(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 23 August 2019, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Janmashtami Lecture)
The reason why we chant without taste or without being attentive is because we are chanting without remembrance of Krsna. The more we remember Krsna in our daily lives, the more naturally we will be inclined to chant with taste. For instance, while Srimati Radharani was churning yoghurt to make butter, she was remembering Krsna constantly. And as she was remembering Krsna, she was also chanting Krsna’s name. So it is this remembrance of Krsna that is really lacking in us. When we are not feeling inspired to chant the Holy Name, it is simply because we are not remembering Krsna enough.
In Nectar of Devotion, we find a description of the qualities of Krsna. These qualities of Krsna are very important. It says that He has very beautiful bodily features and the different parts of the Lord’s body are compared to the different material objects. Ordinary persons who cannot understand how exalted the bodily features of the Lord are, are hereby given the chance to understand the Lord with material comparisons. It is said that Krsna’s face is as beautiful as the moon. His thighs are just powerful like the trunks of elephants. His arms are like two pillars. His palms are extended like lotus flowers. His chest is like a doorway. His hips are like dens and the middle of the body is like a terrace. So in this way, we are trying to visualize Krsna to try and see how He actually looks.
One of the most important features of Krsna is His effulgence. In some scriptures, we find Krsna being described as white rather than blackish or shyama. Such a description is provided due to Krsna’s effulgence. His effulgence is so bright that sometimes one could even think that He is white even though He is of course of a blackish-bluish body. Prabhupada said that Krsna’s effulgence is so bright that it can light up the entire universe. The fact that the sky is blue is because of Krsna’s effulgence. The fact that the sun shines is because of Krsna’s effulgence. The fact that there are even electric bulbs is because they derive their power from Krsna’s effulgence. It is all part of Krsna.
But Krsna’s effulgence cannot only be seen in terms of light. Krsna’s effulgence is also to be seen in terms of His mercy, in terms of His transcendental potency. When that mercy touches the living entities, the living entities become transformed. By hearing about Krsna, by being touched by Krsna, somehow or other, we become transformed and immediately empowered. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that real empowerment is when one is empowered with knowledge and with happiness – cit and ananda. And later, also with eternity. So in this way, we are entering into Krsna’s pastimes as we develop our taste for chanting.