SONGSOPTOK: «Belief is simple acceptance that a proposition is true, without regard to reason(s) while faith is the acceptance of a proposition rather than an epistemological (evidence-based) reason.” Does this reflect your understanding of the two words? If so, why? If not, then how would you distinguish between the two?

GOPAL LAHIRI:  I am an earth scientist by profession and always scan any event with reason. In my opinion ‘Belief’ is an acceptance without dig deep in mind while ‘Faith’ is a deep-rooted acceptance and reason does not play a leading role there.

SONGSOPTOK: Each person can inherit, adopt or construct her own set of beliefs and faiths, or it is a combination of the two. How would you qualify your own personal set? Were your faiths and beliefs handed down to you by someone? Who? Or were they acquired? If so, how?

GOPAL LAHIRI: I always have belief in myself and not really influenced by others. My thoughts give more weightage in personal experience rather than on others deed.

SONGSOPTOK: In your own personal sphere, do you consider worship as a religious act involving rites, rituals or other types of practices? Or is it related to something that transcends religion? Can you explain your position with some examples?

GOPAL LAHIRI: I have no problem in rituals associated with religion if it does not clashes with the logical mind. It’s okay with me if someone rigidly perform the rituals or practices and at the same time never want to hurt anybody on his/her faith or belief.

SONGSOPTOK: “Faith takes over where reason leaves off” – do you agree? Can you explain your point of view?

GOPAL LAHIRI: This may be true for some people but I do go by my interpretation on the sequences.

SONGSOPTOK: Did you ever face a conflict between your beliefs, reason and knowledge? How do you react to such situations?

GOPAL LAHIRI: My beliefs are like passing through various stage gates and achieve the objectives at the end.

SONGSOPTOK: Are you a believer? What do you believe in?

GOPAL LAHIRI: I am a believer with a reason. My visualisation of God is like a person whom I see as a judge who keeps a close eye on my activities and if I go wrong, will punish or else I will be blessed with happiness and peace.

SONGSOPTOK: Do you think that it is essential to convince and convert others to your own system of beliefs and faiths? Why? Can you please describe the reasons for your answer?

GOPAL LAHIRI: No, not really. I think it’s a personal choice.

SONGSOPTOK: Do you think that each individual has some form of faith or belief, whether related toreligion or not? If yes, then what do you think are the main reasons?

GOPAL LAHIRI: It depends. To draw a great mosaic of human identity, perhaps it is yes but again it depends on the individual to search himself/herself.

SONGSOPTOK: “A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.” said C.S. Lewis. Do you agree with this view? Or do you think that some form of worship is indispensable for humans? Why?

GOPAL LAHIRI: A search for something that belongs to us and at the same time it escapes us needs attention. Some form of worship is perhaps required to attain peace and harmony in life. Even meditation can do that.

SONGSOPTOK: You may or may not choose to answer this – but nevertheless we would like to know who do you worship? Why do you worship? How do you worship? And above all, in what way does it help you in your everyday life?

GOPAL LAHIRI: My God is actually the wealth of frank reflections of everyday life whom I worship, not related to any rituals as such.

GOPAL LAHIRI was born and grew up in Kolkata. He currently lives in Mumbai, India. He is a bilingual poet, writer, editor, critic and translator and widely published in Bengali and English language. His works have featured in many national and international online and printed journals and magazines

We sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.
Aparajita Sen



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