Faith

Faith is indispensible

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Different names and forms of deities have prevailed since time immemorial so that jivatmas are motivated to cultivate faith in God.

It has to be understood that the Supreme Being is one but assumes different forms to achieve various purposes in order to create, maintain and annihilate the cosmic manifestation, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a discourse. The Vedas which extol the Supreme Brahman address Himin one instance as Narayana, the ParamJyoti, the Paramatma, and as also as the atma in all aspects of creation. In another context they extol Ishwara as the highest Truth and that there is none greater than Him. Likewise, the Puranas also extol Vishnu, Siva, Skanda or Shakti in various contexts. There are many hymns and prayers in praise of these deities in an exclusive manner. Fierce discussions on the relative superiority of Siva or Vishnu by their respective followers continue to add to the state of confusion and doubts. Krishna asserts that the Supreme Lord confirms the faith of each devotee and grants the rewards he seeks. “Whatever form any devotee wishes to worship with faith, I make his faith steady.” What emerges is that bhakti is indispensible in beings and when a devotee chooses to worship God in any form, God accepts the devotee’s faith and strengthens it. When faith is strongly rooted in a devotee, he gradually realises the oneness of God and the presence of this Supreme Truth not merely in the various deities he worships but also in the heart and soul of all creation. Vedanta Sastra perceives Sankara and Vishnu to be one.

This truth is best understood by imagining an individual playing a game of caromwith himself as a contestant. Who is the winner? Until then we have to hold on to one deity of our liking.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 10:05:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/Faith-is-indispensible/article14630862.ece

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