By Bhurijana dasa
Below are two statements by great souls on faith. Prabhupada: I have faith in you. Now, I give sometimes this example. Just like you go to a barber shop, and you put your neck like this, and he is with the razor. So unless you have faith, “No, he is good man. He will not cut my throat,” how can you do so? So faith is the beginning. If you have no… If you say, “No, I have no faith in you,” then you cannot be cleansed. Baradraj: That example became very clear when we went to India.
(Prabhupada & devotees laugh) Because the barbers are so, they look like they could cut your throat. Bahulasva: You have to have a lot of faith. Prabhupada: He can do that, but you must have faith. Otherwise no shaving. So many… Suppose you are going to some unknown place. Now we are purchasing, paying two thousand dollars, ticket. But where is the guarantee that you will go there? You are paying first money, but there is no guarantee that you will go there. Then how do you get the ticket? How do you get on the plane unless, without faith? So faith, without faith you cannot move an inch. It must be there. [break] …believe, “No, no, this ticket is issued by the Pan American. They are good company, and so many people are going. So I will go also.” That’s all. So faith. You never went there, neither you know whether it will be possible to go there. But still, you have to do. That is faith. [break] Baradraj: The airplane may crash. Prabhupada: Yes, there are so many things. There is no guarantee that you will reach there. But still you have to purchase ticket. You have to get on the plane. That is faith. Sudama: And all the passengers have to have faith in the captain of the plane. Prabhupada: Whatever it may be, the faith must be there. Without faith, you cannot go. (From a morning walk with Srila Prabhuapda, July 21,
1975, San Francisco)
A firm faith in the holy name will be awakened in the heart after worshiping the Deity in this way for a long time; then at last they will have determination for nama-bhajana in the company of devotees. The case is different with those few lucky ones who have an exclusively firm faith in Krsna’s holy name; they take, by unbounded grace of Krsna, shelter at the feet of such a spiritual guide who is an ontologist of the holy name, i.e., who has realized and does see the svarupa (form) of the holy name. Concerning the need for such a preceptor, Sri Mahaprabhu says that though formal initiation may not be necessary, still a guide is essential in nama-bhajana. The mere letters of the holy name may be had at any place and from anybody, but the profound and unknown truth that is lurking behind those letters can only be exposed by the grace of a true preceptor who is purely devoted to Krsna. The grace of the spiritual guide alone can pass over from the early twilight from the ten offenses hindering the true service of the holy name. (From Nama-bhajana, by Srila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura)