Faith, as described by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, is not a dogmatic acceptance of a system of ideas or ‘articles of faith’; rather, it is a form of knowledge that arises from deeper within, from the soul and its connection with the universe, which provides a certainty that goes beyond the capacities of the mind and its analytical or organisational skill-set. This faith is subject to attack as the mind does not know how to relate to it, the vital may have objectives that are contrary to the guidance of the faith for the fulfillment of the life, and the body may wish to satisfy its comforts and enjoyments despite the urgings of that deeper knowing. There are also the influences of family and friends, of the society and its expectations and then there are the forces that actively oppose, for their own reasons related to getting and exercising power or domination, the promptings of the soul and its knowledge. Thus, faith is constantly being assailed by naysaying and denial, by temptations and offers of worldly success, and thereby, the connection can be cut or lost.

It is a principle of nature that the young are weaker and more subject to being destroyed by powerful forces. We protect the young tree by staking it so that the winds cannot destroy it prior to it setting down strong roots. We protect the baby and the young child as they have no way to protect themselves. In a similar way, it is necessary to guard and protect the young stirrings of faith from the doubts of the mind, the force of the vital and the influence of external powers and circumstances. Once the faith, the deeper knowledge of the soul, becomes more firmly established, it will wind up protecting and guiding the other elements of the being.

The Mother writes: “One must watch over one’s faith as one watches over the birth of something infinitely precious, and protect it very carefully from everything that can impair it. … In the ignorance and darkness of the beginning, faith is the most direct expression of the Divine Power which comes to fight and conquer.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Growing Within: The Psychology of Inner Development, Chapter III Growth of Consciousness Basic Requisites, pg. 45

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at He is author of 17 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.