Faith and alertness appear to be completely opposite in nature. When you are alert there usually is no faith, and you feel restless and insecure. When you have faith your mind is secure and in a restful state, and you are not alert.
There are three types of faith:
• Tamasic faith is caused by dullness. An example is when you do not want to take responsibility or action and you say, “Oh, it doesn’t matter, God will take care of all these things!”
• Rajasic faith is brought on by an intense compulsion of desires and ambition. The ambition keeps your faith alive.
• Satvic faith is innocent and is born out of fullness of consciousness.
Faith and alertness, though apparently opposite in nature, are actually complementary to each other. In the absence of faith there can be no growth, and without alertness there can be no correct understanding. Faith can make you complacent while alertness makes you tense. If there is no faith, there is fear. And when there is no alertness you cannot perceive or express properly, so a combination of both is essential.
In gyana (a state of wisdom) there is alertness without tension and faith without complacency. The purpose of education should be to remove the element of dullness from faith and the element of fear from alertness. This is a unique and rare combination. If you have faith and alertness at the same time, then you will become a true gyani (wise one).
By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar