Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Faith (saddha) Discourse

Wisdom Quarterly translation: Saddha Sutra (AN 5.38)

There are these five beneficial results of confidence (saddha) for lay followers. What are the five?

  1. When good people [noble ones and such] in this world show compassion, they first show compassion to confident people, not those lacking confidence.
  2. When they visit, they first visit confident people, not those lacking confidence.
  3. When they accept gifts [or hospitality], they first accept gifts from confident people, not those lacking confidence.
  4. When they teach the Dharma, they first teach it to confident people, not those lacking confidence.
  5. A confident person (with faith well placed), at the break up of the body, after death, rearises in a good destination, even in celestial worlds.
These are the five beneficial results of confidence.

A lay follower replete with confidence [in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha] is like a large Bo tree growing at a crossroads: It is a haven for birds that come from four directions. Just so a confident lay follower is a haven for monks, nuns, male lay followers (upasakas), and female lay followers (upasikas).

A great Bo tree laden with figs and leaves
With shoots and roots and abundant fruit
There birds of every feather rest and rejoice together
In an environment they call home
Who seeks fruit finds fruit
Who seeks shade finds shade
It is just the same with a person of faith
Who is virtuous, humble, gentle, sensitive, caring, and mild
To such a person come those unfettered
Who are free from greed, hate, and delusion
Who are a great field of merit for the world
They teach a Dharma that dispels all ill
Which to understand frees one from all fetters culminating in nirvana