How to become a dhamma or faith follower?

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How to become a dhamma or faith follower?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:43 am

I just have a few questions about the notion of the dhamma follower and the faith follower.

1) How hard do you think it is to actually become a dhamma or faith follower considering that both of these sorts of people are sure to enter the stream before they die?

2) Judging by the sutta below it almost seems easy, what else might one have to do to become a dhamma or faith follower?

At Savatthi. "Monks, intention for forms is inconstant, changeable, alterable. Intention for sounds... Intention for smells... Intention for tastes... Intention for tactile sensations... Intention for ideas 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."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Do you think there are a lot of buddhists who are dhamma and faith followers (which would mean that a lot of buddhists enter the stream before death)?

It seems like a good goal to aim for so just seeing what other peoples' thoughts are about the notion.

:namaste:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: How to become a dhamma or faith follower?

Postby Mr Man » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:12 am

My opinion is that teachings like that do not need need to be overly analysed. It will just lead to the world of paradox. I would take it as an encouragement.
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Re: How to become a dhamma or faith follower?

Postby Zom » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:26 am

Btw, interesting to note, that Buddha usually confirmed "attainment" of this or that man/woman when he/she died. There are several suttas on this account. I think the reason is in the "pairs" (those who are on the path and who's got the fruit). Both, for example, are stream-enterers (as a pair), while some of them have all 10 fetters, while others - only 7. After death all of them for sure will have only 7.
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Re: How to become a dhamma or faith follower?

Postby daverupa » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:13 am

SN 55.24 wrote:"Why, Mahaanaama, if these great sal trees could distinguish what is well spoken from what is ill spoken, I would proclaim these great sal trees to be Stream-Winners... bound for enlightenment, how much more so then Sarakaani the Sakyan!"


I think the categories are a bit softer, and only later started to find ossified locations in doctrine. retrofuturist once showed a chart of the fetters which progressively drop away, and the once-returner was the same as the stream-entrant in that respect. So, the soft language used to describe the 'dve-followers' strikes me as a similarly loose description.

The further point is that these accomplishments are in reach, and the practice at all stages is the same, so the practice goes on irrespective of attainment. This is encouraging news, and it is why the Dhamma is good in the beginning and middle, as well as the end - the progressive sloughing off of dross.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: How to become a dhamma or faith follower?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:58 am

Perhaps a Dhamma follower is one who has practised meditation to attain the stage of Purification by Overcoming Doubt? while a Faith Follower is one who has sincerely taken refuge in the Buddha?
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Re: How to become a dhamma or faith follower?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:17 pm

Hi PolarBuddha

They seem to have the five faculties suggesting they practice the dhamma quite well:

"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.[9] Regarding this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness. Why is that? [I think:] 'Perhaps this venerable one, when making use of suitable resting places, associating with admirable friends, balancing his [mental] faculties, will reach & remain in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now.' Envisioning this fruit of heedfulness for this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness.

"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. Regarding this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness. Why is that? [I think:] 'Perhaps this venerable one, when making use of suitable resting places, associating with admirable friends, balancing his [mental] faculties, will reach & remain in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now.' Envisioning this fruit of heedfulness for this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Re: How to become a dhamma or faith follower?

Postby kirk5a » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:38 pm

rowyourboat wrote:They seem to have the five faculties suggesting they practice the dhamma quite well:

The five faculties are described here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The faculty of concentration is described in terms of jhana, but the first part to me suggests some latitude, in that the essential defining aspect of concentration seems to be "singleness of mind." Perhaps that would apply to a kind of concentration that is not, strictly speaking, jhana. High quality, but not jhana.
And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go, attains concentration, attains singleness of mind.

That would explain the stream entry of various individuals in the sutta upon listening to a talk. For example:
Then when the Blessed One knew that Suppabuddha the leper's mind was ready, malleable, free from hindrances, elevated, & clear, he then gave the Dhamma-talk peculiar to Awakened Ones, i.e., stress, origination, cessation, & path.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: How to become a dhamma or faith follower?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:30 am

Hi PB

Check out the Index to BB's AN translation. Under "fixed course (consisting in) rightness" (niyāmam… sammattaṃ), there are many suttas on how to enter this fixed course, leading one to transform into a Faith Follower or a Dhamma Follower. My favourite suttas for now!

:anjali:
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