived at the banks. The king prostrated before them and requested them to show him a way to attain moksha. They said the great risi sukha will arrive shortly and will help you in this matter. The sage sukhaa soon arrived. After receiving him with all respects he did paatha pooja and requested hm to show the way. Sage sukhaa said the easiest way to attain moksha in a week is to listen to the Lord's story. Thus was born Srimad Bhagavatha.
In the ninth chapter sukhaa narrated the story of Krishna briefly. Parikshit said, "I am most disappointed to hear such a brief story. Even while you were telling us the story of Harishchandra, Dushyanta, the Kings of the Sun dynasty, the Kings of the Moon dynasty i was waiting for Krishana's story. All my relatives have sang praises of him. Tell me in detail for I think I live for a week only for that purpose”.
Sukhaa was most pleased with this attitude and so in the tenth chapter he happily narrated Krishna's story in great details. Having listened to this Parikshit attained mokshaa at the end of the seventh day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to ask questions (if genuine!)