Faith

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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:53 pm

There are two kinds of beings in Jambudvipa. There are: those who have faith, and the others, who do not. Those with faith can be cured. Why? Because such a person can definitely attain Nirvana,


Mahaparinirvana Sutra
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:13 pm

There may appear people who, after my death, listen to the teachings of such a wonderful Mahayana sutra and gain faith. Know that such people will not fall into the unfortunate realms in the ages of the future.


Mahaparinirvana Sutra
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:17 pm

Once you have developed full confidence in the power of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha to protect you from the suffering of the three lower realms and entrusted them with your spiritual care, your refuge is solid and you have truly become a practicing Buddhist.
If, however, your confidence in the Three Jewels weakens and doubts about their ability to protect you arise, you can no longer claim to be a true practitioner of Buddhadharma.


Dalai Lama Illuminating the Path, p. 85
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby smcj » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:24 pm

HHDL wrote:Once you have developed full confidence in the power of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha to protect you from the suffering of the three lower realms and entrusted them with your spiritual care, your refuge is solid and you have truly become a practicing Buddhist.
(underlining mine)

Well so much for the Kalama Sutta! (Which ends with the Kalama people all taking Refuge in Sakyamuni anyway.)

You've got to admit that's so much nicer a definition for what constitutes a Buddhist than having to subscribe to a given set of doctrines.

:smile:
Last edited by smcj on Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:29 pm

smcj wrote:
HHDL wrote:Once you have developed full confidence in the power of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha to protect you from the suffering of the three lower realms and entrusted them with your spiritual care, your refuge is solid and you have truly become a practicing Buddhist.

Well so much for the Kalama Sutta! (Which ends with the Kalama people all taking Refuge in Sakyamuni anyway.)

You've got to admit that's so much nicer a definition for what constitutes a Buddhist than having to subscribe to a given set of doctrines.

:smile:


Yep, Refuge is not only the entrance to Buddhism, but it is the Path & the Goal too.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby smcj » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:33 pm

Will wrote:
smcj wrote:
HHDL wrote:Once you have developed full confidence in the power of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha to protect you from the suffering of the three lower realms and entrusted them with your spiritual care, your refuge is solid and you have truly become a practicing Buddhist.

Well so much for the Kalama Sutta! (Which ends with the Kalama people all taking Refuge in Sakyamuni anyway.)

You've got to admit that's so much nicer a definition for what constitutes a Buddhist than having to subscribe to a given set of doctrines.

:smile:


Yep, Refuge is not only the entrance to Buddhism, but it is the Path & the Goal too.

Now now now, that's a little esoteric on a public forum, don't you think? :thumbsup:
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:13 pm

To achieve a total awakening state of enlightenment requires developing faith, respect, and devotion to the buddhas, bodhisattvas, and enlightened beings. Without that development, one cannot achieve enlightenment.


Ven. Thrangu Rinpoche
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:41 am

The Highest Truth of the Buddhas
Can be understood only by faith,
Indeed, the eyeless one cannot see
The blazing disk of the sun. || 153 ||


Like the Vaiḍūrya stone, the purity in the mind
Is the cause of the Buddha's appearance,
And this purity of mind is intensified
By the irresistible faculty of faith. || 89 ||


But the wise one, whose intellect accepts the faith
In this exclusive sphere of the Buddha,
Becomes a receptacle of the whole collection of properties,
And, being possessed of the desire [to obtain]
The inconceivable properties [of the Buddha],
He surpasses the abundance of merits of all living beings. || 2 ||


Uttaratantra
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby smcj » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:28 am

The Highest Truth of the Buddhas
Can be understood only by faith,
Indeed, the eyeless one cannot see
The blazing disk of the sun. || 153 ||

That's really from Uttaratantra? I've gone through it and don't remember that.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:55 am

smcj wrote:
The Highest Truth of the Buddhas
Can be understood only by faith,
Indeed, the eyeless one cannot see
The blazing disk of the sun. || 153 ||

That's really from Uttaratantra? I've gone through it and don't remember that.


It is in the 4th section on the Element, verse 153. This is Takasaki's translation.

Here are two other translations that Dzongsar Rinpoche commented on:

This ultimate truth of the spontaneously-born is to be understood through faith alone –
The orb of the sun may shine but it cannot be seen by the blind!

This truth of the Self-Sprung Ones is to be realized through faith. The orb of the sun
blazes with light, [but] is not seen by the blind.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby smcj » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:29 am

Will wrote:
smcj wrote:
The Highest Truth of the Buddhas
Can be understood only by faith,
Indeed, the eyeless one cannot see
The blazing disk of the sun. || 153 ||
That's really from Uttaratantra? I've gone through it and don't remember that.

It is in the 4th section on the Element, verse 153.

I guess I need to read it without falling into a hypnotic state and dismissing it as "blah blah blah". I do that with overly dry texts.

I've got a commentary by Thrangu R. titled, "The Uttara Tantra: A Treatise on Buddha Nature". Here is what he says about that verse:

As an ordinary person one cannot understand Buddha essence directly and therefore needs the help of faith to understand it. The buddha nature has been there from the very beginning and was never created by anyone. It is the spontaneously present jnana. An ordinary person cannot see this directly because his buddha nature is covered by impurities. He or she may be able to gain some indirect understanding of it by inference, but even this is hard to understand because it is in the domain of the inconceivable. For example, the sun sheds its brilliant rays all the time; as far as the sun is concerned, it never is obscured by anything. But a blind person will never see this sunshine. In the same way, the spontaneously present jnana has been there from the very beginning but it is hidden from ordinary beings who do not have the clear eyes of prajna to see through the thick darkness of ignorance. They must rely on faith in order to understand this buddha nature.

So faith is for the ordinary person that does not have "the clear eyes of prajna to see through the thick darkness of ignorance".

Thrangu goes on to verse 155:

Buddha nature is void and not void in a way. The buddha essence is devoid of any passing impurity because these are not an intrinsic part of it. On the other hand, the buddha essence is not devoid of the supreme qualities because the qualities are an inseparable part of the actual nature of the buddha essence.

Sorry, the Shentongpa-troll in me just couldn't resist that last part.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:54 am

The wealth of faith, of discipline,
Generosity and learning,
Decency, self-control,
And wisdom—such are the seven riches.
These most sacred forms of wealth
Are seven treasures that never run out.


Since it is the infallible entry to the Dharma,
Let the roots of my faith be strong!


Atisha, The Bodhisattva’s Garland of Jewels
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:15 pm

Following the virtuous path requires faith. Without faith, virtue cannot develop in one’s being. Thus, the Ten Dharmas Sutra says:
Virtuous qualities cannot grow
In a person without faith,
As a green sprout
Does not shoot from a burnt seed.


Gampopa
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:55 pm

Faith is a gateway to the light of Dharma, for with it one’s mind is unshakable.


Lalitavistara Sutra ch. 4
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby Jesse » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:24 am

This is one of the reasons Ive stuck with Buddhism, There is a a method to the madness. There is a method, a very specific reason for it. Even if we don't understand why it works. 3 years ago I would of turned my nose up at faith like poison. These days im trying to remind myself it's just a tool.
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:05 am

Jesse, well said.

Here is another, not so obvious, function of faith; also from the Lalitavistara:

The faculty of faith is a gateway to the light of the Dharma, for it leads one to not depend on the guidance of others.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:51 pm

The power of faith is a gateway to the light of the Dharma, for it leads to the thorough transcendence of the power of Māra.


Lalitavistara Sutra ch. 4
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:57 pm

7-8. The benefits of faith are great merit, freedom from regret,
happiness, great joy, nondeprivation, firmness, improvement, direct
realization of the teaching, supreme attainment of the aims of self
and other, and swift superknowledge.



The benefits of arisen or present (faith) is great merit. (The benefit of) past
faith is freedom from regret, because there is no remorse. (The benefit) of the subjective
and objective (faith is) great happiness due to endowment with meditative
concentration. (The benefit) of (faith) developed by a spiritual teacher is nondeprivation.
(The benefit) of autonomous (faith) is firmness in faith. (The benefit) of
unerring, revelational, study-produced (literal, wishful, visionary, subvertible, and
adulterated faiths) is excellent progress. (The benefit of) the great (unadulterated
faith) is direct realization of the teaching. (The benefit) of individual (faith) is attainment
of one's own aims. (The benefit) of magnificent (faith) is highest attainment
of the aims of others. And the benefit of the good tendencies of the unobscured,
energetic, and provisioned (faiths) is swift superknowledge.


Mahayanasutralamkara with Vasubandhu's comment, from Thurman pp. 107-08
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Faith

Postby Will » Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:24 am

15. When the (bodhisattva) constantly generates great faith in the magnificent Dharma of the great noble ones, he develops the continual increase of vast merit and of (faith) itself, gaining spiritual greatness by means of such incomparable excellences.


Mahayanasutralamkara ch. 10
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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