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Importance Of Hearing About God In Hinduism

In the Bhagavata Purana (7.5.23), Prahlada speaks of nine forms of devotion and the first form is Shravana or hearing about God. Here are the importance of hearing about God in Hinduism.

This form of devotion consists in listening to discourses on God and His devotees and to the exposition of devotional scriptures. Listening to songs on divine excellences is also included in this form of devotion.

Hearing may appear to be a passive exercise, yet it is a very powerful form of devotion that fills the mind with lofty thoughts to build a strong character that will form the bedrock of a truly devotional life.

Hearing the devotional discourses and songs of God-realized souls is a more powerful way to develop love of God than a devotee's mere self-exertion. In fact, hearing as a form of devotion is regarded as holy company.

When asked about the benefits of holy company, Sri Ramakrishna said: "It begets yearning for God. It begets love of God. Nothing whatsoever is achieved in spiritual life without yearning. By constantly living in the company of holy men, the soul becomes restless for God...There is another benefit from holy company. It helps one cultivate discrimination between the Real and the unreal. God alone is the Real, that is to say, the Eternal Substance, and the world is unreal, that is to say, transitory. As soon as a man finds his mind wandering away to the unreal, he should apply discrimination. The moment an elephant stretches out its trunk to eat a plantain-tree in a neighbour's garden, it gets a blow from the iron goad of the driver."

Reading devotional scriptures and the lives and teachings of God-realized souls can also be included in this form of devotion. The devotee contrasts his own life with that of God-realized souls and earnestly prays to God to be filled with noble qualities that endear him to the Lord.

Sourcefrom Swami Yuktatmananda Teachings on forms of devotion