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a question of sraddha , and the difference between faith and beleif

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by ratikala, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    just recently there seems to be a lot of talk about beleif , ...so l would be interested to hear peoples thoughts , ...

    it would appear that we tend to select a beleif , before developing faith , ...how and why do we do this ?

    what motivates us to select a beleif that we know little about ?

    and how many times have we seen beleifs change in a person or in ourselves as we explore the chosen subject ?

    and where along the line in this process does faith come in ?

    which should come first , ....faith or beleif ?

    what does Sraddha mean to fellow Hindus ?
     
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  2. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    #2 Aupmanyav, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  3. Jiddanand

    Jiddanand Active Member

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    Human mind has locks locked up and they are many.
    Don't you think that this universe has a purpose?
    When you try to live, problems hit you. You develop a relationship to solve them. You can call it faith in the individual, relationship, family, friends and society.
    Some day this fails and your faith gets broken. You try to raise level and then please gods. They help to some extent then again you are on your own.
    You try further high and find God as your everything. Your faith then diverts and goes to God.
    God can't be found for helps, so again you are on your own self.
    You turn your faith to self. Work hard and meet up the consequences. Your fragile body refuses to accept your commands to perform correctly. Your faith ultimately dies. But your knowledge, experience and memory remain with you.
    Shraddha, faith, belief and trust though felt similar but In fact they are different from each other.

    Trust in God and do the right as possible as you can.
     
  4. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Prescription not applicable to atheists. :)
     
  5. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    what about beleif in , there being a divine order ?
     
  6. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    firstly welcome to RF, ...

    personaly l think that the universe has an order , ...

    yes problems hit us because we have expectations that do not respect or understand that order , ...also if we place faith or trust in others we will many times be dissapointed , ....if we understand the true nature of ourselves and others we would not place unrealistic expectations upon them we would understand their limeted nature , ...


    true God canot be found to help in such a way as to remove mundane or material problems , God helps in unseen ways by removing all obsticals to knowledge , ....if we place faith in God there is no feeling of hardship , no dissapointment on account of material suffering , ...

    if as you say faith dies , ....then this is not faith , ....?

    if you say only the experience and memory stay with you , .....are you speaking of memory of having once had faith ?
    or the experience of suffering ?

    yes , l too think faith and beleif to be very different , .....but when you say trust in God here you are suggesting that there is an order that we must trust , that we must place our faith in , ...

    but what makes us 'beleive' this?
     
  7. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    For me it starts with evidence as I don't start with any intuitive understanding of the metaphysics of the universe. It starts with materialism and through paranormal study I came to believe there is dramatically more to this universe than understood in materialism. Searching for possible understandings I came across Vedic thought and teachers associated with eastern thought. To me, this was clearly the most reasonable understanding of any of mankind's wisdom traditions uniting facts with reason.

    So for me I do not consider that my beliefs are based on faith, but reasoned consideration. One guru whom I like, said that we should not even take his word for it but experience it ourselves as the end-result of spiritual disciplines. As this experience of the truth will not come in our first meditation effort, we need to pursue the path of realization. I make a consciousness decision through intellectual consideration that this is the path I want to follow (as I know of none better) and then jump in with gusto. Where I can be shown wrong, I will change.
     
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  8. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    this also was lord Buddhas advice that firstly we should not take his word without examination , and secondly that we should put it to the test , ....and from this we should not expect imidiate results but that we should take time to examine thoroughly , ...this to me is true of any wisdom tradition , ...

    personaly l feel it is only at the point of having examined thoroughly and found nothing lacking that one begins to develop faith , .....
     
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  9. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    You are welcome, except inadvertently, I do not dispute the belief of other Hindus. They are Hindus, they have and are entitled to different views.

    But I do find the disagreement over name very funny. Many of us accept a single entity (I am not talking of the Hoi Polloi - common Hindu who worships many Gods and Goddesses, we are the elite (somehow) and have progressed from polytheism) and fight whether we should call it Brahman, Vishnu, Krishna, Narayana or Shiva. If it is one, then all names pertain to it only. What the heck! (Those who do not have a sense of humor should disregard this)

    It is like in Abrahamic religions. The name is either YHWH, God, or Allah in their respective religions and none other.
     
    #9 Aupmanyav, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  10. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    what realy interests me is that we each come in contact with God in different ways , God appears to us in different ways , ..thus we see God in different ways , we beleive in God in different ways ,.....yet we do not think that this is because God posesses many atributes , we foolishly argue that our one understanding is correct therefore someone elses understanding must be wrong .

    yes sometimes it is funny and yes sometimes we should learn to laugh at our selves , ...but sometimes it becomes so foolish as to be desperatly sad , ....rather than glorify the lord we indulge our selves in battles of words even sometimes worse , ...to me this is pure ahamkara , ...our ego , our arogance , ...

    we do not consider that our own previous karma has dictated this birth , ....and that previous imprints have dictated what we are drawn to in this life , ...and that what we are drawn to accept or beleive in in this lifetime or at this moment is coloured by these previous imprints , ...

    after all what does Sri Krsna himself say in the Gita , .....

    ''Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth'' ......ch ..7 ...v ..3

    we forget that this means us , ...we are the endeavoring , ...if those who have acheived perfection them selves canot even know the supreme in his fullness what then of us ???

    and what use is constantly reciting texts if we do not listen to what they are saying ???

    here between traditions we often use texts like sticks to beat eachother , it is very sad .

    so this is my question , ...

    do we know , have we considered what beleif is ?
    have we considered that there are different levels of beleif ?


    and where does faith come in ?
    are we confusing these words and using them wrongly ?


    l have a question also for new devotees @Terese ji , ...
    and younger aspiring devotees @Chakra ji , @kalyan ji , @Kirran ji , .... @Carlita ji

    how do we come to our respective traditions ?
    is it by birth into that tradition ?
    is it by attraction ?
    if so what was the attraction ?


    can we discuss were this atraction comes from , ...?

    @Terese ji , ....what makes us belive something when we read it ?

    and @तत्त्वप्रह्व ji, .... @Hinduism♥Krishna , ....and me , ....what makes us defend our traditions ?


    and here also in Abrahamic faiths they fight between them selves as to whos veiw is correct , ...or by whos rule we should live , ...???
     
  11. Terese

    Terese Mangalam Pundarikakshah
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    Well for the question you gave me, for me personally elders knowing something to be true, and as elders they are wise, experienced (in respectable positions) I gain this knowledge. Or from reading scripture, When Krishna explained how to follow God, The fact Krishna said it, and that its respected immensely, and the wisdom in it. But it's up to us to believe.
     
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  12. तत्त्वप्रह्व

    तत्त्वप्रह्व स्वभावस्थं निरावेशम्

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    Namaste Ratikala ji,

    I don't think this contrast applies very well to the term śraddhā for in saṁskṛtam it would include faith, belief, conviction, deep respect, situatedness, deep contemplation, unflinching devotion, motivation, and more all put together!

    That which changes cannot be śraddhā. The more appropriate term would be abhiprāya (opinion). For eg., see BG 17:3 śraddhā follows one's innate constitution, thus puruṣa (jīva) is but śraddhā and unerringly effectuates the progress of the jīva. So, its my conviction that as long one has changing views about anything, it cannot be really called śraddhā.
    Well, for me its my Guru's direction to share my experience and understanding truthfully (svabhāvasthaṃ) and without contrivance / prejudice (nirāvéśaṃ). Though i don't see it as 'defending', but more likely clarifying / sharing my views on those things where i have experience & understanding i'm myself sure about in the first place.

    W.r.t what comes first, i think this is clarified in the veda mantra (also in the upaniṣat)
    yadéva 1) vidyayā karoti 2) śraddhayā 3) upaniṣadā tadéva vīryavattaraṃ bhavati. As my Guru says, "one needs to study every school as a student of that school, study advaita as a staunch advaitin, tattvavāda as a staunch tattvavādin, etc., then contemplate assiduously (tapaḥ) until the nectar of tattva (truth) emerges, for no one has, nor can, attain the nectar of truth without the internal samudra manthana; and even then, unless you've engaged in a sāttvika way (like the devatas), it is highly unlikely that you may get to partake in the emerging nectar. What you have then is the essential śraddhā, until then all you have is opinions without any experience anubhava rahita abhiprāya."

    श्रीकृष्णार्पणमस्तु ।
     
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  13. Kirran

    Kirran
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    Faith is, for me at least, deeper than belief. It is conviction, solid, within yourself, centred upon devotion. Having faith in Shiva isn't simply believing in Shiva in whatever sense, it is relying upon Shiva, trusting in Shiva, dedicating yourself to Shiva. Throwing yourself at the Lord's feet.

    As for my attraction to Hinduism - I really am not sure, it just kind of happened over time as a development. People ask me a lot how I came to Hinduism, and there's no easy or solid answer. I just came to it over time. I suppose out of the urge to know the truth, to know the Infinite, and to engage with a tradition.
     
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  14. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I do not know. I have become an atheist but my shraddhā to Gods and Goddesses has not diminished (I do not need nectar since I am eternal, was never born and will never die. :)
     
  15. तत्त्वप्रह्व

    तत्त्वप्रह्व स्वभावस्थं निरावेशम्

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    From one standpoint you are right, absolute non dualists cannot be theists (this point is also brought up by Śrī Madhva as a side-note). But as long as you are in the vyavahārika, atheism doesn't comply with the overall import of advaita - even if it is Śrī Saṅkara himself, as evidenced by his practices - and in advaitik conception of mokṣa it doesn't matter afterwards. But of course, your philosophy is a 'Aup'advaita!
    :) Sure, but then you should also not comment upon it; and before you say but it is vyāvahārika, you must be ready to accept that you are still not fully in a position to make the above claim (being in vyāvahārika); if you say you can move b/w paramārtha and vyāvahārika, you will have to accept equal reality of both (since you can still perceive vyāvahārika when in paramārtha), which then makes the need to distinguish unnecessary and frivolous.

    नारायणायेतिसमर्पयामि ।
     
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  16. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    jai jai , ....this was exactly my purpose , .... we are here on an open forum with many different kinds of devotees ,
    l chose these words deliberatly as they are words frequently used especialy by those whos first language is english , ...these words also are the cause of mild dissagreement between sects , ...one is beliving this, ..one is beliving that , . so arguments ensue , ....we call hinduism a faith , ...but in truth it is more than this , for ease of comunication we are using english words which inevitably have abrahamic conotations , so we need to explore how we could better express ourselves with more exact terminology , .....

    sraddha , ....yes , ...it is all these things , ....it is also trust and deep appreciation , thus yes, from this grows motivation , situatedness and unflinching devotion , ...but let me ask a question , as a child born into a particular tradition , can you remember pionts when that sraddha begun to blossom and points when respect turned to devotion , and that devotion then turned to unflinching devotion and unshakable faith ?

    isnt it true that many times in our maturing we feel that we know and have exprienced sraddha only to find later that it deepens still further , ..and at this point does it not occur that prehaps we know nothing at all , ....that we are just beginning to understand what faith realy is , ...

    agreed , ...to me sraddha is something which develops , it deepens , ...

    l am not thinking to explore opinions , what we need is to become free from opinion and to become open to our true nature , ....
    in asking this question l am asking what we base beleifs upon , some beleifs are wishfull in that the person is wanting to find a meaning , wanting to find an explanation wanting to find order , thus they are drawn to explore Hinduism , ..in the same respect l feel there is an inate desire to know truth and to become one with the divine order order of the universe , of creation , ...

    so to know sraddha some sacrifice of this opinion is required , ....it is what in the west call a leep of faith , what a vaisnava may call saranagatti , ..surrender , ....

    jai jai , ...it is very similar to our guus wish alltough the approach is very different , ....ours being a bhakti school we are less inclined to study in the same way , ...but similarly yes we should share without contrivance but with understanding that each is inclined towards a particular tradition due to his nature , ...

    it is my wish too that all should be able to pass beyond the stage of needing to hold and form opinions , and to reach the stage of true appteciation , .....

    but could it be simpler ? ..... where to your mind does surrender fit in to this equasion ?
     
    #16 ratikala, Dec 13, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
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  17. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Oh yes, the change of form! How many times I have done that and how many times I will do it in future, in billions of human years; I do not keep a count. :)
     
  18. Gopesh

    Gopesh Gopesh

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    Jai Shri Ram!

    I believe that it is a very natural thing; very organic, full of life, restorative and ultimately essential. - Oh, you said "belief"? I thought you said "a leaf"! (As great as this joke is, I think that it is wasted on the internet and, if anything, just makes me seem illiterate!) A but more seriously, I believe that belief is something that is ineffable - or at least that making sense of why someone has particular beliefs through logic is rather impossible for the outsider. - Of course, this only applies to what I would call "real" belief - as in, it is something that is actually believed in its entirety and with complete trust and surrender as opposed to belief adopted because of external factors e.g. "My parents told me to"! Belief, as a concept is only felt and a person's reason for believing is difficult to comprehend - not least because everyone may have a unique reason for believing something. With a belief, I think it is evident that a person believes not through the reason they give for believing, but rather, their willingness to carry on believing it - well, not including people like me who are stubborn and just continue to "believe something" in order to sustain their argument! But, for example, I know that there is not one thing anybody can say to me, show to me or even prove to me, that will stop me from believing in Shri Hanumanji. If, say, Allah came in front of me today and told me that He was the only true God and that Shri Hanumanji doesn't exist, I still wouldn't change my belief - see, I told you I was a stubborn (insert your own expletive)! This is also why I don't believe it is possible to convert religions. If you had believed in your previous religion, you would never convert and if you convert, it means you did not believe in that in the first place.

    With regards to the question of why there are so many beliefs and whether they can all be right, I think Sanatan Dharma and the concept of Brahman explains this perfectly in that, with all the different manifestations and God's omnibenevolence and all-pervasiveness, it doesn't really matter what you believe in as long as you believe in it and show devotion to it. Can they all be right? Of course they can. A good analogy I recently came across is that of medicines. Different people need different medicines. You wouldn't give a toddler the same dose of a medicine that you would give to an adult because his/her body wouldn't accept it. In that same token, a diabetic would require a different medicine to what somebody with a broken leg would require. (You're probably wondering that I've taken a bit too much "medicine" before writing this post, such is the mad nature of it!). In the same way our bodies react better to and accept different medicines depending on our specific state, our minds/heart/soul/whatever part you think is responsible for believing in God react differently to different ideas hence the pluralism. Shraddha to me means belief that everything is God's kripa and that it is the result of my own bad deeds that something bad happens to me and that it is by the grace of God that good things happen. More than anything, I think Shraddha is the mentality that in all circumstances, all situations, at all times and in all ways, God will take care of everything and that God does indeed exist.

    Anyway, I've rambled enough on here! I've got an essay to write! That, I believe, is the definition of being in a mess!
    Jai Shri Ram.
     
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  19. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Are you not? That is a real internet joke if you do not take it otherwise. :D

    You can reply by saying that you are not. You can count till ten. :D :D
    However, I congratulate you for an interesting post. Deserves a like.
     
    #19 Aupmanyav, Dec 15, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
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  20. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    thank you Gopesh ji for giving this point , .....

    l think l would agree completely , ...yes , if asked why we beleive we will try to give some plausable logical reasoning yet beneath that logical reasoning is a deeper inexplicable reaction , ....

    but even this stubornness, dosent this come from that deeper inexplicable reaction ?

    this ia a very nice scenario , ....if l experienced a vision of Allah and he said to me that Hanuman ji did not exist , ...l would simply wonder why he would say such things , ....and no it would not change my beleif , l would just think he was testing me , ....if Hanuman ji appeared in front of me my automatic responnce would be Jai Jai ! ....there is some sort of deep seated reaction going on , .....


    agreed , for instance l was born into a Christian society , ...my parents were pretty agnostic when it comes to beleif , they may have belived in the morality of Christianity but l dont think l ever heard either express a beleif in God , ...
    thus one grows up thinking that there has to be more to life than this ? (well at least l did).....so there is this willingness you speak of to beleive , .....l first discovered Buddhism and experienced strong feeilings of beleif , both in the doctrine and in the Buddha's , ...it is not that one converts but that one finds something worthy of beleif , ..worthy of placing ones trust in , worthy of surrender , ..

    ...l practiced with Buddhists for many years along side other Buddhists who belived in the same doctrine and the same Buddhas , but l found that each belived a little differently , ....?
    thus like you l very much like the analogy given of different medicines , ...lord Buddha himself gave the same analogy saying regard me as a physician and regard dharma as medicine , ...he then told his deciples to go out and teach according to the minds tat they met , ....so yes , there are different aplications of Dharma according to the situation , and according to the person , ...but one can still find one self in the company of in this instance Buddhists and find that the reactional beleif is different , ...for that reason l began to explore Viasnavism , ..... this explained to me what l felt to be true , this confirmed every reactional beleif that l had experienced and put these feelings into perspective , ...


    jai jai , ....very beautifuly said , ...

    mess ? no mess, ...! ....hope your esay writes it self just as easily , ...

    Jai Sri Ram
     
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