Published on November 25th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada9
WATER — This Taste is Krishna!
“O son of Kunti, Arjuna, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras. I am the sound in ether and ability in man.”
Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.) Translation: “O son of Kunti, Arjuna, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras. I am the sound in ether and ability in man.”
raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya
sabdah khe paurusam nrsu
This is all-pervasive nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should mark the important word in this verse: aham. Aham means the person. Krsna never says that “I am imperson.” Imperson is the feature of Krsna. Just like in the Ninth Chapter, Krsna says, maya tatam idam sarvam jagad avyakta-murtina. Maya, “I am all-pervasive by My energy.”
We have already explained that Krsna has multi-energies. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate. That is the Vedic version, that the Absolute Truth, Supreme Person, has got multi-energies. In the Visnu Purana also: whatever we are experiencing, that is simply Krsna’s energy. Just like we can experience the heat and light from the sun. We can understand the constitution of the sun globe. Although we are ninety-three million miles, away from the sun, but by his energy, heat and light, we can understand what is the sun. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, He has got multi-energies. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate.
na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate
na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate
parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate
svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca
This is the version of Upanisad. He has nothing to do. Na tasya karyam. Why? And because… Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate. And nobody is equal to Him. Neither greater than Him. And He hasn’t got to do anything because He has got so many energies. Svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca. Everything is being done by His energy very perfectly.
So His energy is working even in the water. You can perceive His energy within the water. We are daily using water. We are tasting water. So you can perceive Krsna’s presence, Krsna’s all-pervasiveness, even while you drink water. Every one of us, we drink water. And… So the taste of the water, Krsna says, “Here I am.” This is impersonal feature, but the person is behind. Mayadhyaksena prakrtih. Water is one of the products of this material nature, but behind this existence of water is Krsna. Then you can understand Krsna. You try to understand by studying His energy. Therefore Krsna is describing that “Although you cannot see Me just now…” Because in the preliminary stage nobody can see Krsna, although Krsna is present everywhere. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham. He is present within the atom. But it requires the qualified eyes to see Him or purified senses to perceive Him.
That is stated in the sastra: atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih. With our these present senses we cannot understand what is the holy, transcendental name of Krsna. Therefore sometimes we are misunderstood, that “Why these people are chanting Hare Krsna?” So… Because ordinary man or ordinary senses cannot understand the value, the nature of the name, therefore sastra says, atah sri-krsna-namadi. Namadi, beginning from name. We can realize God by chanting name. Because abhinnatvan nama-naminoh. Nama cintamanih krsnas caitanya-rasa-vigrahah. These are the description of the sastras. Nama, the holy name of the Lord, is completely spiritual. Nama cintamanih krsna. He is… Nama is, name is as good as Krsna. Nama cintamanih krsnas caitanya-rasa-vigrahah. Those who are chanting Hare Krsna maha-mantra without any offense, they are tasting spiritual nectarine. Just like Rupa Gosvami has written a sloka that “If I could possess millions of ears and millions of tongues, then I could enjoy what is the transcendental mellow in chanting Hare Krsna maha-mantra. But that is not possible for ordinary human being in the beginning. Therefore sastra says, atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih. These impurified senses cannot appreciate the value of the holy name of Krsna. Nama-adi, His name, His quality, His pastimes, His form, His activities… There are so many things, beginning with nama, Hare Krsna maha-mantra. As we go on chanting, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama ,Rama Rama, Hare Hare, and as we become purified… The more we chant, we become purified. Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam.
So this is the process. So those who are not even inclined to chant this holy name of Hare Krsna maha-mantra, although there is no loss and there is no expenditure… Anyone can chant. It is freely distributed by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Anyone can take the chance of chanting Hare Krsna. Automatically… Sometimes we find friends on the street. Simply by seeing us, they chant “Hare Krsna.” So that is a good sign. They are learning the value of Hare Krsna maha-mantra. So in this age the chanting of the holy name is very, very important. Kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha. For God realization.
So even if you are not inclined to chant Hare Krsna maha-mantra, then try to understand Krsna in this way. This is the process given by Sri Krsna Himself. Raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya. You have to drink water; you cannot avoid it. So when you taste, while drinking water, anything drinking… Apsu. Apsu means any liquid thing. Either you drink milk or even up to, even you drink wine, so you have got some taste in any liquid thing while drinking. So Krsna says, raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya. “My dear Kaunteya, Arjuna, that taste in the liquid thing which you drink or use, that is I am.” Just see how it is easily can be done. Nobody is without drinking something liquid. Either Coca-cola or water or this or that, something must be drinking. So Krsna says that “I am the taste.” So where is the difficulty of understanding Krsna? If we cannot… They say, “Can you show me Krsna?” All right, here is Krsna, see. Seeing means directly perception. When I say, “Let me see what is this mango,” you are seeing already. Here seeing means tasting. “Let me see the mango.” That means seeing means tasting.
So we have got so many senses. And we taste different senses. We can see by eyes. We can taste by the tongue. We can hear by the ear. We can smell by the nose. We can touch by the hand. So we have got all senses. And by senses we get experience. So if you try to experience Krsna by this process, that whenever you drink something liquid and taste it very nicely, you consider “This taste is Krsna,” is it very difficult for Krsna realization? And because you’ll remember Krsna… Actually that taste is Krsna. Because that water is also Krsna. Water is Krsna in this sense: the energy of Krsna. Just like fire and the heat. Heat is the energy of Krsna. So heat and fire is not distinct. They are the same. Still, the heat is not fire. This is called acintya-bhedabheda philosophy, simultaneously one and different. Simultaneously. Everything. Idam hi visvam bhagavan ivetarah. It requires only realization that “Whole universe is Krsna.” Idam hi visvam bhagavan. But it appears different from Bhagavan. Actually, it is not different. You have to understand by purified senses. That is required. Unless you have got purified senses, you cannot understand. But this is the beginning: raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya. You just try to understand. This rasa… It is said by Krsna. It is not our manufacture. When… If I say that “The taste of water is Krsna,” that may be different. But Krsna says raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya. So why not think of Krsna?
So this thinking of Krsna is a process of devotional service, out of the nine processes. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam. So if you remember Krsna, you advance in your spiritual life, and you become perfect yogi. How?
yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
If you simply think, as you drink water, or drink anything, the taste only… Here is the hint: “Now here is Krsna.” So you must be drinking so many times. If so many times, if you remember Krsna, you gradually become Krsna conscious. So simple thing it is. Krsna is prescribing. Raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh. Suppose if you do not drink. So nobody there is who does not drink. Everyone drinks. The another method, prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh. As soon as, early in the morning, you find the sunshine, you remember “Here is Krsna. Here is Krsna.” Or at night, when there is no sun, there is moonlight, “Here is Krsna.” Then pranavah sarva-vedesu. If you are a student, serious student of Vedic mantras… Om tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti sura… If you chant the Vedic mantras… Om bhur bhuvah svah tat savitur varenyam. The omkara, that is Krsna. Many people are very much fond of chanting omkara. That is also nice. That is Krsna. But if we simply remember that “This omkara is Krsna,” then we become perfect. Because the process is how to become Krsna conscious.
So you can become Krsna conscious while drinking any liquid or water, while seeing the sunshine, while seeing the moonshine, while, if you are a scholar, brahmana, advanced, while chanting the pranava, pranavah sarva-vedesu. Or even if you, sound, if you hear the sound… There are so many sounds going on. If you remember Krsna. And also, paurusam nrsu. Paurusam. You meet so many men in your dealings with this material world. There are many very big, big men. Big, big industrialists, big, big scholars, big, big manufacturers, and big, big bankers. So this is paurusam, ode(?) who has attained perfection in the material world. So instead of envying him, if you simply think that “He has attained because he has got little power from Krsna.” Yad yad vibhutimat sattvam mama tejo ‘msa-sambhavam. Anything wonderful that is done, that is done by any person, paurusam, that is also Krsna’s energy.
So it is not at all difficult to become Krsna conscious. There is no expenditure; there is no loss. Simply by your daily dealings you can become Krsna conscious. This is the program here. Raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh, pranavah… If you cannot chant… We are advising everyone, “Chant Hare Krsna mantra.” Kirtaniyah sada harih. Kirtan… This Hare Krsna mantra should be chanted twenty-four hours. Kirtaniyah sada harih. But (if) it becomes difficult or hackneyed, then you can remember Krsna otherwise. While drinking water, while seeing the sunshine, while seeing the moonshine, while chanting Vedic mantras, or even hearing some sound in the khe. Sound is produced by the ether. So many sounds we are hearing. If you simply remember this sloka of Bhagavata, that sabda, any sound… Hare Krsna sound is transcendental. That’s all right. But if you don’t like Hare Krsna sound, you take any sound, any sound is also… That is coming from the original sound. Simply it is covered by maya. What is the difference between spiritual and material? Everything is spiritual. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. But when it is covered by maya, it is material. That’s all. And what is maya? Forgetful of Krsna. The same water, the same water, it is spiritual. Because it is Krsna’s energy. Krsna has already said, bhumir apah. Apah. Here also, apsu. So apah, jala, or water, is Krsna’s energy. How it can be different from Krsna? So we have to deal with water in so many ways. How we can forget Krsna?
The Krsna consciousness movement is the spreading the knowledge of Bhagavad-gita as it is. So how one can become Krsna conscious very easily without any loss, but gain is very much–why don’t you take this advantage of Krsna consciousness movement? What is the reason that you’ll not take? Satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah. If you become Krsna conscious in this way, the profit is very, very great. Because the more you become Krsna conscious, the more Krsna becomes revealed to you. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah. Realization, revelation, that… With the blunt senses you cannot understand Krsna, you cannot realize Krsna. But if you purify… Atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih. Our present senses are blunt senses because it is covered by forgetfulness of Krsna, or maya. Therefore it has to be purified. Or the nature of forgetfulness has to be removed. That’s all. This is the process. Raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya. If you follow this process, that “Here is drinking water, the taste is Krsna,” that means some percentage of your forgetfulness of Krsna is removed. Similarly, when you see the sunshine, the moonshine, or you chant omkara… There are other, so many ways prescribed in the later verses. So try to understand Krsna in this way. It doesn’t require any advancement of education or Vedic knowledge. A simple thing.
So there is no difficulty. And as soon as it is purified… Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. The purification… That is bhakti. Bhakti-marga, devotional service means purifying the senses. That’s all. The, at the present moment, our senses are covered by maya, and this maya can be moved away simply by remembering in every step Krsna. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. That, that sevonmukha, that is the devotional service. Jihvadau. You simply engage your jihva. Jihva means tongue. The tasting is also tongue. Without tongue, you cannot taste. Therefore it is said, sevonmukhe hi jihvadau: “The beginning, beginning of purification, is to use your tongue in this devotional service.” So our prescription is therefore that you use your tongue for chanting Hare Krsna maha-mantra and employ your tongue for tasting Krsna’s prasadam. It is not at all difficult. There is no need of studying, mean, higher knowledge in the Vedic principle. That will auto, automatically will be revealed.
Therefore it is said: sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah. If you apply your ear only… As it is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah. Punya-sravana-kirtanah. Chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, or hearing of Krsna’s word… Just like you are hearing the words of Bhagavad-gita. Srnvatam sva-kathah. This is His own word. Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah. Either you hear or you chant. Because sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam… There are nine methods. So the beginning is hearing. We are opening so many centers just to give people chance to hear about Krsna. That’s all. If you simply hear about Krsna, srnvatam, then Krsna becomes pleased: “Oh, now he’s hearing about Me.” Then what does He do? Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah. Either you understand or don’t understand, it becomes a pious activities on your part. And the more you become pious, you can understand Krsna. Because impious persons… Yesam tv anta-gatam papam. Impious persons cannot understand Krsna. But one who is free from impious activities, yesam tv anta-gatam papam jananam punya-karmanam… Punya-karma. This hearing is punya-karma. Jananam punya, te dvandva-moha-nirmukta bhajante mam drdha-vratah. If you simply hear. There is no… If you understand, it is very good. Even if you do not understand, the vibration of Hare Krsna mantra, the reading of Bhagavad-gita, simply chanting, you’ll be purified. Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah, hrdy antah-stho hy abhadrani…
So we cannot understand what I am, what is God, what is my relationship with God, what I have to do in that rela…, we cannot understand these things because we are enwrapped in sinful activities. That is also stated in the… Here. Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah. So in the material world, every one of us, more or less, are duskrtinah. More or less sinful. So it is very difficult for us to understand Krsna. Atah sri-krsna-namadi. I have already explained. Therefore we have to take advantage of this Krsna consciousness movement. And wherever there is a chance of hearing about Krsna, we should take the opportunity. That is Krsna consciousness movement. And learn from the… It is not our manufacture. Krsna says. Learn how to become Krsna conscious. Simply you try to understand Krsna in every step of life. In every step of life. They will be all explained in this chapter, how you can perceive Krsna. The beginning is tasting. Everyone drinks water or drinks something else. So try to taste the liquid, thinking that “This taste is Krsna.” You see in the morning the light of sunshine: “Here is Krsna.” In the evening you see the moonlight: “Here is Krsna.” There is sound always, especially in a city like Bombay. It is full of sound. So whenever you hear any kind of sound–sound is the vibration of the sky–you remember: “This sound is Krsna.” Sabdah khe. And whenever you meet any person very exalted, very extraordinarily able, you understand that “This ability is Krsna’s mercy, vibhuti.”
In this way, if you practice, and if you chant also Hare Krsna maha-mantra, and if you hear from realized souls about Krsna, then you gradually become advanced in Krsna consciousness. And when you come to perfection… Janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah. This Krsna’s appearance, disappearance, His activities, will be revealed to you. Svayam eva sphuraty adah. When Krsna becomes manifest, revelation, then you understand what is Krsna, what is His activities, what is His name, what is His pastimes. Everything becomes revealed. Then you can understand perfectly. Not… We cannot understand perfectly, but so far our ability is concerned, we can understand Krsna. And if we a little bit understand Krsna, then our life is successful. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya. Simply by little understanding Krsna. What is that? Now, tyaktva deham punar… That is the highest perfection. After giving up this body… Ordinarily, we give up this body and we accept another. Tatha dehantara-praptih. That we have to stop. We are trying our best to make solution of all problems of life. The real problem is janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi, birth, death, old age and disease. But if you can conquer over birth, no more birth… As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti. No more birth. “Then it is finished? I am finished?” No, you are not finished. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti. “You come to Me. You come to Me.” Go back to home, back to Godhead. This is the process of Krsna consciousness. It is very easy. Everyone can adopt. Why should you give up? Take it very seriously and be happy.
Thank you very much. (end)
740223BG.BOM Lectures, Bhagavad-gita 7.8, Bombay, February 23, 1974