tavaj jitendriyo na syad
na jayed rasanam yavaj
jitam sarvam jite rase
Although one may conquer all of the other senses, as long as the tongue is not conquered it cannot be said that one has controlled his senses. However, if one is able to control the tongue, then one is understood to be in full control of all the senses.
By eating, one gives energy and activity to all of the senses, and thus if the tongue is uncontrolled all of the senses will be dragged down to the material platform of existence. Therefore, by all means one must control the tongue. If one fasts, then all of the other senses become weak and lose their potency. The tongue, however, becomes more greedy to taste delicious preparations, and when one finally indulges the tongue, all of the senses quickly go out of control. Therefore, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura advises that one accept maha-prasadam, or the remnants of the Lord’s food, in a moderate proportion. Since the tongue’s function is also to vibrate, one should vibrate the glorious holy name of the Supreme Lord and taste the ecstasy of pure Krsna consciousness. As stated in Bhagavad-gita, rasa-varjam raso ’py asya param drstva nivartate: only by the higher taste of Krsna consciousness can one give up the deadly lower taste that keeps one imprisoned in material bondage.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura states that as long as one’s intelligence is materially covered, one cannot understand the pleasure of Krsna consciousness. Trying to enjoy without Krsna, the living entity leaves the abode of the Supreme Lord, called Vrajabhumi, and comes down into the material world, where he quickly loses control of his senses. One becomes particularly victimized by the tongue, belly and genitals, which exert intolerable pressure on the conditioned soul. These desires subside, however, when one reestablishes one’s blissful relationship with the Lord, who is actually the reservoir of all pleasure. One who is attached to the taste of Krsna consciousness automatically follows all of the rules and regulations of religious life due to spontaneous attraction to visuddha-sattva, or the mode of pure goodness. Without such spontaneous attraction, one is certainly bewildered by the pushing of the material senses.
Even the beginning stage of devotional service, called sadhana-bhakti (regulatory practice), is so powerful that it brings one to the platform of anartha-nivrtti, where one becomes free from unwanted sinful habits and gains relief from the pressure of the tongue, belly and genitals. Thus one is delivered from the bondage of material addiction and can no longer be cheated by the allurements of the material energy. As it is said, all that glitters is not gold. In this regard Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura recommends that we consider the following song written by his father, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura:
sarira avidya-jal, jadendriya tahe kal,
jive phele visaya-sagare
ta’ra madhye jihva ati, lobhamay sudurmati,
ta’ke jeta kathina samsare
krsna bada dayamay, karibare jihva jay,
sva-prasadanna dila bhai
sei annamrta pao, radha-krsna-guna gao,
preme dako caitanya-nitai
“O Lord, this material body is a lump of ignorance, and the senses are a network of paths to death. Somehow, we have fallen into this ocean of material sense enjoyment, and of all the senses the tongue is most voracious and uncontrollable; it is very difficult to conquer the tongue in this world. But You, dear Krsna, are very kind to us and have given us such nice prasadam, just to control the tongue. Now we take this prasadam to our full satisfaction and glorify Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, and in love call for the help of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda.”