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Belief is broken, Faith remains firm || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
10 min
57 reads

Listener: Sir, I am Shubham. My question is that why do I find it difficult to trust anybody?

Speaker: We are examining trust. What is trust? Trust is a statement: ‘It is so’. Trust is when I say, ‘it is so’, ‘it is this way’.

‘Superstition’ is the lowest kind of trust. A little higher than superstition is ‘belief’. The highest kind of trust is ‘faith’. We will see what these three are and how they are different from each other.

(Pointing towards a member of the audience) What is your name?

Listener: Sir, Deenbandhu.

Speaker: Now, this happens, just out of coincidence, that the last three times I was in this room, the fellow who was occupying that chair was called ‘Deenbandhu’. It has somehow been happening that every time I visit this room, the fellow who sits on that chair, is called by the name, ‘Deenbandhu’. So, today when I enter this room, I look at that chair and I say, ‘Oh! you are Deenbandhu’ and I am very sure that this person is ‘Deenbandhu’. What kind of trust is this?

All Listeners: Superstition.

Speaker: Superstition. I know nothing. It is a blind belief. Just because something has happened in the past, I believe that it will happen in the future as well. This is superstition, just superstition. I have not even bothered to inquire his name. I am just looking at the chair, not at the man and I am claiming that this must be ‘Deenbandhu’. Obviously, I am acting like an idiot.

Now, I enter this room, I do not know you all, I do not know your name and I look at that chair and ask, ‘What is your name?’ and he says, ‘Deenbandhu’ and I say, ‘Alright, he is Deenbandhu’. What kind of trust is this?

All Listeners: Belief.

Speaker: This is ‘belief’. I have gone a step higher; I have bothered to inquire; I have bothered to ask, but I have not really known by myself. My knowledge that he is ‘Deenbandhu’ is entirely dependent on an external source. The information is totally external and I am just taking it in. I have bothered to take information, and to that extent I have shown some caution. But that information is external and I am putting my trust in it. This is called as ‘belief’. Superstition is bound to be shattered because sooner than later there would be somebody on that chair who would not be named ‘Deenbandhu’. If I believe, then also I am bound to meet with disappointment because he may say that he is ‘Deenbandhu’ when he actually may be ‘Rahul’.

Even belief is bound to meet with disappointment because he may say that he is ‘Deenbandhu’ but he may not be ‘Deenbandhu’.

There is another form of trust which is called ‘faith’. Do you want to know what faith is? Faith is when I have given everything to the inquiry. Faith is when I have left no stone unturned in trying to find out the truth and the inquiry is totally of my own, it is not dependent on anybody else. I have made complete use of my mind; my unbiased mind, to know the truth, then what I know is called as ‘faith’.

Faith not only says, ‘I know’ but it also says, ‘I do not know’. Faith also knows the limits of knowledge.

So, superstition is bound to make me an idiot; belief is bound to meet with disappointment one day; faith will always remain joyful, because to have faith is to know what you know and also be aware of what you do not know. So, faith will never meet with any disappointment.

Shubham, you said that you find it difficult to trust. It is probably because you have been believing too much. When you believe, the belief is bound to be shattered, and when the belief is shattered we feel sad, we feel deceived and we will say, ‘I will not trust anybody in the future’. The problem is not with other people but the problem is that we believe too easily. Whenever you will believe too easily, you are in for a heartache. Whenever you will believe too easily, you will meet with misery, disillusionment, disappointment. Are you getting this?

Those who do not want to be disappointed, should not believe too easily. They should give the inquiry everything and then you will not have to believe, then you will have faith, and faith is never disappointed. Faith is never never disappointed.

We live in a lot of superstitions. We do not even bother to believe. In fact, often we live at a level lower than that of belief. We live in superstitions. When we progress, we move to belief. Faith, we rarely know because faith requires tremendous energy. Faith says, ‘go and find out’. Faith says that unless you have given it everything, do not stop.

Do we really know why we are studying? We just believe that it is good to be an engineer. Do we really know? Before choosing a branch of specialization, did you really inquire hard? Did you think that ‘it is the question of my four years, how can I just ignore?’ Did you really give your inquiry your hundred percent? Now, it is no surprise that you often meet with disappointment because you just believed. You believe that one must have a job and not only that, you believe that one must have a job of certain kind. Have you gone ahead and inquired that why one must one have a job? What is worth doing in life? This is one precious life; what should I spend it doing? Have you gone ahead and bothered to inquire that? No, but you have already made you mind. ‘Just as everyone enters vocation, enters livelihood, I too will do that’. Have you bothered to inquire or do you just believe? Friends, when you just believe, you are inviting trouble, you will feel very bad because belief by definition is going to meet disappointment. It is the destiny of belief to hit the rock of reality and be shattered because belief cannot stand the test of time, the test of reality.

You already believe that life must be led in a certain way. What is that way? Earn a degree, earn another degree, get a job, have a family, raise kids, be prosperous and die one day. Have you bothered to inquire why life must be lived that way? Have you really said that ‘I am young, I am intelligent’? – and you are intelligent- have you really applied that intelligence? Have you awakened it? Have you put that intelligence into action? You have already decided that this is the way life should be lived. A script is already ready and you have believed in the script. You are not even asking who wrote that script.

Look at your relationships. Have you ever inquired that ‘why my relationships are like this?’Why must a relationship have a preset format of this kind? No, we do not ask that from ourselves. It is not about you, it is about the entire world. There are very few people who ask, and they shine and they really live; they are the only ones who can claim that we have lived. We just believe and the worst part is that as I say this to you, several of you might just be believe me.

I have not come here so that you may just believe me. I have come here so that together we may inquire and look at the facts and look at the reality. I am not here to give you superstitions. I know that I am talking to capable minds. I know that I am talking to very very capable minds. Why must you believe?

(Addresses one of the listeners) Sir, the one in green shirt, close your eyes. Now, you are a man who is one, totally blind and second, he does not know anything about this room. Close your eyes. Now, you do not know anything and also you do not have any stored knowledge about this room. With your eyes closed, walk up to the door and go out of this room. Walk as if you have no knowledge of this room. Now, get out of this door. You have no knowledge of the room, of the door.

(Addresses another listener) Please stand up. Walk up to the door . (The person starts walking in one direction)

No, not there, the door is there , (points at the ceiling), the door is there. Now, how will you walk? Now walk, (points towards the ceiling but the listener does not move) . Why is he not moving? Why does he not believe me? I am telling you that the door is downwards though a tunnel, believe me.

Some listeners: No.

Speaker: (Smiling). You are still not sure whether to believe me or not. The door is up there (points at the ceiling).

All listeners: No.

Speaker: The door is down in the tunnel.

All listeners: No.

Speaker: Why do you not believe me?

All listeners: Because you are wrong.

Speaker: How do you know that I am wrong?

Listener : Because the door is there (pointing at the door).

Speaker : Because you have seen it on your own. Anybody here who does not have eyes of his own? Anybody here who does not have mind of his own? Sure you have a mind of your own?

All listeners: Yes, Sir.

Speaker: Why must you believe then? You have your own eyes; you are healthy; you have your own mind; you are intelligent. Why should you believe me? Why must you believe me? Why must you believe anybody? Open your eyes and see. You have your own mind. Only the one who cannot know, who cannot see, would need to believe. Our trust is mostly of the belief kind or the superstition kind, that is why we suffer. Anybody who is interested in suffering? Nobody. Right? Do not want to suffer?

All listeners: No, Sir.

Speaker: Then use your mind to the fullest; use your mind to the purest form possible without corrupting it. You know what corrupts it? Opinions, beliefs, knowledge, that ‘I already know’, biases, prejudices, that is what corrupts mind, that is when you cannot know. So, next time do not just trust blindly, inquire with the full force of intelligence and then there will be faith. That faith is very beautiful, very joyful, nobody can shake it and nobody will be able to disappoint you.

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