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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sraddha is intense faith ~ Swami Sivananda

~ Haidakhan Babaji
Sraddha is intense faith
"Not an iota of spiritual progress is ever possible unless one is really endowed with the fourfold qualifications*." ~ Swami Sivananda
Sraddha is intense faith in the words of the Guru and in the sayings of the Vedanta scriptures and above all in one's own self.
Faith is belief in the truth of revealed religion. It is confidence and trust in God and in one's own self. It is belief in the statements, utterancef, and teachings of one's Guru, preceptor or saints. It is belief in religious scriptures. It is not blind faith but faith based on accurate reasoning, evidence and experience. Then only can it be a lasting unshakable faith. Faith is a firm conviction of the truth of what is declared by another by way either of testimony or authority without any other evidence.
Any clear conception of subtle ultimate truths is almost impossible without proper faith. When there is faith, the mind can be easily concentrated on the subject to be understood and then the understanding quickly follows. Faith is that personal attitude by which divine revelation is subjectively appropriated. Faith transcends reason.
It does not originate from logical processes, but from an immediate inner experience. No spiritual progress is possible without faith. We give credence to a report and assent to a proposition or to a proposal. Belief is stronger than credence. Conviction is a belief established by argument or evidence. Assurance is belief beyond the reach of argument. Faith is a union of belief and trust. Faith is chiefly personal, whereas belief may be quite impersonal. We speak of belief in a proposition and faith in a promise, because the promise emanates from a person. Confidence is a firm dependence upon a statement as true, or upon a person as worthy. We have reliance upon the uniformity of nature. We have trust or faith in God. Faith should not be forced. Tryrng to compel religious belief leads to unbelief.
 
 Faith in God elevates the soul, purifies the heart and emotions and leads to God-realisation. Faith is the soul of religion. It creates new hopes and awakens immortality. It is the eye that sees the Lord, and the hand that clings to Him. Faith is power, strength and abundant energy. Men with no assets but tremendous faith in themselves have accomplished wonders. He who has faith is strong, he who doubts is weak. Strong faith precedes great actions, while doubt cramps energy.
Much divine knowledge is lost to you through lack of faith. Faith illumines the spiritual path, builds a bridge across the gulf of death and takes the aspirant to the other shore of fearlessness and immortality.
Faith in God is the first rung in the ladder of spirituatity. It inspires hope in the seeker of Truth to attain divine grace. You need neither art nor science for attaining God-realisation, but faith, purity and devotion. Have a definite purpose. Be determined. Be sincere. Be serious. Understand clearly and definitely what you are really aspiring for.
Only with faith will the strong yearning for attaining the Divinity dawn in your heart. Understand clearly the nature and glory of the Lord, nature of the divine life and God-realisation. Seek the company of the wise. Lead a life of selfless service, renunciation, dispassion, prayer and meditation. Only then will you be able to do self-surrender. Without faith, an intense desire for Darshan 0f the Lord and self-surrender you cannot attain God-realisation. Therefore strive to possess these things. Strengthen your faith through Satsanga or association with the wise and the study of sacred scriptures.
The Lord is everywhere. Feel His presence everywhere. His eyes behold everything, His hands protect all. Have perfect faith in Him. Surrender your entire being unto Him. He will take care of you. Tlust in Him. Thke refuge in His sweet Name. You need not despair nor be afraid of anything. You will ever remain at ease.
Faith is power. Faith is strength. Faith is abundant energy. Faith is the soul of religion. It creates new hopes and awakens immortality.
Brahman is to be learnt through the Srutis, and independent thinking and reasoning have nothing to do with it. Srutis are revelations. They are the direct superintuitive experiences of Rishis. Sages and Srutis give an accurate knowledge of Brahman. Brahman is beyond the reach of the senses, is beyond the reach of the mind and speech. Some learned fools, big wise fools who pose to possess reason, whereas, they really mistake their fancies and preferences for reason, declare that they will accept that portion of the Srutis which appeals to reason. They wiil never get out of this Samsara Chakra.
Though any subject has been established by means of arguments and valid authorities, still people's minds being entirely taken up with gross external objects, any clear conception of subtle ultimate truths is almost impossible without proper faith. When there is faith, the mind can be easily concentrated on the subject to be understood and then the understanding quickly follows.
Faith is belief in the Unknown. Faith and devotion speak together. Faith heals, faith creates, faith works wonders, faith moves mountains. Unshakable faith in God gives mysterious power to overcome any difficulty. Faith makes the weak, strong, and the timid, brave. Faith makes the impossible, possible. Faith argues not, thinks not, reasons not, cogitates not. Reason is an unreliable,frail and finite instrument. Faith is the search-light for God-finding. Life is a dreary waste when it loses its faith. Life loses its effulgence when it loses its faith. Know that everything is lost when faith is lost. The water of life is faith. Have perfect faith in ths Lord.
Extract from Swami Sivananda book Sadhana Chatustaya.pdf
NOTE:
1. Viveka-discrimination between Sat (real) and Asat (unreal).
2. Vairagya-dispassion or indifference to sensual enjoyments herein and hereafter.
3. Shad Sampat (6 virtues):
(a) Sama-peace of mind through eradication of Vasanas.
(b) Dana-control of sense organs.
(c) Uparati-satiety, renunciation of all works (Sannyasa).
(d) Titiksha - forbearance.
(e) Sraddha-faith in scriptures and the Guru's words.
(f) Samadhana-concentration of mind, balance of mind.
4. Mumukshutva-Intense longing for liberation.