Faith and Doubt

21 Oct , 2014  

People doubt reincarnation. “No one has ever come back to tell us about it,” they say. But if someone claimed to have come back, would we believe him? Someone might ask, “If Krishna is God, why doesn’t

He come and prove it?” Well, there’s evidence that He does come. He appeared in this world five thousand years ago, millions of eyewitnesses saw Him, He did things only God can do, and Vyas deva, a reporter with impeccable credentials, kept track of it all. Can you believe that? “But I want to see God for myself,” they continue. Then re-establish your relationship with Him through a spiritual discipline and take up the process of self-realization! Still no joy. It’s like hitting your head against a brick wall.

There is a notion that belief in God is intellectually immature or philosophically naive. Some people think that religion is outdated; nothing more than ritual and mythology. Our faith is constantly challenged by those who claim that God is no longer relevant. Elaborately worded and glamorously packaged, their propositions often enter mainstream culture without question, heavily influencing the unassuming and naive layman.

We must take the time to understand the logical and scientific basis of bhakti -yoga. As we study the books, debate the contents, discuss it from different angles of vision, ask questions and explain it to others, our understanding matures. Faith in Krishna is entirely rational; it’s firmly rooted in Vedic scriptures, in the credibility of authentic saints and in the realized conviction and pure character of Srila Prabhupada. But it doesn’t stop there. Whereas some spiritual paths culminate in faith, Bhagavad-gita explains that faith is only the beginning of our journey to Krishna. As we practice bhakti -yoga with enthusiasm, patience and determination, we can begin to directly perceive the spiritual reality. From the hypothesis we undertake the experiment, and eventually we get an observation and conclusion.

However, part of spiritual maturity is our acceptance that certain aspects of the philosophy will remain inconceivable to our human mind and intelligence. Some truths cannot be logically reconciled since they are understood only on a higher platform. Those from scientific backgrounds may point this out as a defect – to sheepishly concede that we cannot know something, and instead conveniently attribute it to some metaphysical reality beyond our grasp. A cop-out they may say. However, to recognize the limits of our intelligence and perception may also be considered an expression of humility and honesty. In the spiritual process this is rewarded with deep insight and illumination.


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