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Sraddha - Fixing the Heart on the Truth

Kadamba Kanana Swami
Bhaktivedanta College, Radhadesh, December 2002

"The Faith Book" was written as a reader or a course-manual for a seminar on faith. Therefore it's not really a book, but rather a reference manual. The manual is divided in to 5 sections and then followed by a dozen appendixes. The first section deals with definitions and so on, just to provide a frame of reference.You may just want to brush over it and not read it in depth. In the seminar we are not paying too much attention to this section. We focus especially on the second, third and fourth section; "Personal Conviction", "Faith in the context of ISKCON" and "Dialogue". The fifth section was offering some topics for essays for the students participating in the course.



Section One: Faith-A General Analysis


A. Dictionary definitions of 'faith'
I. Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary
II. The Harper Collins Dictionary of Philosophy, 2nd edition
III. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
IV. American Heritage Dictionary
V. Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition

B. Dictionary definitions of 'Sraddha'
I. Monier Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
V. Capeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary
VI. Sraddha-Passages from "The Concept of Sraddha"

C. Definition of 'Sraddha' in Caitanya-caritamrta

D. Pancopasana, five types of faith, a universal principle
I. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura: Sri Krsna Samhita
II. Pancopasana in Srimad-Bhagavatam
III. Pancopasana in Brahma-samhita
IV. Pancopasakas

E. Ten types of proof: Tattva-sandarbha of Jiva Gosvami
1. Arsya ("exceptional utterance")
2. Upamana (comparison)
3. Arthapatti (presumption)
4. Abhava (non-existence)
5. Sambhava (inclusion)
6. Aitihya (tradition)
7. Cesta (gesture)
8. Pratyaksa (direct perception)
9. Anumana (inference)
10. Sabda (revealed knowledge)

Section Two: Faith-Personal Conviction

Adau sraddha-Spiritual life begins with faith
Faith a Pretense
The human side of Luther
A revolving door

Faith-Personal Conviction
Taste moves all

Duty: A devotee must sacrifice material desire
To maintain material desires
The risk of fall down
The reward at the end
Overcoming material desire

Krsna helps the devotee to cleanse the heart

Cultural Transplant
There are no miracles
Blind Faith
Suspension of disbelief
Blind faith to a degree
Reason and Belief
"Indicative logic"
The Qualities of Krsna
Wonderful Linguist
Aloof from this world
Krsna is attracted by the smallest service
Jiva Gosvami is perceiving the forest of Vrndavana with pure transcendental vision

Prabhupada, the living proof
  The simple secret of success
  He had full faith in the words of Lord Caitanya
  Prabhupada was beyond falldown
  Teacher by example
  Faith must be a personal matter
  Prabhupada was a transparent via-medium
  Prabhupada, a pure devotee
  The perfect vision
  Prabhupada was always happy
To See Krsna or not?
I. Seeing Krsna always
  Did you see Krsna?
  Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu showed how a devotees sees Krsna in a spiritual trance
  Sanjaya could see Krsna at Kuruksetra at a distances
      of hundred of kilometers through his mystic power
  The face of Krsna and the hand of Krsna

II. Love of God in seperation from Krsna
  Intensified remembrance of the Lord in separation
  The Lord with a Heart

The basis of False Faith
The Voice of the Soul
Notes from the Madhurya Kadambini (Second Shower of Nectar)
Obstacles to the development of deeper faith

What is the meaning of your atheism?
Atheism in danger
Only a saint has such tolerance
Congratulations for the atheist
A pragmatic argument
In between Hiranyakasipu and Prahlada
God is dead
God the Supreme Controller

Purity is the force
De omnibus dubitandum est
Doubt as one of the characteristics of intelligence
Doubt is arising from ignorance
Belief and doubt

Section Three: Faith in the Context of ISKCON

What are we really part off?
Faith is meant to be Dynamic
ISKCON in three layers
    I. The 'Organization'
    II. The 'Perfect Process'
        The Oil-spill
    III. Lord Caitanya's Intervention

Organized Religion (by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura)
Via Negativa - Via Positiva
Excerpt from the virtue of Abstinence
Via Negitiva Versus Via Positiva

Material Arguments for the success of ISKCON
Religious movement in a foreign culture
Dilution of a tradition and revitalization
The cultural standpoint
Sociological reasons
Prabhupada's arguments
Krsna arranged for Prabhupada's sake
Bhagavad-gita also recognizes material reasons for some to take up spiritual life

What import does this movement actually have in the world?
Why are there so few devotees?
Can we actually change the world?
Garuda came to help the sparrow
We may not be able to change the world, but the books can
This movement is changing the world

Section Four: Faith-Dialogue

Faith on common ground with disbelief
Primacy of Consciousness
Language as a vehicle of thought
Human Beings are by Nature Idealists

Apauruseya-Divine Revelation
The Absolute Truth
Jiva Gosvami offers some quotes from Vedic literature itself
The complete text of the Vedas is unavailable
Srimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless Purana
The Vaisnava perspective versus other views

Some Controversial Points
A. Fundamental issues
1. Acintya-Inconceivable
    Mundane argument inadequate
    Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya became dull by logic
    Logic applied to Lord Caitanya's mercy
2. The only way
    Dogmatic, sectarian?
3. Sastra is a Divine Revelation

B. Specific issues
4. No Overpopulation
5. They did not go to the moon
6. One solar system
7. Women less intelligent
8. Sacred Cow
9. Life comes from life
10. Sati

Mundane forms of religion
Book Review:"The Bhaktivedanta Purports" - Perfect
Explanation of the Bhagavad Gita (By HH Sivarama Swami)
The Computer as Idol (J.Weizenbaum, M.I.T.)
Religion and Science (A. Einstein)
Good and Evil
  This world is not arranged by the plan of the Lord
  Theological problem of evil
  Good and evil

Carl Jung: "Answers to Job"
The Sri Krsna Samhita (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)
An attempt to communicate Vedic knowledge to the westernized world

Section Five: Faith-Student Assignments

Essay Concepts

Section Six: Appendixes

Appendix 1 - God Concepts
Appendix 2 - Arguments for the existence of God
Appendix 3 - 16 verses and purports about faith in the Bhagavad Gita
Appendix 4 - Assuming responsibility of being guru
Appendix 5 - Initiation
Appendix 6 - Guru
Appendix 7 - Cleaning house and cleaning hearts
Appendix 8 - On God and Science
Appendix 9 - Questions
Appendix 10 - Sri Tattva Sandarbha
Appendix 11 - The Free Will Problem
Appendix 12 - Mental speculation and philosophical speculation
Appendix 13 - The Therapeutic Revolution
Appendix 14 - Components of Education

Extra Documents

Madhurya Kadambini Notes
Adhunika-vada (.PDF)