Katha [a lecture] means the Bhagavad - Katha, the stories of the glories of God. To tell Bhagavad Katha is an art. Similarly, to listen to it is also an art. Shatanand Muni has written in Sanskrit `Satsanghi Jeevan' containing 17627 slokas. Shriji Maharaj has praised this volume as a great book of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. Shatanand Muni in the fourth chapter of this volume has suggested how to listen to a katha as follows:-
- Keep quiet [Maun] and listen to a katha; meaning thereby that we should not chit - chat, but we should be very much attentive in the katha,
- Revere (honour) the speaker of the katha.
- Sit straight and patiently. Be steady in the katha. Don't be conscious of moving your hands and legs very often.
- Sit cross-legged in the katha. Don't sit in the Virasan posture, nor the posture of stretching the legs.
- Never get up in the midst of the katha.
- Never sit bare handed in the katha.
- Never chew anything in the mouth while you are in the katha.
- Whenever you have any doubt or you have not followed the meaning, respectfully bow your head to the orator [kathakar] and ask him, but never, in any case, create disorder in the katha.
- Take sparing meal on the day of the katha. If possible, fruits or milk would be more desirable. Bear in mind never to get up for a `natural call' during the katha.
- There is no objection in taking the regular food if it suits you well, bearing in mind the item No.( i ) or it would be desirable to eat only once, or take the meal without salt.
- Many people are fond of fast on the day of katha, but if the fast is of hindrance during the katha, don't observe the fast.
In short take such a food that would be advantageous in listening to the katha, behave well and live very simply.