Jobs were scarce during the worldwide depression in the 1930s. In a small Midwest town in the United States the telegraph office announced they’d be hiring a new telegraph operator. On the day of the interview, sixty hopeful men packed the waiting room. To relieve their tension, most of the job applicants joked and chattered loudly with one another. One man, however, sat quietly alone near the office door.

Suddenly the quiet man stood up and walked into the office. A few minutes later, the office manager came to the door and announced, “Thank you all for coming today. We have hired someone for the job.”

Why was the quiet man hired?

While the other men were talking, the office manager had tapped out in Morse code, “If you hear this message, come in and accept the job.” Only one man was calm enough to hear the message.

Paramhansa Yogananda was once asked why his most advanced disciple, Rajarshi Janakananda, progressed so quickly on the spiritual path. Yogananda replied, “He knows how to listen.”

Listening brings attunement; Swami Kriyananda has defined attunement as harmony. Meditation is one of the few human activities where one isn’t imposing his will on the environment. As one progresses in his meditation practice, he feels a growing sense of soaring self-offering to God.

When the great woman saint Anandamayi Ma met Swami Kriyananda and other disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda, she was pleased to see how soft and open they were. True discipleship, Swami Kriyananda once said, makes one receptive to all of life—even a tree.

The disciple who constantly listens is always learning and expanding his consciousness. There is an amusing story about President Teddy Roosevelt, who was a great man and did a lot of wonderful things for the United States. But he also had a big energy and always wanted to be the center of attention.

Teddy Roosevelt planned to go hunting in Africa once his presidency ended. Hearing that a famous English big-game hunter was in the United States, Teddy wanted to meet him to learn about Africa. They eventually met in the President’s office for a two-hour conference. As the dazed Englishman was leaving, a curious reporter asked the famous hunter, “What did you tell the president?” The exhausted visitor replied, “I told him my name.”

Teddy Roosevelt’s need to put himself forward prevented him from learning about hunting in Africa.

Calming the emotions leads to love and communion with higher realities. Paramhansa Yogananda said, “The calmer you grow, the more you will see the reflection of the universe within you.” All good things come from stillness, and in sustained stillness, deep listening is possible.

Listening is sincerity. The mind and will are powerful forces; one’s energy naturally flows toward the object of his concentration. When the yogi concentrates on God, the yogi’s whole being moves toward the Blessed One and invites His loving response.

May your yearning for God draw you quickly to Him.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Bharat


  1. Thank you Bharat for this wonderful reminder of learning to slow down and listen. In friendship, Jerry

  2. blank

    Wonderful stories, inspiring article…I’ll share it with my students at LWS Assisi…
    With gratitude,


  3. blank

    …in a school context silence can be experienced as a value, as an end in itslef, a state of being…silent moments in a classroom are powerfull, children being totally in the presence, in some flow of concentration, studying or listening to music…sharing that power with the teachers…

  4. A powerful message, simple, beautifully told and amusingly memorable.

  5. I listened to what you said in your newsletter. Thankyou.

    Blessings and Joy,


  6. In this context a very beautiful quote from the messages of Swami Vivekananda is worth remembering..and it goes like this.”The calmer we are , the less disturbed our nerves, the more shall we love and the better will our work be..”

  7. Thank you Bharat, I enjoyed that story so much and I needed to hear it just as much! ;-)) Do you know of the actual man who heard the morse code & got the job?

    1. Dear Sandra,
      Swami Kriyananda told the story of the man hired to be new telegraph operator years ago. So I told the story from memory and do not have anymore details. It’s such a beautiful story and example isn’t it!
      Blessings of light, Bharat

  8. Namaste Nayaswami Bharat,
    As the Director of Meditation Support you most graciously fulfill that precious role.
    You support the direction of meditation, – the power of listening for “the Blessed One and invites His loving response.” This does make us “soft and open” as,the great woman saint Anandamayi Ma said and “makes one
    receptive to all of life—even a tree”, as Swami Kriyananda once said,
    To quote the Bhagavad Gita: “Know this for certain: My devotee is never lost.”

  9. Thank you, Bharat, for helping me realize that listening is a gift to Everyone, including the listener.

  10. i sometimes visit the homeless down by the river where they cook their evening meal over a camp fire.
    i sat on the log and a drunk mexican man chatted to me as i listened. when i got up to leave, thru and interpator he said, that man knows how to listen. this was a good lesson for me.

  11. Hi Bharat! Thank you for sharing these stories! Sometimes we are just so full of energy that we think sharing is talking, when actually asking questions of others (besides asking their name!) and active listening is the key. We all can’t be reminded enough, so keep the great stories coming! Joy to you and all!

  12. hello sir namaste,the article very nice.even it is breif it reached its target,useful for my present situation…try to apply from now itself…A GOOD LISTENER.LAKSHMI

  13. Be still and listen, be still and know ………, powerfull message. Thank you, Blessings!

  14. I enjoyed your article ( kind of listened to it :-) )

  15. Wonderful piece of writing and meaning, Bharat. Thanks. Would love to hook up if you’re ever down this way.

    415 505 7034

  16. This is so well presented, I am saving it. I often write on the subject of Meditation myself and feel that articles like this do reach many people and have, just in their haveing been written, left a positive ripple in the Reality.

  17. Thanks a lot Nayaswami Bharat. An inspiring article indeed. I do listen to God sometimes but it is mostly when I am alone and when I I am going for a walk. My walking is an introspection exercise where I listen to myself and what God wants from me while chanting Paramhansa Yoganandji’s songs. And I do listen to friends and relatives if I am with them but then I forget all about God. Hope to attune myself more to Him than to people with divine inspiration some day.

    Thanks again
    Jai Guru.

  18. I am in this situation just now, nobody call me for a good job, is not an accident that you sent to me this story…I need to listen more. Thank you.

  19. thank you Nayaswami Bharat to share this wise stories, we all need to remember we are in the world but not of the world and i think this is possible only through listening. many many blessings JAY Guru
    Annnamaria italy

  20. Thanks from montréal, Canada.
    The truth in this article was so vibrant in me.
    It’s with a great pleasure I will continue my evolution with this association.

    :-) Love

  21. Thank you for sharing an area of growth that I’m making while I travel this wonderful path of self realization. In my meditation time , I focus on the two God attributes of peace and calmness making it a part of my daily living. Built into this is the quality of silence. It’s not easy, believe me, My “old” personality was one of bold, obnoxious, loud chatter; the path is giving me a much healthier awareness.
    In friendship, Bob

  22. Wonderful message, and very apropos in my life at this very moment. Thank you so much!
    Jai Gurudev!

  23. Bharat ji,

    Hardik Namaskr,

    such a valuable article,i have shortage of words to appreciate it,
    Nawin sharma

  24. When I sit in stillness God is here.
    When eat my food, God is here.
    Working, writing, meditating, God is here.please
    When the mind calls, My God dear God sweet God, he is here.
    God is my very own. He is the beloved of my soul.
    Where can I go that he is not there?
    If I go to the ends of the earth and out into the universe, he is still there.
    My inner world calls out to all, he his here.
    In quietness he comes. He will reveal himself to us.
    When you yearn for him, seek his presence continually, he will come.
    Stop all your searching, for he is truly here.
    On shantytowns

  25. Thank you very much.

    l am feeling We all are connected and embracing all and purifing and supporting all unique goodness.

    gassho and namaste

  26. Thank you so much for sharing this. People often get busy telling about themselves rather than listening. It is true.

  27. Thank you very much. liastening to this message is healing and like coming home…

  28. Thank you for your email. Master said that when motion ceases, Spirit manifests. As we enter the Christmas season, live more in that great Silence and let it speak to you.

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