Importance of controlling our tongue


By Radhanath Swami

If someone offers you some mahaprasad, then you should honor little whenever it is, whenever they offer, you can honour little bit. But as far as going out of your way to find mahaprasad at times that are unregulated to eating schedule. That is simply feeding the tendency for your tongue to continue to be uncontrolled.

jihvara lalase yei iti uti dhaya
sisnodara-parayana krishna nahi paya

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Raghunath Das Goswami that he who simply chases after the satisfaction of his tongue, his belly and his genitals cannot attain Krishna. Bhakti Vinoda has said that tongue is the most ferocious and uncontrollable and is a straight line of all your senses, and if you can control your tongue, all your other senses will be controlled. If you cannot control your tongue it’s impossible to control your other senses. And controlling a tongue means two things, not to criticize others, not to gossip, but only speak constructive Krishna katha that’s conducive to increasing our service and other service. That is what we should speak. And also we must control the tendency to taste nice food stuffs. Prasad may be nice, that is all right to take, but we should take it at the times that we are regulated to take it. Otherwise if you just take it at the whims of our tongue and the whims of our mind, we become a slave of our mind and a slave of our tongue. It is said, that this human form of life is the boat that can guide us across that can bring us across the ocean of birth and death. And the spiritual master is the captain of the boat. He is directing how our body should act, how it should live. But as far as the boat itself, there is something called the rudder, you know what the rudder is? The boat may be as big as this room and the rudder is only this big. It’s on the bottom, its shape is just like your tongue, it’s flat. And according to the direction, the radar goes, the whole boat goes. According to how you control and don’t control your tongue, that’s how your whole life is directed or misdirected. Therefore according to the direction of the captain, the spiritual master, the great sadhus we must learn to control our tongue. Without that control of the tongue we simply are the slaves of our senses

jihvara lalase yei iti-uti dhaya
sisnodara-parayana krishna nahi paya

Mahaprabhu says, you cannot attain Krishna through that process.

Raghunath Das Goswami asks Chaitanya Mahaprabhu,” what are the duties of a person who are in the renounced order of life”? Brahamachari means renounced order of life. And His instruction was,

gramya katha na sunibe,
gramya varta na kahibe
bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe

Do not speak non-sense; do not speak what the general public is speaking, gramya-katha, ordinary gossip. And never hear it, gramya-katha na sunibe, never hear it and never speak it.

bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe

Do not eat luxurious foods, unregulated and do not dress luxuriously. These are the basic principles for one in a renounced order. If you find that of this verse not to speak or hear non-sense means to control the tongue and not to eat unregulated, too opulently, that is also the control of the tongue. Most of the renunciation is the control of the tongue and then what is the next verse,

amanina mana-dena
kirtaniyah sada harih

The next verse He explains is, one should offer all respects to others, one should expect no respect for oneself, one should always chant the name of Krishna and in one’s mind one should always be engaged in serving Radha and Krishna in Vrindavan. This is sum and substance of the duties of one in the renounced order, to be a humble servant, to chant the Holy names, to control ones speech and ones tongue, ones tendency for tasting. Otherwise we become the slave of the senses.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of ISKCON Desire Tree | IDT to add comments!

Join ISKCON Desire Tree | IDT


  • wow what a beautiful way to share for those of us who are sold on gourmet coffee and hot chocolate and cookies. all day long we are eating gourmet food.
    even mahaprasadam could build taste so if we are to build control on it then what to speak of gourmet food items.
    all glories to Srila Praphupada ji on this knowledge! When I was attracted to this stuff then I was earning money and learning about shaitan. Now I see many people like me who dont want to leave it and are addicted. So I want to say that at least I am a renunciate that wants to become more of one.
This reply was deleted.