Faith is not just belief in a thing. Faith is an inner urge, an inner conviction, an intuition that the goal is there and that you can achieve it. That is called real faith, which is active and dynamic. This kind of faith is useful and effective not only in spiritual life, but in materialistic success also. It has been found that many scientists who have made profound discoveries had to overcome many difficulties while pursuing their faith, but their faith in existence of unknown things made their discoveries possible against all odds and difficulties. That has been also the case in the life of saints, for they had a spiritual urge, a longing for the unknown. It is the unknown, but still they had the feeling that the unknown could be known and any amount of difficulties did not daunt their spirit.
The Bhagavad Gita says: ‘One who has faith will realise the truth’. The person who has no faith, the person who is always in doubt, will never succeed in spiritual life. In Vedanta, faith means faith in one`s self, faith in the scriptures, faith in one`s teacher. Vedanta says, ‘There are plenty of cases where men have gone down to the ordinary level of humanity, as it were, but they were raised and at once they became saints. You must have faith in yourself, for the same possibility is within everyone’. Next, Vedanta says that ‘You must have faith in the scriptures embodying the spiritual experiences of saints. When you start on your spiritual life, you must have the road map in the form of scriptures’. Then Vedanta says that ‘You must have faith in the teachers or Gurus who have realised the truth in their life. Faith in him or his sayings will give you mental, emotional and spiritual strength’.
In any case, if you have a little faith, you have to be careful to protect it, to nurture it and grow it as ways and means of your spiritual life.
Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda