How many of you have faith? How many don’t? Good. So, everyone has faith. But faith in what? In
something or in somebody? It doesn’t matter who or what it is, as long as you have faith.
Faith is important. Even God cannot help you, if you don’t have faith. Because your faith is God. Your faith is what you believe in. If you believe you are living, you are living. If you believe that you will die in five minutes, and you accept it, you will die. The doctors have even proved it.
They made a patient believe that he would die by losing his blood, drop by drop. They had him sit blindfolded, and they made a small prick in his arm. He was told that his blood was dropping from his body into a bucket. He could hear the drops falling. When the drops stopped, the patient thought he lost all his blood, and he died. But, in fact, not even a single drop of blood had left his body.
We all live in faith, it doesn’t matter where you keep your faith or on what. You have faith. You don’t need to belong to any religion or “ism” or believe in any particular God. If you have faith, that becomes everything for you.
For example, in South India, the old women go to the backyard every morning and collect some cow dung. They take it to the front yard, stick a flower in it, and worship it as God. It becomes God to them. So, are they worshipping the cow dung or God? Because they believe that the cow dung is God, their faith makes the cow dung God.
We all have faith. Even if you don’t believe in anything, you believe in not believing in anything. There’s still a belief. Years back, I was in Russia talking to a Russian monk through an interpreter. When two monks talk, they talk about God. After awhile, the interpreter got tired of interpreting about God, and, at one point, she looked at me and said, “We don’t believe in that. We are non-believers. I don’t want to translate this God business anymore.”
I said, “What is it you don’t believe in?”
“Well, we don’t believe in church, we don’t believe in scriptures,
we don’t believe in all these rituals.”
“Oh, but do you believe in your friends? Do you have friends?”
“Yes, I have friends.”
“You are a young woman. Do you believe in your boyfriend.”
“As a member of the Communist Party, do you believe in camaraderie?” Because communism is based on camaraderie.
“Yes, we are comrades.”
“So,” I said, “A few minutes back, you said that you were a non-believer, but you seem to believe in many things: your friends, your lover, your camaraderie. How can you say you are a non-believer?” Then I said, “What you believe in is the real religion. Believing in friendship, universal brotherhood, and comradeship. That’s what religions teach. We don’t have to believe in a particular ‘ism.’ So, in my opinion, you are the real believer. Not those people who go to church, read the Bible, but don’t believe in their neighbor and hurt them.”
“You mean to say that I am a true believer and religious person?”
She started crying. The next day, when we were departing from that city, the interpreter came to the station and she was crying, “I wish I could come with you.”
Even a non-believer has a belief. You may not believe in what others do or say or believe in; you have your own belief. But know that you have faith. And keep up that faith.
Now, you have faith in my answering the questions, right? Suppose I say, “no.” Will you lose your faith? Accept it. Because there is an ultimate, higher will. God’s will. Acceptance of God’s will. That’s the highest faith. Your faith in little things should help you raise up to the Supreme Faith.
– by H. H. Sri Swami Satchidananda, from the November 2001 IYTA Newsletter