Fear is one of the most debilitating feelings known to man. Many mental diseases have their origin in fear. Patients are afraid of something and are not able to overcome the fearful thoughts or stop them from dominating their minds.
What is a person afraid of ? There appear to be two main reasons for fear. One is the fear of losing something which may include one's health, body, money, job, relatives and friends, etc. The other is the perceived sense of loss of enjoyment. This relates to loss of sense objects, that is what a person likes to see, hear, eat etc. Loss of enjoyment may also take place due to loss of one's health, possessions and comforts.
Again, fear can be of two kinds. One is the apprehension of something bad happening and the other is the inevitability of some bad occurrence. Apprehension relates to chance, whereas inevitability is related to time. God-conscious people are able to overcome, prevent and tolerate all such fears. They are convinced that everything in this world is regulated, there is always a reason for something to happen ; nothing happens by chance. Surprisingly, the scientists, who are generally not-believers, also believe in the theory of cause and effect.
All scientific findings are based on empirical evidence. Still, many scientists do not accept that there is God and his energies are behind all happenings. Therefore, whatever is unknown to such scientists is assumed to happen by chance. This is where fear comes in. This can be understood from an example. The scientists build a sturdy plane. Still, they cannot guarantee that the plane will not crash. They say that there is always a chance of the plane crashing and they cannot prevent it. However, the faithful are not afraid of a crash since they believe in destiny. If a person’s time has ended, he will die. But the unfaithful becomes afraid.
Similarly, a faithful person is not afraid of loss of money, health, etc. He believes that every happening has a cause. Doctors cannot prevent death. The faithful are certain that their life-span has been fixed by higher authorities and there is no need of fearing for the body’s safety. They also believe that soul is indestructible. Loss of one body entitles them to another body, maybe a better one. Lord Krishna states in the Bhagavad-Geeta : "One who has taken birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again" (2.27). A faithful person also believes that everything belongs to God, including his body and it must be used in his service.
The faithful are also not afraid of loss of enjoyment since their enjoyment is with God. Material objects can be taken away but God is permanent. Dependence for security or enjoyment on temporary objects causes fear.
If a person wants to overcome fear, he should become faithful. This is not at all difficult. Just believe in Lord Krishna'a words when He states, “This material nature, which is one of my energies, is working under My direction" (9.10). This would mean that whatever happens has a cause ; nothing happens by chance. This, in turn would mean that all bad or good that happens to a person has its cause in his past.
In addition, the faithful are not likely to be whimsical or sinful – the reasons for all misfortunes. They follow scriptural directions. They are also not completely without fear since they are afraid of acting sinfully and they avoid suffering to a great extent. This is being cautious, which is different from being fearful.
The faithful also depend upon God for protection. Only God who is eternal, all-powerful, plus, most importantly, friend of the living entities, is dependable. We learn from the Bhagavad-Geeta that God is, "The benefactor and well-wisher of living entities" (5.29).
Living entities can be compared to planes flying in the air. If one plane develops a snag, others cannot come to its rescue. Its safety is only in the hands of God. Dependence on temporary objects, like human beings, money, etc causes fear. Therefore, the faithful repose their faith in God alone. They know well that fear is a negative emotion. They tolerate misfortune, "One must learn to tolerate without being disturbed" (2.14). The faithful also learn not to anticipate trouble ; they just try to do their best all the time, since God, being all-merciful, has even allowed for rectification of mistakes made earlier.