[Advaita-l] Sraddha and Chitta-shuddhi

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Thu Apr 2 05:06:22 CDT 2009


Without wishing to add to the quibbles : 'faith' must begin from a sankalpa
: as when one enters an ashram or monastery wishing only ashram-seva in
order to learn obedience : that faithful service will lead towards devotion,
and devotion to knowledge.. it has ever been so ?
So 'faith' is the beginning; the continuance; and the end..


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
Raghavendra Hebbalalu
Sent: 02 April 2009 10:55
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org; sjayana at yahoo.com
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Sraddha and Chitta-shuddhi

One of the famous shlokas of the VivekachUDAmaNi defines shraddhA as

"shAstrasya guruvAkyasya satyabuddhyavadhAraNam |
sA shraddhA kathitA sadbhir-yayA vastUpalabhyate ||"

"Holding with conviction the words of shAstra and guru to be true is called
shraddhA by the Holy. By her (shraddhA) is attained reality."

Monier-Williams dictionary translates shraddhA as "having faith in,
believing in, trusting, faithful, having confidence".

The earlier story from ramaNa-mahaRShi illustrates the same. When the Guru
asked the disciples to copy out the book, the disciple should have just done
so. He did not have satyabuddhy-avadhAraNam in the Guru's words and hence no

IMHO, shraddhA means not just believing in the vAchyArtha of the
shAstravAkya or guruvAkya but in its lakShyArtha also. But what a vAkya
implies can only be understood after much manana and consequent
nididhyAsana. That way, shraddhA is not just straight-forward simple-minded
belief, though some times simple-mindedness is mistaken to be shraddhA.

shraddhA dictates the way we act too - but I don't think action is part of
the meaning. If we act differently from our faith, we don't really have

Maintaining shraddhA does require effort. If one has to continue to have
shraddhA in shAstravAkya in the face of hundred occurrences everyday, it
requires mental and intellectual effort, if not anything. And nobody can say
that performing vedokta-karmANi (with shraddhA) does not include efforts of
vAk, manas, kAya and buddhi.


PS: As I see it, we "understand" the spirit behind the word shraddhA.
Anything beyond this is quibbling over words, of which I am now guilty.

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