Form of Devotion - Bhakthi- SHRAVANAM

In the Srimad Bhagavata and the Vishnu Purana it is told that the nine forms of Devotion are Sravana (hearing of God's Lilas and stories), Kirtana (singing of His glories), Smarana (remembrance of His Name and presence), Padasevana (service of His feet), Archana (worship of God), Vandana (prostration to the Lord), Dasya (cultivating the Bhava of a servant with God), Sakhya (cultivation of the friend-Bhava) and Atmanivedana (complete surrender of the self).

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A devotee can practise any method of Devotion which suits him best. Through that he will attain Divine illumination.

Shravanam Kirtanam Vishnoh Smaranam Paadasevanam
Archanam Vandanam Daasyam Sakhyam Aatmanivedanam

The above sloka is told by Prahalada , one of the greatest devotee for who’s protection Lord Vishnu came in Narasimha Avatar. As per the above sloka there 9 types of Bhakthi marga

Shravanam is the first and the foremost among the nine forms of devotion. It means ‘listening’ to the divine glories of the lord pertaining to His form, qualities, leelas or divine plays, His miracles and His spoken words like the Bhagavad Gita.

By listening to His glories, we begin to subconsciously develop love and reverence for Him.
Shravanam can be cultivated through regular satsanghs, by listening carefully to the words of the wise and that of the ancient seers and also regularly listening to the teachings of the scriptures. By hearing the stories of the lord’s divine activities, the devotee’s mind becomes purified from bad qualities like lust, anger, greed and envy. This process of transformation within the heart is described beautifully in the following five verses of Srimad Bhagavatam. This is actually the complete summary of the Bhagavata philosophy:

shrinvatam sva-kathah krishnah punya-shravana-kirtanah hridy antah-stho hy abhadrani vidhunoti suhrit satam (Srimad Bhagavatham 1.2.17)

nashta-prayeshv abhadreshu nityam bhagavata-sevaya bhagavaty uttama-shloke bhaktir bhavati naishthiki (Srimad Bhagavatham 1.2.18)

tada rajas-tamo-bhavah kama-lobhadayas ca ye ceta etair anaviddham sthitam sattve prasidati (Srimad Bhagavatham 1.2.19)

evam prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah bhagavat-tattva-vijnanam mukta-sangasya jayate (Srimad Bhagavatham 1.2.20)

bhidyate hridaya-granthish chidyante sarva-samshayah kshiyante casya karmani drishta evatmanishvare (Srimad Bhagavatham 1.2.21)

“To hear about lord Krishna from the vedic literatures, or to hear from Him directly through the Bhagavad Gita is itself an auspicious and righteous activity. Such an ardent devotee, who keeps himself constantly engaged in hearing about the lord is blessed and purified by the Him, who is dwelling in his heart.

By cultivation of devotional service he is relieved from the modes of passion (rajas) and ignorance (tamas), and thus material lusts and avarice diminish. When these impurities are wiped away, the devotee remains steady in his position of pure goodness (sattva), becomes enlivened by devotional service and understands the science of God perfectly.

Thus bhakti-yoga severs the hard knot of material bondage and enables one to attain the state of ‘asamshayam-samagram,’ which means the total understanding and realization of the Supreme.”

The story of King Parikshit given in Srimad Bhagavatham is an example of a devotee who exemplified shravanam.

Perfect example of shravana Bhakthi is Parikshit Maharaj (Abimanyu son & Grandson of Pandavas)

Due to a curse Parikshit had only a week to live, but he attained salvation by listening to the glories of Krishna in the form of Srimad Bhagavatham narrated by Sage Suka in the forests of Naimisharanya.

To cultivate shravanam three qualities are needed – an yearning to listen, listening with total faith and putting into practice what has been listened to. The act of listening itself becomes worship of the lord and the process of shravanam becomes effective as a form of devotion, leading us to liberation.

(I will be posting about other Forms of Devotion in due course )

Source: divyapracharam.wordpress

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