The Rationale of Faith
We have already pointed out that sages like Ramakrishna Pramahamsa and Ramana Maharishi, in our times have had personal experiences and have declared that the truths of the Upanishads are corroborated by their personal intuition.
This is the proof.
Their sincerity and integrity are beyond doubt
and as such their statements cannot be brushed aside
as the aberrations of a deranged mind.
Whether ordinary mortals can have the experience
of that realization, and therefore the proof,
is what is being debated.
That which is beyond reason is not necessarily unreasonable.
Let us surely reject every demand for faith
where a matter is capable of present proof.
But by the same token
we have to accept unquestionably on faith
what is incapable of proof except through personal experience. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi,
True faith is the appropriation of the reasoned experience
of people whom we believe
to have lived a life purified by prayer and penance'
Merely because we cannot have their experience, should we doubt their experience? To a doubter, we can only say, 'It is your word against that of a Ramana Maharishi or Aurobindo or a Ramakrishna'. If you cannot deny the claims of their mystic experience and cannot invent other means of discovering the truths declared by them you have no right to deny their existence. You have no alternative but to accept the veracity of statements by saints from age-old antiquity down to our times. The logic of Hinduism indeed stands on a firm footing, for the Grand Pronouncements are ultimatley verifiable, if only we rise to the spiritual stage of any of those saints, even for a little moment of our life. Examples of people who have, in a flash, had such an experience, are many.In the accounts of the life of each one of the towering giants of spirituality there are many such instances whose evidences are irrefutable.
February 2, 1999
Copyright V. Krishnamurthy
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