How can one increase Saddhā?

How can one increase saddhā?



" I say that faith is fueled by something, it’s not unfueled.
And what is the fuel for faith?
You should say: ‘Listening to the true teaching.’
I say that listening to the true teaching is fueled by something, it’s not unfueled.
And what is the fuel for listening to the true teaching? You should say: ‘Associating with good people.’

"I say that faith has a vital condition.
And what is it?
You should say: ‘Suffering.’"

It is because we suffer that we end up looking for ways to hear, read and learn the true teaching that leads to the end of suffering. :slightly_smiling_face:



Hearing the dhamma:

It’s when someone in whom faith has arisen approaches a teacher. They pay homage, lend an ear, hear the teachings, remember the teachings, reflect on their meaning, and accept them after consideration. Then enthusiasm springs up; they make an effort, scrutinize, and persevere. Persevering, they directly realize the ultimate truth, and see it with penetrating wisdom. Mendicants, there has not been that faith, that approaching, that paying homage, that listening, that hearing the teachings, that remembering the teachings, that reflecting on their meaning, that acceptance after consideration, that enthusiasm, that making an effort, that scrutiny, or that striving. SuttaCentral

Kalyanamittas can help

“But how do we define a lay follower who is practicing to benefit both themselves and others?” “A lay follower is accomplished in faith and encourages others to do the same. They’re accomplished in ethical conduct and encourage others to do the same. They’re accomplished in generosity and encourage others to do the same. They like to see the mendicants and encourage others to do the same. They like to hear the true teaching and encourage others to do the same. They readily memorize the teachings they’ve heard and encourage others to do the same. They examine the meaning of the teachings they’ve memorized and encourage others to do the same. Understanding the meaning and the teaching, they practice accordingly and they encourage others to do the same. That’s how we define a lay follower who is practicing to benefit both themselves and others.”SuttaCentral


I’ve never really understood this first link of transcendental dependent arising. How does an understanding of the First Noble Truth lead to faith in the Third Truth?

I can only but speak from my personal experience. When I was 16 years old I was struck by the factual truth of suffering. It was just because I couldn’t hide away suffering that I came to encounter Buddhism.

I can recall as if it was today the whole night I spent reading and thinking about the Buddha and this interesting teaching underpined by four noble truths, based on the direct acknowledgment of the suffering.

I remember how liberating it was given that every other religion I looked at tried to frame suffering and the stress of this thing we call life as something else: either a way of a God to test you, or a hidden blessing as a opportunity to deserve going back to a heaven, etc…

Interestingly, it took me another 10 - 12 years to re-encounter that liberating teaching, exactly via the study of what the Buddha said and taught (as per EBTs and those teaching from those texts) instead of what some so-called Buddhist teachers and authors like to claim the Buddha have said and taught. :sweat:


From reading the suttas and speaking from experience it seems to me that observing the human condition usually fosters a sense of saṃvega in people that must be balanced with some sort of pasada(to avoid nihilism) which springs forth and culminates eventually into saddha when one hears the saddhamma or possibly another dhamma that speaks to the sensibilities of that particular individual(various Hindu sects, Christianity, Islam, whichever…).

1 Like

I was advised by Ayya Guṇasāri to read stories, ancient and modern, of successful practictioners of the path - my experience is that this is indeed effective, and I come back to it periodically when I need a boost in saddhā.


Saddhā is the unswerving faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha and the virtues possessed by the Noble Ones (Ariya puggala). The four aspects of the Faith are the same as those representing the four-fold Faith that a Stream Enterer (Sotāpanna) comes to posesses on attaining such sublime state together with a firm conviction that the explanation of the Buddha is the only solution to the problem of sansaric existence and the Path as enunciated by the Buddha is the only Path to salvation. This faith of the Sotāpanna lasts till he attains the stage of Arahantship.

The Sotapatti Anga - Four qualities of a Sotāpanna are stated succinctly in the Brahmacariyogadha Sutta (SN 55.2).

In every sutta that teaches bhāvanā (meditation), examples are Ānāpānasati and Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta MN10 or Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta DN22 , there is one verse that is the foundation of bhāvanā:

ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ

ātāpa : (m.) glow; heat; ardour (great enthusiasm or passion). [as in anger and lust (craving)]
sampajāno : comprehension of san [pajānāti:To know, understand, discern, distinguish, find out]
satimā : removal of something with mindfulness; removal of heat (ātāpī) and comprehension of san (sampajāno) with mindfulness (sati) [as in sammā = removal of san where san is the good and bad things we acquire]
vineyya : [abs. of vineti] having removed.(adj.) fit to be trained.
loka : ‘world’, denotes the 3 spheres of existence comprising the whole universe, i.e.(1) the sensuous world (kāma-loka), or the world of the 5 senses; (2) the fine-material world (rūpa-loka), corresponding to the 4 fine-material absorptions (s.jhāna 1-4); (3) the immaterial world (arūpa-loka), corresponding to the 4 immaterial absorptions (s.jhāna, 5-8)
abhijjhā : covetousness (greedy, eagerly desirous) is a synonym of lobha (s. mūla) and taṇhā
domanassaṃ : lit. ‘sad-mindedness’ or depressed mind, grief, i.e. mentally painful feeling (cetasika-vedanā)

So here the verse,

ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ with the hidden meaning revealed means:

Removal [2nd layer of removal] of heat (ātāpī) [generated by greet and hate] and san (sampajāno) (by comprehension) with mindfulness (sati) (satimā) after having removed (vineyya) by discipline [1st layer of removal] the covetousness and depressed mindset (abhijjhādomanassaṃ) with regard to the worlds (loke).

san is the good and bad things we acquire with the bad things as three roots of lobha, dosa and moha) which should be removed.

In the Lakkhaṇahāravibhaṅga:
Ātāpī”ti vīriyindriyaṃ, “sampajāno”ti paññindriyaṃ, “satimā”ti satindriyaṃ, “vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ”ti samādhindriyaṃ

This verse equate ātāpī as vīriya indriya, sampajāno as paññā indriya, satimā as sati indriya and vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ as samādhi indriya. This verse gives four out of five of the Five faculties (Pañca Indriyā).

By diligently practicing the bhāvanā with the application of the verse “ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃnot only during formal meditation but also every single moment, the saddhā (confident, conviction or faith) will grow to complete the verse “ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ” of four faculties to become the Five faculties (Pañca Indriyā) and when it became Five Powers (Pañca Balā), it exercise control over the influence of their opposites.

As Power, Faith exercises control over the opposive mental factor of sceptical doubt (vicikicchā), viriya as a Power stands firm against Sloth and Torpor. Powers are the instruments which one should develop so as to overcome the evil forces.

Much metta.

Good point, and I would associate saddha with pasada, rather than with samvega. I do sometimes find modern Buddhism rather nihilistic.

1 Like

In part by appreciating what it can do. Two valuable passages from the Milindapañha in this connection:

On faith as tranquillisation (sampasādana)

On faith as aspiration (sampakkhandana)


How to not give rise to faith- hidden meanings miraculously made known to one individual.