The Shamans in the remote villages of the upper Himalayan region connects and interacts with the higher forms of energy to heal the people. We call this higher form of Divine energy as the local Gods, Goddesses, Yoginis, Yakshas and other guardians of the Himalayan region. Without the knowledge of the Scriptures, or of complex knowledge systems like of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras or of Navdah Bhakti; a Shaman attains Bhava Samadhi simply by listening to a folk story about the local Devi/ Devata with closed eyes and faith in his heart; surrendering all of himself to that Devi or Devata. In this state of trance the Shaman interacts with the energy of the God/ Goddess and heal people and communicates the actions to be taken by the villagers for the prosperity of the village. How do Shamans do similar things all around the world? How do they interact with the spirit world and get to know the names of exact herbs that would heal someone, or would be able to know the exact reason of someone’s illness. Are they born with special powers? Are they gifted?
Yes they are gifted. They are gifted with a very simple, truthful heart that have deep faith. Faith in what? Faith in the creator of the cosmos and in its creation. And it is for a reason I am choosing the word ‘Gifted’.
Today, I am especially referring to the faith in the designer and the creator of this Universe or what many refer to as- The God.
What is Faith?
Faith is unconditional trust in something. Trust that is beyond the clutches of logic. Is there anything wrong to have logic then? No. It is absolutely necessary to manage the dealings of the samsaric world. But logic is bounded with your compulsive rationale behavior. And your sense of rationality is completely dependent on how you perceive the world through your five senses. Which is utterly limiting. Each one of us, based on the database of our knowledge and information we gathered, since we are born, combined with the impressions of the previous births in our sub-conscience, we perceive the world, the people in our lives, all our relationships in our own unique ways. With such comprehensively complex web of impressions in our conscious and sub-conscious mind, and with all the bitter-sweet experiences each one of us gathered; with the layers of conditioning from our culture, family and its unique ways, mixed with the pain that we carry in our hearts, it is hard to have a heart that cradles faith in it.
Having faith in someone is like you handed the key to that person or to that energy to yourself. They have the key to nurture you or hurt you. And faith in God is surrendering to that unseen force. That subtle presence within us, around us, in our lives. One can perceive that presence if you have the Buddhi enough to perceive the subtlety of the creator’s presence. Nothing happens if you have Dur-buddhi. And most of us are contaminated by the ‘Dur-buddhi’ in the age of Kaliyuga. Each of us, even the water, the mud, everything around us is affected by Kaliyug. So it’s not your fault. But does that mean we stop trying?
Still there are rare ones, who, despite all this kalikh of Kaliyug everywhere, shine with a truthful and trusting heart. The ones who are courageous enough to surrender to the designer of this Universe. I am reminded of what some of the leading scientists, including few of the Noble prize-laureates, have to say about God. Goddess Namakkal, one of the forms of Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu, inspired the great Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan for his numerous discoveries. He mentioned it many times that the Goddess presented him with complex mathematical formulae in his dreams over and over, which he could then test and verify upon waking. One such example was the infinite series for Pi. Though my intention to write this post is about trying to give you a sense of what faith is. It is not about proving whether there is God or not.
Faith is a mere word for many.
Intricacies of Faith
Faith is not a state (stithi) to attain. It is in one’s nature to have faith. It is a ‘swabhav’. One can work hard to develop certain habits and to act in a certain way to attain a state. But to have faith, there is no other way, except to gain right knowledge, under right parivesh (environment) and with ‘Dhairye’ patience one can slowly purify the mind, removing the attributes of ‘Durbuddhi’ to make way for faith.
Imagine an artist pausing in middle of a perfect stroke while painting on the canvas and thinking what to do next….An artist just expresses her heart in her paintings. They already have deep faith in their feelings and what they want to express. And that’s how the masterpieces are created. Out of the emotions what the artist feel. They naturally have faith in their feelings, in their emotions. She surrenders to her emotions when she paints.
Faith runs that deep. For the one who surrenders, do not think at all. They are beyond logic. They just feel it. Bhakt Prahlad is the epitome of faith for the Hindus. His father Hiranyakshyapu considered himself as the God since he had the boon from Lord Brahma that made him almost indestructible. But his son Bhakt Prahlad refused to worship his father. He was the devout of Lord Vishnu. When Hiranyakashyapu surrendered to the cruel ways, Bhakt Prahlad was asked to call upon his Lord Vishnu to save him from his father’s wrath. Hiranyakashyapu was about to kill his son. His faith compelled Lord Vishnu to take the avatar of Lord Narasimha, who appeared from the same pillar to which Bhakt Prahlad was tied with the rope, while his father was about to kill him with the sword. And it is the truth. It is not the mere story.
Now your mind will immediately retort saying, what is the proof of this happening? It is upto to you to believe or not to believe the story. There’s a lot to read the complete story anyway.
If you keep the company of the ones who have experienced even miracles with their faith, that will be the appropriate environment to gain that kind of knowledge I was talking about above. And if both your mind and heart believes in miracles, and not let your logic meddle with the beauty of it, it is a matter of your patience to let faith enter your veins and nurture you. It is when the mind blooms, the Sahasrarar chakra blooms (end of dur-buddhi), the mind gets connected to the heart. Faith is the natural outcome. Your mind and the logic stop being the barriers. Otherwise why would Lord Krishna would show His virata swaroop only to Arjuna when Yudhishtira, Arjuna’s eldest brother, was the best one known to follow the path of Dharma and truth. It is not that Arjuna was devoid of logic. Think about it.
One thing is sure though, people who have faith in God are the happiest ones and have been the happiest ones despite any amount of hardships that they went through in their lives. History has all the evidence. Go find it.