Disciple: So knowledge is not necessary for faith, but faith is necessary for knowledge.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Therefore a devotee, without any knowledge he becomes a devotee. That faith, only faith. The devotee advances. Later on, they become automatically full of knowledge because they have strong faith.
Earlier on this walk, a devotee had asked Prabhupada, “How does one particular person come to manifest faith and others do not?”
Prabhupada replied that it is because of purity. Another devotee volunteered, “Oh, you mean from past lives and pious activities?” Prabhupada said that if we have purity, we acquire more faith and knowledge. We must begin, however, with faith. “Because he is faithful, therefore I help him to get knowledge. Again you come to that.”
Disciple: Blind faith is the belief that…
Srila Prabhupada: Blind faith — that I have already explained. Why do you forget? He shows me, “Prabhupada, come this way.” So, I have no faith. Why shall I go? If I have no faith, then I have to stop here, and my movement is finished. You have to keep faith blindly. The man is giving direction. If he’s perfect, your faith will make you advanced.But if you go to a rascal cheater, if you have blind faith then you are lost. The child has no knowledge, but he has faith in his parents, and he believes what his parents say. Then he’s making progress.
Just like you go to a barber shop, and you put your neck like this and he is with the razor. So unless you have faith, “No, he’s a good man, he will not cut my throat,” how can you do so? Faith is the beginning. If you say, “No, I have no faith in you,” then you cannot be cleansed.
Disciple: Sometimes a barber looks like he could cut your throat.
Srila Prabhupada: He could do that, but you must have faith. Otherwise, no shaving. Suppose you are going to some unknown place. Now we are purchasing, paying $2,000 for a ticket, but where is the guarantee that you will go there? You are paying money first, but there’s no guarantee that you will go there. How do you get the ticket, and how do you get on the plane without faith? Without faith you cannot move an inch. It must be there.
We say, “No, this ticket is issued by Pan American. They are a good company. So many people are going. I will go also.” That’s all, faith. You never went there, neither you know whether it will be possible to go there. You have to purchase the ticket. If you say, “First of all let me go there, then I shall pay,” they will say, “Get out! First of all pay. Then you come on.”
Disciple: When I was first coming to this movement, Srila Prabhupada, I opened Bhagavad-gita and I said, “I don’t understand this.” I began to clean the floor, wash the dishes, cut the vegetables.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, very good. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. By service only. You can understand God simply by service.
Prabhupada once went to an ecumenical meeting with a few priests.
One of the priests asked him, “Don’t you ever have doubts?”
Prabhupada replied, “Doubts? Of course not. How can I be teaching if I have doubts?”
The priests were disturbed by his reply; they wanted him to admit to doubts because they had doubts. A fixed person will not have doubts. We may have to acknowledge that we are not so fixed.