[Advaita-l] sraddha/faith

ombhurbhuva ombhurbhuva at eircom.net
Wed Sep 26 17:31:45 CDT 2007

Sri.Jayanarayana Greetings,
You have 'sraddha' in the words of Subhanu Saxena who wrote:

 "The form of faith recommended by Shastra is not blind, but leads to
a truth (which is the anubhava of point 1 above)

The very word SraddhA, which is poorly translated as faith, can be
constructed from 'srat dadhAti', or 'that faith which leads to truth
or reality'. Faith in the Western context is a faith in something
that will happen after we are gone that must be followed without
question. I hate translating SraddhA as faith. I always just use the
Sanskrit word.  The simple analogy here is that SraddhA is the same
SraddhA we have in, say, a physics teacher.  When he /she explains
how an electric motor works, we don't accept it blindly and move on
(accept for f grade students!), we go out and perform the experiment
and have an experience of what it is.  We have faith that the
teaching will lead to some practical truth that we can experience,
that is all."


My view of this is that it is a repetition of a commonplace prejudice 
based on ignorance.  Note that he makes no attempt to establish its 
truth by any quotation from any Christian  scripture.  I presume that is 
what he means by Western.  After all one might have faith in the 
reliability of De Walt power tools.  Absolutely no nuance of meaning 
expressed by 'sraddha' is not to found in some usage of 'faith'.
For instance in the example which Sri Saxena has given of doing the 
experiment for yourself you may find the same idea expressed in Psalm 34:8
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth 
in him.

Of course a fallacy oft repeated can take the guise of established 
truth, that's the negative aspect of faith, namely,  credulity.

Best Wishes,

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