Faith

faith

This morning I was reading from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and it seemed like it was all about “Faith”. That word just kept coming up again and again, and as I was reading, I had to ask myself, ‘how strong is my faith?’. I would like to think it is pretty strong, as it has sustained me, my entire adult life. Even as a child I always believed in God. Don’t know why, I just did.

I thought today, I will do a post on “Faith”

…faith is a most important factor for progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that one should have complete conviction that simply by serving the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa he can achieve all perfection. That is called real faith. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.4.12) it is stated that by giving water to the root of a tree, its branches, twigs and leaves become satisfied, and by supplying food to the stomach all the senses of the body become satisfied, and, similarly, by engaging in the transcendental service of the Supreme Lord, all the demigods and all the living entities automatically become satisfied.

After reading Bhagavad-gītā one should promptly come to the conclusion of Bhagavad-gītā: one should give up all other engagements and adopt the service of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. If one is convinced of this philosophy of life, that is faith. Now the development of that faith is the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (from purport to Bg. 9.3)

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (ŚU 6.23)

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 9, Text 3

aśraddadhānāḥ puruṣā
dharmasyāsya parantapa
aprāpya māṁ nivartante
mṛtyu-saṁsāra-vartmani

aśraddadhānāḥ—those who are faithless; puruṣāḥ—such persons; dharmasya—of this process of religion; asya—of it; parantapa—O killer of the enemies; aprāpya—without obtaining; mām—Me; nivartante—come back; mṛtyu—death; saṁsāra—material existence; vartmani—on the path of.

TRANSLATION

Those who are not faithful on the path of devotional service cannot attain Me, O conqueror of foes, but return to birth and death in this material world.

PURPORT

The faithless cannot accomplish this process of devotional service; that is the purport of this verse. Faith is created by association with devotees. Unfortunate people, even after hearing all the evidence of Vedic literature from great personalities, still have no faith in God. They are hesitant and cannot stay fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. Thus faith is a most important factor for progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that one should have complete conviction that simply by serving the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa he can achieve all perfection. That is called real faith. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.4.12) it is stated that by giving water to the root of a tree, its branches, twigs and leaves become satisfied, and by supplying food to the stomach all the senses of the body become satisfied, and, similarly, by engaging in the transcendental service of the Supreme Lord, all the demigods and all the living entities automatically become satisfied.

After reading Bhagavad-gītā one should promptly come to the conclusion of Bhagavad-gītā: one should give up all other engagements and adopt the service of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. If one is convinced of this philosophy of life, that is faith. Now the development of that faith is the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

There are three divisions of Kṛṣṇa conscious men. In the third class are those who have no faith. If they are engaged in devotional service officially, for some ulterior purpose, they cannot achieve the highest perfectional stage. Most probably they will slip, after some time. They may become engaged, but because they haven’t complete conviction and faith, it is very difficult for them to continue in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We have practical experience in discharging our missionary activity that some people come and apply themselves to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness with some hidden motive, and as soon as they are economically a little well-situated, they give up this process and take to their old ways again. It is only by faith that one can advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As far as the development of faith is concerned, one who is well versed in the literatures of devotional service and has attained the stage of firm faith is called a first-class person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And in the second class are those who are not very advanced in understanding the devotional scriptures but who automatically have firm faith that Kṛṣṇa bhakti or service to Kṛṣṇa is the best course and so in good faith have taken it up. Thus they are superior to the third class who have neither perfect knowledge of the scriptures nor good faith but by association and simplicity are trying to follow. The third-class person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness may fall down, but when one is in the second class or first class, he does not fall down. One in the first class will surely make progress and achieve the result at the end. As far as the third-class person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is concerned, although he has faith in the conviction that devotional service to Kṛṣṇa is very good, he has no knowledge of Kṛṣṇa through the scriptures like Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā. Sometimes these third-class persons in Kṛṣṇa consciousness have some tendency toward karma-yoga and jñāna-yoga, and sometimes they are disturbed, but as soon as the infection of karma-yoga or jñāna-yoga is vanquished, they become second-class or first-class persons in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Faith in Kṛṣṇa is also divided into three stages and described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. First-class attachment, second-class attachment, and third-class attachment are also explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the Eleventh Canto. Those who have no faith even after hearing about Kṛṣṇa and the excellence of devotional service, who think that it is simply eulogy, find the path very difficult, even if they are supposedly engaged in devotional service. For them there is very little hope in gaining perfection. Thus faith is very important in the discharge of devotional service.

Also;

…It is by great fortune that one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotuslike face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower-garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahma-jyotir. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulences and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogi. (from purport Bg 6.47)

This stage of highest perfection in yoga can be attained only by bhakti-yoga, as is confirmed in all Vedic literature:

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (ŚU 6.23)

Also;

“My dear Uddhava, one can give up false pride and prestige by engaging in the following devotional activities. One may purify oneself by seeing, touching, worshiping, serving, and offering prayers of glorification and obeisances to My form as the Deity and to My pure devotees. One should also glorify My transcendental qualities and activities, hear with love and faith the narrations of My glories and constantly meditate on Me. One should offer to Me whatever one acquires, and accepting oneself as My eternal servant, one should give oneself completely to Me. One should always discuss My birth and activities and enjoy life by participating in festivals, such as Janmāṣṭamī, which glorify My pastimes. In My temple, one should also participate in festivals and ceremonies by singing, dancing, playing musical instruments and discussing Me with other Vaiṣṇavas. One should observe all the regularly celebrated annual festivals by attending ceremonies, pilgrimages and making offerings. One should also observe religious vows such as Ekādaśī and take initiation by the procedures mentioned in the Vedas, Pañcarātra and other, similar literatures. One should faithfully and lovingly support the installation of My Deity, and individually or in cooperation with others one should work for the construction of Kṛṣṇa conscious temples and cities as well as flower gardens, fruit gardens and special areas to celebrate My pastimes. One should consider oneself to be My humble servant, without duplicity, and thus should help to clean the temple, which is My home. First one should sweep and dust thoroughly, and then one should further cleanse with water and cow dung. Having dried the temple, one should sprinkle scented water and decorate the temple with mandalas. One should thus act just like My servant. A devotee should never advertise his devotional activities; therefore his service will not be the cause of false pride. One should never use lamps that are offered to Me for other purposes simply because there is need of illumination, and similarly, one should never offer to Me anything that has been offered to or used by others. Whatever is most desired by one within this material world, and whatever is most dear to oneself—one should offer that very thing to Me. Such an offering qualifies one for eternal life.” (SB 11.11.34-41)

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