Rahul Mangla, Jun 2, 2011
The statement kariyāchi śravaṇa (“I have heard it”) is very important in the sense that hearing is more important than directly studying or perceiving. If one is expert in hearing and hears from the right source, his knowledge is immediately perfect. This process is called śrauta-panthā, or the acquisition of knowledge by hearing from authorities. All Vedic knowledge is based on the principle that one must approach a bona fide spiritual master and hear from him the authoritative statements of the Vedas. It is not necessary for one to be a highly polished literary man to receive knowledge; to receive perfect knowledge from a perfect person, one must be expert in hearing. This is called the descending process of deductive knowledge, or avaroha-panthā.
CC Ädi 16.52
The Lord can be realized through the aural reception of the transcendental message, and that is the only way to experience the transcendental subject. As fire is kindled from wood by another fire, the divine consciousness of man can similarly be kindled by another divine grace. His Divine Grace the spiritual master can kindle the spiritual fire from the woodlike living entity by imparting proper spiritual messages injected through the receptive ear. Therefore one is required to approach the proper spiritual master with
receptive ears only, and thus divine existence is gradually realized. The difference between animality and humanity lies in this process only. A human being can hear properly, whereas an animal cannot. Srimad-Bhägavatam 1.2.32
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Jun 14, 2011
Hare Krishna Rahul Prabhu, Also, would like to add that reading is actually a form of hearing… because when a pure devotee writes, then such a devotee’s spoken kirtana is recorded in the form of writing, and when we read, we are hearing the recording of the pure devotee’s written Kirtan… Prabhupada explained this to his disciples.
So, that is why, Srila Prabhupada called the distribution of his books the “Brhad Mridanga” or the “Great Mridanga”, the analogy he gave was that if we have a Kirtan, then the sound of the Kirtan may reach a few metres, and as someone goes further, the sound gets fainter and fainter until a point when one cannot hear it at all, but the book travels great distances with the “hearer” without losing its intensity.
Of course, books must be read in the company and association of devotees who are actually following properly what is in the books, otherwise there is the danger of misunderstanding.
(Conversation compiled by Nashvin Gangaram)