Trust And Doubt – In Gita Verse 4.40 But ignorant and faithless persons who doubt the revealed scriptures do not attain God consciousness; they fall down. For the doubting soul there is happiness neither in this world nor in the next.

This verse in sanskrit is – ajñaśh chāśhraddadhānaśh cha sanśhayātmā vinaśhyati nāyaṁ loko ’sti na paro na sukhaṁ sanśhayātmanaḥ

When Krishna says “Sanśhayātmā Vinaśhyati,” he is speaking a great truth. But most people make a mistake in translating the word sanshaya. The Sanskrit word sanshaya does not mean doubt, it means indecisiveness, a state of conflict and indecision.

Doubt is a state of decision, not of indecision. Doubt is decisive; trust is also decisive. While doubt is a negative decision, trust is a positive one. One person says, “God is. I trust in him.” This is a decision on his part. And this is a positive decision. Another person says, “There is no God. I doubt his existence.” This is also a decision, a negative one. A third person says, “Maybe God is, maybe God is not.” This is a state of sanshaya, indecisiveness. And indecisiveness is destructive, because it leaves one hanging in the balance.

In the GEETA Krishna tells Arjuna, “Don’t be uncertain, indecisive. Be certain and decisive. Use your decisive intelligence and know for certain who you are, what you are. Don’t be indecisive as to whether you are a kshatriya or a brahmin, whether you are going to fight or you are going to renounce the world and take sannyas. You have to be clear and decisive about your basic role in life. Indecision splits one into fragments, and fragmentation leads to confusion and conflict, to grief and disintegration. Then you will disintegrate, you will perish.”

The word sanshaya in the GEETA has been taken to mean doubt, and therein lies the whole confusion and mistake. I am in support of doubt, but I don’t support indecision. I say it is good to doubt that skepticism is necessary. And Krishna, too, would not deny skepticism. He stands by skepticism, and that is why he asks Arjuna to ask his questions again and again. To raise a question means to raise one’s doubts. But at the same time Krishna warns him against indecision. He tells Arjuna not to be indecisive, not to remain in conflict and confusion. He should not be incapable of deciding what he should do and what he should not do. He should not get bogged down in the quagmire of either-or, either to be or not to be.

DOUBT IS BEAUTIFUL in itself. The problem arises when you are stuck in it. Then doubt becomes death. Analysis is perfect if you remain separate and aloof from it. If you become identified, then the problem arises. Then analysis becomes a paralysis. If you feel that you have become trained to analyze, question and doubt, don’t get miserable. Doubt, analyze, question, but remain separate. You are not the doubt. Use it as a methodology, a method.

If analysis is a method, then synthesis is also a method. Analysis in itself is half. Unless it is complemented by synthesis it will never be the whole. And you are neither analysis nor synthesis – you are just a transcendental awareness. To question is good, but a question is obviously only half; the answer will be the other half. Doubt is good, but one part; trust is the other part. 

Remain aloof. Means remain aloof not only from doubt but from trust also. That too is a method; one has to use it. One should not allow oneself to be used by it – then a tyranny arises. A tyranny can either be of doubt or of trust. The tyranny of doubt will cripple you; you will never be able to move a single step because doubt will be everywhere. How can you do anything while doubt is there? It will cripple you. And if trust becomes a tyranny…? And it can become one; it has become a tyranny for millions. The churches, the temples, the mosques are full of those people for whom trust has become a tyranny. Then it does not give you eyes, it blinds you. Then religion becomes a superstition.

If trust is not a method and you are identified with it, then religion becomes superstition and science becomes technology. Then the purity of science is lost and the purity of religion is also lost. Remember this: doubt and trust are like two wings. Use both of them. But, you are neither.

A man of discretion, a man who is wise, will use doubt if his search is concerned with matter. If his inquiry is about the outside, the other, he will use doubt as the method. If his search is towards the inner, towards himself, then he will use trust. Science and religion are two wings.

The perfect man is a man who has a deep harmony between doubt and trust. A perfect man will look inconsistent to you, but he is not inconsistent. He is simply harmonious – contradictions dissolve in him. He uses everything. If you have doubts, use it for scientific inquiry. And look at great scientists: by the time they reach their age of understanding and wisdom, by the time their youthful enthusiasm is gone and wisdom settles, they are always very deep in trust.

Eddington, Einstein, Lodge – I’m not talking about mediocre scientists, they are not scientists at all – but all the great pinnacles in science are very religious. They trust because they have known doubt, they have used doubt, and they have come to understand that doubt has its limitations.

Nothing is wrong in doubt, don’t be worried about it. Use it well, use it in the right way. If you use it in the right way and use it well, you will come to an understanding: you will come to a doubt of doubt itself. You will see – you will become doubtful of doubt. You will see where it works and where it doesn’t work. When you come to that understanding, the door of trust opens.

Remember always not to throw away anything that God has given to you – not even doubt. It must be He who has given it to you, and there must be a reason behind it, because nothing is given without reason. There must be a use for it.

Don’t discard any stone, because many times it has happened that the stone that was discarded by the builders became the very cornerstone of the building in the end.

Krishna admonishes Arjuna not to fall prey to indecisiveness, because it will destroy him. Whosoever becomes a prisoner of indecision inevitably falls to pieces, because indecision divides one into contradictory fragments, a sure way to disintegration and ruin. Integration is health, and it comes with decisiveness. If you have ever taken a clear decision in your life you must have immediately become integrated in that moment. The bigger the decision, the greater the integration. And if one comes to a total decision in life, he has a will of his own, he becomes one, he attains to a togetherness, to yoga, to unio mystica.

All of Krishna’s effort is directed toward eradicating indecisiveness, it has nothing to do with doubt.

He says, “Doubtfully, but never remain indecisive.” I am fully in favor of doubt. Doubt you must. Go on using the chisel of doubt until the statue of trust becomes manifest. Keep chiseling from the rock, with the hammer of doubt, the foreign elements that have entered your nature, until you eliminate the last of them and nothing remains to be eliminated. Then the statue of trust will appear in its full splendor.

But remember, if you continue to use the hammer of doubt even after the statue has manifested, you will injure the statue, you will hurt your own being.

Trust is the ultimate product of doubt, and insanity is the ultimate result of indecision. An indecisive person will end up insane; he will disintegrate and perish.

If you understand it in this light, you will understand what Krishna says in this verse.


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