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Chapter 5: The Art of Listening

The man laughed and said, “I thought it was you who is mad, because aren’t you engaged in filling the infinite with your spoonful of thoughts?” It is said that Aristotle tried to locate that man later but he never found him.

The man was correct: how small is a thought, how vast existence! How will you measure this vast existence with your measuring spoon? Where will you keep it? Your head is so small, the universe so vast. Look at your arms, how short they are - how far can they reach? You are engaged in a worthless task. Perhaps that man may have succeeded in emptying the ocean, because the ocean is finite. A spoonful of water does make the ocean less by a spoon, but the infinite you can never attain through thoughts.

Therefore, says Nanak, the beggar becomes a king as soon as he becomes silent. The depths of the depthless become known, the unknown becomes familiar, the stranger becomes the beloved, and the blind find their way - all through shravana.

Nanak says, Through listening the devotee is full of bliss,
And sin and sorrow are destroyed.