[Advaita-l] Fwd: idaM na mama - The scientific evidence?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Mar 21 04:28:31 CDT 2011

On Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 1:43 PM, Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com>wrote:

> By the way shraddhA is not faith. That false equation of the word shraddhA
> with faith may be the main reason for contradiction.
> I will not try to give an alternate English word for it..but here is what I
> suggest. In Telugu we use the word shraddha (apparently it was adopted from
> Sanskrit). But we never use it to mean faith in something.
> Here are Telugu usages: shraddhA gA vinu  - meaning: listen
> intently/attentively or with focus - Any Telugu people can correct me if I
> am being unreasonable here.
> The first time my smArta teacher used the word shraddhA is when discussing
> detail of a mantra practice with me-- and though he is very good at English
> and we are having the conversation in English, he never used the word faith
> or belief or anything similar but used the word shraddhA and everytime to
> indicate something done with focus/attention or something done with
> constancy/consistency(i.e. without slightest deviation from what was
> prescribed).
> This is something to consider in understanding the shloka you quoted.
> Regards


The word shraddhA has a definite meaning in the shAstra, as defined in the

शास्त्रस्य गुरुवाक्यस्य सत्यबुद्ध्या अवधारणा |
सा श्रद्धा कथिता सद्भिः यया वस्तूपलभ्यते ॥

// Acceptance by firm judgment as *true* of what the Scriptures and the Guru
instruct, is called by sages Shraddhaa or faith, by means of which the
Reality is perceived.//

Thus shraddhA in the context of the shAstra is the firm conviction that what
the scripture and the Guru say is indeed true; it cannot be otherwise.  That
'satya buddhi' (satyatva buddhi)  in their words is shraddhaa.  In the
context of the mantra/Rudra, the firm conviction that the chanting of the
mantra will indeed bless me with chitta shuddhi by cleansing me of the sins
forms the basis for the person's taking it up for japa.

The meaning of 'attentiveness', etc. could be taken as accompanying the
fundamental shraddhA, usually translated as 'faith'.



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