Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Question of Damodar: How are these two things related – emotions and faith? First one has to believe in order to have the emotions; or as a result of the emotions faith will come?

Tirtha Maharaj:Adau shraddha[1] – first is faith. But that faith is only an initial type of faith. What is before faith? Sukriti (spiritual merits) and mercy. That is before. These are the reasons for having the initial stage of faith. And when we have initial type of faith, then we start to associate with holy people. Then ruchi, spiritual taste will come, the real one. Initially, there is also taste, otherwise we would not be here. If we do not feel something about Krishna, what is the reason of staying here? So real faith and real emotions go together. Adau shraddha, first is faith. This faith helps us to associate. We can associate with Krishna, we can associate with vaishnavas, we can associate with guru. So association is there. A special type of this association is guru-seva. Then comes purification of the existence, how to get rid of the anarthas and to be fixed in your service, etc. And then comes ruchi, ruchi is taste, the higher taste. And that higher taste will enforce or enhance our faith.

Once Shrila Shridhara Maharaj was in coma – for a long time, some days. After he recovered, the devotees asked him: “What was there? What did you see?” He said: “It was all dark. Only faith was there.” This is something very important. In other places he says that faith is the strongest power that you have. It can bridge the greatest gaps that you have – between your present situation and your spiritual goal, ideal. It is a big distance between the two, right? Still, by faith we can bridge this gap. So faith is very important.

We already discussed the different definitions of faith. But I think that one of the most precious definitions for me is that faith is such a conviction that you achieve through love. So I think this is very beautiful explanation what is faith – in the initial sense also, and in the final sense.

You were asking about faith and emotions. Of course, our real spiritual emotions will deepen our faith. And our faith will help us to taste the nectar of sweet emotions. Without faith it is not working. But faith is not a blind faith. Faith is not ignorance. This is such a conviction, achieved by love. You feel the difference? For many people faith is something that “I do not know, therefore I believe.” Their faith is just like a belief. But the real faith is conviction. It is not that “I do not know.” I know, therefore I do. I believe, therefore I do.

So what is before: the egg or the hen? What is before: emotion or faith? Actually on the purified platform they are inseparable.

The gopis did not have faith. They had love. Faith, let’s admit, in many cases is theoretical. But love is real! The subjective part of affection – that is trust; and the objective part is service, or sacrifice. The gopis did not have faith. They were not on the theoretical platform. They wanted Krishna. Irrespective of any result or reaction. “We shall go to eternal hell – no problem.” This is not faith, this is emotion! Emotions are higher than faith. Because emotional part is more active; faith is more passive. On Kurukshetra when they met again – Krishna and the gopis – they said: “We are not satisfied with only memories. We want You, not our memories.” Is this faith?! No! This is emotion. “I want to possess You!” Faith means “I am Yours.” Bhakti means: “But You are mine!” One is faith, the other is love. This is the difference.

But what comes before, I cannot tell. These two sisters are just running after each-other. One is trying to capture the other; the other is trying to serve the first. They work together. Your faith helps your emotions. Your emotions will help you to have faith.

[1] From “Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu” 1.4.15-16

One Response to “Faith and love”

  1. Christa Herzog Says:

    I did not think of the correlation of faith and emotions and it is logic. When you belief your emotions are positive and your vibrational frequency increases. And this is why you harmonize with likewise people. If you are more spiritual, more spiritual people will be drawn toward you. What was first was the thought.

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