The Process of Spiritual Enlightenment
The literal translation of the Buddhist term Saddha is "trustful confidence." However, Saddha often is incorrectly translated into English as meaning "faith." The great prophets all taught that one should not have blind faith in manmade religions. Instead, the prophets taught that the soul only grows through personal experience and actual contact with the Almighty.
"Thus it is Saddha.... Its characteristic is trusting. Its function is to clarify. It is manifested as non-fogginess, or it is manifested as resolution."
Visuddhimagga, Chapter XIV, Verse 140
In other words, no one can "teach" you about the Supreme Being. It is important, of course, to understand religious history and doctrine. However, in order to truly experience God, you must encounter and feel the presence of the Light on your own. Therefore, true spiritual enlightenment can only be achieved via the Saddha experience, which includes: (i) careful study; (ii) meditation; and (iii) compassion for others, as evidenced through good works while the soul is on the Earth plane.
Saddha also begs the questions:
- Are we human beings who sometimes have spiritual experiences?
- Or, are we spiritual beings who are having human experiences?
In sum, Saddha is faith that is based on personal growth and a desire to know God. Additionally, it is faith that builds upon itself as new revelations are understood and mastered. It is faith based on Truth, as opposed to faulty man-made constructs or the outdated interpretations of God which still are perpetuated by the five primary religions: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.
Thus, Saddha is a powerful and healthy mindset that: (i) compels the soul to embark on a quest for Truth; (ii) prompts the soul to share Love with others through affirmative acts; and (iii) allows the soul to glimpse and then communicate with the multi-dimensional and multi-faceted primordial Light, whom many call God.
Most importantly, though, the Saddha process promotes a personal relationship with the Supreme Being. We should be talking to God one-on-one and without third party intervention, regardless of their man-made credentials. We also should be open to new and more sophisticated information and experiences so that we can get even closer to God.
The ultimate goal of Saddha is to reach an unshakable faith in God. We accomplish this goal through intellectual curiosity, spiritual freedom, inner harmony, and collective peace. Consequently, Saddha is in many ways the antithesis of blind faith or an inherited belief system, since faith based on personal experience supersedes man-made religions. The Hindus and Buddhists would explain this well-worn path to Truth, Love and Light or Dharma thus:
"A single oneness of pure Love, of never-straying Love for Me [God]; retiring to solitary places, and avoiding the noisy multitudes; a constant yearning to know the inner Spirit, and a vision of Truth which gives liberation. This is true wisdom leading to a vision. All against this is ignorance."
- The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13