This śraddhā is not mere instinct; but it is an intuition, it is a perception which feels the truth to be truth but for which there is as yet no ground.
Question: The Jiva, is it not endowed with śraddhā?
Absolutely. Jiva becomes it is born from the Supreme, born from the Para Prakriti (parā prakṛtir jīvabhūtā), it is one thing that the inmost individual knows, knows the supreme Lord, knows the supreme Mother, each one of us. Now, this knowledge however is covered; if it is fully covered, there is complete ignorance; but if slightly it is opened up, then it is śraddhā: there is a perception that this truth is truth, but not yet realised.
Therefore Sri Krishna says that when a statement of rājavidyā is being made, it is made in the form of intellectual statement, but it is something which is pratyakṣāvagamaṁ; right from the beginning He says: this is a knowledge you can gain by direct experience. But in the mean time when you want to make an assumption from an intellectual statement to that pratyakṣāvagamaṁ, I make an appeal to śraddhā which is in every individual. There is always some opening. In fact some people even if they are not awakened, the moment they hear about it, it is awakened. Some people of course are so obstinate that they refuse completely: therefore they are aśraddhānaṁ; they are so obstinate, they are so covered! Therefore Sri Krishna says that if however the person who hears it happens to be aśraddhāvān, then you can tell him in advance that this is the consequence. Do not expect that he will come out of this world of death and this ‘wheel’, and that he will attain to Me: that will not happen. But I do not want that somebody takes it for granted “‘this’ is true”, I want him to have śraddhā; it means there must be an awakening of a perception.
Now, what is the fundamental difference between the belief and śraddhā is this: a belief may be an intellectual state in which you decide not to doubt. Or you have ground of sufficient basis on the base of which you say I will further not ask any questions. A belief has certain grounds but not fully grounds, and then say: ‘the rest I’ll believe’; ‘this is the belief, the rest I’ll believe’; śraddhā is different from this; śraddhā is a perception of a truth that it is true, but it does not rest at that point: this is a mark of a śraddhā; śraddhā does not rest in the perception of truth as truth.
The true śraddhā is one which is a perception of truth as truth which strives incessantly, which strives constantly to turn it into sākṣātkāra. It goes on, and on, and on, and on, until that perception becomes sākṣātkāra; it is realised: that is the mark of śraddhā. Therefore śraddhā is not taking for granted and resting there; it is not acceptance of a dogma: śraddhāvān is one who perceive that the truth is truth and constantly strives, there is a dynamic movement; śraddhā is by nature dynamic, it does not rest where it is; it does not fall back upon saying, ‘Well I believe now, now let me continue my life, I believe in God, I‘ll go on Sundays to the church, but the rest of the life let me do, I believe in God, I accept it’: this is not śraddhā; śraddhā is that in every action, every movement, I will pursue dynamically to arrive at a stage where my perception becomes a realisation: I feel it is true. In a sense, you might say, faith is always blind, blind in the sense that I have a perception which is not yet matured into a realisation therefore it is blind, but it is not dogma because it does not rest there, it moves forward, until it becomes a realisation.
Sri Krishna will say later on that every individual whether he is a believer or non believer, his whole life is based upon a perception: perception of what he is, what he has to do, what he must do. This perception every individual has, as a result of which he reacts in the way he reacts. Every individual therefore has śraddhā of a kind of which he is not aware, but there is in him, ‘I must do this, this has got to be done, this must be right’. Even if it is proved to be wrong, he feels ‘no, no, there must be wrong in my perception of what I have perceived, I must revise my perception, I was perceiving something’. Basically, every individual perceives the Lord and the supreme divine Mother, every individual, this is his basic śraddhā; it is covered up therefore there is ignorance of it; even there is refusal of it; there is lack of faith in it, but even if there is a slight opening, and basically every individual in his own way moves by that śraddhā, and whatever is that śraddhā, ‘that’ he becomes. That is the speciality of that śraddhā: śraddhā does not remain merely a belief. There is to be a dynamic movement until you become ‘that’. Whatever is one’s faith, ‘that’ he becomes: this is one of the great statements of the Bhagavad Gita. . Whatever is one’s faith, ‘that’ he becomes.