The first step we take as a small child is entirely based on faith. Man began to progress from the time he was dwelling in the caves to the modern era of computers just because of his faith in the observation of the world and in the laws that govern it. This faith in his own sense organs and intelligence has made him experiment with nature and discover her various secrets.
In the initial stages, it is faith that acts as a motivation for action. This is called kriti hetah. The first time we perform an action, we do so with faith alone. Many inventions in science were done with faith. The scientists never knew how they would turn out but they went ahead all the same and experimented on them purely out of faith. This is true about the first time man flew an airplane. It is true about the first time medicine was experimented on a human. All these were all performed on faith.
Faith plays a vital role in the field of religion. It plays a vital role in the so called world of the unseen as well. Here, there is faith in the existence of the One Reality, which is not directly visible to us. It is the one underlying principle behind the variety of names and forms. It is that Truth which binds the seeming differences together in one cord.
This Reality is the very Self in all. Though the Self is not visible to the naked eye, the existence of the Self is declared in the scriptures and is the direct experience of many masters.
The scriptures are the declarations of the experiences of these masters. To believe what the scriptures say and what the masters say as true is the initial step in striving and realizing our own Self. This is where faith is essential. Here the faith we talk about is the virtue of the intellect. It is the virtue of the intellect that is subtle enough to appreciate the Truth and to comprehend the Truth. Thus the journey begins with faith and culminates in the realization of the Truth.