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Faith Of A Man Is According To His Essential Nature – Hindu Religion Teaching

 In Hinduism, the concept that a person's faith aligns with their essential nature is a significant teaching, often reflected in various texts and philosophies. This idea is prominently discussed in the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most important scriptures in Hindu philosophy.

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 17

In Chapter 17 of the Bhagavad Gita, titled "Shraddhatraya Vibhaga Yoga" or "The Yoga of Threefold Faith," Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna that faith is intrinsic to one's nature (svabhava). He categorizes faith into three types, corresponding to the three gunas (qualities) – Sattva (goodness), Rajas (passion), and Tamas (ignorance).

Verse 3:

"O son of Bharata, according to one's existence under the various modes of nature, one evolves a particular kind of faith. The living being is said to be of a particular faith according to the modes he has acquired."


Sattvic Faith: Faith influenced by Sattva leads to purity, knowledge, and harmony. Individuals with this type of faith worship the gods and seek truth and wisdom.

Rajasic Faith: Faith influenced by Rajas is driven by passion and desires. Those with this faith worship powerful beings and seek material gains and pleasures.

Tamasic Faith: Faith influenced by Tamas leads to ignorance, darkness, and delusion. Individuals with this type of faith may engage in superstitious or destructive practices.

Implications in Hindu Thought

The teaching emphasizes that faith and spiritual inclinations are deeply connected to an individual's inherent qualities and mental state. This belief underlines the importance of understanding and cultivating one's nature to develop a more sattvic (pure) faith, which is considered the highest and most beneficial.

Broader Hindu Philosophy

In broader Hindu philosophy, this teaching resonates with the ideas of karma and samskara. Karma refers to the actions and their consequences, which shape an individual's nature and future. Samskaras are the mental impressions, recollections, or psychological imprints that influence a person's behavior and beliefs.

Practical Application

For practitioners, this teaching encourages self-awareness and self-improvement. By recognizing their predominant guna, individuals can work towards balancing their nature through practices like meditation, yoga, righteous actions (dharma), and devotion (bhakti).

The notion that faith is according to one's essential nature highlights the dynamic interplay between an individual's inherent qualities and their spiritual beliefs. It underscores a path of self-discovery and inner growth, encouraging individuals to align their faith with higher values and virtues.