What is true faith?
People come in the proximity of great ones in order to progress spiritually. However, spirituality is not an external exercise. It is the internal assimilation of this idea. Keeping a target of chanting the name of God a certain number of times can only lead to a quantitative exercise or a ritual; it may not be spiritual. What is more important is internal purity or Chitta shuddhi. Filling one’s head with pride of being aware of all the scriptures, or being a scholar in the exposition of the Vedas does not lead one to God. What God loves is internal purity.
Faith and love for God is the basis or foundation on which spiritual practices can be built. If this love and faith is not there as the foundation, the building of spirituality cannot stand for too long. That is why it is said: Where there is faith, there is love; where there is love, there is truth; where there is truth, there is peace; where there is peace, there is God; where there is God, there is bliss. Faith in God forms the basis of the experience of God. Without this faith, doing everything else will be as good as trying to cultivate on an infertile, barren land. God loves me and will look after me. Whatever happens to me is by His will and is for my good. This feeling is true faith in God. When things go in a way that you do not want, things happen in a way that seem to be causing pain and suffering to you, when things don’t work out the way you desired, even then believing that God knows and it is His will and He is doing what is best for me is true faith. The good that happens is also for Krishna, the thing that is not so good as you feel is also for Krishna – nothing for me. He is compassionate. He will not give you anything that you cannot bear.
God is like a parent. Man with his own desires, ego and attachments, wants to do things that may not be beneficial later. And sometimes when God advises not to do things, he or she is in no mood to listen to God. But then, unable to advise further, God leaves it for man to experience the reactions of his own actions. And eventually when man experiences the results of his action and is saddened, he comes back to God. But God does not disown him. He again accepts, gives love, gives strength and cares for him. We experience things based on our own actions. Even then, when you have to suffer the consequences, God reduces the burden, gives you the strength to go through it and allows you to survive through that difficult time. Therefore, God is always compassionate. But we experience Him based on the feelings in our heart. Yad bhavam tad bhavati. God is only a reflection of your feelings. If you have love in your heart for God, you will experience love from God. If you have hatred for God, you will also think God hates you.
Above everything else, supreme is the faith and love for God. If good happens, that is God’s grace. If something bad happens, that is also God’s will and grace. This is true faith. Such a person will never be disturbed by whatever happens. He is a true Yogi – Samatvam yogamuchyate – a true Yogi who has equanimity of mind in all times. This is true faith. Develop such faith and be equanimous in all circumstances, knowing very well that God is doing the best for you.