Loss of Faith


Hello i am wondering what should you do if you feel like you are starting to lose faith ?

—AA, Europe


Dear Friend,

The lives of the saints all attest to the challenges that come to one’s faith from time to time. In the Bhagavad Gita, too, Arjuna complains to Krishna, that he’s not sure he’s up for what it takes to achieve Self-realization: to defeat the kinfolk of self-doubt, worries, and concerns that a life of faith, good works, and prayer may not prove to be a good exchange for the comfortable and familiar worldly life embraced by common people everywhere!

Thus your challenge is a universal one and the soul’s response to this is, also, universal, even if for each of us we apply ourselves uniquely. Our consciousness, our attitudes, and our “spirit” is determined largely by the “company we keep.” The company we keep includes people at work, at home, in the music and entertainment we surround ourselves with, and, of course, in the company of our own thoughts. “Environment is stronger than will,” Paramhansa Yogananda is often quoted as saying.

Reflect on whether you are going through a cycle where you’ve stayed away from, say, group meditations or otherwise the company of spiritually minded friends, and esp those who have more to offer you than you’ve found on your own. We call this “satsang.” Online talks by Swami Kriyananda, recordings of Yogananda’s voice, online classes at Ananda, going on retreat, serving together with others who share your spiritual path and so on. Keep the company of saints! This can include reading the lives of the saints, e.g., “Autobiography of a Yogi,” (I’ve read it numerous times), the New Path, the life of St. Francis and on and on.

When our faith is challenged we can respond by putting out extra affirmation and energy. If you know at least some of the techniques of the path of kriya yoga (e.g., Energization Exercises, Hong Sau meditation, Aum technique and kriya), put out the extra energy to meditate more deeply, more energetically and, most of all, with great devotion. “Chanting is half the battle,” Yogananda also counseled: listen (& sing) to chanting CD’s or play the chants yourself if you know how to.

Divine Mother tests our resolve, our love, and our dedication. Our karma, our past indulgences, rise like ghosts of the past to tempt us, to lull us, into “relaxing,” being soft on ourselves, on being moody, filled with self-doubt. Don’t let these “frogs” of ego beat your soul’s power into submission! Arise Devotee: Awake! “I am awake and ready!” “I am positive, energetic, and enthusiastic!”

Be a warrior of inner joy, a “smile millionaire!”


Nayaswami Hriman