(Young Sarasvati offers a garland to Srila Prabhupada—click to enlarge)
Prabhupāda: So without faith, you cannot make advance. The skeptics, they have no faith. Therefore they are lost. You must have faith.
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 (5): 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 (6): 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.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, San Francisco, July 21, 1975)