Saturday, February 16, 2008


“Faith is in believing what you don’t yet see. The reward for faith is in seeing what you believe.”

Faith is a conviction that defies common reason, general science and the strength of a majority. Faith is preserved by the perception of certainty as against ambition, which is powered by the magnanimity of hope. Faith does not expect to meet its reward, nor is faith augmented by evidence. Faith needs no facts to substantiate it. Faith stands with no need of support.

Faith is very similar to the power of love. Love is ignited initially by attraction, fuelled by recognition, nurtured by acceptance and sustained by trust. Perpetual love can be blind to scientific reason and the strength of majority. Similarly, faith is ignited initially by curiosity, fuelled by mystification, nurtured by independent opinion and sustained by certainty. Faith cannot be changed by force for it’s the creation of heart. Faith cannot be created by dialogue , for it’s the characteristic of independent thought.

History has shown that faith may even be created by the randomness of an accident or the occurrence of pain. The induction of Lord Buddha to the Buddhist faith and the orientation of King Aśoka to the faith of non-violence are striking examples of this. Swami Vivekananda, perplexed by the power of pain embraced a faith that he failed to realize before. The Disciples of Christ or the followers of Mohammedan were ushered into their respective faiths due to the charm and the sacrifice of their gracious leaders. Convinced by the socio-economic power of the US of A several nations expressed faith in their system and whole-heartedly accepted democracy as a way of life.

The human mind detests change. It cannot tolerate infliction of ideologies contrary to its faith. History is replete with examples where conversion of faiths is met with the greatest of discomfort. Such attempts are often termed as evil and in many cases even led to disruption of peace and harmony in the society. Galileo and Copernicus had to pay with their lives when they tried to use science to contradict the power of Faith. Socrates was dubbed a social villain when he tried to question the fundamentals of the common faith. Gory scenes of the murder of the Australian missionary accused of attempting conversion of faith among rural Indians are an unfortunate evidence for the same.

A society will comprise of individuals with multiple faiths dreaming of a common goal. The faiths can never be the same between any two individuals for their diversity is just as varied as the individuals themselves. The targets the individuals need to achieve however are very often the same. Good leadership should allow varying and perhaps even conflicting faiths to grow in their capacities without compromising the growth of the society at large. This is probably the true essence of secularism. Variant faiths keep the society dynamic. The society should promote multiple faiths to avoid social dormancy and consequentially the death of the society.

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