What is the danger of the faculty of faith?

SN 48 Indriyasamyutta
2nd sutta
The five faculties should be understand in the three topics .

  1. The gratification
  2. The danger
  3. The escape
    In the next sutta , should undestand the origin and the passing away.

Specially , I want to know
What is the danger of the faith ? etc.
Are there any places Buddha explains these topics ?

The danger of excessive faith is lack of development of wisdom (panna), and this is commonly seen where practitioners become dependent on teachers rather than their own experience. Faith is necessary at every stage of the path where the practitioner tentatively progresses by an act of faith, but dhamma must be proven through investigation, which is the initial active component of the seven factors of awakening (Samyutta Nikaya 46.53). The five spiritual faculties and their opposing balancing factors are explained in the Vism. chap. IV, 45. This process is exercised by first exerting faith, then developing understanding, the same way walking requires one foot after another, but in a much longer time scale. Relying on faith alone is not practising the middle way and the practice stagnates.
Understanding is brought about through investigation, and was the means by which the Buddha-to-be attained awakening:

"“And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with sensuality arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with sensuality has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.”—Majhima Nikaya 19

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Look at SN 48.44. You may understand.

Most people just blindly follow without proper investigation, direct personal experience.

Faith = still have doubt.

Direct knowledge from practice = no doubt

There are those who have not known or seen or understood or realized or experienced this with wisdom.

They may rely on faith in this matter.

But there are those who have known, seen, understood, realized, and experienced this with wisdom.

They have no doubts or uncertainties in this matter.

For example:

  • most people have never seen a deva, deities, heavens. So they have a faith in Buddha that there is other beings in other world.
  • but, one who has seen and know the deva, deities by conversing with them and understood why the deva(s) have birth in that realm. Then, the blind faith turn into wisdom. They have no doubt about the existence of deva anymore. They know the deeds that lead to that world etc.

Similarly with N8FP, one who has walked the path, will know that the path lead to ending of suffering, nibbana.

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the danger is the danger of all conditioned things, that they are impermanent, unstable, liable to fall away and disappear, the gratification is the same for all conditioned things, the pleasure or comfort they give, in this case the support faith gives to learning the dhamma and following the path, the escape is the same escape as for all conditioned things, penetrating to the unconditional that is freedom from dependence on conditioned things like the faculty of faith etc.

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See Rupert Gethin’s discussion of this in his book on the thirty-seven bodhipakkhiyas, pp. 122-5.


You mean simply the fact that saddhā can be lokiyā?

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Yes. Of the twenty-two faculties, it’s only the last three (the “I-shall-come-to-know-the-unknown” faculty, final-knowledge faculty, and final-knower faculty) that are never given the triadic treatment, for these three are exclusively supramundane.

As to plane: the faculties of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, femininity, masculinity, pleasure, pain, and grief are of the sense sphere only. The mind faculty, life faculty, and equanimity faculty, and the faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and understanding are included in the four planes. The joy faculty is included in three planes, namely, sense sphere, fine-material sphere, and supramundane. The last three are supramundane only. This is how the exposition should be known here as to plane.
(Visuddhimagga XVI 11)


Im totally agree with your comment . According to my general knowledge , I also can see your points . But I could not find any where these things are clearly explain . Am I correct ?

For danger gratification and escape see here:


Take a foolish person who memorizes the teaching—statements, songs, discussions, verses, inspired exclamations, legends, stories of past lives, amazing stories, and classifications. But they don’t examine the meaning of those teachings with wisdom, and so don’t come to a considered acceptance of them. They just memorize the teaching for the sake of finding fault and winning debates. They don’t realize the goal for which they memorized them. Because they’re wrongly grasped, those teachings lead to their lasting harm and suffering. Why is that? Because of their wrong grasp of the teachings.

MN 22

And how is there flattering and rebuking without teaching Dhamma? In speaking like this, some are rebuked: ‘Pleasure linked to sensuality is low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. All those who indulge in such happiness are beset by pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the wrong way.’

MN 139

Very nice analysis indeed. The unshakable faith and perfected morality only occur at Sotapanna fruit. These only occur when the 3 low fetters fall off.

While the sotapanna path has 4 factors. See SN 55.5:

  • associate with true peoples (ariya)
  • listen to true dhamma
  • yoniso manasikara (focus attention to the source of problem)
  • practice in line with dhamma that has been understood.

The danger is when there is no yoniso manasikara. People blindly believe on everything that are part of tipitaka. For example part of Abhidhamma, this needs to properly investigated. Can’t just accept it without direct knowledge.

This is why One needs to fully develop the N8FP to investigate all.
As long as it is ending the dukkhas, then one can know the dhamma is taught By the Buddha. All ariya Sangha has followed this N8FP,

—>so this is why one has unshakable faith towards triple gems. Faith faculty can only grow when one has direct experience. One will continue to align their life experience towards Nibbana. :grinning:

Everything that is stated in Sutta or anywhere, all can be verified independently by oneself. (Ehipassiko). The result is end of dukkhas here and now. The path is gradual, because faculties take time to develop.

Good luck. Keep practice, investigate, and maintain whatever that has been developed. Throw + stop all bads, & develop + maintain all goods. :+1:

What do you mean ? How can I find a answer to my problem as using the particular suttas . May be , I missed your points .

My problem is not about faith not about danger . My question is how to understand the five spiritual faculties in a way of gratification , danger , escape , arising , passing away etc.
I suppose , Most of the time peoples are guide their mind habitually