Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Bhagavad Gita As It Is -
Chapter 17 Text 3
sraddha bhavati bharata
sraddha-mayo 'yam puruso
yo yac-chraddhah sa eva sah
sattva-anurupa--according to the existence; sarvasya--of everyone; sraddha--faith; bhavati--becomes; bharata--O son of Bharata; sraddha--faith; mayah--full of; ayam--this; purusah--living entity; yah--who; yat--having which; sraddhah--faith; sah--thus; eva--certainly; sah--he.
O son of Bharata, according to one's existence under the various modes of nature, one evolves a particular kind of faith. The living being is said to be of a particular faith according to the modes he has acquired.
Srila Prabhupada opens his purport with this statement; Everyone has a particular type of faith, regardless of what he is. But his faith is considered good, passionate or ignorant according to the nature he has acquired. Later, near the end he explains; As long as one's faith is not completely in purified goodness, the faith is subject to contamination by any of the modes of material nature. The contaminated modes of material nature expand to the heart. Therefore according to the position of the heart in contact with a particular mode of material nature, one's faith is established. It should be understood that if one's heart is in the mode of goodness his faith is also in the mode of goodness. If his heart is in the mode of passion, his faith is also in the mode of passion. And if his heart is in the mode of darkness, illusion, his faith is also thus contaminated. Thus we find different types of faith in this world, and there are different types of religions due to different types of faith.
I have always been amazed by those who use their faith as an excuse to hate others, or another's faith. I am not just talking about the "Mid-East Terrorist", but also about some Christians that love to take Old Testament teachings out of context and use them as weapons, forgetting that these are Jewish teachings that, when put back into context, come with a lots of other rules to keep the true believer in check.
The last time I went on Sankirtan here in Portland our little group of a dozen devotees circled the city center square where a crowd was gathering to watch a movie. We included a second block also in our circling. Each time we came to the block where the crowd was people would smile and some would pick up the chant but, on one corner, stood two preachers from a non-denominational Christian church who held a huge sign that condemned everyone from Democrates to gays to all non-christians. They stood in one place and bellowed at the crowd, and at us each time we passed. On our third or forth pass the police had come and were telling them they had to leave. When the officers saw us they just smiled. When it was time for the movie to start we disbanded.