According to Adi Shankaracharya, Vedas consist of three parts-

  1. Karma kand (rituals like yajna, nitya karma etc.)

  2. Upasana kand (praying to devas etc.)

  3. Bramha vidya (denunciation of world, sameness of Atman and Brahman etc)

Out of these three, first two have results relative to world because one does them believing one is merely a Jiva having certain desires. The third one gets rids of that ahamkar to acquire never ending bliss.

The procedure of second and third are clear to me. Second one requires shraddha and vishwas because Upasana is incomplete without it. My question is regarding the first one, does it also require faith, belief etc for it to give results?

For example one may do yajna to bring rain as described in Veda speculating whether it would work or not. He neither has belief nor disbelief in Veda. Would he get desired result? I would prefer sources from Shruti rather then Smriti supporting the answer. Adi Shankaracharya commentary would also suffice.

  • No. It is like you saying "I don't believe in medicines" . But if same is administered forcibly/unknowingly to you, you will recover irrespective of your belief . Mar 14 '20 at 4:23
  • Also in 2nd and 3rd one you gain shraddha seems to be used interchangeably with faith. It is faith and lot more. Hinduism is not a faith based religion. Shraddha is the way to overcome doubts. It includes faith, desire, respect and inclination. And it gets stronger given feedback loop. Your shraddha will be much less than someone who is years into it. So results will differ . So you can't say I have more faith than xyz hence expect results right away even though xyz might be ahead in the journey Mar 14 '20 at 4:50
  • Imagine if you go into the office late. And you apologize. Then your manager will accept it and not punish you. Now, suppose you go to the office late, but act arrogant and blame traffic for it. Will your manager accept it ? Same way - for rituals to work, you must do it perfectly correctly. But that's not always possible. In fact, it's almost impossible. So, you apologize to the devas for any mistakes. Then they will still give you results of yagna. That's what faith is. You need to understand that this is not a machine that automatically gives results. There are living beings on other side.
    – mar
    Mar 14 '20 at 8:22
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    If you do it with faith & humility, then they will accept even if you have faults (which you will invariably have). But if you do it like you're the king of the world, then they will judge your performance with much more scrutiny and penalize you for even the tiniest of errors.
    – mar
    Mar 14 '20 at 8:23
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    @ram according to the Purva Mimamsa school, you don't even need to believe in the existence of gods. The rituals work because they are tapping into the laws of the universe, and if you want some specific result, then you do some specific actions through the medium of the yajna.
    – RamAbloh
    Jun 24 '20 at 18:32

Vedas are usually broken up into karma kanda and jnana kanda. Acts of sacrifice, gifts, austerities, etc., are of three kinds - tamasic, rajasic, and sattvic, not by where their original categorical classification might be. Krishna says in the Gita 17.28 (Swami Nikhilananda translator):

Whatever sacrifice or gift is made, whatever austerity is practiced, whatever ceremony is observed--it is all called "asat," "unreal," if it is done without faith. It is of no account here or hereafter.

Faith is always required.

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