Thursday, March 31, 2016

Faith and Guidance

Let us try to understand what faith means. The old Biblical statement says, “Faith can move mountains”. Now, to a rational mind like mine, that is impossible. We know that mountains cannot move just like that, unless the tectonic plates in the Earth moves and that can make mountains move, but that too by a very small fractional distance only. So, according to this rational thinking, we can probably define Faith as “Believing in something that is impossible”. So, according to science, according to reason, according to logic, Faith is something “Illogical, Irrational” and thus Impossible.

Now, let us take the topic of faith from a religious background. Take an extreme example of a patient in deathbed, everyone has given up hope, the doctors have said it is just a matter of few days, and so on. However, a loved one perhaps, let us say the mother of the patient, she has faith in her God. She prays with extreme faith and devotion to her God or Deity and a miracle happens and the patient has survived the crisis. We have heard such things happening amongst our families and friends and of course we have seen such things in many movies. This is at the religious level, where a person has faith in an external entity called God and God sometimes answers the prayer. Only sometimes because, there are many times in real-life scenarios that such prayers go un-answered as well, even though the devotee has prayed with lot of faith and devotion, God does not seem to answer the prayer and whatever had to happen, end up happening.

When we get into the field of Spirituality, a system like ours, the heart-based meditation of Sahaj Marg, Heartfulness system of practice, here, things are somewhat different. In a spiritual system, where the focus is in “connecting with the Self within”, and “going inwards into one-self”, the element of faith also takes a turn inwards. So, spirituality makes a very clear statement, “Have Faith in Yourself”. One doesn’t need to have faith in any external entity other than himself or herself. From such an inner faith, courage and confidence develops which become unshakeable.

Now, let us try to connect the dots of where this faith in the self originates. As we all know, Heartfulness meditation is an experiential based system and also that Heartfulness is a science in itself. Just like how science has its experiments to prove a theory, the experiences from the Heartfulness meditation enables a practitioner to gain “Inner Conviction”, that this particular meditation practice is working and is helping me. However, once we cross the line of matter and reason, spirituality moves way ahead and leaves behind the physical sciences and enters into the “Meta-physical” world where “Feeling” overtakes “Thinking”. The feelings of the heart start to play a role in the abhyasi’s life and this is where conviction translates into “Belief”. From Belief, “Trust” in the Inner Master develops. That is, at the seat of the heart is the inner being, which offers guidance from within and the abhyasi begins to Trust these inner feelings and “Intuition” more and more as it helps the abhyasi in his day-to-day life.

When “Trust” in the inner Master becomes strengthened, it morphs into “Faith”. This is what the great Masters of Spirituality like Babuji and Chariji call as “Real Faith”, to distinguish such a faith from the traditional and religious connotations of faith. Such a faith can indeed move mountains, like how Lord Krishna is supposed to have lifted mountain Govardhana Giri or like how Babuji Maharaj says that he can spin the universe like a top! Such a real faith develops courage and confidence in that advanced practitioner that he can do anything, but only for the welfare of humanity and not otherwise. Cheap tricks and miracles are no longer attractive or enticing to such elevated beings. They become pure instruments of Nature, working for the welfare of one and all.

So, we see how faith develops in journey of Heartfulness meditation practice: starting from the practice itself, the experiences leading to inner conviction, and this resulting in belief, then trust and then faith. By the method of Heartfulness meditation, one gets into contact with the inner self, the inner Master, and derives guidance from within. So, after sufficient practice, faith in the inner self, and guidance from within develops in the abhyasi which are really very advanced states of being which enables that person to remain in super-conscious meditative states and do Nature’s work according to the needs of humanity.

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