Faith in Daily life
Without faith we cannot make any progress. In any field of activities, we must have faith. For example we go to a barber shop, and we spread our neck. The barber has a sharp razor in his hand. If he likes, he can at once cut my throat. He has got the weapon ready. But I have faith he’ll not do it, he’ll simply shave my beard or moustache. This faith is required in every activity. Without faith we cannot step forward even in our daily life. So if we have to keep so much faith in ordinary dealings, don’t you think that we must have good faith when we are making progress in spiritual line? (Lecture, Bhagavad-gita 4.39-5.3, New York, 24 August 1966)
Put faith in the Right Person
If you have faith in the person who has eyes to lead you, then he will help you cross the road. And if you put your faith in another blind man like you, then it will cause disaster. Faith is required, but in the right person. You must know where to put the faith. So our Vedic injunction is: “Put your faith to the brahma-nistham, one who is God-realized.” Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistam: “One who has full knowledge in the Vedas and firmly fixed up in Brahman, God, you put your faith there.” (Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12) Otherwise there will be disaster. (Morning Walk, 26 November 1975, New Delhi)
Faith Begins from the Tongue
Faith begins from the tongue. People will be surprised. “Faith must begin from the mind, from the eyes. Then why is it said the tongue?” They do not know. That is also faith, that “Simply by engaging the tongue in the service of the Lord, I shall understand.” This is also blind faith. But actually it is happening. Chant Hare Krishna and take prasada. That’s all. (Morning Walk, 21 July 1975, San Francisco)
From faith to Love
Faith is the basic principle of everything. If you have no faith, then you cannot make progress in any line of action. Even in Krishna consciousness faith is the basic principle. Just like I came here and started my classes in New York. I was alone chanting Hare Krishna. Out of inquisitiveness, somebody came and sat down. Some others came. Then some of them took it, “Oh, Swamiji speaks very nice. Let me come again.” He comes and then he gets some faith: “Oh, Krishna consciousness is very nice.” Then next point is that he wants intimate relationship with the swami, or me: “Swamiji, I want to be your student.” I accept him as a disciple if I think he is suitable. Then he follows my regulative principles, injunctions. Then gradually he becomes free from all misgivings and naturally he gives up that illicit sex life or gambling or meat-eating and so many other things. In that way he becomes fixed up. Then he develops a taste; he cannot give up the society. Then attraction, attachment. He wants to do everything for the society. In this way he develops love of Krishna. And in the final stage he loves only Krishna and nobody else. And because Krishna includes everyone, that means he loves everyone. (Excerpt from interview, 24 September 1968, Seattle)
How Does faith Develop?
Tamala Krishna: What is that thing which causes faith to develop in someone?
Prabhupada: Purity. The more you become pure, the more the faith is firm.
That purity is called adau sraddha: “Beginning is faith.” Therefore it is said, adau sraddha tato sadhu-sangah. You accept faith, maybe blindly. Now you make further progress by mixing with advanced devotees. Then it will remain fixed. (Morning Walk, 21 July 1975, San Francisco)
Purity increases knowledge and faith
As you become purified, your faith becomes fixed with knowledge. Therefore, that is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, yesam tv anta-gatam papam: [Bg. 7.28] “One who has finished his sinful life, he can become a devotee.” Otherwise one cannot. First begin by faith. Then, by following the process, one becomes completely sinless. Then full knowledge. As long as he will be sinful, the things will not be properly manifested. Tesam evanukampartham aham ajnana-jam tamah nasayamy: [Bg. 10.11] “Because he is faithful, therefore I help him how to get knowledge.” (Morning Walk, 21 July 1975, San Francisco)
Faith in Krishna
Only when one knows Lord Krishna’s greatness can one firmly put one’s unflinching faith in Him; otherwise, like the common man, even the great leaders of men will mistake Lord Krishna for one of the many demigods, or a historical personality, or a myth only. (Bhag. 2.4.6 purport)
The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, although equal to everyone, is still more inclined to His devotee . . . Having unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord as one’s protector, friend and master is the natural condition of eternal life. A living entity . . . is most happy when placing himself in a condition of absolute dependence. (Bhag. 1.9.22, purport)
If the members of ISKCON putting faith in Krishna as the center, live in harmony according to the order and principles of Bhagavad-gita, then they are living in Vaikuntha, not in this material world. (Bhag. 3.15.33 purport)
There are many philosophers who write comments on the Bhagavad-gita but have no faith in Krishna. They will never be liberated from the bondage of fruitive action. But an ordinary man with firm faith in the eternal injunctions of the Lord, even though unable to execute such orders, becomes liberated from the bondage of the law of karma. (Bg. 3.31, purport)
Three levels of faith
The first-class devotee never deviates from the principles of higher authority, and he attains firm faith in the scriptures by understanding with all reason and arguments.
The second-class devotee is not very expert in arguing on the strength of revealed scriptures, but he has firm faith in the objective.
The neophyte or third-class devotee is one whose faith is not strong and who, at the same time, does not recognize the decision of the revealed scriptures. The neophyte’s faith can be changed by someone else with strong arguments or by an opposite decision. Unlike the second-class devotee, who also cannot put forward arguments and evidence from the scripture, but who still has all faith in the objective, the neophyte has no firm faith in the objective. Thus he is called the neophyte devotee. (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 3)
Result of no faith
The demoniac person, who has no faith in God or the Supersoul within himself, performs all kinds of sinful activities simply for sense gratification. He does not know that there is a witness sitting within his heart. The Supersoul is observing the activities of the individual soul. One who is demoniac has no knowledge of Vedic scriptures, nor has he any faith; therefore he feels free to do anything for sense enjoyment, regardless of the consequences. (Bg. 16.11-12, purport)
Persons who are almost like animals have no faith in, or knowledge of, the standard revealed scriptures; and some, even though they have knowledge of, or can cite passages from, the revealed scriptures, have actually no faith in these words . Those who have no faith and are always doubtful make no progress at all. Men without faith in God and His revealed word find no good in this world, nor in the next. For them there is no happiness whatsoever. (Bg. 4.40, purport)
Things without faith fail
Any sacrifice performed without regard for the directions of scripture, without distribution of prasada [spiritual food], without chanting of Vedic hymns and remunerations to the priests, and without faith is considered to be in the mode of ignorance. (Bg. 17.13)
Anything done as sacrifice, charity or penance without faith in the Supreme, O son of Partha, is impermanent. It is called asat and is useless both in this life and the next. (Bg. 17.28)
Qualities of faithful
One may be very learned in the mundane estimation, but that does not mean that he is free from all low activities of lust and anger. Good qualifications can be expected only from a pure devotee, who is always engaged in the thought of the Lord, or in samadhi, with faith. (Bhag. 3.12.26)
One is called a faithful man who thinks that simply by acting in Krishna consciousness he can attain the highest perfection. This faith is attained by the discharge of devotional service, and by chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, which cleanses one’s heart of all material dirt. (Bg. 4.39, purport)