Faith and Love

swami sivanandaFaith in God is the first step to God-realisation. Not an iota of progress is ever possible in the path of spirituality without faith. The faith must be a living faith. It must be unwavering faith. Lack of faith is a stumbling block in the path of realisation. Faith develops into Bhakti or devotion to God. Faith is the gateway to the Kingdom of God. It is the threshold to the Knowledge of God. Faith gives strength and removes anxieties and uneasiness of mind. Faith is therefore a powerful mental tonic.

No faith, no devotion. No faith, no Jnana. The Sanskrit equivalent of faith is “Sraddha” or “Visvas.” The whole world runs on faith only. The Raja has faith in his Diwan. The husband has faith in his wife. The shop-keeper has faith in his customers. The patient has faith in his doctor. The client has faith in his lawyer. The engineer has faith in his head-clerk.

The student should have faith in the existence of God, in the teachings of his Guru, in the Vedas and his own self.

Even Patanjali Maharshi, the exponent of Yoga philosophy lays much stress on faith. He says: “Sraddha veerya smriti samadhi prajna-purvaka itaresham – to others (this Samadhi) comes through faith, energy, memory, concentration and discrimination of the real.” (I-20.)

Let me repeat the words of the Gita here. “He who is full of faith obtains wisdom, and he also who has mastery over his senses; and having obtained wisdom he goes swiftly to the Supreme Peace. But the ignorant, faithless, doubting self goes to destruction; nor this world, nor that beyond, nor happiness is there for the doubting self.” (IV, 39-40)

Bad company, lust, greed, infatuated love for wife, son and property, and unwholesome food are the enemies of faith. They spoil the intellect, cloud the understanding and destroy memory. They produce wrong Samskaras or impressions in the mind and render the intellect gross and impure.

Study of Bhagavata, Ramayana, Gita, Upanishads, Yoga Vasishtha; the elevating company of Sadhus and Mahatmas; service of saints; stay at Prayag, Rishikesh,
Ayodhya, Vrindavana, Gangotri, Badrinarayan; prayer; Japa or recitation of Mantra; Kirtan or singing His Name; meditation; remembrance of saints and sages who have realised God and study of their teachings; fasting; pilgrimage; personal contact of a Guru can sow the seed of faith in a man and increase it also till it becomes quite firm and unshakable.

Faith can work miracles. Faith can work wonders. Faith can move mountains. Faith can reach a realm where reason dare not enter. There is nothing impossible under the sun for the man of faith to accomplish. Have therefore absolute and unshakable faith in God, in the power of Ram Nam, in the Vedas and the scriptures and in the teachings of your Guru and, last but not the least, in your own self. This is the master-key for success in life and God-realisation or attainment of Divine Consciousness.

Excerpts from “Practice of Bhakti Yoga” by Swami Sivananda

Prayer of Bhakta from the West

St. Francis of AssisiLord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, forgive;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is darkness, light and
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not

So much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in forgiving that we are forgiven,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

St. Francies of Assissi

Buddha speaks Wisdom

Sri-Lanka-Buddha“I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.”

“The wise man makes an island of himself that no flood can overwhelm.”

“Few among men are they who cross to the further shore. The others merely run up and down the bank on this side.”

“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life activity; it affords protection to all beings, offering shade even to the axe-man who destroys it.”

“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”

“From a withered tree, a flower blooms”

“Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are, it solely relies on what you think.”

“If you are facing in the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking.”

“Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.”

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

“Our theories of the eternal are as valuable as are those that a chick which has not broken its way through its shell might form of the outside world.

“If you knew what I know about the power of giving you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way. ”

“Not merely by rules of conduct and religious observances, nor by much learning either, nor even by attainment of concentration, nor by sleeping alone, do I reach the happiness of freedom, to which no worldlings attain. If you have not put an end to compulsions, nurse your faith”

Gautama Buddha

Ramakrishna speaks on God & Faith

sriRamakrishna“God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole.”

“When the flower blooms
the bees come uninvited.”

“Disease is the tax which the soul pays for the body, as the tenant pays house-rent for the use of the house.”

“God is everywhere but He is most manifest in man. So serve man as God. That is as good as worshipping God.”

“Through selfless work, love of God grows in heart.”

“Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond.”

“The winds of God’s grace are always blowing, it is for us to raise our sails.”

“Bondage and Liberation are of the mind alone.”

Sri Ramakrishna