Harikatha (lit. stories of the Lord) is the exposition of a religious theme, usually the life of a saint or a story from one of India’s scriptural texts. Its purpose is to spread devotion to the Divine. Harikatha is a composite art containing story-telling, poetry, music, drama, dance, and philosophy. Any story about God, or scriptural incidents, or about saints, who are the living exemplars for the existence of God, is an appropriate subject matter for Harikatha.
The greatness of Harikatha lies in the fact that it provides one of the easiest; if not the easiest path to attaining lasting happiness and peace. Listening to stories about Divinity and divine individuals subtly makes the mind attached to, and permeated by Divinity. As one continues to listen to the stories of the Divine, one becomes pure in thought, word, and deed. As well, it cultivates one’s power of concentration and drives away doubt from a wavering mind. Not only does a katha please its listener, as other fine arts do, but it also comforts the mind and elevates the soul of the listener. Thus, as it entertains, it enlightens.