October 2022

Importance of Faith in Spirituality

Importance of Faith in Spirituality

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From the Editor’s Desk

People can place their faith in a number of things in the material or spiritual realm. In fact, having faith in anything is a core characteristic of human nature. Therefore, it is very important to ascertain our faith in the right source as per the purpose of our life. Faith in Spirituality will not only shape the direction of our life but also equip us with the tools needed for the purification of the heart and soul.

JKYog devotees strive to develop an unflinching faith in the teachings of their Guru, Shree Swami Mukundananda. In acknowledgment of His extensive support to fledgling devotees, this 25th milestone issue focuses on the Importance of Faith in Spirituality. Our aspiration to acquire and implement Vedic knowledge (i.e., tatvagyan) as taught by Swamiji is the basis for sharing a small piece of the vast knowledge on the importance of faith in spirituality along with practical tools for application.

Vedic Wisdom & Application

Challenge of the Month

Importance of Faith in Spirituality

Reflection Questions

  • What is Faith?
  • Why is it Important to have Faith in God?
  • How can we Develop Faith in God?

What is Faith?

The word “Faith” basically means to have a strong belief or full conviction in something without the need for evidence or proof of its existence. It is the opposite of doubt. In Sanskrit, the words Shraddha (i.e., faith) and Bhakti (i.e., devotion) go hand-in-hand in the practice of spirituality. Whether the reference is to faith in God, Guru, Scriptures, or the spiritual path itself, faith is fundamental in the practice of devotion. 

People can place their faith in a number of things in the material or spiritual realm. In fact, having faith in anything is a core characteristic of human nature. Therefore, it is very important to ascertain our faith in the right source as per the purpose of our life. As Lord Krishna told Arjun:

त्रिविधा भवति श्रद्धा देहिनां सा स्वभावजा |
सात्त्विकी राजसी चैव तामसी चेति तां शृणु || 2||

tri-vidhā bhavati śhraddhā dehināṁ sā svabhāva-jā
sāttvikī rājasī chaiva tāmasī cheti tāṁ śhṛiṇu

Every human being is born with innate faith, which can be of three kinds—sāttvic, rājasic, or tāmasic. Now hear about this from Me. [BG 17.2]  

Shree Krishna beautifully explains that our thoughts and actions are a function of the dominant mode or guna at any point in time, whether sattva, rajas, or tamas. Similarly, where people place their faith, is determined by their guna. When a soul’s sattvic bhav increases by virtue of the external environment, and the hunger for the knowledge of God sprouts internally, then God blesses the soul with increased faith. This is beautifully reflected in the childhood story of Dhanna Jaat, narrated by Swamiji in his lectures. 

Dhanna Jaat was born in a village family that took care of the cows. His father, Panna Jaat and mother, Rekha Devi were devout satsangees. Their Guru was Trilochan Pandit. Since early childhood, Dhanna Jaat was a very simple and devoted child. 

When Dhanna was 5 years old, once Guru Trilochan came to their house and brought a Shaligram with him. Every day when the Guru worshipped the Shaligram, Dhanna’s parents would help in preparing the Abhishek items – milk, tulsi leaves, flowers, diya, dhoop, etc. Dhanna also got very attracted to the divine Shaligram. He desired to have his own Shaligram to do pooja like his Guru. So, he asked the Guru to give him the Shaligram. Guruji asked him to watch and learn how to do the poojas first. Dhanna agreed but asked if the Guru would give Thakur ji to him when he learned the poojas. The Guru said that he would give him the Shaligram before he left. So, every day, Dhanna would keenly observe his Guru’s actions and reflect with divine sentiments, “Guruji is going to give this Thakur ji to me.” 

Three weeks later, when the Guru was getting ready to leave, Dhanna reminded him about his word to give Thakur ji to him. Pandit Trilochan wondered if he should give the Shaligram to the child or not. Being a vaidy pandit, while he did not want to quash Dhanna’s devotion, he worried about the possibility of aparadh (i.e., sin) if the child made a mistake. So, the Guru came up with an idea. He found a black stone that looked just like the Shaligram and put it above the real Shaligram and decorated it with flowers. When Dhanna asked for Thakur ji, his Guru asked if he wanted Raja Thakur (the one on the top – the black stone) or his Sipahi Thakur (the one on the bottom – the real Shaligram). Being an innocent child, Dhaana chose Raja Thakur thinking to him to be the real Shaligram. The Guru gave the stone and told Dhanna to worship him every day with dedication. Then the Guru left. 

Dhanna was thrilled! He took the stone to his room, seated it on an asana and when it was time to offer bhog, he went to the kitchen and brought two rotis (i.e., Indian bread) and said, “O God, please eat.” But of course, the stone did not eat. Dhanna thought that maybe the food was not enough. So, he went and got two more rotis and placed them in front of the stone and requested Krishna in the form of Shaligram to eat it. When Krishna did not eat, Dhanna started crying that since Krishna or Thakur ji’s relationship with him was new, so He was hesitating to eat. So, he said, “If You don’t eat, nor will I.” 

Three days passed by and Dhanna had not eaten any food. His faith in Thakur ji was firm, pure and unshakable. His parents got very worried and so did Lord Krishna. Shree Krishna’s heart melted when He observed Dhanna’s faith. He appeared before the child and asked, “Why don’t you eat?” Dhanna said, “Guru ji said that I should eat only after You eat. Why don’t You eat?” Hearing his words, Shree Krishna ate two rotis. When He was about the take the third roti, Dhanna grabbed His hand and said, “Look, you have been hungry for three days and so have I! You ate two, so let me eat two.” Shree Krishna agreed and actually fed the two rotis to Dhanna. This led to a friendship between God and Dhanna. Every day, Dhanna would worship Thakur ji and offer two rotis and take two for himself. His family thought that he was eating all of them. Shree Krishna did not give darshan to anyone else in the house except Dhanna. For several years, Shree Krishna took delight in Dhanna’s sakhya-bhav. Then, something interesting occurred (shared later in this issue)! 

Why is it Important to have Faith in God? 

For spiritual aspirants, it is important to establish firm faith in God/Guru for various reasons, some of which are presented below.

  1. Molds the Direction of Life. Where we repose our faith, will shape the direction of our life. If we focus on the material world, we will continue to be stuck in the 8.4 million life forms and in the ongoing cycle of life and death. If we focus on God/Guru, then true knowledge will help us to make progress on the spiritual path with the hope of breaking out of the endless cycle of life and death.
  2. Foundation for Spiritual Progress. Numerous qualities that are the ingredients for spiritual practice – inspiration, trust, dedication, commitment, and devotion to serving God – all blossom from the foundation of resolute faith. 
  3. The Basis for Humility. Faith in God/Guru also enables us to develop humbleness from the knowledge-based belief that everything including our strengths and positive attributes are gifts of God. Without Him, we are nothing. Such faith comes not from an analysis of Vedic knowledge, but from abiding beliefs, trust in the divine knowledge and the Guru who imparts it, and a strong desire to attain God.
  4. Conquer Mental Afflictions. Faith in true Vedic knowledge will enable us to overcome negative characteristics like fear, anxiety, false pride, greed, lust, etc. By dovetailing such traits to the Divine, devotees can neutralize their ego, similar to how Hanuman ji transferred his pride to being a profitable servant of Lord Ram. 
  5. Build Perseverance. Faith provides us with the innate ability to persevere and stay the course instead of giving up during challenging times.
  6. Devotion and Love for God. As Shree Krishna told Arjun, faith in divine knowledge or the vaani of God/Guru, is essential for true and deep devotional sentiments.

श्रद्धावान् लभते ज्ञानं तत्पर: संयतेन्द्रिय: |
ज्ञानं लब्ध्वा परां शान्तिमचिरेणाधिगच्छति || 39||

śhraddhāvānllabhate jñānaṁ tat-paraḥ sanyatendriyaḥ
jñānaṁ labdhvā parāṁ śhāntim achireṇādhigachchhati

Those whose faith is deep and who have practiced controlling their mind and senses attain divine knowledge. Through such transcendental knowledge, they quickly attain everlasting supreme peace. [BG 4.39] 

How can we Develop Faith in God?

Many spiritual aspirants desire to build faith in God but are unaware of the process. Those who do not believe in God, demand proof of His existence even though they are unable to prove that God does not exist. Whether we are believers in the existence of God or not, we have to take a leap of faith in whatever we choose to believe. Even in the material world, we take a leap of faith each time we fly an airplane, take the car to an auto mechanic, or follow the instructions of parents, teachers, doctors, or lawyers. So, how can we take a leap of faith in the power of God and His divine energies?
First, we need to understand the correct sequence of the process:

"Knowledge leads to Faith and Faith leads to Love for God"


The Vedas are eternal and apauruṣhēya, i.e., not created by humans. Swamiji says that the Vedas constitute the eternal knowledge of God which was initially revealed in the heart of the first-born Brahma and transmitted in a descending manner from Guru to disciple through the oral-auditory transmission (i.e., Shruti). Thus, we should have complete faith in the word (or vaani) of God, and the Guru who teaches and interprets the divine knowledge at the level of our understanding. 
Only true knowledge of God will increase our internal faith which will lead to devotion and love for God/Guru. It is such deep faith that attracts divine grace. As Saint Tulsidas stated in his Ramcharitmanas:

जानें बिनु न होइ परतीती - बिनु परतीति होइ नहिं प्रीती

Jane binu na hoi partiti, binu partiti hoi nahi priti

“Without knowledge of God, one cannot develop faith in Him and without faith, one cannot develop love for God.”

When spiritual aspirants are hungry for divine knowledge, God bestows faith upon them out of His causeless mercy. The increased faith ignites the hunger for further knowledge which then intensifies devotion and love for God. In this cyclic process, God reciprocates the effort of souls by destroying portions of their ignorance and equipping them with a foundation to attain selfless devotion. Then, it is up to the souls to choose how they walk on the path. For example, Meerabai’s unflinching faith in Shree Krishna made her accept the cup of poison when she was told it was the Lord’s charanamrit (i.e., the nectar of His lotus feet). She drank it but did not die. Similarly, Prahlad truly believed that Lord Vishnu was omnipresent. His faith was also unshakable, thus, Lord Vishnu appeared from the stone pillar in the form of Narsinh Bhagavan and slayed Hiranyakashipu, Prahlad’s father. Swamiji explains that the day we believe in the definition of God, we will attain God-realization.

The power of deep faith cannot be underestimated. Faith that is firmly established on true knowledge of the scriptures is usually unshakable. If faith in God is built on the basis of positive circumstances (e.g., increase in wealth, birth of a child), or due to a Guru’s magnetic personality, then the faith has the potential to plummet when life presents challenges, or if a Guru delivers reprimands. Our faith should remain steady or intensify especially during difficult times. This is what differentiates true faith from blind faith.

Shree Krishna explains to Arjun that people who lack faith, will not attain peace in any lifetime unless their faith is restored through the pursuit of true knowledge. 

अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति |
नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मन: || 40||

ajñaśh chāśhraddadhānaśh cha sanśhayātmā vinaśhyati
nāyaṁ loko ’sti na paro na sukhaṁ sanśhayātmanaḥ

But persons who possess neither faith nor knowledge, and who are of a doubting nature, suffer a downfall. For the skeptical souls, there is no happiness either in this world or the next. [BG 4.40] 

Faith in the divine scriptures and saints who reveal this knowledge is essential for spiritual growth. Faith should be deep, constant, and not tied to the outcomes of our actions. It is then that souls attract divine grace that further increases one’s love for God. In continuation with the story of Dhanna Jaat, we read earlier that Shree Krishna remained Dhanna’s friend through his childhood. 

When Dhanna was 14 years old, his father asked him to start taking on some responsibilities like grazing the cows. Dhanna started going out to graze the cows all day and returned home in the evening. However, Thakur ji became lonely! He told Dhanna that He got bored staying alone all day, so would accompany him when he went out. Dhanna said to Thakur ji, “It is too hot outside; sometimes it rains, and there are pebbles and thorns on the way. You will experience a lot of discomfort, so it is better if You stay home.” God said, “No. I eat the rotis you feed me every day so I want to help you with your chores.” Dhanna said, “But you do not know how to graze cows!” God said, “What do you know? I am the best ‘Gopal’ in the whole world.” 

The following day, both of them went out to graze the cows. Dhanna was very surprised to see how Thakur ji was an expert in grazing cows! He did not even need to use a stick! He got all the cows to return through His divine fragrance and by calling out to them. This routine went on for a few more years where Shree Krishna and Dhanna would graze the cows with total comradery. 

Several years later, Trilochan Pandit returned to their house and asked Panna Jaat and Rekha Devi about how Dhanna was doing. They told him that he was out grazing cows. When Dhanna returned home, the Guru asked about how his poojas were coming along. With child-like innocence, Dhanna described how he used to do his poojas initially, how the Lord resisted eating bhog at first, and then how they started eating together. He stated that they now played while grazing cows! Guruji wondered how this could be true and told Dhanna that he would accompany both of them the next day. 

When they were on their way, suddenly Shree Krishna joined them. Dhanna told his Guru to look at Shree Krishna but the Guru could not see Him. Then Dhanna told Thakur ji to give darshan to his Guru but Shree Krishna did not oblige. The Guru thought, “Usually the Guru helps his disciple to see God but in this case the disciple is asking God to reveal Himself to his Guru.” So, Dhanna beseeched Thakur ji to give darshan to his Guru saying that he was the one who had connected him with Raja Thakur. Shree Krishna wondered if He should expose the Guru’s trick but chose not to do so for Dhanna’s sake. Eventually, Shree Krishna gave His divine darshan to Trilochan Pandit but the Guru fell unconscious. For the first time Dhanna understood the meaning of what it was to have the darshan of Shree Krishna. For him, Shree Krishna was his friend and it was no big deal to have His darshan. But after that day and after the Guru left, the Lord stopped giving His darshan to Dhanna. 

Dhanna could not understand what happened. He wondered why Shree Krishna suddenly disappeared. He asked Thakur ji if He was displeased with his devotion. Shree Krishna told him that He was not displeased but Dhanna needed to elevate his bhakti. Shree Krishna said, “Trilochan was the Guru of your parents. You need to find your own Guru.” He told Dhanna to go to meet Swami Ramananda and make him his Guru. Dhanna followed Shree Krishna’s instruction and stayed under Swami Ramananda’s tutelage for three years and became one of his main disciples. Then, his Guru asked Dhanna to return home and start disseminating the divine knowledge for the welfare of others. After Dhanna returned home, Shree Krishna bestowed him with many divine experiences.

The take-away from this story is that a simple heart, child-like innocence, unflinching faith, and devotion or love for God helps to build faith on the spiritual path. Additionally, a true sevak accepts whatever the Lord gives as His prasad

Tools for Your Personal Growth

This Tool is to promote self-reflection and personal development given that internal faith varies from person-to-person based on their past sanskars and current effort to engage in daily sadhana or devotional practice. Use the tool to assess your faith and figure out how to increase it. A downloadable tracking sheet available for you to use. 

Self-Assessment of Faith

How deep and resolute is your faith in spirituality? Does it shake during challenging times? Assess to self-examine. Remember, change takes time!

Love to Hear from You

Please share your comments under “Join the Discussion” below.

Gems of Wisdom from Swamiji

Here are some YouTube video titles and related links where Swamiji describes the importance of faith in spirituality. 

The MOST Eye-Opening 11 Minutes Of Your Life | You Will NEVER Lose FAITH After Watching THIS 

What is Real Surrender | Meaning of Surrender | Faith In God

Hold Your Breath! Check out Upcoming Events

We are very excited to share with you, two dynamite events that everyone is looking forward to this month!

Shree Maharajji's 100th Anniversary

Shree Maharajji's 100th Anniversary

Jadgadguruttam Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, the fifth original Jagadguru in Indian history, descended on the earth planet on the beautiful Sharad Poornima night in October 1922, in the village of Mangarh in North India. Shree Maharajji, the fifth original Jagadguru in Indian history, descended on the earth planet on the beautiful Sharad Poornima night in October 1922, in the village of Mangarh in North India. At a very young age of 35 years, He was conferred with the title of Jagadguruttam (Supreme amongst all five Jagadgurus) by the Kashi Vidvat Parishat, for reconciling the contradictory knowledge of the Vedas with relative ease and complete mastery. On the same day, i.e., January 14, 1957, he was also honored with numerous other titles and accolades in recognition of his divine knowledge (please see details).

In this Centennial year, JKYog will host a grand celebration in the US which will be held from October 6 to 9, 2022, at the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas, the Headquarters of JKYog. The program will be held in person and also broadcast live for the benefit of the global community. It will be a wonderful opportunity to express your gratitude to Shree Maharajji by participating in numerous activities and sevas. Program Highlights include:

  • Opening Ceremony
  • 24-hour Akhand Kirtan
  • Lectures by Swami Mukundananda
  • 108 Bhog Davat (feast) for Shree Maharajji
  • Express Your Devotion (inviting teams to contribute cultural items)
  • Exciting Quiz/Trivia on Shree Maharajji’s Life and Teachings

We invite all JKYog devotees to participate in the celebration and express their gratitude to Shree Maharajji. 

JKYog’s Grand Diwali Mahotsav

JKYog’s Grand Diwali Mahotsav

JKYog’s Diwali Mahotsav at the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas (Allen), the official Headquarters, will be filled with the most awe-inspiring events, especially Swamiji’s divine presence. From the traditional poojas to fireworks for a number of consecutive nights, the Diwali celebration will be a treat for families and community members in the Dallas metroplex and around the world. Each day will be marked by special events and opportunities for seva, most of all, the Govardhan Pooja and Annakoot. Do not miss it! Stay tuned for details! For now, save the dates: 

Diwali Celebration:    October 22nd (Saturday) to 25th (Tuesday)

Diwali Fundraiser Dinner:    October 29th (Saturday)

Voices from the Global Community

In this feature, we introduce you to members of our global community who have been impacted by the scriptural knowledge as taught and disseminated by Swamiji through a written or video testimony. Two devotees, Simmy Chaplot and Renuka Behl describe how their faith in the spiritual path increased under the influence of Swamiji’s teachings. 

We invite you to share your inspirations and success stories with us at [email protected].

JKYog Transforming Communities

Here, we share the amazing activities and news about programs conducted by various JKYog centers in the U.S.  

Swami Mukundananda Exclusive (SMEx) 

Did you know what is so exclusive about SMEx? It is the most incredible opportunity to connect one-on-one with Swamiji in a safe place populated only by other spiritual seekers and aspirants across the globe who want to be mentored by Swamiji. Instituted in February 2021, SMEx now has hundreds of members worldwide and the membership keeps growing by the day! 

What makes SMEx so unique and truly exclusive is that Swamiji very graciously takes time out for all his mentees at least twice a month to discuss issues of great concern to people. Broad categories of topics include Health/Wellness, Career/Work, Leadership, Relationships, and Spirituality. Each narrative by Swamiji is followed by a beautiful and  heart-warming guided meditation that touches the soul.

As if these were not enough, Swamiji also provides opportunities to receive direct guidance on matters ranging from divine wisdom of the scriptures to personal challenges in life through Q/A sessions. With guidance from Swamiji, all members experience inner bliss and are very grateful for the opportunity to associate with a divine personality. 

Those interested in signing up for membership can register at the SMEx website.

Glimpses of Past Events

Want a glimpse of some of our events? This month we share beautiful glimpses of the Navratri Mahotsav.

JKYog’s Navratri Mahotsav

JKYog’s Navratri Mahotsav kicked off with a bang at the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas (Allen), the official Headquarters of JKYog. From the most devotional Ghat Staphana of Mother Durga, devotional chants, daily Garba/Dandiya Raas on live music to the Food Festival and Vendor displays, each and every activity created happy memories for both participants and devotees alike.

The Ghat Staphana Pooja was truly heart-warming as it established the foundation in the hearts of all participants. Catch a glimpse of the Pooja on the first day of the festival. 

The nine days of Navratri followed by Ravan Dahan on the tenth day of Dussehra, flew by like a split second, leaving the music in the ears and images in the eyes! 

The Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas (Allen) sincerely thanks its Platinum Sponsors Nanban Foundation and Homz, and Annual Sponsors Priya Living and Discount Power. Sincere thanks also to Community Partners DuPriestPop and Radio Caravan.