Reading Is Hearing
Regarding Sankirtana and book distribution, book distribution is also chanting. Anyone who reads the books that is also chanting and hearing. Why distinguish between chanting and book distribution? These books I have recorded and chanted, and they are transcribed. It is spoken kirtanas. So book distribution is also chanting.
These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing.
Book distribution must not be neglected. If things deteriorate that is another thing, but it is not the fault of book distribution.
Letter to: Rupanuga: — Mayapur 19 October, 1974
As we have already explained, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is so scientifically presented that any sincere student of this great science will be able to understand the science of God simply by reading it with attention or simply by regularly hearing it from the bona fide speaker.
SB 2.7.52 : Purport
This is the way of the paramparā system. If we follow the ācāryas, we attain the same benefit as our predecessors. If one follows the decisions of Arjuna, he should be considered to be directly hearing Bhagavad-gītā from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no difference between hearing Bhagavad-gītā directly from the Supreme Lord and following a personality like Arjuna, who formerly heard Bhagavad-gītā directly from the Lord. Sometimes foolish people argue that since Kṛṣṇa is not present at the moment, one cannot take direct instructions from Him. Such foolish people do not know that there is no difference between directly hearing Bhagavad-gītā and reading it, as long as one accepts Bhagavad-gītā as it is, spoken by the Lord. However, if one wants to understand Bhagavad-gītā by his imperfect interpretations, one cannot possibly understand the mysteries of Bhagavad-gītā, even though one may be a great scholar according to mundane estimation.
SB 4.30.10 : Purport
So śravaṇam, just you are very kindly hearing. This is also devotional service. Those who are patiently hearing these topics of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are also discharging devotional service, hearing. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam, and just you are reading, you are also rendering service.
Lectures : Bhagavad-gita 3.18-30 — Los Angeles, December 30, 1968
So many people are engaged in tapasya. Idaṁ hi puṁsas tapasaḥ śrutasya. So many people are engaged in education. Śrutasya. Śrutasya means “of education.” The Vedic process of getting education is by hearing. Therefore it is called śruti. The Vedas are called Śruti. Formerly… Just like we are reading books. The books were not needed because the memory was so sharp—simply by hearing from the teacher, they’ll remember. That is… That is called tradition by hearing. Therefore education means śruti. Śrutibhir pratipannam. Anything, if you want to prove, then you have to give evidence from the śruti.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.44 — Mayapura, October 24, 1974
There is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. We have published. It will come very soon. Kṛṣṇa… The… Full of activities of the Lord, in two volumes of four hundred pages. So simply if you read and hear the activities, either read or hear, both of them are śravaṇam. Activities of the Lord, you get liberation, simply by reading.
Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.5 — Los Angeles, August 13, 1972
Yes. This is the secret. We have got the ears, and we have got the sound also. Just like we are reading this book. So if we don’t fill up our ears with this transcendental sound, then it will be filled up with some rubbish things. It cannot remain empty. Either you fill up with transcendental message, or you fill up with rubbish nonsense. Two ways. So if you take care that your earholes are always filled up with the transcendental message of Kṛṣṇa, so there is no scope for rubbish things to enter into it. So therefore our attempt should be twenty-four hours hearing. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc. Ādi 17.31]. Twenty-four hours. As soon as you get time, read books, discuss amongst yourselves…
Lecture : Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.20-21 — Los Angeles, June 17, 1972
So what is the utility of this Vedic knowledge? Now, by understanding, by hearing from authorized sources, or by reading from authorized sources, the forgetful living entities will come to his senses. That is the purpose. He will come to his sense: “Oh, my position is this, and I am suffering in this way.”
Lecture : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 20.121-124 — New York, November 25, 1966
When you hear about Kṛṣṇa, that is also Kṛṣṇa. Actually, when you are reading Kṛṣṇa book, Kṛṣṇa is fighting with demons, that is also His pastime. So Kṛṣṇa is present. So you should be very attentive and worship this hearing. Unless we come to this point, there is lack of realization what is Kṛṣṇa.
Lecture at Krsna Niketan — Gorakhpur, February 16, 1971
That is the difference, hearing from devotees, the sound vibration coming from the realized person. Reading the book is the same thing . . . tattva-darsana—hearing from one who has seen the truth. Reading or hearing from the realized person there is no difference, but hearing the sound vibration from the realized soul is still more effective, better. Letter — Bombay 16 April, 1976