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faith in HIM

From: K. Sadananda (
Date: Tue Jun 05 2001 - 03:08:42 PDT

>Dear bhAgavathas,
>I tried sending this e-mail on Friday, but it appear in Bhakti for 
>some reason.  I am posting this
>message again for your consideration...

>  > I think the question to ask is where this level of faith comes 
>from in the first place?  How is
>>  it possible to place our faith in somone that we have not "seen," 
>>or know anything about?
>>  What is it that it is motivating us from within to accept His 
>>Presence and seek to adore Him in
>>  the form of the archa.  Our Acharyas teach us that this faith is 
>>the product of the Lord
>>  Himself, who solely out of His Compassion and Boundless Desire to 
>>help and save us, stays within
>>  as our antaryAmin and leads us in the path that leads us back to 
>>Himself.   It is He
>>  who places this faith in us in the hopes that someday He can put 
>>it to good use in meeting His
>  > Goal.
>  > adiyEn rAmanuja dAsan
>  > Mohan

Shankara defines shhraddha or faith as

	shaastrasya guru vaakyasya satya buddhyavadhaaraNam|
               saa shraddha kathitaa sadbhiH yayaa vastuupalabhyate||

  The Wise say that faith is an understanding that the words of the 
teacher and that of scriptures are true indeed (essentially shabda 
pramaaNa) based on which one attains or realizes the truth.

In contrast to a blind belief, faith involves an understanding.  If I 
see the board that points out an exit saying it is  -This way is to 
New York - I have full faith on that instruction since I know those 
who put up the board have no intention to cheat me and want to 
misguide me.  But if the truth is beyond pratyaksha and anumuaana 
pramaaNa, that is it cannot be directly perceived by senses and 
cannot be logically established then only left pramaaNa is Shaastra. 
For example that there is heaven or hell cannot be established by 
pratyaksha or loukika anumaaNa.  Hence scriptures become only basis 
that establishes the truth that cannot be established by pratyaksha 
and anumaana - This is true for dharma, puNya, paapa, reincarnation 
etc. Achaarya is the one who understands the scriptures and 
interprets the scriptures based on his personal experience.  He 
becomes a direct vehicle through which knowledge can be gained. 
Hence faith is the strong conviction that aachaarya and the 
scriptures are indeed true.  Thus shabda pramaaNa requires both faith 
in the scriptures (aastika vaada) or shruti pramaaNa and teacher who 
interprets for us the scriptures in a way that we can understand, 
aatmiiya vaakya.  Faith gets reinforced as we walk along the path and 
see further pointers that confirm that teachings of the aachaarya-s 
and scriptures are indeed true.

Hari Om!

K. Sadananda
Code 6323
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
Voice (202)767-2117

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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