(Kadamba Kanana Swami, October 2014, Mayapur, India, Siksastakam Seminar: Verses 1&2, Part 1)
Currently, our chanting may not be so complete, in the sense that it is free from any form of anartha or aparadha, and done in a full transcendental knowledge. But all chanting will help in purifying the dust from the heart to different degrees. Ceto-darpana-marjanam (Siksastakam 1). We begin our chanting as a process of purification. Therefore, our first motive in chanting is for purification and this should be our approach: we do everything for purification.
Someone said to me, ‘I have no taste for chanting, so I gave up chanting. I cannot do it anymore – I have done it for years and I just had no taste for it and therefore I just can’t do it anymore!’ So what do you say to someone like that, especially after they have chanted for many, many years? I was thinking of what to say and after some thinking, I said, ‘Look, for you it is too late, as you have chanted for too long! You are a devotee and there is nothing you can do about it; whether you chant or not, you are going to be a devotee. But there are two options for you: either you are going to be a happy devotee or you are going to be an unhappy devotee. And if you don’t chant, you are going to be an unhappy devotee. But if you chant, you can be a happy devotee!’
So we chant for purification; it is not about, ‘I have no taste!’ So much talk is there about taste, a higher taste, and that is good because we want to get there, to chant with a higher taste, but at the same time, chanting with a higher taste is quite “high”. Maybe sometimes we are chanting with some higher taste but to chant with a higher taste all the time is “high”. Therefore, for most of us, we go back to that platform of looking for purification, again and again that should be there – looking for mercy and purification. Look for more purification and if anything more comes – some moments of higher taste – that is a bonus, that is extra, but that is not what should drive us, ‘Oh, I am chanting and still no higher taste!’
Maybe not, maybe not in this life, maybe the next life! Maybe not in the next life, but maybe the life after that, or maybe after a hundred lives, the higher taste will come. So, chant for purification because the mercy is so great, the gift that comes is so great, that is worthy of all efforts.