Author Topic: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?  (Read 18908 times)

Ensapa

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2012, 03:55:21 PM »
Blind faith is something that the Buddha has long spoken against. There is no place for blind faith in buddhism as all faith must have a basis for it. the basis from the faith comes from none other than exhaustive and proper investigation on the subject matter, which in this case is the Dharma. And from this investigation and learning, the person who studies it establishes faith based on his or her understanding and conclusion on the teachings. This is taught in all 3 traditions of the Buddha. From the Buddha himself:

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"Make a proper investigation first. Proper investigation is good for a well-known person like yourself."
Now I am even more pleased and satisfied when the Lord says to me:' Make a proper investigation first.' For if members of another religion had secured me as a disciple they would have paraded a banner all around the town saying: 'Upali has joined our religion.' But the Lord said to me:' Make a proper investigation first. Proper investigation is good for a well-known person like yourself.' ~ MI 139"

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4. "It is proper for you, Kalamas, to doubt, to be uncertain;uncertainty has arisen in you about what is doubtful. Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are bad; these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill,' abandon them.

10. "Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them.


The Buddha taught that uncertainties should always be clarified and not covered over or glossed over. Blind faith is when unexplainable flaws are glossed over and when cross examined, the person with blind faith will always falter and fall and will not be able to give answers at the end because they do not base their faith on something solid like knowledge, logic and study for example or their own experience. To have faith is basically to trust that a certain teaching or statement is taken to be true and this feeling is overwhelming, supported with an overbearing sense of confidence and this can be based on either clarifications, knowledge, logic or experience. Like for example, most people have faith in science because science explains everything and leaves no room for uncertainties, and it is the same with the Buddha's teaching when properly examined.

As the Dali Lama has said:
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Dharma, or the teachings, is not a series of instructions to be believed and followed out of blind faith. The practice of Dharma should be carried out on the basis of reason and contemplation. If one accepts a point or practice or doctrine out of blind faith, one is accepting it for the wrong reasons and in the wrong way. Whenever I myself encounter a contradiction between doctrine and reason, I always give priority to reason. Buddha taught many levels and types of doctrines in dependence upon the quality of this audiences, and we must discern for ourselves what was meant literally  and what only figuratively.

Excerpts from The Path to Enlightenment (1982) by the Dalai Lama, a commentary on The Essence of Refined Gold by Sonam Gyatso.

So it is imperative that we base our faith in the Dharma due to reason and logic and through investigation so that we can reap the full benefits from a teacher. Once we have faith in something after checking it out and deciding, we should really go all the way with it instead of doubting further and allow doubts to be clarified in a polite way rather than covering them up and hiding. I hope this post makes some of us contemplate on this.

fruven

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2013, 01:10:45 AM »
Faith vs logic? Or blind faith vs logic? Is it mutually exclusive and one can only choose one or the other but not both?

If we have faith we follow through and thus get the results, more compassion, more logically mind, calmness, friendliness, less anger, less jealousy we develop more faith. Isn't it logical?

If we do not have faith and we oppose, resist, or do the opposite and thus get no result we lose faith. Isn't it logical?

If believe in Buddha teachings and what he have taught, eg. karma, merits, requires a lot of merit accumulation which doesn't come from just studying and reading alone, but through practice, contemplation and meditation, the so called 'logic' we have to even begin to think logically unclouded by the effect of karma in the form of doubt, isn't it logical to postulate that we do not think in logical terms? In fact we can only rely on and depends on by the example of the disciples of Buddha as a proof that his teachings works which we can see from ourselves.

If we used the teachings of the Buddha and argue, justify, misinform, our own behaviour, and our so called 'bad' karma isn't we are working from illogical point of view?

If we have study 'enough' and 'all' Buddha teachings, thinking we know everything, isn't it illogical that we are still suffering, get moody because someone called us name, called our parents' name, ancestor's name, not recognize for our own 'effort', not getting praise, being blamed, being judged and we feel it is unfair why everyone doing this to me?

Isn't it logical that you have done the opposite of what Buddha have taught and your guru advise, and didn't get what you want, you feel these 'bad' results, of course it is. Thus it demotivate you even further to 'prove' to you yourself that Buddha's teachings doesn't work because you study and understand Buddha's teachings and your life still sucks and you're in deep shit. Doesn't it sound logical that something is missing it here? Study and understanding doesn't negate and nullify the karma, our own self-doubt, and whatever neurosis we have, maybe a little bit.

Just like studying and understanding the working of gravity doesn't make you anti-gravity when you're dropping from 10,000 feet from the sky when your parachute is broken. If you feel fear while falling, knowing your are minutes or seconds away from death and thinking of how to survive, good! If you study and understand Buddha teachings but still have no fear of your death, then it is definitely something wrong! We are minutes and seconds away from death from karma and still we have no fear?! That speaks how much 'logical' we are even after we have learn so much Buddhistic teachings.
 

tsangpakarpo

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2013, 02:13:08 PM »
I don't think blind faith is a bad idea. Wouldn't blind faith be better than no faith especially in Buddhism? In Buddhism, even if we do not have an idea what is going but if we have blind faith hence we continue practicing, we still gain good karma wouldnt we?

Faith can after all be developed over time. As time goes by with our practice, the more we see, the more we learn, the more we understand. With that, our blind faith will transform to be a even stronger faith through the understanding of our practice.

Then with understanding and learning of Dharma knowledge, we develop more faith by our motivation which will then give us the opportunity to gain merits!

Big Uncle

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2013, 08:09:07 AM »
Well, blind faith would be able to work during the middle ages when people were uneducated. People today are more exposed than ever and they know much more and more exposed to much more than before. So, blind faith wouldn't work and even if it did, it is flimsy and makes for a very unstable spiritual journey.

People who seeking various teachers but stick to none are just looking for a spiritual trip and nothing else. According to the great teachers, a faith that is backed up by wisdom and great learning is firmer and more stable than stone. Why? the teachings allow us to understand how our mind works and the teachings becomes like various methods to overcome our own ego. If we take the Dharma teachings to be applied than we can do wonders with our minds.

Hence, the masters of the past who needed to teach the masses who were uneducated, exhibited more miraculous powers to tame their disciples. This is because education levels were low and blind faith is more powerful than one that is supported by learning. However today, people are highly educated and exposed, hence the great masters manifest less miraculous powers and prefer to teach the Dharma so people find salvation through their spiritual learning and practice.

apprenticehealer

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2013, 09:26:17 AM »
Blind faith is not encouraged by Buddhism !

Perhaps several thousands of years ago, when man is just a normal layman - blind faith might have been taught to ensure that the man practices what he was taught. i suppose it was a situation of ' do it or else !!!'

But in the present day and age, we are all exposed to some degree of education, we can think for ourselves, we have the intelligence to discern , the ability to know how we feel deep inside , the law and the social conditioning of the country and our peers. We should know better than our ancestors hundreds and thousands of years ago. We did evolved one way or another.

Practicing Buddhism is a thinking man's guide to how to live correctly and in the right manner, to walk on the right path. Having Faith is having Trust - Trust in the Dharma, Trust in our Guru that will lead us eventually to Enlightenment.

Q

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2013, 11:18:10 AM »
Blind faith is not encouraged by Buddhism !

Perhaps several thousands of years ago, when man is just a normal layman - blind faith might have been taught to ensure that the man practices what he was taught. i suppose it was a situation of ' do it or else !!!'

But in the present day and age, we are all exposed to some degree of education, we can think for ourselves, we have the intelligence to discern , the ability to know how we feel deep inside , the law and the social conditioning of the country and our peers. We should know better than our ancestors hundreds and thousands of years ago. We did evolved one way or another.

Practicing Buddhism is a thinking man's guide to how to live correctly and in the right manner, to walk on the right path. Having Faith is having Trust - Trust in the Dharma, Trust in our Guru that will lead us eventually to Enlightenment.

That's true, what you said is logical and easily understood. Many times people question me about Buddhism and Enlightenment,, they ask "You have not truly seen it, you have not felt it, you have no idea what it is... how can you be so firm in it when you don't know what it is?"

And they do not realize that the very question is the answer in itself... What you don't know, learn it up.

Blind faith comes from the lack of wisdom. For all the good they have in praising the Buddha, that makes no difference for cessation of samsara comes from within. When we refuse to learn, refuse to change, refuse to practice the Dharma as our Guru teach us... then that is a recipe for developing blind faith... although initially one has great trust in the Dharma, it will reduce if we remain stagnant.

So, it's very easy to see which person in our Dharma center is there because they 'feel' that they will be saved and am there just for the 'feel good' factor... and those who are truly there without blind faith. The ones that truly trust the 3 Jewels will show in their transformation, while those that are just there for whatever reason they're there, either guilt or scared etc... they never show progress and eventually fall out of practice because the pull of samsara is just too strong.

buddhalovely

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2013, 03:22:12 AM »
The Dharma of the Buddha is not a religion of blind faith. It is far more demanding than that. It is a religion of experience; of exploration and discovery. The Buddha said that his teaching was " ehipassiko " which means "come and see." Few of the great teachers in history have made such a bold and confident claim. His teachings not only withstand methodical examination, they demand it.

Because of this, the role of the faith faculty in Buddhism may be difficult to grasp. We should clarify that by "faith" I mean the enlightenment factor and spiritual faculty of "saddha." This is often translated "confidence" or "conviction" and both of these words are very good, but I still prefer the straightforward "faith" precisely because it is a loaded word which challenges us to deal with the implications.

Faith is a key factor in the list of wholesome states. It is one of the uplifting enlightenment factors, together with the related states of joy and energy. It is also one of the spiritual faculties, to be balanced with discriminating wisdom. Without wisdom, faith becomes superstition just as without faith wisdom is only a low cunning which justifies the defilements.

psylotripitaka

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2013, 06:03:55 AM »
Its definitely a useful start, but staying there is dangerous.

Do to the kindness of the Guru though, we will quickly ascertain logic and experience to establish more reliable and firm types of faith that will take us deeper.

Q

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2013, 10:38:22 AM »
Its definitely a useful start, but staying there is dangerous.

Do to the kindness of the Guru though, we will quickly ascertain logic and experience to establish more reliable and firm types of faith that will take us deeper.

What you said here is very true. Thanks for pointing out.

To a certain extent, blind faith is useful when we start out mainly because of our lack of knowledge. But it should not stay that way after being in Dharma for many years. Unfortunately, you will not see many people pursuing for knowledge and remain comfortable in the zone of 'blind faith'... and they don't even know they're there! Ignorance is truly the meanest poison...

Some people wonder why is it dangerous to stay in this state. There are many reason and one of it is you will not progress spiritually and eventually will fall off from the path of Dharma. I'm sure there are many more 'dangers' of blind faith, perhaps someone can list them here clearly for everyone to read =)

RedLantern

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Re: Is blind faith Buddhistic ?
« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2013, 12:27:13 PM »
There isn't any different in all types of Buddhism at all. The methods may be different,the results are the same.
Whoever thinks their tradition is right ,and all others are wrong,that's the point where you've stopped investigating.Only one truth,one nature and,one kind of Enlightenment,not several.
The Buddha knew different approaches were suitable for different people,that's why he gave so many different ways.Not because one is right and the other is wrong.It also has to do with culture.Whatever suits
a culture,that's the way Buddhism will go.Makes it more accessible for people and that's important.