Home Wisdom Articles Pujya Gurudevshri Pujya Gurudevshri Insights Make Doubt a Means to Truth

Make Doubt a Means to Truth

To doubt is natural for an ignorant one. But very few pursue it, or even understand its importance in their spiritual journey. Pujya Gurudevshri says raise the doubt, pose the question, journey through the process of thinking, arrive at a conclusion and thus build a strong faith
If you desire transformation in life, then “think”! To believe blindly is easy; you have to do nothing. Thinking and understanding require application. In thinking, you will have to take the responsibility and make a journey to arrive to a conclusion. In believing, you do not need to enquire or begin any journey; you stay where you are. Thinking is a process. Thoughtful faith is an important station in your journey to the final destination of liberation.

Ask Questions

True faith is possible only if you ask pertinent questions and insist upon getting their answers. It is not bad or wrong to question. To bring revolution in life, questions are essential. They are not contrary to faith as is the general thinking. Doubt is an important stage in the building of faith. Doubt keeps you vigilant. Doubt protects your faith from becoming blind-belief, and helps strengthen it.

There are four types of people. First are those who already have attained right faith and so they experience peace. Second are those who have doubt but they transform it into faith and experience revolution. Third are those who have doubt but are unable to make it the means to peace. They experience unrest and continue to wander. The fourth type neither have faith nor do they have any doubt; they continue to remain in delusion.

He who has learnt to utilise doubt, experiences the flowers of faith blossoming in his life. True faith is not fearful of doubt, but accepts the doubt. Doubt sharpens the sword of faith. Keep the doubt alive. Utilise it, do not criticise.

What Does it Mean to Have a Doubt?

Doubt only means that you do not accept by mere listening, you are not blind but thoughtful, and greatly value faith. Faith without thinking is false, lame, and lifeless. Superficial acceptance is dishonesty. If you want to reach truth, you will have to take the first step towards it, which is: ‘Others may be saying, but I am not yet doubtless about it’. In this way, honest acceptance should happen.

Even if you feel you are being suspicious, and are inimical to faith, that process alone is acceptable to the Enlightened Ones. If you just accept, you will miss the essence. And if you begin with doubt, pass through the thought process, and come to have faith, you will accomplish the purport.

From Doubt to Enlightenment

In every person, there is doubt as well as faith. If you know how to utilise doubt correctly, doubt gets annihilated and what remains is faith alone. Introspect your life closely. Turn the focus of your doubt towards wealth, power, family, and all the things you have considered as your source of happiness, peace and security. If only you can question your belief that ‘I am happy’, and start thinking, the falsity of your belief will be revealed. You will not remain the same.

As you begin to doubt your own life, the worthlessness of the material world starts revealing to you. Wealth, power, family, start appearing worthless; and a new direction opens up. The journey must begin with doubt and end in enlightenment. From honest opposition is born the desire to know, and progressing with the practice of experimentation, gets transformed into faith.

He who honestly seeks, and experiments, experiences the dawn of Enlightenment and attains right belief. Thus, doubt is the foundation of the temple of truth. Install a strong and stable stone of thought-provoking doubt in the foundation. Complete the construction by consecrating the spire of faith on the top.

In this way, if you venture to experiment, keep a habit of accepting only after thinking, value the authenticity of experience, you will gain faith.

Insist on Experience

Six youngsters approached Buddha. One of them was blind. The other five told Buddha that they have tried hard to persuade their blind friend to believe in the existence of light but cannot convince him. “We tried logic, arguments, examples, but he refutes, saying ‘I will believe only if I experience. Light cannot be touched, nor can it be heard, tasted, or smelt. Then how do I believe that the light exists?’ O Lord! You make him understand.” Buddha replied, “I will not err like you. I advise you to go to a doctor and get his blindness treated. He needs treatment, not lectures.” They took him to a doctor, got him treated and he got vision. Delighted, he went to Buddha to express gratitude, “O Lord! I was wrong, forgive me. There was light but I lacked the vision”. Buddha said, “Even though you were wrong, your insistence on experience resulted in your treatment. If you had accepted it without that, you would have remained blind. No one would have treated you!”

Accepting without understanding is just a mob-mentality. Generally, people do not want to open their eyes to truth. If they find someone who can see, they only want to worship Him, but not work for enlightenment themselves. They do not want to make their belief strong. They do not want to increase their power of discrimination. With this habit of asking others and accepting what others say, they remain unwise and blind.

Transformation through Self-effort

The so-called belief acts as poison, and destroys your own good. Until this mental laziness is overcome, you cannot progress on the path of liberation. To attain liberation, you must walk on your own; you cannot climb over someone’s shoulders. You need effort, self-effort, and a strong longing for liberation!

Religion is the journey of discretion. It arises only from right thinking. Mere change in belief or replacing one with another does not bring about transformation. Transformation happens by transforming the attitude behind the belief.

The attitude of ‘just believing’ takes you to blind following, and binds the mind with prejudices. To know truth, the mind must be unbiased. A biased mind is not inspired to understand. It is susceptible to believing and this kind of belief becomes bondage. Instead, when thinking and understanding are sought, true discrimination manifests. Where there is discrimination, there is awareness.

With belief, your desire to know comes to an end. Quest begins from a doubt, and leads to wisdom. Doubt is not disbelief. On the contrary, it is the first step in the quest for truth. Scrutinize every belief, every principle, by thinking over it. Raise doubts for everything. Doubt is a kind of revolt, but there is no negation or opposition. Rather, it is the desire to understand and a proclamation of non-acceptance without understanding. Thinking is neither belief nor disbelief. It is an unbiased quest. It is a resolve to not accept anything without knowing through experimentation.

Science and Religion

Unlike religion, there are no sects in science. Whatever is accepted is after due experimentation. Nothing is accepted by mere listening. How can you attain truth if you begin with preconceived notions and prejudices? You will get sects and not religion. This is why, science is one, but so-called religions are many, and that too, contrary to each other! If religion was based on discrimination, there would be only one.

Religion is also a type of science. The only difference between science and religion is that science is the knowledge of matter while religion is the knowledge of consciousness. The vision of a truly religious person has always been like that of a scientist. The genuine aspirants are adventurous; they experiment and believe in what they experience. For them, believing is not the first step but the last one. Faith is not at the bottom, it is at the top. At the base should always be experiment. Whatever has been propounded by the Wise Ones regarding truth is not fancy but comes from self-experience. Scientific approach makes the religion based on blind belief sound lifeless. True religion is based on discrimination, not blind belief. Thinking and understanding is its life. Religion based on discrimination provides the seeker, an entry into the real Self and eventually abidance therein.

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