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HAVE FAITH: There Is No Obstacle Too Great Or Challenge Too Difficult That Faith Cannot Conquer

By Zile Singh

Ambassador(Retd.)

The word ‘faith’ is derived from the Latin “fides”, which means faith.  Trust, confidence, belief, assumptions, expectations and inferences are different forms  of faith.  Faith is complete trust or confidence in Someone or Something.  This Someone or Something can be a living, dead or a conceived entity.  We cannot have 100 per cent trust and confidence is anything till it is proved.  Still, every individual has faith in something or the other.    Faith envelopes religious, non-religious, scientific, logical or illogical tempers.  The Bible has the definition of faith like this:  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”.  Simply put, faith is “trusting in something you cannot explicitly prove.”  Faith is acceptance of what we cannot see but feel deep within our hearts. According to different religious scriptures faith  is a way of life.  Therefore, there can be as many faiths as possible.  Each and every individual is free to choose his  faith according to his capability, understanding  and environment.   Faith is not dependent on rites, rituals, rhymes and reasons.  Some people practice their faith in the silent chambers of their hearts while some are making a loud propaganda day and night.  According to Martin Luther King Jr. , “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

In the medieval times, faith became synonymous with religion.  But faith does not necessarily mean religion only.  Religious faith is just one aspect of it.    One can have faith in any number of things or ideas which can be religious or secular – internal or external, rational or irrational.  Having faith in oneself is more important than having faith in anything else.   Two blind men followed Jesus crying for mercy.  Jesus said to them, “ Do you have faith in me that I am able to heal you?”  They said to him, “Yes Lord.”  Then he touched their eyes saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”  And their eyes were opened. They were able to see.   Jesus sternly warned them, “ See that no one knows about it.”

It is necessary to make clear the concept of Belief and Faith.  Belief is a state of mind which is almost the opposite of faith.  Belief is the insistence that the truth is what one would wish to be.  The believer will accept things on the condition that it fits in with his pre-conceived notion.  Faith, on the other hand, is an open mind to the truth, whatever way it might turn out to be.  Faith has no pre-conceived notions.  It is just a plunge into the unknown.  Thus, belief is a bondage where as faith is ‘ lets go; i.e., the freedom.   With lot of development and research in the religious and spiritual fields, it is the need of the day that we should weigh the reality of faith with open mind to realize the truth.  As we cannot see the outside beauty with our windows painted, similarly,  we are unable to realize and stand face to face with reality in our daily life without an open and inquisitive mind.  Faith is the spring-board for any human activity.

Before performing any action,  one has to have a faith in its result and usefulness.  One cannot be interested in any action unless one knows in one’s heart that it is good  and it will lead in the right direction.  Ultimately, it will be possible only when you have faith in yourself.  To gain success in any pursuit, a student should study with faith, a teacher should teach with faith and  a devotee should worship with faith.   It helps to overcome hardships and take you out of crisis.  Faith heals the mind and the body.  It is rightly said that ‘faith can move mountains’.  Faith speaks a lot about your personality.

In Hinduism, ‘shraddah’ is interpreted as Faith.  It is not only the belief but also an  interest, dedication and application.  According to the Gita, “ Have faith in your actions”.

In Buddhism, faith is mainly associated with Triple Gem, that is the Buddha, the Dhamma (his teaching) and the Sangha (the community).  Lord Buddha preached  “ Appa Deepo Bhav” – Be your own guide.  Don’t even believe or have faith in me. Instead,  have a direct experience  and ‘ believe in yourself ‘.

Sikhism has faith in One God,  Equality of Mankind,  Humility and Truthful Living.

In Arabic faith is ‘ Al-iman’.  Islam teaches faith in Allah, to affirm His truth and to submit to His commands.  Righteous deeds are the inevitable result of sincere faith, such that Allah constantly emphasizes the reward of those ‘who have faith and do good deeds.”

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into light”.  Helen Keller.

Zile Singh is a former Ambassador(Retd.) of India and a Vipassana Meditator. He can be reached at zsnirwal@yahoo.ca .

 

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