The importance of reading and hearing scripture

Even though in this world we don't get to meet many devotees from the spiritual world, the conversations and pastimes of the devotees of Mahaprabhu's time eternally exist in the form of books and sound, and that is why we do not feel so much pain from material troubles.

If we live here in the association of the words of the spiritual world, then the memory of this association will keep us at a distance from material misery. Wherever you may live, topics of the Supreme Lord will never leave you. In every material situation, you can remember the Supreme Lord and you can understand what is devotion. When the Supreme Lord will be willing, you will get the opportunity to come back here. Then you will once more get the opportunity to hear harikatha.

Whatever situation the Supreme Lord keeps His devotee in makes him happy; we should stay in that situation, forgetting our own miseries. The ordinary people of the world cannot understand the topics of the Supreme Lord, of Sriman Mahaprabhu, of the transcendental character of the devotees. When the desire to serve the Lord manifests itself in the heart, then one can remember the Lord under all circumstances. You are always endeavoring to attain what is spiritually beneficial; that is why the Lord, through his books is revealing himself in your heart.

In Chaitanya Bhagavata is is written--' Whatever is externally seen as the misery of a vaishnava you should know to be his supreme happiness.' To test us the Lord is residing behind this material world. If we notice His appearance behind each thing. our belief in the external will decrease. This world is the place where the Lord tests us. To pass this test we have to hear kirtana from the devotees of the Lord. You are hearing that kirtana through the books. Therefore you should not think you are lacking in anything. [SBST Letter]

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta

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