Faith in God
By Swami Sivananda
Reason is impotent. Faith is omnipotent. Weak reason is defeated by strong reason. A Bhakta with faith can enter the innermost chambers of the Lord as Sudama did.
Do you not take for granted many things in Geometry? The teacher says: "A line has length but no breadth. A point has position (space) but no magnitude." Is this really correct? Do you argue these points in any way? You simply take these for granted. Is this not blind faith? Then again, how do you know that this man is your father? Mother only knows your real father, she points out: "He is your father." You have accepted it. Is this not blind faith?
Though you are not able to see the sun on account of the clouds, yet the sun exists. Though you are not able to see the mind that is hidden in the brain, the electricity in the wires, the child in the womb, butter in the milk, fire in the wood, yet the mind, electricity, child, butter and fire respectively do exist. Even so, though you are not able to see God who lies concealed in these forms on account of the impurities in the mind, yet God does exist.
Although we cannot see the stars in the daytime, yet we know that there are stars. Even so, though we cannot see God with these physical eyes, we can infer that God is hidden behind these names and forms.
Sometime you are in a peculiar dilemma or pressing pecuniary difficulty. Help comes to you in a mysterious manner. You get the money just in time. Every one of you might have experienced this. You exclaim at that moment in joy: "God's ways are mysterious indeed. I have got now full faith in God. Upto this time I had no faith in God."
Brahman or the Self or the Immanent God cannot be demonstrated as He is beyond the reach of senses and mind, but His existence can be inferred by certain empirical facts or common experiences in daily life. A certain lady had a fall from the third storey. Underneath there was a bed of sharp angular stones. She would have received serious injuries, but she was miraculously saved. She herself expressed: "I felt the warm embrace by some invisible hands. Some mysterious power saved me." Instances like this are not uncommon.
An advocate had no faith in God. He developed double pneumonia. His last breath stopped. His wife, son and relatives began to weep. But he had a mysterious experience. The messengers of Yama caught hold of him and brought him to the court of Lord Yama. Lord Yama said to his messengers: "this is not the man I wanted. You have brought a wrong person. Send him off." He began to breathe after one hour. He actually experienced that he left the body, went to the court of Yama and again re-entered his physical body. This astonishing experience changed his entire nature. He developed intense faith in God and became a religious man. He is still living in the United Provinces.
Another Advocate had a similar experience but there is some change in this case. He was also an atheist. He was brought by the messengers to the Durbar of Yama. This Advocate asked Yama: "I have not finished my work in the physical plane. I have to do still more useful work. Kindly spare me life now." His boon was granted. He was struck with wonder by this strange experience. His nature also was completely changed. He left the legal practice at once. He is devoting the remaining portion of his life in selfless service and meditation. He is still living in South India.
Damaset, father of Nam Dev, used every day to visit the temple of Vittoba at Pandarpur and worship Him with fruits or rice, etc. He went to a neighbouring village one day on some urgent business. Gona Bai, mother of Nam Dev gave the offerings to Nam Dev and asked him to go and offer them to Vittoba. Nam Dev took the articles of worship and placed them before the image of Vittal or Lord Krishna and requested Him to eat the same. When he found that the image was silent, he wept bitterly in acute agony. Then Vittal appeared in human form and actually ate the offering in order to please His child-devotee. Faith and devotion can work wonders. The Lord becomes a slave of devotees.
Feel the help from the invisible hands of God during worldly activities. The Lord is always with you. He is watching all our activities and thoughts. Children fall from the upper stories. They are saved miraculously. In motor-car accidents and various other catastrophies people are saved in a mysterious manner, through the timely help from the inevitable hands of the hidden power (God). Every one of you might have had this kind of experience. When you are in great difficulty, He sends you money in a mysterious manner from some unexpected source. You feel His presence and His invisible hands. But you forget Him immediately when your pocket is full.
Do not argue. You will not gain anything. Sit before your spiritual preceptor or Mahatma quietly and meditate for one hour. Let the soul speak to the soul. All your doubts will be cleared by themselves. You will have good experiences. You will enjoy peculiar peace. There will be a holy thrill of joy in your heart. This is the way for your spiritual growth.