Faith and Doubt close the fourth chapter. Faith is not a mere emotional feeling to stick to one’s belief. It is a living inner breath to discover, realise and live in the truth. Faith is the exercise taken by a seeker of his own will to force himself to stay in the all-seeing and all-fulfilling Will of God. The Yajur Veda tells us that consecration blossoms in self-dedication, grace blossoms in consecration, faith blossoms in grace, and truth blossoms in faith. What else is faith? To quote Charles Hanson Towne,
I need not shout my faith. Thrice eloquent
Are quiet trees and the green listening sod;
Hushed are the stars, whose power is never spent;
The hills are mute: yet how they speak of God!
Doubt is naked stupidity. Doubt is absolute futility: Doubt is outer conflagration. Doubt is inner destruction.
Sanmshayatma Vinashyati — "The possessor of doubt perishes.” He is lost, totally lost. To him the path of the Spirit is denied. Also denied is the secret of life’s illumination.
Says Krishna: “For the doubting man, neither is this world of ours, nor is the world beyond, no, nor even happiness.” The New Testament presents us with the same truth: “The man of doubtful mind enjoys neither this world nor the other, nor final beatitude.”
In Nyaya (logic), one of the six systems of Indian Philosophy, we notice that doubt is nothing but a conflicting judgement regarding the character of an object. Doubt comes into existence from the very fact of its recognition of properties common to many objects, or of properties not at all common to any objects. Doubt is that very thing which is wanting in the regularity of perception. Also doubt, being non-existent, exists only with non-perception.
Doubt is an all-devouring tiger. Faith is a roaring lion that inspires an aspirant to grow into the all-illumining and all-fulfilling Supreme.
Poor, blind doubt, being quite oblivious of the true truth that faith is the most forceful and most convincing affirmation of life, wants to give a violent jolt to man’s lifeboat.
The poet’s haunting words of truth stir our hearts to their very depths.
Better a day of faith
Than a thousand years of doubt!
Better one mortal hour with Thee
Than an endless life without.