Śraddhā is a polysemous word, whose predominant meaning is “faith.” In some contexts, it has been used as meaning “longing” or “desire” and, in some others, as meaning “high regard” or “esteem.” The important contexts in which this word has been used in the Hindu scriptures are Vedic sacrifices, transcendental truth, spiritual instruction or teachings, the spiritual ideal itself, and charity. In the context of giving or charity, śraddhā has often been described as anasuyā, the absence of spite or envy. In brief, śraddhā indicates an affirmative and sincere attitude, where the person concerned has faith in the concerned postulate (be it the efficacy of Vedic sacrifices or the transcendental teachings of the Upaniṣads, etc.).
Śraddhā is an Indian concept that has been most commonly translated as “faith;” however, the English word “faith” is inadequate to convey the semantic and cultural nuances associated with the concept. Furthermore, the word śraddhā...
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