04.39 – The devotional chain reaction of faith and knowledge
Faith is the most precious asset on the spiritual path; it enables us to pursue diligently that which we cannot perceive directly: the invisible treasure of Krishna-bhakti. This devotional faith coupled with spiritual knowledge comprise a thrilling devotional chain reaction in the heart of an aspiring devotee. Let’s see how:
Faith is the fruit of knowledge: How can we increase our faith? One important way is by deepening our spiritual knowledge.
We can deepen our knowledge by studying scrutinizingly scriptures like the Gita and appreciating their import by associating with Gita-lovers and Gita-livers. As our knowledge increases, we find our doubts diminishing and disappearing. And as we apply that knowledge, we experience the magic within our heart as our emotions and values reform and empower us to become more selfless and noble. Application reveals the specialty of spiritual knowledge: not just in its informational content, but its transformational potency. We truly learn spiritual knowledge only when we apply and assimilate it – and witness the resulting transformation, which naturally increases our faith.
Faith as the root of knowledge: The Bhagavad-gita (4.39) asserts that the faithful attain spiritual knowledge (sharaddaval labadhe jnanam). Without some basic faith we won’t enquire sincerely about the spiritual dimension. So an initial faith – at least in the form of a sympathetic curiosity – comprises the starting propeller that sets us off on our quest for spiritual knowledge.
The Devotional Chain Reaction: The faith that is the fruit of spiritual knowledge is much deeper and richer than the faith that is its root. And this fruit becomes the root that through the process of knowledge and realization yields the fruit of an even richer faith. This devotional chain reaction culminates in the supreme fruit in all of existence: pure, eternal love of Krishna.