what do we mean by faith?

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DGA
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by DGA » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:55 pm

catmoon wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:41 am
DGA wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:39 am


You seem to be using the word "faith" to indicate what I'd call make-believe: the act of actively believing in something in order to satisfy some imperative.

I was wondering how you might respond to this use of the word, as a gloss for sraddha:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:19 pm
Śraddha, as I mentioned already is a mental factor. It does not really correspond to the idea of belief, but it does somewhat correspond to the idea of confidence or trust.
Well, much as I hate to admit it, Malcolm is bang on once again. The point I am getting at is that faith, as conceived in the West, has absolutely nothing in common with faith, as discussed in the dharma. Malcolm just puts a fine academic edge on the blade. BTW nicely done Malcolm.

My implication is that faith, as conceived in the West and applied to Buddhism, is wrong, counterproductive and stupid. Really, really stupid. I mean stupid as in you could cross the universe a million times and not find anything that stupid. Stupid as in, thinking of Buddhist faith in the this sense is stupider than Donald Trump with an AK47 at an abortion clinic preaching the Gospel according to Sun Yung Moon. Only stupider. You see where I'm going with this? Maybe I'm being too subtle.

-Catmoon
I think we agree on principle but not wording.

Where you say faith, I would say belief.

This matters because there are Buddhist traditions in which faith is central to practice. If you don’t have clarity and trust and confidence in Amitabhas vows, you are not a pure land practitioner. I don’t think Pure Land practitioners are stupid. And that’s just one example. There are others.

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catmoon
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by catmoon » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:23 pm

DGA wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:55 pm





I think we agree on principle but not wording.

Where you say faith, I would say belief.

This matters because there are Buddhist traditions in which faith is central to practice. If you don’t have clarity and trust and confidence in Amitabhas vows, you are not a pure land practitioner. I don’t think Pure Land practitioners are stupid. And that’s just one example. There are others.

What I was doing there was engaging the classic Buddhist practice of vastly exaggerating a point to make it clear. It's just a rhetorical device. My apologies for any offense.

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by fuki » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:56 pm

Sheng yen on (Chan) practise and faith;
Many people think that Chan practice depends solely on their own efforts, requiring self-reliance, while those who practice by reciting the Buddha’s name depend solely on external help. Both of these views are incorrect.

http://chancenter.org/cmc/wp-content/up ... dFaith.pdf
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by smcj » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:19 pm

Miroku posted this on a different thread:
viewtopic.php?f=50&t=27974
Here's the link to the pdf.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/19LiOHd ... orqN2/view


Garchin R. talking about 8 times Tara saved him:
Garchin R. wrote:Today I will share a few stories about myself. In general, my stories are not that important. However, this
story is quite meaningful. We supplicate to the deity who has the three qualities of omniscience, love, and
power. The deity is the samboghakaya, like a rainbow. You might think “If it’s like a rainbow, it’s
nothing.” But this is not true, because they possess omniscience, love, and power. This is why I also trust
in the deity, and because of my supplications to Tara, she has directly saved me from eight great
predicaments. Each time when I found myself in a difficult situation, the deity protected me, so my trust
increased. This is why I tell everyone, “The deity is there. If you have faith and trust, the deity will be
there, and your clear and trusting faith in the deity will increase.” This is why I am sharing my story.

First, I have not engaged in a lot of practice. I have not done much learning, contemplation, and
meditation. When I was young, I learned how to read and write, and I learned a bit about the sutra path,
rituals, and chanting. Aside from that, I have no learning. Nevertheless, ever since I was young, I have
had faith in the deity and a strong belief in karma, due to the teachings I received from my root gurus,
such as Chime Dorje. Fully confident in karma, I understand that the deity is a natural manifestation of
bodhicitta, and I have been protected by the deity in the face of eight great predicaments. Because my
disciples would like to hear about this, I share my story.

Those first two paragraphs seemed relevant to this thread too.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:01 pm

In case Asanga bodhisattva has not been quoted (sorry if he has, have not read entire thread.)
8. What is faith (śraddhā)? It is complete and firm conviction (abhisampratyaya) with respect to what exists (astitva), serene joy (prasāda) relative to good qualities (guṇavatna) and the aspiration (abhilāṣa) for capability (śakyatva). Its function is to provide a basis for will.
43. What is lack of faith (āśraddhya)? It is the absence of strong complete conviction; it is the lack of serenity and aspiration for the good. It belongs to delusion. Its function is to provide a basis for laziness.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by pael » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:04 am

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:01 pm
In case Asanga bodhisattva has not been quoted (sorry if he has, have not read entire thread.)
8. What is faith (śraddhā)? It is complete and firm conviction (abhisampratyaya) with respect to what exists (astitva), serene joy (prasāda) relative to good qualities (guṇavatna) and the aspiration (abhilāṣa) for capability (śakyatva). Its function is to provide a basis for will.
43. What is lack of faith (āśraddhya)? It is the absence of strong complete conviction; it is the lack of serenity and aspiration for the good. It belongs to delusion. Its function is to provide a basis for laziness.
What is astitva? Which things belongs to it?
What are good qualities? Sakyatva is Capability in what?
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:20 pm

pael wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:04 am
Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:01 pm
In case Asanga bodhisattva has not been quoted (sorry if he has, have not read entire thread.)
8. What is faith (śraddhā)? It is complete and firm conviction (abhisampratyaya) with respect to what exists (astitva), serene joy (prasāda) relative to good qualities (guṇavatna) and the aspiration (abhilāṣa) for capability (śakyatva). Its function is to provide a basis for will.
43. What is lack of faith (āśraddhya)? It is the absence of strong complete conviction; it is the lack of serenity and aspiration for the good. It belongs to delusion. Its function is to provide a basis for laziness.
What is astitva? Which things belongs to it?
What are good qualities? Sakyatva is Capability in what?
Here is Asanga's root text, translated, chock full of descriptions and definitions:

http://www.fairfun.net/my3/panna_my/b%2 ... Rahula.pdf
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by smcj » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:42 pm

NW wrote: Here is Asanga's root text, translated, chock full of descriptions and definitions:

http://www.fairfun.net/my3/panna_my/b%2 ... Rahula.pdf
Ok, so that’s a “tl/dr” for me.

NW, ya gotta understand that some of us here really are dilettantes.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by pael » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:56 pm

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:20 pm
pael wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:04 am
Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:01 pm
In case Asanga bodhisattva has not been quoted (sorry if he has, have not read entire thread.)

What is astitva? Which things belongs to it?
What are good qualities? Sakyatva is Capability in what?
Here is Asanga's root text, translated, chock full of descriptions and definitions:

http://www.fairfun.net/my3/panna_my/b%2 ... Rahula.pdf
I don't find definition of astitva. What is it?
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:04 pm

pael wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:56 pm

I don't find definition of astitva. What is it?
Aside from what the quote defines, I do not know. Read more carefully...
It is complete and firm conviction = (abhisampratyaya)
with respect to what exists = (astitva),
serene joy = (prasāda)
relative to good qualities = (guṇavatna)
and the aspiration = (abhilāṣa)
for capability = (śakyatva). Its function is to provide a basis for will.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

pael
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by pael » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:47 am

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:04 pm
pael wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:56 pm

I don't find definition of astitva. What is it?
Aside from what the quote defines, I do not know. Read more carefully...
It is complete and firm conviction = (abhisampratyaya)
with respect to what exists = (astitva),
serene joy = (prasāda)
relative to good qualities = (guṇavatna)
and the aspiration = (abhilāṣa)
for capability = (śakyatva). Its function is to provide a basis for will.
How to know what exists?
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

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Grigoris
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by Grigoris » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:14 pm

pael wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:47 am
How to know what exists?
Now that is a good question! I guess the answer is: achieve Buddhahood, or at least 5th level Bodhisattvahood. :smile:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by Mantrik » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:04 pm

I always think these threads are backwards.

If you begin with an English word and concept it is like an analysis of a conclusion by seeking to guess what the question was.
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:08 pm

DGA wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:25 am
What is meant in a Buddhist context by the term "faith"?
This might be helpful for understanding the meaning of faith in Buddhism:
Many religions could be described as religions of faith in that they teach that faith is sufficient for salvation. In this sense Buddhism is not a religion of faith. Faith is important, not because it leads to salvation, but because the psychological qualities it imparts motivates one to walk the Path, prepares one for the journey and sustains one until results are achieved.

Emotionally it is an attitude of serenity and joy which frees one from the discomfort of doubt and thus prepares the mind for meditation. Volitionally it is a strong and courageous act of will which concentrates all one's energies on the ideal that one can see ahead but not yet reach.

Intellectually it is the acceptance of doctrines that cannot be immediately substantiated by direct experience, a willingness to wait with patience and trust until the gaps in the evidence can be filled. Faith's importance in the beginning of the spiritual quest and its contrast with wisdom is well summed up by Nagarjuna who says:

One associates with the Dhamma out of faith,
But one knows truly out of understanding;
Understanding is the chief of the two,
But faith preceeds.
https://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/dh ... /fdd29.htm

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by smcj » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:05 am

From "Ground, Path, and Fruition" by Situ R.:
We also have belief without using reasoning. When we have total faith and trust in something we do not need to use reasoning. If we have total faith, total trust in the Buddha, then we don't have to have a reason. It is the same thing as taking aspirin when we have a headache, we don't know what is in it but we have faith in it anyway, so we take it and get well. In Buddhism we have this kind of faith also.
ibid
Another thing to consider is our motivation; we learn and reason because we want to believe. Once we believe, we don't need to use reasoning. We use all of this reasoning, like Pramana, to develop faith. If we have faith without knowing any of this, this is very good, but if we don't have faith without knowing all of these subjects, we can use them to acquire faith. This option is available to us.
And for good luck...
ibid
How can a Buddha benefit others? How does it happen? Does a Buddha have a wish, and if so is the Buddha dualistic? If he has a wish he is dualistic. If he is dualistic he is not Buddha. After these six months of debate (in the Gelug geshe program)*, to make it very simple for you, they will conclude that the ultimate truth unfolds and becomes. Prince Siddartha became what any of us can become, he reached his destiny--this is "what becomes of valid cognition", Tsema gyur ba, what becomes of the truth. It means he did not just learn or discover truth but with the intention to benefit others he became truth. This means that after enlightenment the Buddha is non-dualistic but he benefits others spontaneously because his original motivation was to benefit alll sentient beings.
(formatting mine)
*parenthetical mine

ibid
In order to bow down we have to be humble, we bow to the Buddha for this reason. We do not bow because the Buddha is our boss, we do not bow because if we don't we may lose our ob. We bow to the Buddha because he became enlightened for us and all his wisdom and power is to benefit us by helping us become like him. Bowing means submission, devotion. If my ego thinks I am better or equal to someone, I will not bow to them.
Fun stuff.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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