4. By faith man can move mountains
At one or other time in our life we may wonder ‘does God really exist? Why can’t I see Him?’
Imagine that a child breaks a precious thing. Immediately his mother comes scolding him. When he cries, mother hugs and sooths him. The child learns that though things and mother’s moods are impermanent her love is permanent and unconditional. Love has to be something that is unchanging and survive the human errors and imperfections. What is the source of this love?
We see that the universe is not of chaos but of orderliness, following set patterns, seasons and so on. What mysterious invisible power causes countless stars, planets and other celestial bodies in this endless universe to rotate in precise orbits for billions of years? What power is the source of our lives and deaths?
From time immemorial, man has believed in a supernatural power through which, and by which all things are being created, sustained and dissolved. We may refer this great power as Truth or Consciousness. Or, we can simply refer to this power as God.
There is an indefinable mysterious Power that pervades everything. I feel it, though I do not see it. It is this unseen Power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses. It transcends the senses.
But it is possible to reason out the existence of God to a limited extent. Even in ordinary affairs we know that people do not know who rules or why, and how he rules. And yet they know that there is a power that certainly rules. In my tour last year in Mysore I met many poor villagers and I found upon inquiry that they did not know who ruled Mysore. They simply said some god ruled it. If the knowledge of these poor people was so limited about their ruler I, who am infinitely lesser than God, need not be surprised if I do not realize the presence of God.
Nevertheless I do feel as the poor villagers felt about Mysore that there is orderliness in the universe, there is an unalterable Law governing everything and every being that exists or lives. It is not a blind law; for no blind law can govern the conduct of living beings, and thanks to the marvellous researches of Sir. J. C. Bose, it can now be proved that even matter is life. That Law then which governs all life is God. Law and the Lawgiver are one. I may not deny the Law or the Lawgiver, because I know so little about It or Him.
And is this power benevolent or malevolent? I see it is purely benevolent. For I can see that in the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth truth persists, in the midst of darkness light persists. Hence I gather that God is Life, Truth, Light. He is Love. He is the Supreme Good. —–Gandhiji
We have learnt in the previous chapter that a thought should be of emotional nature such as a desire, to turn into action. Now, it is important to note that only desires that have been energized by mixing with ‘faith’ transform themselves into their physical equivalent.
Reason is the faculty of the mind through which we can logically come to rational conclusions. On the other hand, faith is the belief in the truth of something that does not require any evidence and may not be provable by any rational means.
Have faith in yourself and have faith in God. Faith in God does not mean blind belief. A mother shows a man to her child and says “this is your father”. The child believes her without insisting on seeing proof. Similarly teachers instruct students “you should believe and listen to us now, so that you may later understand, what you have been taught now”. It is the same with faith in God.
Consider the power of faith as it was demonstrated by Gandhiji. He wielded more power than any man lived during his time, despite the fact that he had none of the traditional tools of power, such as guns, forts, battle ships, or armed soldiers.
Through faith Gandhiji accomplished what the strongest military on earth could not and never would accomplish through soldiers and military equipment. He could bring the mighty British Empire down to its knees. He accomplished the astounding feat of influencing millions of minds to think and act in unison, as a single force. Faith in God was the guiding star of all his actions in any field. Life without faith in God was unimaginable for him.
Most people resort to prayer only after everything else has failed! Thus they pray with their minds filled with fears and doubts which are the negative emotions the subconscious mind acts upon, and passes on to God. Or else they pray by a ritual of meaningless words without faith, thereby without any real connection with God.
Faith is the “elixir” which gives life, power, and action to the impulse of thought! Faith is the element, the “chemical” which, when mixed with prayer, connects us to God. Faith is the basis of all miracles, and all mysteries which cannot be analyzed by the rules of science!
But one may wonder, ‘how I can I develop faith?’
Faith is a state of mind which may be cultivated by prayer.
But does God listen to our prayers and fulfill our desires? That means God is partial towards those who pray.
No, God does not entertain idle beggars. God is love, but He gives divine grace only to those who pray sincerely and prove worthy.
Why pray at all? Does not God, if there be One, know what happens? Does He stand in need of prayer to enable Him to do His duty? No, God needs no reminder. He is within every one. Nothing happens without His permission. Our prayer is a heart search. It is a reminder to ourselves that we are helpless without His support. No effort is complete without prayer,—without a definite recognition that the best human endeavour is of no effect if it has not God’s blessing behind it. Prayer is a call to humility. It is a call to self-purification, to inward search.
I have never found Him lacking in response to my prayers. I have found Him nearest at hand when the horizon seemed darkest — in my ordeals in jails when it was not all smooth sailing for me. I cannot recall a moment in my life when I had a sense of desertion by God.
Worshiping God is singing the praise of God. Prayer is a confession of one’s limits and humbleness. God has a thousand names, or rather, He is Nameless. We may worship or pray to Him by whichever name that pleases us. Some call Him Rama, some Krishna, others call Him Allah or Jehovah, and yet others just call Him God. All worship the same Spirit, but as all foods do not agree with all, all names do not appeal to all. Each chooses the name according to his tendencies, and He being the In-Dweller, All-Powerful and Omniscient knows our innermost feelings and responds to us accordingly.
Worship or prayer, therefore, is not to be performed with the lips, but with the heart. And that is why it can be performed equally by the dumb and the stammerer, by the ignorant and the stupid. And the prayers of those whose tongues are nectared but whose hearts are full of poison are never heard. He, therefore who would pray to God, must cleanse his heart. Rama was not only on the lips of Hanuman, He was enthroned in his heart. He gave Hanuman unlimited strength. In His strength Hanuman lifted the mountain and crossed the ocean.
It is faith that steers us through stormy seas, faith that moves mountains and faith that jumps across the ocean. That faith is nothing but a living, wide- awake consciousness of God within. He who has achieved that faith wants nothing. Though bodily diseased, he is spiritually healthy, physically pure and rolls in spiritual riches.
Prayer, therefore, may be done by any name. A prayerful heart is the vehicle and service makes the heart prayerful. Those Hindus who heart-fully serve the untouchables truly pray; the Hindus who spin cotton for indigenous cloths or buy clothes from the poor native spinners truly pray. —Gandhiji
A leap of faith from mind of reasoning to heart of belief can truly move mountains. The emotion of love is closely similar to faith. Hence love comes very near to transforming one’s thought impulses into their physical equivalent. The emotions of faith and love are powerful of all the major positive emotions. When these two are blended, they have the effect of energizing the vibration of thought in such a way that it instantly reaches the subconscious mind, where it is changed into its physical equivalent or reality.