The first spiritual power is Faith

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The first spiritual power is Faith

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:54 am

i just loged onto my blog and some one posted the title as a blast message!
I personally would say it was Admiral friends (which is most of the people here and especially some of the Bhikkhus, as well as those who publish and distribute teachings of monks such as Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Boowa, and a few others :group: ) but this is because an admirable frien will help in discernment, and encouragment to progress on the path, as well as being an example in order to develop and keep faith on the path, of the path Although I should say admirable friends should not be relied upon for these to develop, but rather as a resourse when things are hard going!
but I am sort of curious what others think the first spiritual power is.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: The first spiritual power is Faith

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:10 am

Well, in the texts it is faith...

http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... b.htm#bala
Bala: 'powers'. Among various groups of powers the following five are most frequently met with in the texts: 1 faith saddhā, 2 energy viriya, 3 awareness or mindfulness sati, 4 concentration samādhi, 5 understanding paññā .

Their particular aspect, distinguishing them from the corresponding 5 spiritual abilities indriya, is that they are unshakable by their opposites: 1 the power of faith is unshakable by faithlessness unbelief; 2 energy, by laziness; 3 awareness or mindfulness, by forgetfulness; 4 concentration, by distractedness; 5 understanding, by ignorance see Pts.M., Ñāna Kathā. They represent, therefore, the aspect of firmness in the spiritual abilities.

According to A.V. 15, the power 1 becomes manifest in the 4 qualities of the Stream-winner sotāpannassa angāni, 2 in the 4 right efforts see: padhāna, 3 in the 4 foundations of awareness or mindfulness satipatthāna, 4 in the 4 absorptions jhāna, 5 in the full comprehension of the 4 Noble Truths sacca.

Cf. see: XLVIII, 43; see: L. Bala Samyutta.

In A. VII, 3, the powers of moral shame hiri and Fear of Wrongdoing ottappa are added to the aforementioned five Several other groups of 2 see: patisankhāna-bala, 4, 5 and more powers are mentioned in the texts. - About the 10 powers of a Buddha, see: dasa-bala

In practise a balance of the faculties/powers is necessary:
Indriya-samatta: 'equilibrium, balance, or harmony of abilities', relates to the 5 spiritual abilities: faith, energy, awareness or mindfulness, concentration and understanding see: indriya 15-19. Of these there are two pairs of abilities, in each of which both abilities should well counter-balance each other, namely: faith and understanding saddhā paññā on the one hand and energy and concentration viriya samādhi on the other. For excessive faith with deficient understanding leads to blind belief, whilst excessive understanding with deficient faith leads to cunning. In the same way, great energy with weak concentration leads to restlessness, whilst strong concentration with deficient energy leads to indolence. Though for both abilities in each of the 2 pairs a balanced degree of intensity is desirable, awareness or mindfulness should be allowed to develop to the highest degree of strength. Cf. Vis.M III- App..

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Re: The first spiritual power is Faith

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:17 am

Does every text support this? as in the ones which address the spiritual powers.

there are faith followers and Dhamma Followers, neither are above or bolow eachother
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: The first spiritual power is Faith

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:52 am

Manapa wrote:Does every text support this? as in the ones which address the spiritual powers.

Support what exactly? The powers are listed in various places. The balancing is a Commentary thing as far as I know (there is plenty in the Visuddhimagga).

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Re: The first spiritual power is Faith

Postby zavk » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:14 am

Incidentally, I just listened to a dhamma talk by Bhikkhu Bodhi entitled 'The Three Pillars of Practice'. He starts by talking about saddha or what we normally translate as 'faith'. He talks about saddha as a kind of willingness, trust and confidence. I'm sure most of us are familiar with his essay on faith on Access To Insight.

In any case, in the past year or so I've come to feel that faith (for want a better word) is the basis of my Dhammic endeavours. But I should add that I'm also partially influenced by certain non-Buddhist ways of thinking and conceptualize faith differently from the way it is conventionally understood in everyday use.

EDIT: To address your OP more directly, if asked about the one thing that I've learned most about the Dhamma in the past year, I'd say it is faith. I can't say if I have developed it as a 'spiritual power' but I do feel that my practice has been strengthened--empowered, even--by a deeper appreciation of the role of faith.
Last edited by zavk on Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The first spiritual power is Faith

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:27 am

sadhu!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: The first spiritual power is Faith

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:03 am

Ben wrote:sadhu!

agreed
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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