How to understand "a degree of faith and love for the Realized One"?

Evaṃ svākkhāte, bhikkhave, mayā dhamme uttāne vivaṭe pakāsite chinnapilotike ye te bhikkhū dhammānusārino saddhānusārino sabbe te sambodhiparāyanā.

In this teaching there are mendicants who are followers of principles, or followers by faith. All of them are bound for awakening.

Evaṃ svākkhāte, bhikkhave, mayā dhamme uttāne vivaṭe pakāsite chinnapilotike yesaṃ mayi saddhāmattaṃ pemamattaṃ sabbe te saggaparāyanā”ti.

In this teaching there are those who have a degree of faith and love for me. All of them are bound for heaven.” (MN 22)

Alagaddūpama sutta says those who have a degree of faith and love for the Buddha would go to sagga. So developing a degree of faith and love for the Buddha seems a great refuge to anyone in this world.

Kīṭāgiri Sutta says faith follower (saddhānusārī) has a degee of faith and love for the Blessed One.

Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo ye te santā vimokkhā atikkamma rūpe āruppā te na kāyena phusitvā viharati, paññāya cassa disvā ekacce āsavā parikkhīṇā honti, tathāgate cassa saddhāmattaṃ hoti pemamattaṃ, api cassa ime dhammā honti, seyyathidaṃ—saddhindriyaṃ, vīriyindriyaṃ, satindriyaṃ, samādhindriyaṃ, paññindriyaṃ. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, puggalo saddhānusārī.

It’s a person who doesn’t have direct meditative experience of the peaceful liberations that are formless, transcending form. Nevertheless, having seen with wisdom, some of their defilements have come to an end. And they have a degree of faith and love for the Realized One. And they have the following qualities: the faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom. This person is called a follower by faith (MN 70).

According to Alagaddūpama sutta there is a chance to go to heaven those who have a degree of faith and love for the Buddha. But those are not bound for Nibbāna.
Faith follower aslo got only a degree of faith and love for the Buddha. This makes it difficult to understand the degree of faith and love.

When it comes to a saddhānusārīn, he would never die off before attaining fruit of stream entry (sotāpattipala).
There never goto underhuman realms due to that reason.

abhabbo ca tāva kālaṃ kātuṃ yāva na sotāpattiphalaṃ sacchikaroti’.
They can’t die without realizing the fruit of stream-entry (SN 25.1).

However, according to Mahākammavibhaṅga sutta there is no certainity to be reborn in a heavenly realm without attaining atleast stream entry.

But some other person here refrains from killing living creatures, stealing, committing sexual misconduct, or using speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical. And they’re contented, kind-hearted, and have right view. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell (MN 136).

How to understand "a degree of faith and love for the Realized One"?


Enough to stabilise the mind when facing death?

Forgive me but my knowledge of the transcripts is poor.

what is the exact original wording that lead to the use of the word “faith” and who is this author?

It often appears that there are two different Buddhisms - the religious and often dogmatized and often christianized and The Practice wherein the use of the word faith or heaven is scarce.

This may be possible, but that has no direct link to above fact but mindfulness and thoughtfulness (sati & sampajāna). When a person develops mindfulness that helps him to face death mindfully and it leads to a rebirth in heaven.

In order to saddhāmatta to play a role it should come up at the death. So it should be that powerful. If it is about a saddhānusārīn problem solved. But according to Sarakāni sutta and Alagaddūpama sutta sadhhāmatta seems to be a quality of a common person (puthujjana). As long as birth in a heavenly realm is a rare thing to occur (pañcagati peyyālavagga)
this remains problematic.

Greetings @Spotless Spotless, and welcome to the forum of Sutta Central.

The ‘author’ is the Buddha :slight_smile: The references can be found at the end of each of the quotes (SN25.1 MN136 ) if you click on them it will take you directly to the reference section of Sutta Central, and you can see all the different translations and parrallels :slight_smile:

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By definition, a “degree of faith” implies the existence of other factors (besides faith) which are explicitly mentioned in MN 70 (energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom).

As such, those who are bound for heaven as per MN 22 would be well established in energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom (even if this is not mentioned explicitly in MN22). This can be contrasted with those who are freed by faith as per MN 70, whom faith is settled, rooted, and planted in the Realized One (here unshakeable faith is the only criteria)

The uncertainty about being reborn in a heavenly realm without attaining stream entry has no bearing on the degree of faith needed to ensure being reborn in heavenly realms, simply because a “degree of faith” is not an independent factor of which ensuring being reborn in heavenly realms can be measured.

Perhaps it is not that difficult.
What if we have overestimated (?)

I think it would be quite difficult for someone who believes that he has a lot to lose by following the Buddha’s teachings.

The overestimation would be a form of a “safe bet” as per MN 60 which offers pragmatic reasons for following the lord Buddha rather than empirical evidence.


5 posts were split to a new topic: Translation issues concerning the word Faith saddha

In order to keep the integrity of the initial topic/post, I am splitting this topic in two topics, so that each discussion can have the attention it deserves :slight_smile: