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Real taste

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 2

As the Bhagavad-gītā was authoritatively discussed between Lord Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna ..., similarly Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, ... can also be discussed between the scholars and devotees like Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Mahārāja Parīkṣit. Otherwise the real taste of the nectar cannot be relished.
SB 2.8.27, Purport: Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam can be legitimately discussed only among the devotees of the Lord. As the Bhagavad-gītā was authoritatively discussed between Lord Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna (the Lord and the devotee respectively), similarly Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is the postgraduate study of the Bhagavad-gītā, can also be discussed between the scholars and devotees like Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Mahārāja Parīkṣit. Otherwise the real taste of the nectar cannot be relished. Śukadeva Gosvāmī was pleased with Mahārāja Parīkṣit because he was not at all tired of hearing the topics of the Lord and was more and more anxious to hear them on and on with interest. Foolish interpreters unnecessarily tackle the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam when they have no access to the subject matter. There is no use in nondevotees' meddling with the two topmost Vedic literatures, and therefore Śaṅkarācārya did not touch Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for commentation. In his commentation on the Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya accepted Lord Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but later on he commented from the impersonalist's view. But, being conscious of his position, he did not comment on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

SB Canto 3

Just as one can appreciate the real taste of milk with the tongue and not with the eyes, nostrils or ears, one can similarly appreciate the Absolute Truth perfectly and with all relishable pleasure only through one path, devotional service.
SB 3.32.33, Purport: Ultimately, the Supreme Person is the destination of all different processes. The fortunate person who, by following the principles of scriptures, becomes completely purified of all material contamination, surrenders unto the Supreme Lord as everything. Just as one can appreciate the real taste of milk with the tongue and not with the eyes, nostrils or ears, one can similarly appreciate the Absolute Truth perfectly and with all relishable pleasure only through one path, devotional service. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti: [Bg. 18.55] if one wants to understand the Absolute Truth in perfection, he must take to devotional service. Of course, no one can understand the Absolute Truth in all perfection. That is not possible for the infinitesimal living entities. But the highest point of understanding by the living entity is reached by discharge of devotional service, not otherwise.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommended that, in order to relish the real taste of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, one should take instruction from the person bhāgavatam.
Nectar of Devotion 12: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommended that one learn Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the mouth of the self-realized person called bhāgavatam. Bhāgavata means "in relationship with the Personality of Godhead [Bhagavān]." So the devotee is sometimes called bhāgavatam, and the book which is in relationship with devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also called Bhāgavatam. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommended that, in order to relish the real taste of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, one should take instruction from the person bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is relishable even by a liberated person. Śukadeva Gosvāmī admitted that although he was liberated from within the very womb of his mother, it was only after relishing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that he became a great devotee. Thus, one who is desirous of advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness should relish the purport of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam through the discussions of authorized devotees.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Material taste is finishable. It is not unlimited. But real taste is unlimited. If you taste one then you cannot forget. It will go on, increasing, increasing.
Lecture on BG 6.1 -- Los Angeles, February 13, 1969: Rasa means the taste, the mellow. Just like we try to taste a sweetmeat, a sweet candy, anything. Why? Because there is a very nice taste. So everyone is trying to have some taste from everything. We want to enjoy sex life. There is some taste. So that is called ādi—taste. So there are so many tastes. There in the Brahma-saṁhitā, ānanda-cinmaya-rasa. That taste, material taste, you may taste it, but it will be finished immediately. Immediately finished. Say few minutes. Suppose you have got very nice sweetmeat. You taste it. You get, "Oh, it is very nice." "Take another." "All right." "And another?" "No, I don't want," finished. You see? So material taste is finishable. It is not unlimited. But real taste is unlimited. If you taste one then you cannot forget. It will go on, increasing, increasing. Ānandāmbudhi-vardhanam. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that, "This taste is simply increasing." Although it is ocean-like, great, still it is increasing. Here you have seen ocean. It is limited. Your Pacific Ocean is tossing, but it is not increasing. If it increases there is havoc, you see? But by nature's law, by God's order, it does not come beyond its limit. Within the limit it is. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu says there is an ocean of bliss, ocean of taste, of transcendental bliss, which is increasing. Ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaṁ prati-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaṁ sarvātma-snapanaṁ paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam. You'll get by this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, your pleasure potency increasing more and more, more and more.
As somebody makes progress and has a real taste, then he thinks that "All other achievements are useless, nonsense in comparison to Kṛṣṇa consciousness."
Lecture on BG 6.21-27 -- New York, September 9, 1966: We are trying to achieve so many riches or friends, fame, and beauty, and knowledge. So many things we are trying, achievement. But as soon as you become properly situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness achievement, then you will think, "Oh, no achievement is better than this achievement." Yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābham. Aparam lābham means other kinds of achievement. They will be considered as figs. It is so big, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that one who understands and has a little taste... Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt: "A little taste can save one from the greatest danger." And as he makes progress and has a real taste, then he thinks that "All other achievements are useless, nonsense in comparison to Kṛṣṇa consciousness."

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Anyone who has tasted Kṛṣṇa he gets real taste of pleasure, either in this rasa or that rasa.
Lecture on SB 3.26.45 -- Bombay, January 20, 1975: There are many kinds of taste, and that taste are all combined together in Kṛṣṇa, akhila-rasāmṛta. In the Vedas it is said, raso vai saḥ. Rasa means mellow. So we have presented a little book, Kṛṣṇa is the Reservoir of All Pleasure. Rasa means pleasure, taste, pleasing taste, rasa, or humor. Everyone has got different taste. So all the taste are there in Kṛṣṇa. Raso vai saḥ, labdhvānandī. Anyone who has tasted Kṛṣṇa he gets real taste of pleasure, either in this rasa or that rasa.

Festival Lectures

If water is not distilled, if you add some chemical, sugar or salt, then the taste is different. That is not the real taste of water.
Lecture-Day after Sri Gaura-Purnima -- Hawaii, March 5, 1969: So we are trying to clear the consciousness without any cover, without any color. Just like there is water, pure water. Take sea water. It is very clear. But if you take clear water and if you color it, then it is colored water. It is not pure water. Or if it is not distilled, if you add some chemical, sugar or salt, then the taste is different. That is not the real taste of water. Just like if you thirsty, if you want water, if I give you some adulterated water, you are not satisfied. If you get clear water, pure water, then your thirst is quenched: "Oh, I am satisfied." Because the taste is there in the clear water, not in the colored water. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says sukham ātyantikaṁ yat [Bg. 6.21]. That superhappiness, super-sense gratification, can be achieved by your transcendental sense, not by these covered sense.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

A jaundice patient does not taste sugar as sweet, but if he continues to take sugar candy, then he will have the real taste for sugar candy, sweet, not bitter.
Garden Conversation -- June 23, 1976, New Vrindaban:

Devotee (3): So, Śrīla Prabhupāda, if at this platform we are not yet..., we are still desiring to depart from Kṛṣṇa's service and enjoy, then we are not, we have not yet tasted devotional service, what is it that we have tasted that is keeping us temporarily connected to Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: That is the Vedic injunction: You keep yourself connected with Kṛṣṇa, then you will develop the taste. Just like a jaundice patient does not taste sugar as sweet, but if he continues to take sugar candy, then he will have the real taste for sugar candy, sweet, not bitter. So he has to continue to eat sugar candy continually. Śravaṇam, kīrtanam. Then he'll have the taste.

Correspondence

1968 Correspondence

In order for a jaundice patient to be cured from his disease, he must take the medicine of sugar-candy, despite the apparently bitter taste, and as he becomes cured, the real sweet taste of the candy is gradually revealed.
Letter to Terry and associates -- San Francisco 22 March, 1968: I am happy to hear that you continued to chant despite so many doubts and skepticism. That is the process. Even there may be doubts and skepticism, if one continues the chanting process, the doubts will all disappear, and real knowledge will be revealed by the Grace of Krishna. There is the example given of the jaundice patient. He is suffering from disease, and when given sugar-candy, which is the cure, he finds it very bitter and distasteful. But that does not mean the sugar-candy is not very sweet and delicious; it is simply due to his diseased condition that it seems bitter. In order to be cured from his disease, he must take the medicine of sugar-candy, despite the apparently bitter taste, and as he becomes cured, the real sweet taste of the candy is gradually revealed. Similarly, we are diseased, and only if we take to this chanting process may we be cured. Maya may put so many doubts and worthless arguments into our minds, but if we continue the chanting, the curing process will go on, never mind the doubts, and gradually we will get a taste of that sweet nectar of Krishna Nama Sankirtana. That is the process; and you may explain it to all your friends, so they may understand the nature of their doubts and skepticism, and be benefited.
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