How Can I Cultivate Faith?
Q: Dear Sadhguru, I have too many doubts. How can I cultivate faith?
Sadhguru: Faith is not something that you can cultivate. If it happens to you, it happens; if it does not happen to you, it does not happen. Does it mean you have to sit and wait, and someday it will fall upon you? No, it is just that if you understand the fundamentals of living in this existence, you will see that for anything to happen, you must create the right kind of situation.
If you want to grow cotton, if you sit near a cotton plant and pray to God, cotton will not bloom! You must learn what the right conditions for growing cotton are. If you understand these conditions and create them, cotton will grow.
This is the basis of everything that is happening. So, if faith has to happen, you must create the right kind of condition.
Can You Be Faithful?
What is the condition necessary for faith? Jesus said, “Come follow me.” That is his most fundamental teaching. When he said this, the great scholars of that time did not follow him. It was only the fishermen and farmers who followed him. The thinking minds cannot follow anyone. Only the simple and innocent could follow him.
Even these fishermen—these simple folks—walked a few steps behind him, and then one of them said “My father is dead; I will bury him and come.” Jesus said, “Leave the dead to the dead; you come.” For people who do not understand, Jesus sounds very arrogant. When your father is dead, what a thing to say! But that is what he said. So, only the very simple and innocent followed him.
Faith is only for the innocent. But the moment modern education entered you, you have a thinking, questioning, doubting mind. With this, you cannot follow the path of faith. It does not mean faith is impossible for you, but do not start with something that you do not have. Start with something that you have right now, whatever is dominant in you. If you are a thinking person, let’s use that. If you are a very physical person, or you have a very strong sense of energy, or you have lots of emotions in you, use that. All the four need to be cultivated and used.
If you try to be devout you will become deceptive. But if you come to a certain level of experience, devotion becomes a natural part of you. Faith is something which is within you. It is your quality, something that you become, not something that you believe in. Faith is a deep falling back into existence—you as a person have fallen apart. You have just become like a simple little wave with the existence—this moment it is up, the next moment it will be down. You understand and you experience that you are just a brief happening here. It is not an intellectual understanding, it is a living experience that you see yourself as a small outcrop of the earth. When this becomes a living experience, you are faith. Until then there is no point talking about faith.
The faithfulness that you are talking about is simply loyalty. People who talk about loyalty are always people whose vested interest is how to hold you. Faith is not a device to hold you—faith is about liberating you. Faith is not about being for this group or that group, but about becoming a part of this existence. That is not something that you do, that is something that you become.
|Named one of India’s 50 most influential people, Sadhguru speaks before millions annually around the globe, including to prominent leadership forums such as the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, TED, and the World Peace Congress. From groundbreaking yoga programs to projects for rural communities and the environment, Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation (www.IshaFoundation.org) serves as a thriving model for human empowerment, which is reflected in the Foundation’s special consultative status with the UN.
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