Like a lot of things in life, we tend to take our ears for granted. But in the practice of bhakti, we’ll find listening at the heart of it all. We put great stock in our eyes, but in truth, it’s the ears that will lead us Home.
What we hear and how we hear are both important, with a little more emphasis today on how. We say - now I’m going to sit down for one hour and ‘chant my rounds’. That’s bhakti lingo for meditation, the recitation of the maha-mantra on a string of 108 beads. But what we really have to do is ‘hear our rounds’.
I often see devotee practitioners chanting their rounds while at the same time listening to a talk. They will be in the same room as the speaker, but neither hearing the speaker nor their rounds properly. And neither activity will touch the soul or satisfy the effort.
When we hear without hearing, it’s compared to trying to light a fire using wet wood.
The world we live in is very noisy. We have non-stop interruption in our lives from the ping on our phones, to the talk on the radio, to the demands of all those we live, love and serve with. We have to make an extra effort to listen - to bring our attention to sacred sound. Otherwise, our sweet and eternal and ever-existing relationship with Krishna will remain hidden.