The Buddhist faith

Update: 28/04/2018
Story from the past…

The Buddhist faith


Suppavāsā, the ruler’s princess of Koliya kingdom, spent seven years of pregnant. At the seventh year, she got a birth pang. It lasted for a week still not yet giving birth. On the seventh day, with the great feeling of pain and suffer she still keeps in her mind the great mercy of the Triratna: “Buddha is the enlightened one, His teaching was left for the shaking of all living beings, His disciples _ the sangha members, are the good practitioners in caring and preserving His teaching. They follow for ending the suffering caused by defilements. The Buddha’s words are the right path lead to the suffering’s ceasing, or Nirvana, wherein suffering has no place to form”. Then the princess called her husband and said: “My dear, you should go to the Buddha and on the behalf of me to pay homage to Him, asked whether He is fine, less sickness and peaceful or not, then asking Him that: “Oh Buddha, my wife is Suppavāsā, the ruler’s princess of Koliya kingdom, asked me to come here for paying respecting to You with the care whether You are fine, less sickness and tranquility or not”. You have to tell Him in any situation His Upāsikā still keeps in her mind You and Your teaching as well as the gratefulness of the Triratna”.[1]

 The present story:

Nehru, one of Indian prime minister were caught by the British police, with a specific point, always carries a small Buddha statue with him. In the jail, he often put the statue on the table and contemplate: “There are so many troubles and suffering in this world. Regardless, the Buddha still bears a peaceful face. Why don’t I follow Him?”

Former prime minister of Myanmar, Khin Nyunt, answered in the BBC’s interview on January 13rd, 2012 that after he was caught by Myanmar’s civil authority for six years: “Since I was jailed in 2004, Buddhism is my emotional crutch to overcome my difficult, and I believe Buddhism will revive Myanmar again”[2].

 Concern about the Buddhist faith, we have different sides to feel because faith plays a significant role to step in the liberation path. However, what’s the right faith or true faith without containing the superstition, blind faith or wrong view? The three figures mentioned above bring some lessons to us in thinking.

 In the Anguttara Nikaya, the Buddha taught: “Oh monks, there are two types of people falsify me. what are the two? The wicked one with full hatred in mind and the wrong view people. Here, monks, these people are distorting me”. Whoever has blind faith in the Buddha and the hard wrong view people are perverting the Buddha, they are placed on an equal footing with those who have hatred in mind, always think of harming the Buddha. We the Buddhist should care of these things.

What is the right view? We come to temple every day and chanting, praying, worshiping,… but how we understand about the Buddha? Many Buddhist followers still put the Buddha position same with the other gods or saints, they offer fruits, flowers to the Buddha for asking what they need. We all know how health, wealth, fame, beauty important to us but we indeed can’t have by praying, asking or imploding.

 The right view one will believe in what the Buddha taught: belief in the karma, causes and effects, believe that every existence caused by conditions believe life is suffering, impermanent and empty. The Buddha is nothing than a teacher, who guides us to a moral life for everlasting liberation. To avoid misunderstanding the Budda’s teaching and falling into the blind faith or wrong view, there is no way but learning carefully Dharma, contemplating on what we learn and apply it to our daily life. These are the way of learning, meditating and cultivating.

 The sutta mentioned that a person who attains the Sotāpatti will achieve the four faiths of Sotāpatti: have “knowledgeable faith” in the Buddha, Dharma, Shanga, and Vinaya.

* He is endowed with unwavering faith in the Buddha: “This is the Tathāgata, Arhat, Samyak-sambuddha, Vidyācarana, Sugata, Lokavidin, Anuttara, Purusa-damya-sārathi, Sàstà-deva-manusyānām, Buddha, Bhagavān” (in English means Thus come ones, worthy of offerings, of proper and universal knowledge, perfect in understanding and conduct, skillful, leaving the world through liberation, unsurpassed knights, taming heroes, teachers of gods and people, world-honored ones).

* He is endowed with unwavering faith in the Dharma: “Dharma was taught by the Buddha is very skilfull and practical which have no time to examine. For those in wise, they will learn and practice for escaping from suffering forever.

* He is endowed with unwavering faith in the Sangha: “The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples who have practiced well... who have practiced straight-forwardly... who have practiced methodically... who have practiced masterfully -- in other words, the four pairs, the eight individuals [1] -- they are the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world.' This is the third pleasant mental abiding in the here and now that he has attained, for the purification of the mind that is impure, for the cleansing of the mind that is unclean.

* He is endowed with virtues that are appealing to the noble ones: untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration. This is the fourth pleasant mental abiding in the here and now that he has attained, for the purification of the mind that is impure, for the cleansing of the mind that is unclean.

From here we recognize the role of right faith in the Buddhist practice. From right view leads to right faith, at there the right view is the core point conduces right thought, right speech, right action and right life-livelihood. The Noble Eightfold path was formed, developed and achieved based on the right faith in Buddhism.

To finish we take a look on the Kālāmā sutta was preached in Kesaputta. A talk shows the freedom in cognition, widen the way of thinking and a right faith that the Buddha addressed to his disciples.

So, as I said, Kālāmā: Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher."

Kālāmā, When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them for attaining peace in mind. 

[1] Quotes from Udāna, Bodhi volume, Muchalinda chapter, Nanda part

[2] Quotes from Myanmar the Sun comes up, Thich Thai Hoa, Phuong Dong publication, 2013.

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