To hear Krishna accurately, first hear about Krishna attentively
“Can we hear Krishna speaking to us from within?” We may get this question when we come to know from the Bhagavad-gita that Krishna resides in our heart to guide us.
Yes, we can hear Krishna provided we first hear about Krishna.
That’s because Krishna’s voice is not the only voice present within us. There are also the voices of our desires and fears, our beliefs and biases, our dreams and nightmares. All these have lodged into our subconscious, creating impressions that surface unpredictably. When one of these impels us to do something, we may mistake that impulse to be Krishna’s voice.
To avoid such misjudgments, we need to train ourselves to recognize Krishna’s voice. This training centers on learning about Krishna from authentic sources, namely guru-sadhu-shastra (spiritual master-saintly teachers-scriptures). Krishna is non-different from the sound vibrations that glorify him. In fact, he manifests himself as those sound vibrations. The more we hear about Krishna, the more we associate with him and become acquainted with him, just as we become acquainted with a person by spending time with that person. Thereafter, if someone masquerades as that person, we can recognize and reject that imposter. Hearing about Krishna equips us to similarly screen the inner voices.
Additionally, in devotional life we are not alone in doing this screening; Krishna helps us. Hearing about Krishna is one of the most important forms of devotional service. When we render this service lovingly by hearing eagerly and applying enthusiastically, then Krishna becomes pleased and gives us the intelligence by which we can return to him, as the Bhagavad-gita (10.10) indicates. That intelligence comes as both the spiritually audible voice of Krishna and the discernment to separate this voice from other voices. Thus hearing about Krishna prepares us to hear Krishna.
“To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”