Faith is a gift, which if not cherished or nurtured will be wasted. Doubt, on the other hand, can sow seeds of fear which can give rise to hopelessness and lack of initiative.
If you have faith, as much as a mustard seed (tiny), you will be able to move mountains. But doubt, can be a debilitating factor. However, it is quite natural to be saddled by doubts at certain times in life. But we must rise above and conquer these doubts.
Several iconic spiritual personalities have admitted to being assailed by doubts (even Saint Peter, when Christ asked him to come to Him walking on the sea). Saint Thomas aka Doubting Thomas., was skeptical when he heard about the resurrection of Christ, until he saw the wounds of Christ with his own eyes.
Unshakable faith comes to the rescue of believers in their darkest moments. Abirama Bhattar, born Subramaniya Iyer, was a priest at the Abirami Temple at Thirukadaiyur in South India. An ardent devotee of the Goddess, he would often be lost to the world, as he contemplated on the Goddess and visualised Her in his mind’s eye. He was ridiculed and was even dubbed as mad by some of his peers. One day the King of Tanjore —- Raja Serfoji, on a visit to the temple, decided to test Subramaniya Iyer and asked him what phase of the lunar month it was. Although it was a new moon day, Subramaniya Iyer who had envisioned the Goddess’ moon-like face said it was a full moon day. The King told him that if the moon did not come up that evening, he would be consigned to flames. That is when Subramaniya Iyer composed the Abirami Anthathi extemporaneously. As he did, a miracle occurred, and, legend has it that the Goddess threw her nose-ring into the sky and created a full moon. The power of faith literally gave the devotee the moon.
Legendary sportsmen have often talked about conquering their doubts and fears through a never-say-die spirit and a mind-over-matter approach which stands one in good stead on the spiritual path too.
Life itself is an act of faith. When you find your faith at low ebb ———- reading the scriptures, keeping the company of evolved souls, listening to edifying discourses and drawing strength from the miracles in your life can help to strengthen it. Feed your faith, and your doubts will begin to die.
———— Sudha Umashanker.