There is an immortal perception in us, that we are immortal, that we are held by the Divine. This is even in the heart of the sceptic, of the atheist. He may not admit it; he may not be aware of it, but you will find this present in each one of us. But because it is covered, it is not manifest. So, the only difference between an atheist and the other one is: the atheist has got śraddhā, but he is not aware of it: it is covered. One who is a real śraddhāvān is one whose covering is gone. He has reached that point, where he has come to that crisis. In one way or the other, all those who have got a real śraddhā have reached a point where the crisis is being felt, and there is an intense earnestness to overcome that crisis, and there is a perception: “I am immortal, I cannot be destroyed, whatever may happen, I remain immortal. It cannot be robbed by anybody because my nature is immortal.”
This śraddhā, one who has reached this point, is the fundamental condition of your attaining to true Knowledge. When you have yet this perception, but you are not yet known. This perception is there in your consciousness, there is uncovering of that perception; that much you have achieved. But you have not yet seen, you have not yet realised. But this state is such a state in which there is definiteness and certainty; therefore it can also be called “blind” in that sense: to be certain and definite without seeing is a blind certainty, that why faith is called blind in that sense.
Faith is always blind in this sense: it is a perception of certainty and definiteness before Knowledge has come. And Sri Krishna says that every one has got it but is covered, but when it is uncovered, then it opens up your path of true Knowledge. So, the starting point is śraddhāvān. Those whose śraddhā is not yet uncovered, Sri Krishna says: “Don’t even teach them what I have taught you”, this is at the end of the Bhagavad–Gita. It is irrelevant to them, there are not in that crisis, they do not need this Knowledge: why do you want to give it to them! But those whose perception has arisen, in whom the jijñāsā has started: the very fact the jijñāsā has started and this earnestness means śraddhā is awake. So, Sri Krishna says:
śraddhāvānl labhate jñānaṁ (IV, 39)
“The Knowledge is obtained only by śraddhāvān.” One who has got a śraddhā, but śraddhā of this kind.
This śraddhā is to be distinguished from what is called “barren belief”. Those who say “I believe in God” cannot be defined merely as śraddhāvān. They have only mental opinion of God: God exist or does…they can debate. They can give you proof of existence of God if they want. But it is not śraddhā in the sense in which it is used here. The mark of the true śraddhā is: that śraddhā is a dynamic force; it pushes you towards realisation. The true śraddhā is one, which does not rest by belief. It does not say: “I believe” and that is the end of the matter: that is barren belief. It does not produce the result of Knowledge. The belief, which does not get transformed into Knowledge, is a barren belief. People may call it śraddhā but it is not śraddhā in the true sense of the term. The true śraddhā is one, which is dynamic, which is forceful, which constantly presses you until that about which you are certain and definite without knowing, you come to know. Until you reach that point, the śraddhā constantly pushes you. That is the meaning of śraddhā: a dynamic force, which arises from perception, with definiteness and certainty, even before the Knowledge is attained.
When you are in that state…such was the case of Arjuna, therefore he got into all this. He was in a crisis, and he knew that this crisis has got to be overcome, that is why he turns to Krishna: “You will be able to solve it; kindly tell me”, therefore he attains to the Knowledge. So, He says:
śraddhāvānl labhate jñānaṁ tatparaḥ saṁyatendriyaḥ |
This is another mark that, one who has śraddhā, he is keen to suppress everything else, saṁyatendriyaḥ. Anything that we are doing is by indriya, by the organ of senses or action; so, one who is keen to know really is prepared to fling everything aside, that is why he is able to control all his senses.
jñānaṁ labdhvā parāṁ śāntim acireṇādhigacchati ||39|| (IV)
“…And having attained Knowledge, jñānaṁ labdhvā, having attained Knowledge, parāṁ śāntim ādhigaccati, he attains to the supreme peace.”
Because Jnana is Chit, is Immobile. “…He get it into a state of Immobility; acireṇā, without delay.”
It is not as if you get Knowledge and then there is a waiting period when you become fully quiet; acireṇā, as soon as you attain to the Knowledge, that will be the mark, quietude, complete silence, release, harmony, peace will be attained.
ajñāścāśraddadhānaśca saṁśayātmā vinaśyati |
nāyaṁ loko ’sti na paro na sukhaṁ saṁśayātmanaḥ ||40|| (IV)
Now, this is a negative statement: just as śraddhāvānl labhate jñānaṁ, now Sri Krishna says: “ajñāḥ, one who is ignorant, and one who is āśraddavāna, and one who does not have the faith; he has saṁśayā, he has doubt and remains in doubt; vinaśyati, he perishes.”
nāyaṁ loko ’sti na paro na sukhaṁ saṁśayātmanaḥ ||
“For him there is neither this world, nor another world, he never attains to happiness because he is full of doubts and he is not earnest to get rid of doubt; he doubts simply.” This is the worse condition of a human being, when he has learned the art of doubting, but he has no desire to find out the Truth.
In the theory of education, it is said: “Make children question”, as if this is the highest goal. There is nothing wrong in putting this idea to children that he should question! Fine! But it is as if the price is given simply because he is questioning. That is the limitation of this educational theory. We should tell the children: “Question until you find the answer.” That is the true educational theory. Mere questioning is this: na sukhaṁ saṁśayātmanaḥ, simply questions, and questions, and questions…he will attain to no happiness.