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Re: blind faith

skaushik_at_MIT.EDU
Date: Mon Mar 11 1996 - 10:35:39 PST

Mani writes:
*** I do not believe in ``blind faith'' without the mind in operation.  I
*** am not implying  that you are not using your mind -- just that there
*** is very often room for logical discussion of such topics
*** as hell, in spite of literal declarations that declare the
*** existence of such worlds.

I am not sure that is possible to love God (or for that matter anyone
one dear) in any other way BUT blindly. I am not sure if love 
(be it earthly love, or Divine love) can ever be rational, and more
importantly, rationalized.

Clearly, you are referring not to Love of God, but your observation
can logically extended to this issue. You seem to argue that 
certain issues of our religion can be argued logically, whereas
it is clear to me that certain  aspects of our religion HAVE to be
accepted blindly. Where does one draw the line? And more importantly,
who is to draw this line?

It is not clear to me that the Alwars were ever "using their minds" in
the sense that you have written. They simply expressed what they felt
and there is no way to "logically" establish their words. Why do we
even believe them to be true? We have never seen them personally.

The point I am making is not that one should should not use one's
mind in religion. However, I think it is important to realize that 
there is a point when "blind faith" MUST enter ones life. Forget about
religion, even in our personal lives, "blind devotion" is a
necessary and undeniable part of our life. A mother cannot love ones
child in any other way but blindly. 

If love or religiion arises from the mind, and not from the heart, I
don't see it being strong. Althouhg Desiikar uses logic in connection
with God, I disagree that he uses them to understand him. I believe
he uses them to EXPLAIN him -- not to himself, but to other. That is
his role on this Earth -- namely to spread and teach Sri Vaishnavism.
In this context, it is all the more reason why eminent scholars such
as him are to resorted to in the matters of religion and spiritual
inquiry.

You quoted an unnamed source who qustion the usefulness of quoting
poorvacharyas and "forgeting to focus on the essence and latching on to
the outmoded forms."  Your point is well taken.  However, unlike the
secular sciences, where in principle we could go and do the experiment
ourselves (howevver, I dare say that none of have really seen
sub-atomic particles and we accept its existence mrely by "faith" in
the scientists), there is no way to independent establish the existence of
God, "heaven" and "hell."  Who is to tell what is "outmoded" and what
is the "essence."  If one truly understood the "essence" of our
religion, we would be humble beggars begging for food
and worshipping God constantlyy (as Sri Vedanta Desikar and his wife
did). None of us can claim that devotion -- how can any of us claim
that we know the "essence?"

Certainly, one should lead ones life as one sees fit. One can
interpret scriptures in anyway one wants to make him/her happy. But
I think it is wrong to evaluate a religion, ones  way of life, and
ones philosophy  in terms of statements such as "blind faith." There
is no religion (anywhere or anytime) that is  devoid of blind faith.

Sumanth