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This publication is an initial coverage of a subject matter that deserves more. It is meant to serve as a textbook for a course to be held during December 2002 in the Vaishnava Theology College at Radhadesh, or we hope that it may also be found useful as a tool for others interested in learning about or presenting Krishna consciousness.

With the topic of faith we are going to the very roots of existence, because before engaging in any given action, there must be a 'driving factor' which makes us desire to do it. This all depends on faith in whatever we belief will make us happy. Therefore faith is a universal commodity found in very individual even in a skeptic, who has faith in his skepticism.

From the social perspective the word faith is taken to mean a particular type of "Belief"; a religion, a doctrine or a conviction which is shared by a group of people, who derive a certain status from their belief and usually have a whole culture to express it. People may buy into one-and-other's ideas or develop a missionary spirit and in that framework may sometimes become artificial, overzealous or fanatic towards others or just themselves or both. One may adhere to ideas of how to live or think translating into disciplines; all of which remain theoretical because one does not actually have the experience of practical application and may therefore ignore basic realities of human nature. We can investigate to what extent we are affected by such a phenomenon.

We hope that both practicing Vaisnava readers and others, who are reading it as an introduction to Krishna consciousness may find some value in this handbook, in their personal search for authenticity and the sublime, in developing a positive attitude towards ISKCON and yet allowing for criticism, and in the dialogue with people of various beliefs.

This handbook offers various sections:

  1. "Defining the subject matter
  2. "Personal Conviction" from various angles
  3. "Faith in the context of ISKCON"-dealing with serious, dignified, substantial spiritual themes and the wild growth of a new movement.
  4. "Communication"-relating our views to views of the world and vice versa.
  5. Guidelines for students to write essays, which I would like to publish after the course as a supplement.
  6. Appendixes with many relevant articles or bits of information, from various authors and sources.

This presentation is yet in a crude state, so kindly overlook the imperfections in its appearance; we hope that nonetheless it may of some use in strengthening our faith.

Kadamba Kanana Swami