By faith in God hopelessness can be turned into hopefulness.
The spirit draws its power inspirationally from the divine
Source. Every impulse, every desire comes from there, and
in accomplishment the law of perfection is realized. But
when a person doubts about everything and says that there
is no inspiration, then, by denying this power, he gives
away that which he already possessed. By recognizing the
divine Fatherhood of God one becomes conscious of one's
divine heritage and one knows that there is no lack in the
divine Spirit, and no lack in life. Then there is certainty
of fulfillment, which is only a matter of time.
Some good people have almost arrived at the fulfillment
of their desire, and then just at the last moment have failed,
while others attain ultimate success in everything. One
will always find that the souls of the former were influenced
by great power but lacked faith, while the others had power
supported by faith. If faith is lacking one may attain ninety-nine
percent of success and miss the last one, and so in the
end the loss takes away all that was previously gained.
Question: What is more necessary for a student of mysticism,
faith or intelligence?
Answer: For absolute faith the first step is the ideal.
The next step brings man into the presence of God. For the
intelligence that way goes from intellect to wisdom, and
there are obstacles at every step.
Faith – faith in the greatness, the mercy, the power
of God – is the greatest thing. It also is the most difficult
thing. For the one who has faith all difficulties, all responsibility
rests upon Him in whom he has faith. The intelligence takes
its own responsibility. But if there is the least chance
of the intellect rebelling against faith, it is a sign that
the intellect asks to be fed, and it should be given its
food: all knowledge.
Faith is a word that has been so little understood, and
often it is considered to be a religious term. Really speaking,
faith is not only something which is required in religion,
but in all aspects of life. It is the one thing that is
required most. It is the misinterpretation of faith that
has taken away the value that could be attached to the word.
Otherwise, if I am to say one word, the sense of which is
most valuable in the world, it is faith. In the Orient they
call faith yaqin and another Arabic word used for
it is iman.
There are many sacred things in the world, but faith
is the most sacred; not faith in something, but faith in
itself. Faith comes from above, doubt rises from below,
from the earth. Therefore one is heavenly, the other earthly.
When a person is more worldly he is more doubting; the less
worldly he is the more faith he has. You may find a person
who once had a great faith and then lost it, and you will
observe that at the same time his life went from a less
worldly condition to a more worldly one. Being more absorbed
in the life of this world makes one void of faith. This
shows that faith is innate in human nature; doubt is something
of which man partakes.
The sun is light, the light which always is light; clouds
may cover it, but they do not really cover the sun, they
only cover the sun from our eyes. When a person has no faith,
it does not mean that in the depth of his being there is
no faith. There is faith, but that sun is covered by clouds.
When the heart is exposed to the things of the world, there
are always doubts rising from the earth, and they will cover
Doubt gives a pessimistic attitude. One questions, 'Will
it be, or will it not be? Do I think rightly, or do I think
wrongly? Am I on the right path, or on the wrong path? Shall
I succeed, or shall I fail throughout life? Will conditions
be better or worse? ' When there are two possibilities the
earth impresses a person with doubt against the good one.
He wants to conquer the good one, to have it, he desires
that things should be better, but what he finds, rising
from the earth, is doubt, and for his faith therefore he
does not get the proper support from the earth. As man does
not see God, he does not look up, he only looks at the earth
and wants support from there. The great lesson that the
blessed ones have taught to humanity was to raise one's
vision upwards and to find faith in something which is
free from all doubt. Pessimism and optimism, therefore,
are two different attitudes: the one looks downwards, the
other looks upwards.
Very few of us know what miracle is hidden in faith,
what power and inspiration. We only think, 'I can believe
in some things, and in some things I cannot believe.' But
for what we believe we want proof from the earth. In order
to sustain our faith we need sustenance from an unlimited
source, but we look for sustenance to the earth which is
a limited source. When a person looks at a tank full of
water and says, 'Oh, what a small supply, what shall I do
for next year? He is right – but he is looking at the tank.
When he looks above he will see that the source from which
the rain falls is there and can fill many such tanks, and
even rivers. Blessing of all kind is there, if only we prepare
our heart to receive it. If the heart is small like a glass,
it can only fetch a glass of water even if it is taken to
the sea. But if the heart is larger then it will bring that
much more water.
No doubt, patience is the first lesson to learn on the
path of faith, because it is patience, which gives one strength
to hope. My spiritual teacher used to say as his benediction,
'May your faith be strengthened.' As a youth I thought that
he would say, 'May you live long, may you be happy, prosperous,
may you gain wisdom.' The meaning of this blessing I realize
now more and more every moment of my life, for in faith
there is all. All that one wants, all that one needs, all
that one wishes to attain through life – it is all hidden in
It is most interesting and sometimes laughable to see
how easy it is for a man to fix his faith on small things,
while on large things he cannot fix it: he fixes his faith
on an object, not on a person. For instance if one says
to somebody, 'Here is a medicine for you, a medicine that
will cure you,' it is easy for him to have faith. And when
one says, 'Well, I will think of you for your cure; and
you will be cured,' the first thing that will come to mind
will be doubt. What is the reason? The reason is that he
sees the object, he does not see the thought.
I once met a very great healer who had much success,
and I asked him the secret of his working. He said, 'The
secret of my way of working is first that I have taken a
religious shrine where people come and sit; they
certainly come with faith in this particular shrine. Then I give them some kind
of mixture of powder. Really speaking I heal them by myself,
but they have no faith in that; so I give them some powder
to drink, and they feel better.' The whole effort of different
religions has been to make man see what is hidden in a human
being. Rituals, ceremonies and all different forms teach
the same thing: find the secret and the mystery of life
not only in the objects but, when you have passed through
them, in the human being.
It is the same thing, to see that one can easily have
faith in a man, while it is difficult to have faith in God,
for the reason that one can see a human being before one,
but one cannot see the greatest Power and Perfection, which
is in the abstract. Faith is as a substance: if one does
not possess that substance, one cannot raise it to the highest
ideal which alone merits faith.
Medical science is now coming to the realization of the
importance of psychology, although it is as yet only considering
the thought waves and thought power. Faith is still something
else to be considered and studied. My experience with numerous
students in this line has shown me that a person may be
able to concentrate and maintain a thought, but often is
not capable to do it fully, because there is no faith at
the back of it. Faith, therefore, is not something which
may be called a thought; faith is the ground itself: it
is a ground from which thoughts spring up as plants. If
the land is not fertile the plants cannot come up. And so,
if there is no faith at the root of a thought, the thought
is not beneficial. Besides this there is another thing:
something that can be accomplished by the power of thought
in a year's time is accomplished with the power of faith
behind it in one day.
Someone said to a Brahmin who was worshipping an idol
made of stone, 'God is formless. He should not be worshipped
in an idol of rock.' The Brahmin answered, 'It is a question
of faith. If I have faith in this stone, God who is everywhere
will speak through this stone. But if one has no faith,
even the God of the abstract, of heavens, will not be able
to speak.' If this is so, is there anything that cannot
be accomplished, that cannot be realized by faith?
When we look at it from a metaphysical point of view
we shall find that the secret of the whole creation is faith,
and the perfection of faith is attained when it has risen
to that ideal, that height, where it can hold itself without
any support. Faith therefore after having accomplished all
that is to be accomplished, will be the one thing – and
that will prove to be all things.
Question: How do we gain that faith?
Answer: By fighting doubt. It is a continual fight, because
doubts are the inheritance of the earth. We are walking
on the earth, so it is a continual fight.
Question: But faith can be mastered?
Answer: Of course faith can be mastered. As one will
fight doubts, so one will gain one's victory over doubts.
Question: Can there be a religious faith without being
attached to any religion?
Answer: Certainly. The religion of every soul is his
own. Outwardly one may belong to a religion, but inwardly
everyone has his own religion, and that is his true religion.
By faith I do not at all mean faith in a particular religion
or gospel, or idea. I say that faith is within a person.
Question: Can one obtain the spiritual plane by an earthly
Answer: We say in the East that a teacher is most helpful
for that. A person, who in his scientific attainment has
arrived for instance at the stage of Edison, is there already;
he only has to turn his face and he is already there. There
is perhaps a businessman who all his life has done nothing
but gain wealth. A religious, orthodox, or pious person
will look upon him as most materialistic, but he does not
know what fight this man had to go through in his life in
order to gain that much money, and what sacrifice, what
struggle and consideration he had to give to it. It is not
always easy to become a man of wealth. Therefore, if he
has struggled along and has arrived at a point where he
can be called rich, he just has to change his attitude and he
is there already.
Question: Can faith have an effect on things that are
Answer: Oh yes, faith can be used in every direction,
just like light. By light you can study religion and
fare forth to the heavens and do anything. No one in the world
has been able to accomplish a great thing without the power
of faith, whether he was a general, a businessman, an inventor
or a religious man. The power that faith gives is beyond
words. The weakness and the poverty that exist in the absence
of faith are most deplorable. A person may have everything
in life, youth, wealth, comfort, position and power – if
faith lacks he is poverty-stricken.
Question: So if our object is right we are bound to get
it unless our faith fails?
Answer: Yes that is true. It depends upon our
attitude – if our heart, just like a compass, is always seeking
the right direction. The heart is just like a compass: you
can take it to any side, it always points in the same direction.
So the heart, wherever one turns it to, will always point
to the same direction. In other words for him who does right
it is most difficult to do wrong – and for the wrongdoer
it is most difficult to do right.
Question: Can the wrongdoer come to the right one day?
Answer: Right is the might, and right is the depth, and
right is the ideal of every soul. A person who tells a lie,
who deceives people, who is treacherous, will do so to others,
but he does not want his friends to do the same to him.
This shows that he prefers it to be different.