Author Topic: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?  (Read 18743 times)

Q

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2012, 05:14:08 PM »
Faith is not the exclusive domain of religions other than Buddhism.
Vajrayana approach is to use the most efficacious methods for an individual or group to bring about results even if it means encouraging blind faith.

Is what we called blind faith useful?

We tend to associate blind faith with other religions. The practice of Guru Devotion to a certain extent depends on some level of blind faith. This seems to be a departure from popular and  traditional Buddhist norms which emphasize on valid reasoning  and logic.

I was thinking about this topic myself, and decided to type in 'faith' in the search bar... this post came up haha...

With question comes curiosity... and with curiosity as usual I did some research and read up on several articles surrounding the application of faith in Buddhism. One of the articles I read gave a very meaningful quote that is probably very familiar to many diligent practitioners... it goes like this:

"Faith without wisdom will develop ignorance,
wisdom without faith will develop a perverted view."

I felt this quote is very important and a teaching by itself... it is one that all serious practitioners need to remind themselves as it is after all very easy to stray from dedication to blind faith.

Having blind faith in the Three Jewels certainly will not take us anywhere, though there may be some benefits, but not enough to take us to our ultimate goal of developing Boddhichitta, Enlightenment. The integration of both wisdom in the teachings and faith is most important in developing our spirituality.

Buddhists develop faith in a very different way compared to many other religions. Through contemplation, investigation and application, we develop the understanding that the Dharma truly is liberation. Because of such understanding, we develop much faith in the Buddhas, that their teaching can help us progress spiritualy... and the teachings that we do not understand, we place faith that just like all the other teachings we understood and found truth in it, so does the ones we don't understand... and carry on with our spiritual journey as we will reach to a point when all that is unclear will be understood.

When we talk about blind faith, i'm guessing that it's about ppl that think in the context of "The Buddha is all mighty and He will liberate me" kind of faith. If that is so, then sorry to say... all those with blind faith in the Buddha is just plain lazy and ignorant. Because if the Buddha can liberate us, we all would be enlightened already... but that's not the case, which means only we can help ourselves to reach enlightenment... something that Buddha cannot give but can teach.

jeremyg

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2012, 05:35:20 AM »
For me blind faith does not exist in Buddhism. Everything can be questioned, and everything can be answered through debate. Even the highest masters participate in debate, and can be proven wrong on something. It is not the idea of being proved wrong, but learning due to reason and fact.

Earlier in this post someone mentioned that following a Guru can be considered blind faith, if we just do what he says.
The truth is, we wouldn't follow a Guru solely based on blind faith. Personally if I were to follow a guru, is is because I know that everything he would say or tell me to do, will lead me close to enlightenment. And for those who say that, that is blind faith, there are so many examples and accounts of how proper Guru devotion will help you.

Then again the more we understand, and the more wisdom we have as Q said, the better our practice will be. Maybe there is an extent where true blind faith, will have little or no result.

triesa

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2012, 11:19:37 AM »
For me blind faith does not exist in Buddhism. Everything can be questioned, and everything can be answered through debate. Even the highest masters participate in debate, and can be proven wrong on something. It is not the idea of being proved wrong, but learning due to reason and fact.


Jeremyg, you are right, blind faith does not exist in Buddhism. I like what you said, everything in buddhism can be answered through debate. That is exactlyt why everyday the monks will debate in the monastery as part of their study.

So only logic prevails at the end. Everyone buys logic, and is skeptical with blind faith, as nobody wants to follow something purely by closing their eyes like a blind man.

As with Guru devotion, well....we are supposed to check out our guru thoroughly before we take refuge in him. But at these times, a lot of people will jump the steps and take refuge in a guru, perhaps becasue he has some obstacles to overcome and need the guildance of a guru immediately, or becasue the guru is so  charismastic that he just follows him naturally, like Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, his crazy wisdom attracted so many followers who were mainly hippees in the seventies. Many of his students are still great dharma practitioners now.

My point here is that a certain blind faith in the beginning may help in following a guru (well, then we hope your guru is from an authentic lineage too) ....but eventually we should move from believing faith to admiring faith then to wishing faith as Khedrub Gyatso has mentioned.

I like also what Q said :

"Faith without wisdom will develop ignorance,
wisdom without faith will develop a perverted view."



Aurore

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2012, 06:13:30 PM »
Buddhism is definitely not blind faith. However, I do think Buddhism do appear to be a practice of blind faith to non-Buddhist.

If non-Buddhist ask me, "How do you know your religion is the "correct" one? That Buddhas exist and not simply blind faith?" "How do you know reincarnation exist? You can't even remember!" My reply would be: "I just know it!" or "My protector has helped me in many ways. So I know there is a higher power than us."

So is this blind faith? yes, it does sound like blind faith. Idol worshipping is also seen as blind faith as Buddhist are seen to worship statues.  ;D

Sadly, I do use blind faith to encourage people who have daily obstacles. I would say that blind faith do appeal to a certain level of mind who is not ready to accept logic and all they want is quick results. It is easier to believe that there is an unseen power who can help you when you are in need. So that may be what is required to encourage an individual to engage in spiritual practice so that later, with more studies and applying logic, it will turn to real faith. The faith that arise from understanding the nature of suffering and the ultimate truth of our existence.

Tenzin K

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2012, 08:53:50 AM »
It’s important for one to have full faith to what they believe in. Having strong faith it will not stop one or shake their mind in any doubt or confuse situation. In Buddhism, I personally feel that people build the faith through their experience and understanding. Of course I would refer the understanding of the Lamrim in this case. The positive outcome of the experience and the knowledge knowing why things happen serve a great answer for every doubt people have.

For blind faith it’s common to any situation that they have not experience and no knowledge of why things happen as such but still believe it happen for a reason. I don’t think this is bad at all as long as the spiritual path of the journey is following the Lamrim teaching. Not everyone can understand things immediately but at a very minimal stage they have the “blind faith” to continue their spiritual journey hoping to find the answer later.       

From having blind faith to continue their journey to learn and eventually build up solid faith in Buddhist teaching.

pgdharma

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2012, 03:26:31 PM »
Blind faith is not encourage in Buddhism. One needs to have wisdom, compassion and the realization of emptiness to get attained. However, at the very fundamental level  blind faith is the first step to get connected to the dharma. As our spiritual path progressed, then our reasoning, understanding and applying logic will be better. So the believing faith will progressed to wishing faith which is to achieve the qualities of the Buddha.

brian

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2012, 04:15:31 PM »
i dont believe in blind faiths, one who is blindly believing in something is not logical. probably out of fear, but for me, Buddhistic does not simply believe in Buddhism because it is blind faith. Maybe in the initial level, as mentioned by pgdharma. But if we analyse it deeper, Buddhism gives us logic and even i myself believe in Buddhism because of its logic. so i conclude by agreeing to the fact blind faith is not Buddhistic. If fact one should not even believe in a religion that does not give you logic and merely you believing it just because of blind faith.

bambi

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2012, 08:43:15 AM »
Buddhism is not based on illogical beliefs. It is based on facts and logic, at least to me. Even if it is not about religion, nobody would be dumb enough to believe in something that is illogical, right? This is something I find very relevant to the topic raised :

http://www.buddhanet.net/nutshell03.htm

To the seekers of truth the Buddha says:

"Do not accept anything on (mere) hearsay -- (i.e., thinking that thus have we heard it for a long time). Do not accept anything by mere tradition -- (i.e., thinking that it has thus been handed down through many generations). Do not accept anything on account of mere rumors -- (i.e., by believing what others say without any investigation). Do not accept anything just because it accords with your scriptures. Do not accept anything by mere suppositions. Do not accept anything by mere inference. Do not accept anything by merely considering the reasons. Do not accept anything merely because it agrees with your pre-conceived notions. Do not accept anything merely because it seems acceptable -- (i.e., thinking that as the speaker seems to be a good person his words should be accepted). Do not accept anything thinking that the ascetic is respected by us (therefore it is right to accept his word).

lotus1

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2012, 08:42:44 PM »
This is a very interesting thought. i agree that Buddhism and does not encourage blind faith. Buddha always asked us to check out what is the truth.
However, i humbly think that for certain people, blind faith might be useful to get them to be connected with Buddhism. We can see that many older generation of Chinese in Mahayana tradition who are illiterate, but they just have blind faith that Buddha will help and protect them and just chant the mantra of Amitabha. They may not know what is Dharma at all but just have faith that Buddha is good for them. All they do is just believe and chant. Some of them may gain a certain level of concentration and also gain good merits to have the chance to learn Dharma. So, in this case, blind faith is good too. :)
i think for beings from the initial scope, someone who has blind faith in Buddha would be better than someone is without faith and do not believe in Dharma. At least the blind faith helps them to create the karmic link to be closer to Buddha Dharma. :)

ilikeshugden

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2012, 07:30:46 AM »
To me, blind faith is usually what certain Buddhists have. They do not know who their Buddha is, what emanations, what is reincarnation, nothing at all. However, blind faith can also be in the case of those who separate from Dorje Shugden just because His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama said so. If they decide to stop the practice without any form of contemplation, without knowing your facts, then you have blind faith. In short, to me, blind faith is not buddhistic. In Buddha's teachings, Buddha has always asked as to question our beliefs and not follow blindly.

Carpenter

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2012, 06:31:04 PM »
Blind faith is believing blindly without understanding any of the content, when people tell you that is good, you just believe it all the way before doing any research and observe, that is blind faith to me.

In Vajrayana Buddhism, people follow the instruction of a guru, this does not mean blind faith, because before they follow, they have already check out, researched and understand the benefits then only get involve in it. when you are to commit into guru devotion, you know what the guru ask you to do, you accepted it with your thought logically, a guru will not ask you to bang your car and die, whatever he ask of you, it is to make you a better person, so you accepted the instruction, you do it rationally, I don't see any blind faith here.


dondrup

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2012, 12:31:21 PM »
Yes, Buddha has taught Buddhists not to take and accept things at their face values.  We need to evaluate the teachings given by Buddha and check for ourselves their validities before accepting and adopting them. However, how far and to what extent do we check on a guru before we can fully accept the guru? We can never check enough.  Do we have the resource, time, and expertise to check a guru?  In actuality most of us would not have enough of these to help us decide.  Very often we rely on an element of ‘blind’ faith on the guru to support our decision to accept a guru. 

Karma had reconnected us with a guru.  It is not by chance.  It is through past prayers and merits that we have come thus far to meet a guru.  Do we want to miss this rare opportunity to reconnect with a guru?  Buddha Vajradhara had said in the scriptures that He will manifest as spiritual guides in this degenerate time. This guru could be Buddha Vajradhara! We can safely accept the guru after having relied on our investigation and this element of blind faith.  Faith does not come immediately but has to be developed. A little blind faith is better than no faith at the outset of our practice of guru devotion.

ratanasutra

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2012, 06:01:36 PM »
i don't think buddhism is blind faith. The teaching of Buddhism are base on logic and it about the truth which we can study and prove about it.

In Buddhism we are encourage to study, learn, debate, question, find solution/answer etc

However faith also play a very importance role in Buddhism as from faith we are engage in Buddhism and our practice is grow from faith as well but it not the blind faith.   

biggyboy

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2012, 07:09:34 PM »
In many ways after much contemplation and learning, there's no blind faith in Buddhism. In Buddhism, we have to have logical reasoning and understanding and not taking in by the mere fact that people say so, brought down by traditions or cultures, rumours, or base on own preconceived notions, etc... Buddhism is not about the religion or the images of the Buddha.  Is more of putting into action on Buddha's teachings.

The Buddha says.... "He honors me best who practices my teaching best."
                             "He who sees the Dhamma sees me."

Isn't it obvious?  Well I would also agree that during this degeneration time, many would follow blindly for the quick fix to their problem.  Ya.. it is truly non-buddhistic at all.  At least let it be the beginning of their journey for now and over time with much knowledge and understanding, the blind faith would turn around to firm and strong faith.

kurava

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2012, 02:57:12 AM »
Buddha encouraged his students to listen to the meaning of his teachings, not him. Contemplate on the meanings, if beneficial then apply them.

Based on this, I would say blind faith is not encouraged by Buddhism. However, after we studied the sutras and decide to go for the higher teachings where we are to gain the non conceptual experiences, we do need to develop faith in our Guru. This faith is not a blind one. Students are encouraged to check out the teacher  as taught in the Lamrim. Once the student regards someone as his Guru and embark on the path, he must be prepared to go all the way. Therefore for the quick path practitioners, Guru devotion( total faith and complete surrendering) is the main practice because the Guru is the embodiment of the three jewels and he functions to help us to find our inner Guru .