Sravanam – hearing about God

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Sravanam means hearing about God. Hearing or reading stories full of bhakti is very pleasing to the heart and strengthens our love and devotion. In order to enter into deeper stages of bhakti we require a profound understanding about the nature of the Lord and our relation with him. Maharaja Pariksit was a pious king, but somehow he was cursed to die after seven days by a snake bite. He saw the incident as an arrangement of God for him, so that he could dedicate the final days of his life to prepare for death.
yam yam vapi smaram bhavam
tyajaty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya
sada tad-bhava-bhavitah
“Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kunti, that state he will attain without fail.” (Bhagavad-gita 8.6)
Maharaja Pariksit decided to pass his final days by the holy river Ganges hearing about God in the association of saintly people. At that time Sukadeva Goswami, the great devotee of the Lord, appeared on the scene, and everybody agreed that, because of his incomparable devotion, he would be the best speaker. For seven days and nights Sukadeva Goswami continuously narrated about the Lord’s names, forms, qualities and activities. His descriptions and the stories he selected were so fascinating that no one wanted to divert his attention for even fraction of a moment from the lips of Sukadeva. After seven days and nights Maharaja Pariksit’s heart was full of faith and love for the Lord, and when he finally left his body being bitten by a poisonous snake, he returned back home to the eternal abode of God.
Sukadeva Goswami’s narrations are recorded in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and on this blog we will, one by one, post all the different stories and descriptions (see list below) of the Srimad-Bhagavatam  and other scriptures to facilitate the bhakti process of sravanam. Additionally there will be variety of bhakti poems and songs written by great devotees (see second list).
Om tat sat
List 1: Bhakti stories
1) Dhruva Maharaja – a small boy who leaves his home and goes to the forest to find God
2) Ajamila -unintentional chanting saving a man from death
3) Jada Bharata – a self-realised soul who only spoke once
List 2: Bhakti poems:
1)Poems by Bhaktivinoda Thakura
2)Poems by Narottama Dasa Thakura
3)Poems by Srila Vyasadeva
4)Poems by Govinda Dasa

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Artwork courtesy of The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. Used with permission.

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