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Published on June 1st, 2016 | by Madhudvisa dasa


Faith is Essential for Advancement in Krishna Consciousness

Those who are not faithful on the path of devotional service cannot attain Me, O conqueror of foes, but return to birth and death in this material world. (Bhagavad-gita 9.3)

The faithless cannot accomplish this process of devotional service; that is the purport of this verse. Faith is created by association with devotees. Unfortunate people, even after hearing all the evidence of Vedic literature from great personalities, still have no faith in God.

They are hesitant and cannot stay fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. Thus faith is a most important factor for progress in Krishna consciousness.

In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said that one should have complete conviction that simply by serving the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna he can achieve all perfection. That is called real faith. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.4.12) it is stated that by giving water to the root of a tree, its branches, twigs and leaves become satisfied, and by supplying food to the stomach all the senses of the body become satisfied, and, similarly, by engaging in the transcendental service of the Supreme Lord, all the demigods and all the living entities automatically become satisfied.

After reading Bhagavad-gita one should promptly come to the conclusion of Bhagavad-gita: one should give up all other engagements and adopt the service of the Supreme Lord, Krishna, the Personality of Godhead. If one is convinced of this philosophy of life, that is faith. Now the development of that faith is the process of Krishna consciousness.

There are three divisions of Krishna conscious men. In the third class are those who have no faith. If they are engaged in devotional service officially, for some ulterior purpose, they cannot achieve the highest perfectional stage. Most probably they will slip, after some time. They may become engaged, but because they haven’t complete conviction and faith, it is very difficult for them to continue in Krishna consciousness.

We have practical experience in discharging our missionary activity that some people come and apply themselves to the Krishna consciousness with some hidden motive, and as soon as they are economically a little well-situated, they give up this process and take to their old ways again.

It is only by faith that one can advance in Krishna consciousness. As far as the development of faith is concerned, one who is well versed in the literatures of devotional service and has attained the stage of firm faith is called a first-class person in Krishna consciousness.

And in the second class are those who are not very advanced in understanding the devotional scriptures but who automatically have firm faith that Krishna bhakti or service to Krishna is the best course and so in good faith have taken it up. Thus they are superior to the third class who have neither perfect knowledge of the scriptures nor good faith but by association and simplicity are trying to follow.

The third-class person in Krishna consciousness may fall down, but when one is in the second class or first class, he does not fall down. One in the first class will surely make progress and achieve the result at the end.

As far as the third-class person in Krishna consciousness is concerned, although he has faith in the conviction that devotional service to Krishna is very good, he has no knowledge of Krishna through the scriptures like Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. Sometimes these third-class persons in Krishna consciousness have some tendency toward karma-yoga and jnana-yoga, and sometimes they are disturbed, but as soon as the infection of karma-yoga or jnana-yoga is vanquished, they become second-class or first-class persons in Krishna consciousness.

Those who have no faith even after hearing about Krishna and the excellence of devotional service, who think that it is simply eulogy, find the path very difficult, even if they are supposedly engaged in devotional service. For them there is very little hope in gaining perfection. Thus faith is very important in the discharge of devotional service.


About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna." I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can. That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental! That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!

33 Responses to Faith is Essential for Advancement in Krishna Consciousness

  1. Shriya says:

    Hare Krishna…I want to one question that why isckon has made srila prabhupada siksha guru and why they dont accept srila prabhupada as diksha guru because prabhupada ji said that I will be only a diksha guru and GBC will be a siksha guru..should I respect isckon devotees..I like isckon devotees they are good..but I dont know why they have done this?

  2. Jitesh says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    I’m a devotee of Lord Krishna and take à vow to always Fast on ekadesi day. But it seems that each year I can’t respect my vow. And due to confusion, I Forget to Fast to at least One Ekadesi per year. So I’m trying to understand what I have to do? Why this happen to me? Please need a help how can I have the forgiveness of Sri Krishna.

    Thank you

    Hare Krishna

  3. Aman says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu, I commented on a different post regarding my doubts. Since it is a matter of faith so I found it appropriate to comment on this post. My doubt is this- How can cows, bulls and snakes talk to people? Statements of these animals are recorded in Shrimadbhagavatam but it seems figurative and not real to me. Although I am very comfortable accepting existence of personal God and can chant Hare Krishna very comfortably, these doubts keep arising. So my faith does not seems to be strong. Will everything be clear if I continue chanting, reading and executing the orders of Srila Prabhupada?

    • Hare Krishna Aman Prabhu

      Please send me the exact verses you are talking about in Srimad-Bhagvaatam with talking cows, bulls and snakes?

      They do not usually talk in Srimad-Bhagavatam as far as I am aware?

      There is a demigod who was turned into a snake in Krsna book and who tried to swallow up Nanda Maharaja but he did not talk until after Krishna kicked him with His foot, then he changed back into his demigod body, then he talked, he did not talk in a snakes body.

      Cows and bulls talking? I remember a cow with tears in her eyes and a bull with three legs chopped off. But these were representatives of dharma and bhumi. So they can talk, why not?

      The point is we demand that everything should always be exactly the same as the world we currently live in and experience. But in reality the situation is constantly changing. It is not always the same. Some of the narrations in the Srimad-Bhagavatam are not from this planet or even this universe. So in different places things can be differently situated.

      So that is the main point. The situation in the material world is constantly changing. So narrations of something that happened thousands or millions of years ago on a different planet may not exactly match our present experience here on earth…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Aman says:

        Hare Krishna Prabhu. The snake takshak which came to bite Parikshit maharaj, his statements are there but since Srila Prabhupada did not write upto that point, it is not in our books. Thanks for the answer regarding Bhumi in the form of cow and Dharma in the form of bull. Actually, these doubts only come to mind when I’m not following your instructions. But when I’m following nothing disturbs me much. I chanted 16 rounds yesterday and read BG for 1-2 hours and the doubts started vanishing. I will try to never fall down now. Because life is miserable when one is fallen and it is bliss when one is in Krishna consciousness. Jai Srila Prabhupada! Jai Shri Krishna!

        • Hare Krishna Aman

          Yes. You are having very nice realizations. We are happy when we are in Krishna consciousness and miserable when we are fallen. It is, of course, a constant battle to remain Krishna conscious. Particularly in our current situation where we are surrounded by materialistic people. But this is the most important battle and when we succeed it is the greatest victory. So just force yourself to chant always at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, even if you don’t feel like chanting when you start, you will feel very good when you complete the 16 rounds. And you don’t have to stop at 16, you can keep on chanting Hare Krishna unlimited. And force yourself to read Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours. Same thing, you may not feel very inspired when you start reading but the more you read the more inspired you become. And if you are doing these two things every day, chanting at least 16 rounds and reading Prabhupada’s books, then automatically you will not have any desire to break the regulative principles. So just do it. Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

  4. spencer says:

    Dear Madhudvisa Hare Krishna

    Its been a while since I last contacted you, but I’ll come straight to the point, as you may remember I was brought up in the Catholic religion, (I think you were the same) as I no longer subscribe to Christianity, what do I do with wanting to make Confession? going to church is no longer an option. please advise

    Hare Krishna


    • Hare Krishna Spencer

      This confession system is bogus. The idea that we can keep on committing the same sins and it is OK as long as we go to the church on Saturdays and confess the sins is committing sins on the strength of chanting the holy name. It is the worst offense to commit sins knowingly, thinking, “It is OK, I am doing this sinful thing now, but later I will chant Hare Krishna to counteract the sin.” This is committing sinful activities on the strength of the holy name. The holy name can not be used like that. And sins committed like that will never be forgiven. So God actually does not forgive the sins of the Catholis who commit them on the strength of thinking, “It is OK, I will just go to confession on Saturday and my sins will be forgiven.” No. Sins committed in this mentality will never be forgiven.

      Of course sinful activities we may perform by accident or as a result of bad habits from the past, Krishna will forgive. But in Krishna consciousness there is no need for a process like confession. For a devotee who has fallen from the proper standards of Krishna consciousness all he needs to do for rectification is to again get himself properly situated in devotional service. So you do not need confession. You need to get back into the routine of getting out of bed before 4:00 in the morning, offering Mangal Aroti, chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, strictly following the four regulative principles and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day.

      So if you get yourself properly situated again like this all your sinful activities will automatically stop and Krishna will forgive your past sinful activities and everything will be wonderful again…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  5. Dhananjaye vijay says:

    Hare krishna and happy janmashtami to all. I just want to ask that why the path of love is so difficult why people in this world find it difficult to explore love. Where there is love there is god. Please do reply i need the answer. Mai bahut badi duvidha m hu kripya mujhe bateye ki pyar karna gunah hai apne parmeshwar se.

    • There is no love in this world. What goes on as ‘love’ is only lust. It is on the bodily platform only. Love is only possible between us and Krishna. So we have to reestablish our original loving relationship with Krishna, and once that relationship is established, then we can feel actual love towards other people and we can help them also reestablish their forgotten loving relationships with Krishna. Love means with Krishna. Otherwise there is no meaning to love.

  6. Eleaff says:

    Thank you. Hare Krishna

  7. Aruna says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa Prabhu,
    Please accept my humble Namaskaram.

    I am very grateful to u by reading your mail. I am on the way of developing myself into Krishna consciousness.
    I have some doubt though it is not part of this mail, kindly help me by clearing my doubt.

    Doubt 1- What is the difference between ISCON, Hare Krishna Movement & Goudia Math. Where I need to go for development of spiritual knowledge ?

    Doubt 2- What is Guru Parmpara ? From above three who are actually following this ?

    Doubt 3- To whom we need to follow as our Guru ? ( Srila Prabhupada Or who is actually live now and given us Dikha)

    Hare Krishna Prabhu jii

    • Hare Krishna Aruna

      ISKCON, Hare Krishna Movement and Gaudiya Matha are all bogus and all disconnected from the parampara and none of them can help you actually become Krishna Conscious.

      Srila Prabhupada clearly declares that Gaudiya Matha are asara, useless, directly in the purports of his Adi Lila of Caitanya-caritamrta. So there is no question. Gaudiya Matha disconnected themselves from the parampara when they disobeyed the instructions of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura who ordered that Gaudiya Matha, after his disappearance, be managed by a GBC, he did not appoint any successor acaraya. So the Gaudiya Matha disobeyed this order and falsely elevated one kanistha adhikari after another to the position of acarya of the Gaudiya Matha. This caused it to break up into so many different bogus groups with no potency to preach and no connection to the Parampara.

      Srila Prabhupada gave similar orders. He did not appoint any of his disciples as successor acaryas, instead he established a GBC and ordered that the system of initiation that he had established starting from about 1971 where he would accept disciples but the initiation would be done by a priest would continue. But ISKCON went to the Gaudiya Matha for advice and they suggested Prabhupada’s order was wrong and instead they should appoint themselves as the next acharayas. So ISKCON, completely against the orders of Srila Prabhupada, appointed 11 kanista adhikaris as Acharyas and eliminated Srila Prabhupada from ISKCON. Prabhupada was considered a ‘previous acarya’ and anyone wanting to continue worshiping Srila Prabhupada was driven out of ISKCON.

      But all of the ISKCON gurus fell down most embarrassingly… So they made about 100 new bogus kanista adhikari gurus… And they all fell down.

      So now ISKCON GBC is basically saying “Forget about Gurus… We [the GBC] are your guru now…”

      So ISKCON is so, so, so bogus…. Useless. Stay clear of them.

      As far as Hare Krishna Movement, ISKCON Bangalore, etc. They preach that Srila Prabhupada did not want any of his disciples to become spiritual masters ever. That is the opposite of what Srila Prabhupada actually teaches. It is Srila Prabhupada’s desire that ALL of his disciples become pure devotees of Krishna, and pure devotee of Krishna means he is qualified bona fide spiritual master. It is Prabhupada’s mission to create at least one pure devotee, hopefully many, who will be able to preach and continue his mission. So to say Prabhupada doesn’t want any of his disciples to become pure devotees of Krishna and become gurus and accept disciples is to rebel against the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.

      So all three groups you have mentioned are totally bogus, totally disconnected from the parampara and will not be able to help you advance in Krishna consciousness.

      Guru is pure devotee of Krishna. It is a very basic point. So you have to find a pure devotee of Krishna and accept him as your guru.

      It means surrender. There is no point in thinking about guru unless you can find a pure devotee of Krishna and unless you are prepared to actually surrender to him.

      Currently the world is full of bogus gurus who can not give the disciples Krishna and bogus disciples who do not want Krishna…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Ayan says:

        Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

        I am new to Krishna consciousness movement. My mom & dad are initiated from Iskcon. But according to you Iskcon is bogus. So if Iskcon is bogus from where can I get initation.

        • Hare Krishna Ayan

          First you have to understand who is a bona fide guru, otherwise you will be cheated by so many of the bogus gurus that are collecting disciples at the present time.

          It is not so important, becoming initiated. The point is to become a devotee, to be engaged in devotional service. So you need to read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books. You have to start chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, you need to strictly follow the four regulative principles (no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication). If you are not doing these things seriously there is no question of initiation.

          So just read Srila Prabhupada’s books and follow the instructions that Srila Prabhupada gives you as you read his books and do not worry about initiation. Krishna will arrange that in due course. First you have to become a devotee and prove you are actually qualified to be initiated.

  8. Astha says:

    Hare Krishna Sir!!
    Please accept my humble obeisances…

    After taking Krishna Consciousness, my life and inner thoughts have been miraculously changed. Each and every second I get absorbed in thoughts of Krishna’s pastimes, as they are so wonderful and attractive. I need not to worry about material needs as they are getting automatically fulfilled without any hard endeavor. By Krishna’s mercy it is happening.

    I am 29 years old. Till now my parents were very tensed and worried about my marriage as already its too late according to them. But now I have realized that why it did not happen. Because Krishna wants me to serve him only with loving devotion. My experience of the reading of Srimad Bhagavatam is just like the drinking of Krishna’s nectar daily.

    Now I have totally given up the idea of getting married and getting entangled in family life. I want to spend the rest of my life in Shri Vrindavan Dham and serve Krishna as much as I can. I am running my small business and can manage it from there also.

    Sir please guide me how to go ahead on this path.

    A humble servant of yours…

    • If you truly have faith in Krishna just go to Vrindavan and serve Him there. If that is what He truly wants you to do. But I think you do not know what He truly wants you to do, otherwise why you are writing to me?

      Generally for woman it is necessary for her to get married to a devotee husband and serve him. And by serving husband nicely Krishna is pleased. That is the way for woman to serve Krishna generally, through serving her devotee husband.

      Of course if you are actually the liberated pure devotee you are making it out to be then just ask Krishna what to do…

  9. Hrishikesh says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    Please accept my humble obeisances
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada

    After I have taken to Krishna Consciousness I have started losing interest interest in my academic studies, now I get bad marks in the exams. Now I don’t want to have friends but at times I feel alone but I don’t like their association too.

    When I start giving some interest in material life I do not find enough time to chant my 16 rounds, when I talk with ‘friends ‘ I feel guilty that I wasted my time, their talk about sex, and girls are unbearable to me.

    Is it that when someone takes to Krishna Consciousness his material life starts to dwindle. Is it that Krishna is doing all this or due to my past karma? Or is it that I should not completely neglect my material life? My parents too are upset with me.

    I am not able to balance material and spiritual life.
    I want to go back to Godhead but my dwindling material life makes me fearful that I should concentrate on my material life. If I fail in material life will that in any way hamper my Krishna Consciousness?

    I am not understanding what to do Prabhu!

    • Hare Krishna Hrishikesh

      You need to become Krishna conscious and really becoming Krishna conscious is the only purpose. But practically you need to stay in the material world and be Krishna conscious at the same time. So do not reduce your Krishna consciousness but at the same time do not totally neglect your studies. If you actually become Krishna conscious you will be able to pass the exams very easily. But yes you have to avoid the association of non-devotees.

      Ultimately you need to be guided by Srila Prabhupada and Krishna on this. So keep chanting Hare Krishna and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and keep praying to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna to engage you in their service and just see what happens in your life.

      We should only be attached to doing what Srila Prabhupada and Krishna want us to do. So try and work out what that is by chanting Hare Krishna more and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books more.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  10. naval kihor gupta says:

    hare krishna prabhu ji pamho please help me how develop faith in my practical life your servant narsimha charan das

    • You need to develop faith in Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, and the process is very simply. Chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, strictly follow the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication and read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day. If you actually strictly follow all these points you will very soon develop strong faith in Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and make very good advancement in Krishna consciousness.

  11. Brijraj says:

    Hare Krishna Pr ji, As soul I have fallen down from spiritual by misusing m free will. Is it not possible that I can misuse it again? But Lord krishna says – No one has to come back again after coming to his spiritual World.
    As we have fallen down once we can fall again from spiritual world as we have free will.

    • Yes. We can always fall down. That is our nature. We are marginal. The example is like on the beach there is an area on the beach that is sometimes covered by water and sometime not. That is the analogy. We are sometimes free and sometimes conditioned.

      So because we are small the tendency is always there that we can fall down. We can fall down even in the spiritual world. Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita once having returned to the spiritual world he does not again come back to the material world. So if one does fall from the spiritual world to the material world and experiences how horrible life is down here and he becomes Krishna conscious and goes back to the spiritual world then it is very unlikely that he will come back again. Because he will remember his experience in the material world and will not come back. But still he has limited independence. Krishna does not take away our limited independence. Krishna does not force us to stay in the spiritual world. If we want to leave we can leave at any time.

  12. Deepak says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    I have been receiving your mails . I am extremely delighted To read all those devotional mails. But dear Prabhuji, I just wanna ask you a question. I have been chanting Lord’s holy names regularly earlier but due to some proffesional inconveniences, I halted chanting beads for a few months though I remember the holy names of the Lord. Now a few days back,I resumed the task again. So my question to you is,”Am I degraded such that I can’t chant holy names anymore.?Am I a sinner unto the Lotus feet of Lord Chaitainya? Has my spiritual accumulations nullified due to mg negligence? Dispell my ignorance Prabhu ji !!

    • Hare Krishna Deepak

      No. Whatever spiritual advancement we make in Krishna consciousness is our permanent asset, however if you stop chanting you do get degraded, your original Krishna consciousness does get covered again, you become a sinner again, everything appears lost.

      So point is if you stop chanting Hare Krishna you very soon become covered by maya and become degraded. But the advantage is when you get yourself properly situated again, when you are again strictly following the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication and when you are again chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day, then very quickly you come again to the highest spiritual platform you have ever been on before and start advancing from that point.

  13. sharath says:

    how a office going family man can engage in bhakti yoga or devotion service practically?

  14. Sriram Padmanabhan says:

    Wonderful article, Prabhuji !

  15. Braja Hari das says:

    I have a question about some of my acquaintances who are not ISKCON devotees but are in the Shri Swaminarayan sampradaya. They have firm faith in God (Krishna or Swaminarayan) and they discharge devotional service according to their organization. Would they get the mercy of Krishna? They also worship Radha Krishna in addition to Bhagawan Swaminarayan. Please advise.

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      These days most spiritual organization have lost the original point and have degraded into some group of materialistic people who are really interested in society, friendship and love and who are using the so-called spiritual organization to push on these goals.

      It is very difficult to find any true spiritual organization on this planet at the moment.

      The real thing you will find in Srila Prabhupada’s books and I think you will not find it anywhere else.

      Unless the people are worshiping Lord Caitanya and chanting Hare Krishna there is no hope for them in the Kali-yuga. Because this worship of Lord Caitanya and the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra is the Yuga-dharma for Kali-yuga.

      So we have to introduce everyone to Srila Prabhupada, Lord Caitanya and the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. That is their only hope. There is no other way.

  16. NarayanaCandra Dasa says:

    The word faith means in the Veda “conviction” and not “belief”. It is very important to understand this.
    In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said that one should have complete conviction that simply by serving the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna he can achieve all perfection. That is called real faith.

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