Shraddhāvān labhate jñānaṁ tat-paraḥ sanyatendriyaḥ
Jñānaṁ labdhvā parāṁ śhāntim achireṇādhigachchhati //
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Shl 39
Those whose faith is deep and who have practised controlling their mind and senses attain divine knowledge. Through such transcendental knowledge, they quickly attain everlasting supreme peace.
Multiple verses were dedicated praising the virtues of ‘Shraddha’ or ‘Faith’ in Bhagavad Gita. Gita firmly states that faith is a precondition towards knowledge and with knowledge comes peace.
Although faith is the very essence of our being, we very often lay it in things which are transient in nature and expect it to work wonders. When that fails, we turn bitter, lose faith in man and in truth. The problem, however, is that we lack faith in oneself and hence we feel incomplete and look towards someone else to complete us. As someone rightly said, The most intimate relationship we will ever have in our entire lifetime is with ourselves and therefore self-faith is crucial. And self-faith is the offspring of self-knowledge.
Then, why wouldn’t we try? Perhaps, it challenges us to explore beyond our beliefs and fears into something unknown to us or maybe, we wrongly believe that like all other challenges, it would be demanding. Or seeking faith may not figure high on our list of priorities or worse, the feeling that,”It is not for me”. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that all scriptures, including the Gita, were enlightening us on literally the same questions which exercise humans, even today. So, it is for every human being and if applied, produces same results to a yogi and to an ignorant one.
Of course, we cannot discern all spiritual truths straight away; some of them can only be experienced after having attained sufficient advancement on the path. If we only accept what we can presently comprehend, we will be deprived of the higher spiritual secrets. In such conditions, faith helps us to accept what we cannot perceive at present.
Sattvanurupa sarvasya sraddha bhavati bharata
Sraddha-mayo yam puruso yo yac-chraddhah sa eva sah//
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 17 Shl 3
The faith of all humans conforms to the nature of their mind. All people possess faith, and whatever the nature of their faith, that is verily what they are.
Clearly, blind faith isn’t what we are looking for. According to Gita, our quality of faith will determine the direction of our lives. Our scriptures talk of Uddava, a friend of Krishna, his faith was reposed in Krishna with unquestioning obedience but wasn’t steady as he was confused with the conduct of Krishna. Uddava never understood Krishna’s behaviour but never questioned and he waited till Krishna announced his departure. That’s when it struck him that he is going to be alone and his friend and guru, although, unpredictable will no longer be there to guide him. Someone else’s faith, unquestioned & owned like Uddava, will never stand the stress of life.
Rather, a faith born in clear mind through understanding stays reliable. That will allow us to surrender and help us in understanding the relationship between oneself and the truth through which we came into existence. Such faith will only pave the way to grace- a direct experience of the truth.
So, it’s never too late to know oneself and moreover, many of us use this time before the New Year to set goals and I hope we could add this to the list of resolutions to be followed.
Welcome the New Year with new hopes and do have a blessed year full of peace 🙂