Real Faith and Blind Faith
by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja
What is faith? We are incomplete without the Lord. The fulfilment of our lives is in the hands of the Absolute. That is faith. Everything is in the hand of the Absolute and we are nowhere. We are helpless, sincerely searching for our real shelter. The environment is all hypocrisy. We want a real shelter, as we are shelter-less. We have nothing to attract the Lord towards us. So, we must not live a hypocritical life. We have no qualification to attract anyone towards us.
Wholesale, we want to be utilized by the Lord. If possible,our energy is to be wholesale thrown at the disposal of some wonderful person who can utilize it.
This is faith proper which releases us from the clutches of Satan. Satan’s self-advertising, self-aggrandizing energy as the anti-god is encouraging more Satanism in us such as the worldly ego, separatism and independent life. Satanism, the conception that we are masters, must be fully dissolved and discarded via disassociation.
We are nothing without the connection of that wonderful person. Someone may utilize us – some miraculous person! Some miraculous force may utilize me. We should not seek any separate self-interest that means surrender to Satan – the anti-god.
Everything is accomplished if I can submit to the centre or the central power of the Absolute. This means faith – this is called faith. We can make progress towards the Truth by faith and not by any other means – not through the senses, not with the intellect and not with our reason. Nothing can measure that substance except faith. We must ask ourselves, “Am I ready to depend only on that faith?”
In the beginning, we shall have to drive out the misconception of faith. That is, many people will say that, “Faith is superstition. What is faith? It is not something tangible.” Our civilization will accuse us, that we are required to be reduced to nothingness, to no worth – and this cannot have any good in it. This misconception of faith is blind. It is the worst type of superstition in our present civilization. But faith is such that we are nothing at present. Still, we can be utilized in our proper position, but we are far, far from that sort of position. The negative side always progresses and the foundation is sadhu-sanga, the association of devotees. It becomes possible to select the agents in proper company. In this attitude we can select the divine agents of a higher type. There are different kinds of agents from different conception of so-called religion.
According to our faith, we shall select our well-wishers and agents. According to the classification of our faith, we will make progress on that side. So, faith means deep confidence in the central Absolute. Our association, our selection of the agents from that eternal source coming to help us, depends on our faith. We are like birds of the same flock – same feather. So, we are to recognize that feather, and then we shall associate with them. Then, dedicated action will begin by that association. He will be the teacher, and we shall be the student. Now the question is, “What kind of faith?”
There is a plane of exploitation, renunciation and dedication – service. The first, exploitation, may be easily eliminated. We are suffering from so many reactions and we can easily become disgusted with this exploitative, “elevationist” mentality. But then, the temptation of complete retirement in the renunciation school is staring us in the face. Many will flock there, “Oh, complete retirement. This world is not worth living for. We want to retire from here permanently.” Buddha, Sankara and others will come with their agents to try to take you to that plane of renunciation or retirement.
Then, there is the plane of dedicated life. I want to live, but not to renounce nor to exploit. Exploitation means to give pain to others. But I want to live without giving any pain to others, without any reaction. Dedication means self-sacrifice. Then, the question will come to give oneself to others. We shall try to give without taking, and this is safe when it has got connection with the Centre Who is the designer and destines everything. The connection with Him will then be something substantial. Otherwise, all is futile with no position at all. But in this way we are carried by that designer whose destiny resides in that conception of Autocracy as Krsna.
We shall then gradually see only love, affection and beauty present in the Autocrat and nothing else. He is a charmer who can charm by His beauty and by His behaviour. He is the only absolute Autocrat. Affection, love, beauty, harmony and sweetness is the Autocrat. If we can find Him in this way then we shall go to His side, but the process of going also depends on Him.
Selection will come from Him as we are nowhere, we are helpless. We are to increase our helplessness so much so that His agents will be attracted. They will come to recommend us. This will be substantial. We will always be conscious that we cannot be masters of this land of exploitation. We are fully dependent on the Lord. If anything is given to us for food, we shall take it, otherwise not. Such sort of surrendered life is most desirable – that much self-giving is desirable. Then, we are given hope and inspiration that the Centre is of such high quality.
The Brahma-samhita will come and say, “The land is touchstone, cintamani. The vrksas, the trees, are wish-fulfilling entities. Who are the inhabitants? Their movement means dancing, their speaking means singing – such a land is there. We may be accepted, recruited for that plane of life according to the degree of our surrender. This sort of sacrifice is a peculiar, unconditional sacrifice and does not come under any kind of calculation. Our faith is not within calculation but is emphatically in the Infinite sweetness of our Lord.
We are to know the Infinite in that beautiful land where the Absolute Autocrat plays according to His own sweet whims. So, be prepared for extreme self-sacrifice and self-abnegation. This is done through service – a serving attitude – by increasing our serving attitude and our self-giving. We shall not be attracted by some ambitious life with ambitious ideals. No! Rather, we shall try to give ourselves totally for His fullest satisfaction. This will be the perfection of all our endeavours.
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