Life is a test of taste
Life is a test. This saying is meant to inspire people to gallantly face life’s problems. Additionally, Gita wisdom reveals its philosophical import: life is a test in that it is the preparatory test for the ultimate test of death.
How is death a test? Isn’t it the supreme failure – the irreversible termination of all hopes for success?
No, because we are not perishable bodies; we are imperishable souls temporarily situated in material bodies. Death is a transition – akin to changing a vehicle.
Different bodies are like vehicular facilities for different forms of enjoyment according to our taste. So, our next body depends on our predominant taste. Whatever we have the strongest taste for, that we naturally remember. Accordingly, the Bhagavad-gita (08.06) indicates that what we remember at death shapes our post-mortem body. If we can remember Krishna at that time, we get a spiritual body for residing with him eternally, which is life’s ultimate success. Those who remember Krishna at death pass life’s test with highest honors.
Such glorious graduation from life centers on changing our taste from material to spiritual, from delighting in worldly things to delighting in loving service to Krishna. To change our taste thus, the best process is bhakti-yoga, for it provides easy connection with Krishna, the source of the highest happiness. Nonetheless, as we have to substantially change our taste required, we need sustained practice in cultivating the higher taste. So, Gita wisdom urges us to see our entire life as a test of taste.
This test-centered vision of life shows regulation of worldly indulgences in new light – not as deprivation, but as a test. We can pass the test by choosing Krishna, relish higher happiness by remembering him intensely and thereby increase our spiritual taste. Such a test-focused life will grant satisfaction here and liberation hereafter.