So this spiritual platform, to reach, requires gradually process of cultivation, and there is no difficulty to reach the spiritual platform. But first of all, the training of the mind is practiced by the yoga system. Yoga means to control the mind. Our mind at the present moment, being too much attached to this body, it is busy in bodily comforts. Therefore the real yoga system is to divert the mind towards God, to control the mind from material engagement and divert it to spiritual engagement, or bhakti-yoga. The bhakti-yoga practice are in different nine spheres, that,
- śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
- smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
- arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
- sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
- (SB 7.5.23)
This means that first of all we have to hear about God from authorized persons. Then kīrtanam. Kīrtanam means glorifying the activities of God. Then there are other. These two items are very important, and there are other items also. Smaraṇam-smaraṇam means meditation. Vandanam means offering prayer. So smaraṇaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyam arcanam. Arcanam, Deity worship. There are other items also. In this way there are nine items. So if one is interested to understand God, then he must take all these items or some of them or at least one of them.
So the most important item is śravaṇam, or hearing. If you do not do anything else, if you simply sincerely hear about God, then gradually you will be God conscious. That is also true in the material science. The students go to the school, college, and hear from the professor, and gradually he becomes learned in that subject matter. Especially in this age, śravaṇam, or hearing, is very, very important. We are therefore opening different centers in different parts of the world, and they are being given the chance of this bhakti-yoga system, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam (SB 7.5.23), like that. So all these devotees present here, they are not Indians. I have not brought them from India; neither I have bribed them here. But by hearing only, they are now coming to God consciousness and devotees. Therefore this śravaṇam item, or hearing item, is very, very important. So if you all, ladies and gentlemen present here, take advantage of hearing about God from this institution, you will also become God conscious. We have got many sense organs, out of which the aural sense, or the hearing sense, is very important. Therefore, for spiritual understanding, we have to use this ear. So therefore the Vedic literature is called śruti. Śruti means to receive the knowledge by hearing. So our process, or the Vedic process, is that... Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ (SB 3.25.25). If one lends his aural reception of spiritual knowledge through the authorized person, devotee, then he relishes taste in spiritual life. And when you cultivate that stage, then, gradually, he becomes a devotee, he understands what is God.
Another place, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Brahmā recommends,
- jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva
- (jīvanti) san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām
- sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
- ye prāyaśo 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyām
The fact is God is called Ajita—nobody can conquer Him. But any person who gives up this process of mental speculation—that means "God may be like this. Perhaps God is like this. Perhaps this, perhaps this..." This is called mental speculation. We have to give up this mental speculation. Jñāne prayāsam means endeavor in mental speculation should be given up. One should submissively approach the spiritual master. Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva. Namanta eva means submissively offering respect, obeisances. And after that, if you hear from the self-realized soul, jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva san-mukharitām. San-mukharitām means self-realized soul. From his mouth one has to hear. Bhavadīya-vārtām. In this way, although God is never conquered by anyone else, still, this man, who has adopted this process, he will conquer God someday. And who can conquer God? Only the devotees. Just like in Vṛndāvana, the gopīs, the cowherd boys, Mother Yaśodā, father Nanda and all of them, even the cows and calves, they conquered God, Kṛṣṇa. So this is the science of God, and we have got all these books translated into English, and other things are being translated in other languages. So we shall request you to understand, to hear about God. Then some day will come—you will understand what is God, what is your relationship with Him, and you will act accordingly. Then your life will be successful.