Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby jackson » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:51 am

Hi everyone,
This question is just out of curiosity, but why are the dhamma and faith follower so rarely discussed? I've been studying Buddhism for around 10 years and it was only a few years ago that I even heard mention of these attainments. If it's true that once one becomes one of these that they are guaranteed stream-entry then shouldn't they be mentioned more often? Also is there any reason to doubt the validity of the suttas where these are mentioned?
Thank you for your time,
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby santa100 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:48 am

They're mentioned pretty frequently in many suttas. You mean they rarely get mentioned here at the forum?

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/search_r ... ght.org%2F

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/search_r ... &sa=Search
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Re: Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby jackson » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:40 am

Hi santa100,
Perhaps I just haven't stumbled across the terms very often while reading the suttas, but I've listened to hundreds of Dhamma talks by the western Ajahns and barely heard mention of them, and they don't seem to be discussed on this forum very much as well. It could be a misperception on my part but it just seems they don't seem to get the attention they deserve.
Thanks for your reply,
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby santa100 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:25 am

The Buddha showed different ways to slice and dice stuff. The Dhamma/Faith followers are parts of the Sevenfold classification of noble individuals ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ) which is categorized based on their dominant faculty. And there's that more familiar Eightfold scheme that is categorized based on the paths and fruits (4 paths + 4 fruits)..
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Re: Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby jackson » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:12 am

Thanks for your reply santa,
Is it right to say that Dhamma and faith followers are Sotapanna then, just without the fruit? If so then that would explain why I rarely hear mention of them.
Much appreciated,
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:20 am

This is a good question Jackson.

Faith is an important spiritual faculty:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

As for the faith- and dhamma-followers:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
SN 25.4
Phassa Sutta: Contact
translated from the Pali byThanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

At Savatthi. "Monks, eye-contact is inconstant, changeable, alterable. Ear-contact... Nose-contact... Tongue-contact... Body-contact... Intellect-contact is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who, after pondering with a modicum of discernment, has accepted that these phenomena are this way is called a Dhamma-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who knows and sees that these phenomena are this way is called a stream-enterer, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening."


Bhikkhu Bodhi discusses this, and other Suttas, in In the Buddha's Words, Chapter 10.
Besides the four main classes of noble persons, the Nikāyas sometimes mention a pair ranked just below the stream-enterer—see Text X,1(3) [MN 22]. These two—called the Dhamma-follower (dhammānusārī) and the faith-follower (saddhānusārī)—are actually two types belonging to the eighth category of noble disciples, the person practicing for the realization of the fruit of stream-entry. The Nikāyas include this pair to show that those on the way to stream-entry can be distinguished into two classes by way of their dominant faculty. The Dhamma-follower is one for whom wisdom is dominant, the faith-follower one for whom faith is dominant. It may be significant that at this stage prior to the first fruition, it is only faith and wisdom and not the other three faculties—energy, mindfulness, and concentration—that serve to distinguish disciples into different types.
...
Those who have attained any of the lower stages, from stream-entry up to and including the path to arahantship, are divided into three categories. The “body-witness” (kāyasakkhī) is one at any of these stages who has mastered the formless attainments; the “one attained-to-view” (diṭṭhippatta), one at any of these stages who lacks the formless attainments and gives prominence to wisdom; and the “one liberated by faith” (saddhāvimutta), one at any of these stages who lacks the formless attainments and gives prominence to faith. The last two persons in this typology are the Dhamma-follower and the faith-follower explained above.
...
As we have already seen, among disciples who attain the path there is a distinction between those who arrive through faith, called faith-followers, and those who arrive through wisdom, called Dhamma-followers. But while faith-followers and Dhamma-followers differ by way of their dominant faculty, they are alike in that both must further cultivate the path they have entered. Once they know and see the essence of the Dhamma—when they “obtain the vision of the Dhamma” and “make the breakthrough to the Dhamma”—they become stream-enterers, bound to reach full enlightenment and attain final Nibbāna in a maximum of seven more lives; see Text X,2(3) [SN 13.1]. Stream-enterers eradicate the first three fetters and acquire the eight factors of the Noble Eightfold Path. They also have “four factors of stream-entry”: confirmed confidence in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and Saṅgha, and “the moral virtues dear to the noble ones,” that is, firm adherence to the five precepts; see Texts X,2(4)–(5). [SN 55.2, SN 55.1].
...

:anjali:
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Re: Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby santa100 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:48 am

Hi Jackson, as Mike pointed out above, Dhamma/Faith followers is the equivalence of that 8th category of noble disciples of the Eightfold scheme: one on the Path toward Stream Entry.. :group:
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Re: Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby jackson » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:28 am

So out of curiosity, does this mean there are putthujanas that can also be considered noble ones? Also if I understand the Phassa Sutta which Mike posted does that mean stream entry is seeing that the eye, eye consciousness, and the object of the eye, the ear, ear consciousness, and the object of the ear, etc. only arise dependent on one another?
Thanks,
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby santa100 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:33 pm

There're 2 kinds of puthujjana (wordling): the un-instructed worldling(assutavaa puthujjana) is the one usually associated with that common stock expression: "..there is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings.."; then there's the noble worldling(kalyana puthujjana) who is not yet a Noble One, but has good intention/effort to learn and practice the Dhamma. Now in order to make the jump from a Noble Worldling to the level of the Dhamma/Faith follower(Dhamma/Saddha Nusarin), one would need to satify the definitions as described in MN 70 ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ):

And what is the individual who is a Dhamma-follower? There is the case where a certain individual does not remain touching with his body those peaceful liberations that transcend form, that are formless, nor — having seen with discernment — are his fermentations ended. But with a [sufficient] measure of reflection through discernment he has come to an agreement with the teachings proclaimed by the Tathagata. And he has these qualities: the faculty of conviction, the faculty of persistence, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration, & the faculty of discernment. This is called an individual who is a Dhamma-follower...

And what is the individual who is a conviction-follower? There is the case where a certain individual does not remain touching with his body those peaceful liberations that transcend form, that are formless, nor — having seen with discernment — are his fermentations ended. But he has a [sufficient] measure of conviction in & love for the Tathagata. And he has these qualities: the faculty of conviction, the faculty of persistence, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration, & the faculty of discernment. This is called an individual who is a conviction-follower.
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Re: Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby SarathW » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:49 pm

Hi Jackson
I did some research in the net in regard to this subject and found that this has been discussed in this forum for few occasion. The following link “What is Puthujjan0” is one of them which is very helpful.

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=513#p5704
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Re: Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby jackson » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:27 am

Thank you kindly for your replies, they are very helpful and much appreciated. The knowledge of the people on this board, and especially the Dhamma itself, is truly humbling. :anjali:
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:12 am

Actually, it's not so hard. All you need is a good reference. I would estimate that 90% of questions could be answered by simply flipping through Bhikkhu Bodhi's excellent Sutta collection In the Buddha's Words and finding a suitable Sutta or explanation.... :reading:

:coffee:
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Re: Why are Dhamma and Faith follower rarely mentioned?

Postby jackson » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:06 am

Thanks Mike, I'll have to get that book sometime. :anjali:
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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