'Faith' to me, is a hard nut to crack! The following two narratives in 'Aithihyamala' will bear me out. Incidentally this collection of true stories by Kottarathil Sankunni, exemplifies Kerala's gifts to humanity like Ayurveda, Astrology, Magic, Martial Arts, Temple architecture etc.
In one story, a servant asks his master, a Brahmin: ''Who does God look like?'' Pointing out to a buffalo, the master quips: ''Like him. Worship as I do, and you will see Him''. The servant does so. And God appears before him in the form of a buffalo. The Brahmin refuses to believe, but when convinced, realises how powerful true faith is.
The second narrative is about Alathur Nambi, a descendant of one of the eight families, Dhanwanthari the god of medicine blessed, with knowledge of Ayurveda. Nambi's prescription of snake oil offends a Brahman suffering from a severe skin disease: ''How could you ask a chaste Brahmin to drink snake oil?'' Disgusted, he walks away to a nearby temple, and falls asleep. That night, he dreams of a remedy in 'Sandhya vandanam', the ritual of chanting mantras and sipping water at dawn, noon, and dusk. He starts performing it in the river behind the temple. Within days, he is cured. When told about this miracle, Nambi accompanies the Brahmin to the temple. There, he spots the carcass of a python entangled on a fallen tree, and fat from it dripping into the river. By sipping this water, the Brahmin was unknowingly consuming the medicine that Nambi had prescribed!
'Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.'
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Have faith in the Lord but use sulphur for the itch.