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From: Vaide Venkatakrishnan (vv_at_grove.ufl.EDU)
Date: Wed Jun 07 1995 - 23:55:11 PDT
What is it that you have wavering or questionable faith in: the religion or the existence of God or your faith to God? It sounds more like the existence of God himself to me. If this is the case, the bouts of doubts or non-belief comes to humans basically in my opinion due to lack of understanding clearly this enormous entity called God. (enormous can be questioned, depends on what aspects of God you wish to discuss etc., but atleast in the sense of human comprehension until you comprehend). In addition, it doesn't help for earning your bread or whatever that however you may want to look at it, you are in pursuit of materialistic things in a materialistic world. (you is meant to be general, not specific to you alone) I have no idea how much you know about God, philosophy etc., but I think the more deeply you understand the various qualities of God and atleast a fair bit of Vaishnavite (or whichever you wish to understand more) philosophy, by a very gradual process, your faith in God will become more and more unshakable- if you have reached a stage wherein you experience God (in whatever or whichever form it may be), then you no longer will have doubts; but it also seems that when you no longer have doubts you may experience God. It is atleast with this and many other benevolent influences in mind that in our philosophy you are constantly urged to associate with men of 'wisdom' not just of this world, but of the inner grander experiences. on a very sincere and truthful basis. The more you seek, the more things will become clearer and perhaps dearer will be the longing for Him. Unfortunately, the modern world does not teach us patience very well. What you want to experience can be a lifetime pursuit - the question then will be: are u willing to spend your life in this search? Are u ready to make the sacrifices that it may demand? And finally are u capable of absorbing the immensity of what you may find? ( Just some thoughts; I have even yet to scratch the surface of the body of information, knowledge and wisdom of our great philosophy (when I can do it what I want to explore is SriVaishnavite philosophy - on a personal note, even the at times questioned faith I have is because of my parents unshakable faith in God due to their own personal experiences in life not visions of God. But of late my dad has begun fortifying his knowledge and wisdom in our philosophy by associating with torch bearers of our faith and immersing himself in our scriptures. He says if one can read and understand the rich meaning of our scriptures, you will not for evne for a pico second doubt the absolute authority of Vishnu; there is never a need for doubting Him, and thus there need be no other God to surrender for any of your wishes-including this-to realize Him; simply said Mahavishnu is the one and only God who can give you what u want. -sounds more like denial of other religions on the face of it, but no; it comes from the fact that you have no longer any doubts to feel the want of anything lesser or different) I don't know whether I answered atleast in part or raised some more doubts. The more I think about it, the more I have to say; but my thinking is very very limited, lacking much of the knowledge or undrstanding of our philosophy. So pointing to a fact that may be true in more families in India, I will stop. If as a child you are prompted to pray to God because He will grant you this or that, somehow you would have developed a lack of faith in God when you don't get what u desired and more jubiliant (not necessarily more faithful) when you prayed and got something. This inculcation is wrong - children if they are taught to pray to God should be taught not to ask for anything from Him- after all it will only reinforce the thought He knows what u need, don't u think?) Vaidehi V.