(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda? What is that ingredient or what is that thing which causes faith to develop in one? From someone becoming...
Prabhupāda: Purity. Purity. The more you become pure, the faith is firm.
Devotee (2): So faith comes from previous pious activities?
Prabhupāda: No, may not be previous activity. You believe the authority, spiritual master.
Devotee: That comes from purity, faith.
Devotee: As purity develops, one becomes more faithful.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That purity is said, ādau śraddhā: "Beginning is faith." Now tato sādhu-saṅgaḥ: "You mix with faithful men." Then it will develop. Otherwise, if you take simply initiation and then sleep, then faith will be lost. That is happening. You see? Therefore it is said, adau śraddhā tato sādhu-saṅgaḥ (CC Madhya 23.14-15). You accept faith, maybe blindly. Now you make further progress by mixing with advanced devotees. Then it will remain fixed. Otherwise you will loss.
Devotee (3): Faith is fixed by knowledge?
Prabhupāda: No, faith may be blind, but it increases. If you stick to faith and follow the principles, then it will increase. Svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). Just like... Yasya deve parā bhaktiḥ yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). So if you have got faith in spiritual master, then you will advance. If you have no faith, then it will be lost.
Devotee: And unless one is pure, he will not have faith.
Devotee (4): Isn't it also like a child?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Everyone is child. So the father says, "Do this. That's all." Like "Write 'A.' " He does not know what is A. But the father says, "You write like this." That will increase his education.
Devotee (4): But doesn't it come first because of trust? Trust also?
Prabhupāda: Yes, trust. Without trust, without faith, you cannot advance even an inch. So therefore it is required.
Devotee: Right. Prabhupāda, what are the symptoms of purity?
Prabhupāda: Just like I do not know where this pathway goes. But you show me, "This way." So without faith, how can I go? If I have no faith, then I cannot move even an inch. I believe, "Yes, he is all right. Let me go." This is faith. I do not know whether it is going..., which way it is going. So without faith, you cannot move an inch. So faith must be there, either it is true or blind.
Devotee (4): So everyone has faith.
Prabhupāda: Yes, everyone has. Therefore the direction should be taken from the perfect, and with faith you will make progress.
Devotee (2): Śrīla Prabhupāda, but Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that wherever one puts their faith, He gives them the steadiness to worship in that way. So how come so many people, they put their faith in all these false gurus or people that impose themself as ones who are in knowledge, and then they become fooled? Is this previous activities? Sinful activities?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Devotee (4): You explained that in your lecture yesterday, that Kṛṣṇa is in the heart, and He is giving direction to remember or to forget. That sometimes He is directing to remember Him, sometimes to forget Him.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Because if you have no faith, then Kṛṣṇa will not give you instruction. When he is faithless, he will not make progress. Stops.
Devotee (2): But people are putting their faith in so many different places.
Prabhupāda: "So many" means he has no faith in anything.
Prabhupāda: As soon as you say "so many," that means he has no faith. He is faithless.
Devotee: Prabhupāda? If you say that purity is required for faith to develop, what are the symptoms by which one can be said to be pure?
Prabhupāda: That is... Just like "Don't do this. Don't do this. Don't do this." So if you have faith, you will not do it. But because you have no faith, you will do it, and therefore you will go to ruin.
Devotee (5): The karmīs have faith that the sun will come up every day.
Devotee (5): Everyone has faith that the sun will come up every day.
Devotee (5): So that is actually faith in the workings of the Supreme, Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: What is your idea? I do not follow. Everyone knows the sun will appear, faithless or faith.
Devotee (5): Is that faith?
Prabhupāda: Not faith. It is fact. He is seeing every day.
Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, the scientists will argue...
Prabhupāda: That is faith—means on knowledge. So faith with knowledge is very good. But beginning must be faith—with knowledge or without knowledge.
Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, the scientists will argue that Kṛṣṇa consciousness won't be scientifically accepted if it's just based on...
Prabhupāda: The scientists, how they can argue like that? Therefore they are rascals. First of all they explain something theoretically: "Hydrogen, oxygen—mixed together it becomes water." It is faith. Then it is practically shown in the laboratory. So faith is the beginning. Theoretical knowledge means faith. Then experiment.
Devotee (4): The Vedic knowledge is also that way, very scientific.
Devotee (3): So first we hear from the guru that Kṛṣṇa is God, and we have faith in that, we chant, and then we come to know.
Prabhupāda: As you become purified, then your faith becomes fixed up with knowledge. Therefore that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpam (BG 7.28): "One who has finished his sinful life, he can become a devotee." Otherwise one cannot. First of all, beginning in faith. Then, by following the process, he becomes completely sinless. Then he, full knowledge. And so long he will be sinful, the things will be not properly manifested. Yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpam.
Devotee (4): So knowledge is not necessary for faith, but faith is necessary for knowledge.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore devotee, without any knowledge he becomes devotee. That faith, only faith. The devotee advances. Jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukī (SB 1.2.7). Later on, they become automatically full of knowledge because they have strong faith. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Teṣām evānukampārtham aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ nāśayāmy (BG 10.11): "Because he is faithful, therefore I help him how to get knowledge." Again you come to that. Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15). Everything is there.
Devotee (5): Your lecture yesterday was so nice, Śrīla Prabhupāda. Everything, so many ideas from Bhagavad-gītā, all explained and put together so nicely.
Devotee (3): Blind faith is the belief that little...
Prabhupāda: Blind faith, without... That I have already explained. Immediately, why do you forget? He shows me, "Prabhupāda, come this way." So I have no faith. Why shall I go? Then I have stop here, finished, movement finished. So you have to keep faith blindly. And if the man who is giving direction, he is perfect, then your faith will make you advanced. But if you go to a rascal cheater and if you have faith, blind faith, then you are lost.
Devotee (3): Just like that little rock that I saw, that it's from the moon. Now that is blind faith.
Prabhupāda: Yes, blind faith.
Devotee (3): In the wrong thing.
Devotee (2): Socrates also, he was discussing epistemology, and he said that faith or belief is as good as knowledge for all practical purposes.
Prabhupāda: Yes. The same thing: the child has no knowledge, but he has faith in his parents, and he believes what his parents says. Then he is making progress.
Devotee (2): This way.
Prabhupāda: I have faith in you. (laughter) (break) Now, I give sometimes this example. Just like you go to a barber shop, and you put your neck like this, and he is with the razor. So unless you have faith, "No, he is good man. He will not cut my throat," how can you do so? So faith is the beginning. If you have no... If you say, "No, I have no faith in you," then you cannot be cleansed.
Devotee (3): That example became very clear when we went to India. (Prabhupāda and devotees laugh) Because the barbers are so... They look like they could cut your throat.
Devotee (3): You have to have a lot of faith.
Prabhupāda: He can do that, but you must have faith. Otherwise no shaving. So many... Suppose you are going to some unknown place. Now we are purchasing, paying two thousand dollars, ticket. But where is the guarantee that you will go there? You are paying first money, but there is no guarantee that you will go there. Then how do you get the ticket? How do you get on the plane unless, without faith? So faith..., without faith you cannot move an inch. It must be there. (break)
...believe, "No, no, this ticket is issued by the Pan American. They are good company, and so many people are going. So I will go also." That's all. So faith. You never went there, neither you know whether it will be possible to go there. But still, you have to do. That is faith.
Devotee (5): The airplane may crash.
Prabhupāda: Yes, there are so many things. There is no guarantee that you will reach there. But still you have to purchase ticket. You have to get on the plane. That is faith.
Devotee (6): And all the passengers have to have faith in the captain of the plane.
Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be, the faith must be there. Without faith, you cannot go.
Devotee (3): So actually that's what scientific knowledge, at least the atheistic science, is based upon, that on one hand the theists believe in faith, that there is a Supreme. But the atheist believes that "Undoubtedly there cannot be, because we have not seen one."
Prabhupāda: That is their foolishness. The same example can be applied, that you have not gone there. How can I pay you? First of all let me go there, then I shall pay," he may say. But he will, "Get out. First of all pay, then you come on." (laughter) That's it.
Devotee (7): When we were first coming to this movement, Śrīla Prabhupāda, we opened Bhagavad-gītā. Myself, I read. I said, "I don't understand this." So I began to clean the floor, wash the dishes, cut the vegetables...
Prabhupāda: Yes, very good.
Devotee (7): And then by your...
Prabhupāda: Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau (Brs. 1.2.234). By service only. You can understand God simply by service. There is no other way. And the faith begins from the tongue. You see? Therefore it is advised that you chant and take prasāda. Then faith will come. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau. It begins... The faith begins from the tongue. "Why?" People will be surprised. "Faith must begin from the mind, from the eyes. And why it is said tongue?" They do not know. That is also faith, that "Simply engaging tongue in the service of the Lord, I shall understand." So this is also blind faith. But actually it is happening. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and take prasādam. That's all.
Devotee (5): So most of these people, they are so ignorant that we should try to engage them in works of devotion rather than explain...
Prabhupāda: This is devotion: "Please come here, chant with me and dance with me, and when you are tired, take prasādam." That's all.
Devotee (6): They had five thousand dollars' worth of faith yesterday in the prasādam.
Prabhupāda: (chuckles) Yes. So whatever is said in the śāstra... Now, they say, "Faith begins from the tongue." "No," it is surprising. How is that? But it is a fact.
Devotee (3): So to encourage their faith, therefore the sādhu must set example of purity.
Prabhupāda: Sādhu śāstra guru vākya, tinete koriyā aikya. Guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya, ār nā koriho mane āśā. Don't go anywhere else. Take this faithfully, the orders of guru. You are singing daily. Ār nā koriho mane āśā. This is faith, strong faith. And that is described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, śraddhā-śabde—viśvāsa śudṛdha niścaya (CC Madhya 22.62). Viśvāsa, firm faith. That is śraddhā. Faith means to believe strongly. That is faith.
Devotee (2): So actually, in regards to my father or atheists or scientists in general...
Prabhupāda: They are faithless.
Devotee (2): They will never believe.
Prabhupāda: They are faithless; therefore they will never make any progress. Their first principle is sacrifice. And in the śāstra it..., ādau śraddhā: "First of all faith." And these rascals, they have no faith. Therefore they do not make any progress. And Rūpa Gosvāmī says, ādau śraddhā: "Begin with faith." So they cannot realize, condemned, because Kṛṣṇa will withdraw the knowledge. Mattaḥ smṛtir apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15). So Kṛṣṇa will say, "Oh, this rascal is faithless. All right, make him more faithless. He will never understand." That is atheist.
Devotee (7): What is hope for them then?
Prabhupāda: To become faithful, surrender. That is. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, "You rascal, surrender. You are not faithful; therefore you are condemned. You surrender first. Then next thing." So unless he becomes a surrendered soul, there is no hope. There is no hope. He will never understand.
Devotee (5): What is the best way, Śrīla Prabhupāda, to instill a little faith? How do we instill some faith in these people?
Prabhupāda: Little faith... Therefore you associate. Just like we are inviting this morning lecture. Coming, coming, coming, coming—faith will come.
Devotee (6) They will not come.
Prabhupāda: They will not come. Then he is condemned. Let them remain animals. If you don't go to school, there is no question of education. Where is the question of education? One must go to the school with faith that "I will be educated." That is required.
Devotee (5): But if they take some prasādam, that will help them?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is your mercy, that you are... He is faithless rascal. "All right, you take prasādam. That will help you." Yes.
Devotee (2): You may be pleased to know that Kārttikeya... He said he's looking forward to going to Māyāpur.
Prabhupāda: Yes, otherwise why he is coming again? (laughs) There must be some faith.
Devotee (6): I spoke with him the other day, and he said now he's getting a degree, but now he does not know what to do with it. So he sees that all of his activity of going to school and getting degrees is useless waste of time if there's no connection with Kṛṣṇa.
Devotee (7): Actually, nobody could leave your lotus feet, Prabhupāda. Once they've come and tasted this bliss of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, nobody could leave. Everyone comes back. Sometimes we become confused a little, but nobody can leave you.
Prabhupāda: That is Kṛṣṇa's mercy.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, San Francisco, July 21, 1975)