प्रेम ही ईश्वर है
Love is God.
God is Love.
Yoga Principle >> System of Yoga >> Hearing (Shravan)
(Hearing and study of scriptures)
Hearing or Shravan means listening stories of God , yoga principles, scriptures by guru and self study of scriptures. Devotee has to follow hearing, no matter he choose which way (Hath yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga, jnana yoga etc.), practicing with or without guru. In first step of yoga system Initiation (Diksha), guru /god purifies the disciple and provides sacred holy books, scriptures as a means for self-study, and he also teaches him personally, because meaning of initiation is to make disciple qualify to understand secrets related to God. Now the second step is to reveal secrets of God to him. If those secrets are not revealed to him how and what can he understand? Therefore, he has to know these secrets either by self study or by listening from guru after initiation etc, until all illusions are cut-down. Secrets of God means the viewpoints and the ideas by means of which illusion is cut-down and supreme-self is realized.
In short, setting realization of supreme-self as a goal, self study of scriptures with the wish to meet God, by giving-up all desires, emotions, thoughts (i.e. telling lie, theft, violence, rape, conspiracy, laziness etc.) and taking resolution to not to do them again, and keeping faith and devotion in only God and listening stories of God by getting association of saints, is known as hearing or shravan.
Aim of hearing or shravan is to inspire deep love in the lotus feet of God. When this love is developed in the heart by listening stories of God and self-study of scriptures, then mind diverts from worldly things, and enjoyments, and devotee doesn't like them. Qualities of Sattva Guna (purity and goodness) is developed in devotee by self study and hearing of scriptures with practicing weakening of desires and necessities. The qualities are speaking truth (satya), non-violence (ahimsa), not-stealing (asteya), celibacy (brahmacharya), possessionlessness (aparigraha), purity (shauch), satisfaction (santosh), penance (tapa), self study (swadhyaya), taking shelter of God (Ishwar Pranidhan). All kind of devotees has to practice these qualities. Each quality has its own specific power.
Indian Rishis listed them as Yama and Niyama. Former five are known as yama and later five are known as niyama. When a devotee/disciple practice these qualities, opposing thoughts arise to create obstacles in yoga practice, i.e. telling a lie, violence, stealing, no-celibacy or desire for sex, possession, impurity, non-satisfaction, non-penance, diversion of mind etc. But he must stay firm on qualities of sattva guna by constantly thinki8ng about it, because these qualities are opposite to negative thoughts and hence have the power to conquer these obstacles. By doing so, these obstacles are destroyed.
Lord Krishna forced Arjun many times in Gita to listen, hear yoga principles :
"Esha teabhihita samkhye buddhiyogam tvimam shrunu," || 2.39 ||
I described sankhya yoga and now listen to buddhiyoga.
"Bhuya eva mahabaho shrunu me paramam vachaha" || 10.1 ||
O Arjun, listen to my sacred speech.
"Param Bhuyah pravakshyami jnananam jnanamuttamam" || 14.1 ||
Listen, I reveal the best of the best knowledge of Brahma.
"Hant te kathayishayami divyah hyatmavibhutayaha." || 10.19 ||
Listen I am telling you my divine majesty (personality).
Lord Shiva, Kak Bhushundi, Sanatkumar, and all the saints always tells stories of God and devotees listen and hear it carefully, and gets realization of supreme-self.
By practicing hearing and study, wisdom (viveka, discretion of true-false) is produced slowly in the mind of devotee/disciple. Then he contemplate on True-False(satya-asatya), eternal-transient (nitya-anitya). This contemplation is the third step of yoga system.
What is Contemplation (Manan) ?