Faith = Enquiry = Dialog | Synonymous

3 min readNov 19, 2020

Are Faith and Rationality opposites? NO

Whoever tells us that faith equals blind belief and Science equals rational and thereby concludes them as opposites are completely wrong. I have been perplexed in the past but the below clarity helped me and I can say with certainty that they are not at cross purposes.

The Sanskrit word I would like to start with is Shraddha and it is not Faith / Belief as normally translated. This creates a lot of confusion. Faith has got associated with blind belief without enquiry and science is associated with completely enquiry. Hence science and faith seem opposites.

Many of us do not want to show that we are religious as it seems cooler to show ourselves as rationalists because of the above perspective that we have come to believe. Let us examine the term Shraddha

Shraddha refers to a unique form of knowledge which is arrived at after a subtle form of enquiry. What is the subtle form? It is a form of enquiry which is rarely employed these days, evolved over centuries.

This enquiry wants us to ask the all the fundamental questions. “What is the purpose of life? What are you? and many more. Yes, these are questions that Hinduism wants us to enquire on. Have you seen anyone conducting this type of enquiry? Our saints should call modern people superstitious who think faith is blind. The same saints arrived at answers after enquiry, experiments, dialog.

Therefore, validity or trustworthiness is the intrinsic nature of every primary source of knowledge. As you notice, we need to arrive at an answer by a series of questions. Testing the validity is primary to knowledge. This validity is translated as Shraddha.

In Hindu philosophy, we have 1000s of books of enquiry — Siddhi grandhas, Vichara grandhas. In fact, the tradition is based on dialogue (Samvad) and not monologue. It is never– I say so and you better believe. A good teacher promotes enquiry. The person who has not made a fundamental enquiry does not have Shraddha and has taken things for granted & and such a person is superstitious.

It is a practice that is essential before you start studying Hindu philosophy.




Author of Philosophy | Traveler | Girl Child Education Activist | @seenaveennarayanan on FB | Learner | India