The operative word in Krishna Consciousness is “faith”. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna uses the word “shraddha” at least ten times in different places in His conversation with Arjuna. In these places, Krishna clearly stresses the importance of faith in knowing Him. In chapter six text 47, there is a clear indication to this point. Srila Rupa Goswami, the leader for Gaudiya Vaishnavas, explains that “shraddha” or “faith” is the preliminary ingredient to understand and love God. Having said that, Srila Prabhupada in his introduction to Bhagavad Gita explains the difference in faith within sanatana dharma and faith in sectarian religion. Below is his quote;
The English word religion is a little different from sanātana-dharma. Religion conveys the idea of faith, and faith may change. One may have faith in a particular process, and he may change this faith and adopt another, but sanātana-dharma refers to that activity which cannot be changed…Those belonging to some sectarian faith will wrongly consider that sanātana-dharma is also sectarian, but if we go deeply into the matter and consider it in the light of modern science, it is possible for us to see that sanātana-dharma is the business of all the people of the world – nay, of all the living entities of the universe. Non-sanātana religious faith may have some beginning in the annals of human history, but there is no beginning to the history of sanātana-dharma, because it remains eternally with the living entities…Yet man professes to belong to a particular type of faith with reference to particular time and circumstance and thus claims to be a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or an adherent of any other sect. Such designations are non–sanātana-dharma. A Hindu may change his faith to become a Muslim, or a Muslim may change his faith to become a Hindu, or a Christian may change his faith and so on. But in all circumstances the change of religious faith does not affect the eternal occupation of rendering service to others. The Hindu, Muslim or Christian in all circumstances is a servant of someone. Thus, to profess a particular type of faith is not to profess one’s sanātana-dharma.
“Faith” or “belief” is a common word and has to be understood properly. When it is used purely on a sentimental platform fully dependent on the words of the speaker or a book such as the Bible or Koran or Gita etc, then it is considered “sentimental faith”. But that “faith” which motivates the soul to express his or her inherent nature of selfless and timeless service to God and all beings is considered “realized faith”.
When one’s faith is enriched with realization versus mere sentiment, there is harmony within and without followed by peace and inner joy!