Longing is the test of taste

Suppose during our childhood we had regularly visited an enjoyable place, but during our ensuing life’s many activities, have forgotten how wonderful that place was. However, if we consciously recollect those times or discuss them with others, especially loved ones with whom we had shared those experiences, our longing for that place will awaken and strengthen.

A similar principle of conscious recollection drives bhakti-yoga. Growth in bhakti is commensurate with our longing for Krishna. Bhakti wisdom explains that we are at our core souls who are parts of Krishna, the all-attractive reservoir of all pleasure. When we focus on loving and serving him, we increasingly delight in him, and thus long for him more and more.

In the Bhagavad-gita (10.18), Arjuna expresses an intense longing to hear Krishna’s glories, thereby conveying his taste. Similarly, we can assess our own spiritual advancement by checking how much taste we have for him. That is, how much we long for him, and how much this longing displaces and replaces our worldly cravings.

Nonetheless, a poor score on the taste test needn’t dishearten us. Because lack of taste isn’t our permanent plight – taste can be cultivated by both purification and recollection. As we become purified by bhakti practice, our soul’s natural taste for Krishna activates. And even within whatever bhakti we have practiced till date, we have probably had some relishable spiritual experiences. But these experiences are often relegated to our consciousness’ background because our mind, being materially attached, keeps mundane memories at the forefront.

If we consciously strive to recollect those experiences – and specifically strive to recollect Krishna whom we had experienced poignantly through those experiences – and we associate with those with whom we had shared those experiences, then our longing for him will awaken.

Thus relishing ever-increasing absorption in Krishna, we will pass the taste test.

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  1. Hare Krishna Prabhu ??.
    Thank you for a lovely wisdom message. Many people in the UK are taking great inspiration from your message and with Krishna’s will long may it continue.

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    • Thanks for your kind words of appreciation. Happy to be of service. Krishna willing, I will be visiting Bhaktivedanta Manor from 21-27 Oct on my way back from the US. Janakinatha P is coordinating the visit.

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      • Dear Prabhu,
        Thank you for your reply, I will let our sangha group know. We are at the New temple in Leicester.

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