We make our faith and then our faith makes us

People are often classified as faithful or faithless. But even the faithless are faithful – faithful to their faithlessness, to their unprovable belief that God doesn’t exist.

Faith is universal and universally defining. The Bhagavad-gita (17.03) underscores faith’s critical role: we all are made of our faith; and as our faith is, so we become. We make our faith by our many small and large choices such as the people we befriend, the books we read and the stuff we dream about.

Today’s culture is largely materialistic. Being exposed to materialistic people, books and dreams, we develop implicit faith in materialism. Whenever our desires race towards mundane pleasures, we often don’t even challenge them, leave alone change them. We faithfully keep spinning elaborate fantasies about worldly pleasures, even though we experience repeatedly that the actual pleasure never lives up to the fantasy.

By each such materialistic exercise of imagination and intention, we strengthen our faith in materialism. And then that faith makes us, or rather, mars us. It deadens us to spiritual stimuli and spiritual reality. Although we are eternal spiritual creatures, our faith that worldly things will one day make us happy perpetuates our material existence.

Thankfully, despite our culture’s materialism, we can still choose differently. We can make spiritual friends, read spiritual books and contemplate spiritual thoughts. Significantly, bhakti-yoga helps us to practically center our life and heart on the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna.

Repeated exposure to devotional stimuli shapes our faith spiritually. We become increasingly convinced that we can find lasting happiness only by absorption in Krishna, not by enjoying worldly objects. This conviction is sublime and sublimating. And it is strengthened each time we practice bhakti-yoga.

Gradually, our strengthened faith fills our consciousness with all-attractive Krishna, and we rejoice in ourselves as his eternal blissful parts.

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3 Comments

  1. Hare krishna. Your article clarifies the Gita’ principles of transcendence, which allows us to strive hard in material world but don’t get engrossed in materialistic pleasures, thus keeping in touch with the higher planes of spiritual abundance and REAL pleasures. Thanks prabhuji

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    • Happy to see you so succinctly summarising the Gita’s message. Thank you for sharing your insightful understanding and your kind appreciation.

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  2. Hare Krsna Prabhuji!

    A beautiful article explaining the intricate process of faith-building!

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