Topic 5: Faith and Truth


In the Buddha’s Words, pp. 81-103 (“Approaching the Dhamma”).


Dhamma and Discipline, Dhammavinaya. Vinaya is the monastic code of conduct

Brahmaviharas, abodes of the Brahmas: loving-kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), altruistic joy (mudita), equanimity (or non-favoritism, uppekha)

Unreliable sources of Dharma (Kalama Sutta, factors in italics also in Canki Sutta):

oral tradition, lineage, hearsay, scripture (Canki Sutta only: faith, approval)

logic, inference, cogitation, pondering

apparent qualifications of a teacher, loyalty to a teacher

Reliable sources of Dharma, if known directly (Kalama Sutta):

wholesome, blameless, praised by wise, conducive to welfare and happiness

Rebirth: “There is another world,” “this world and another.”

Law of karma: “if good and bad deeds bear fruit and yield results,” “if evil befalls evil-doer.”

Four assurances (Kalama Sutta, benefits of rebirth and karma as working assumptions):

Rebirth and law of karma → born in good destination

No rebirth and no law of karma → happy, free of enmity and ill-will

Law of karma → no suffering

No law of karma → purified

Simile of blind leading the blind (Canki Sutta), reliability of transmitted truths

Preservation of truth (“I have faith that P,” not “P,” Canki Sutta)

criteria for establishing faith in a “teacher” (Canki Sutta):

States of greed, hatred or delusion (recognized in bodily and verbal conduct) that might obsess the mind to allow false claims of knowledge or inspire harmful acts.

Teachings profound, peaceful, sublime, to be experienced by the wise.

Discovery of truth: faith → visiting → paying respect → giving ear → hearing Dharma → memorizing → examining meaning → pondering/accepting → desire (chanda) → will → scrutiny → striving → seeing truth → final arrival at truth (Canki Sutta)

Fake Buddha Quote: “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” (Compare Kalama Sutta)

Stock description of the Buddha: “That Blessed One is an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.”










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