How to get ruci (taste) for the Holy Name
[The following is the bhāva anuvāda of a darśana given by Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja at Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha, Māyāpura on March 9, 2014.]
Question: How can I get ruci (taste) for the Holy Name?
Śrīla Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja:
One can get taste for the holy name by bhakta-sevā, dhāma-sevā, vigraha-sevā and nāma-sevā. All these will help in increasing taste for the holy name. However it is not so easy to serve the Deities or the dhāma unless we have a certain qualification. We cannot really see the dhāma so we are also unable to serve the dhāma. We are not on the same platform as the Lord so we are unable to directly serve Him. So unless we are on that platform, we cannot do dhāma or vigraha-sevā.
That’s why for us, it is recommended.
bhakata-sevā, parama-siddhi, prema-latikāra mūla (1)
[Service to the Vaiṣṇavas is the highest perfection and the very root of the tender creeper of divine love.]
By serving the devotees, one will get perfection in bhakti and will be able to develop love for harināma, the Lord and service to Thākurajī (the Deity form of the Lord.)
So how can we serve Him? There is one śloka from Lord Brahmā’s prayers:
jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir ye prāyaśo ’jita jito ’py asi tais tri-lokyām
[“Those who, even while remaining situated in their established social positions, throw away the process of speculative knowledge and with their body, words and mind offer all respects to descriptions of Your personality and activities, dedicating their lives to these narrations that are vibrated by You personally and by Your pure devotees, certainly conquer Your Lordship, although You are otherwise unconquerable by anyone within the three worlds."]
‘jñāne prayāsam udapāsya’ – give up all types of knowledge gained through the senses, empirical knowledge, and throw it very far away. He should then ‘namanta eva’, surrender unto the lotus feet of the devotees. ‘Jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām’. It is not enough to go near a sādhu. You have to hear with great surrender and full attention by offering yourself completely at their lotus feet and hear from them with firm faith the topics of the Lord which are very powerful. Then ‘sthāne sthitāḥ’ take refuge at the lotus feet of the devotees. One should be situated wherever there is an opportunity to hear and serve sādhus.
The result of all this is that the Lord who cannot be conquered by any effort will become conquered by this activity. Then very nicely one can develop deep taste in harināma by performing all these activities.
You have to live your life according to the instructions of a sādhu. The result is that you will be able to conquer the unconquerable Lord.