[Advaita-l] Sraddha and Chitta-shuddhi

savithri devaraj savithri_devaraj at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 2 12:18:13 CDT 2009

Namaste - From Bhagavad Gita, one general definition can be -
Shraddha is an attribute of a person devoted to an ideal - be it brahman, his religion, his master, his family, his studies, whatever. 
That steadfast conviction to do whatever it takes without any compromise is shraddha, 
A devoted person's (shraaddhi's?) agenda is the agenda of his ideal. 
Shraddha implies total faith in the ideal to the point of complete submission to it; he becomes an instrument at the hands of his ideal; actions become effortless. So, in a way, a sense of dedication is closer than faith.

--- On Wed, 4/1/09, Amuthan <aparyap at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Amuthan <aparyap at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Sraddha and Chitta-shuddhi
To: sjayana at yahoo.com, "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 9:56 PM

Dear Sri JayanArAyaNan,

On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 7:13 AM, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana_at_yahoo.com> wrote:
> Sraddha is better translated as "Deep sense of Dedication to the task at hand".
> ...
> The idea is that one derives true joy from doing one's duty with Sraddha or sense of dedication, especially Vedokta Karmas. This leads to Chitta-shuddhi or purity of mind.

This interpretation of SraddhA suffers from the same problems as the
use of the word 'religious' in sentences like 'he religiously performs
his tasks'. As is well known, the meaning of 'religious' in such
sentences has nothing to do with religion in the primary sense, but
only indicates the scrupulous or meticulous performance of the task at
hand. The extension of this word to a completely different context is
of course based on the perceived sincerity and zeal in religious
people in their religious activities. Similarly the word SraddhA has a
meaning like the one you've given only in sentences like 'avan
SraddhayA paDikkarAn' (he studies with 'SraddhA'). But 'SraddhA' in
the primary sense refers to 'faith' and is best translated so.
Interpreting SraddhA merely as complete dedication would also bring in
a redundancy in the definition of mumukshutva in the
sAdhana-catushTaya scheme since the tIvratA that is implied by the
secondary meaning of SraddhA is also implied by mumukShutva. More
importantly, the secondary meaning does not fit with definitions of
SraddhA like 'guru-vedAntavAkyAdishu viSvAsaH SraddhA'. So, I think it
is better to translate SraddhA as 'faith'.

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