Original meaning of the word "saddha"

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arunam
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Original meaning of the word "saddha"

Post by arunam » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:32 am

Generally saddha is defined as faith and devotion in the Triple Gem.
But i found this passage in the Ariyapariyesana sutra

"I thought: 'Not only does Alara Kalama have conviction, persistence, mindfulness, concentration, & discernment. I, too, have conviction, persistence, mindfulness, concentration, & discernment. What if I were to endeavor to realize for myself the Dhamma that Alara Kalama declares he has entered & dwells in, having realized it for himself through direct knowledge.' So it was not long before I quickly entered & dwelled in that Dhamma, having realized it for myself through direct knowledge.

How can the Bhodisatva have saddha in the triple gem they have not arisen yet?

Is the original meaning closer to "self confidence"?
A path is made by walking on it

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Dmytro
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Re: Original meaning of the word "saddha"

Post by Dmytro » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:50 am

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:
As a factor of the Buddhist path, faith (saddhā) does not mean blind belief but a willingness to accept on trust certain propositions that we cannot, at our present stage of development, personally verify for ourselves. These propositions concern both the nature of reality and the higher reaches of the path. In the traditional map of the Buddhist training, faith is placed at the beginning, as the prerequisite for the later stages comprised in the triad of virtue, concentration, and wisdom.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... say_45.pdf
From his translation of Siha sutta:
When this was said, Sīha the general said to the Blessed One: “Bhante, I do not go by faith in the Blessed One concerning those four directly visible fruits of giving declared by him. I know them, too. For I am a donor, a munificent giver, and I am dear and agreeable to many people. I am a donor, a munificent giver, and many good persons resort to me. I am a donor, a munificent giver, and I have acquired a good reputation as a donor, sponsor, and supporter of the Saṅgha. I am a donor, a munificent giver, and whatever assembly I approach—whether of khattiyas, brahmins, householders, or ascetics—I approach it confidently and composed.
I do not go by faith in the Blessed One concerning these four directly visible fruits of giving declared by him. I know them, too.
But when the Blessed One tells me: ‘Sīha, with the breakup of the body, after death, a donor, a munificent giver, is reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world,’ I do not know this, and here I go by faith in the Blessed One.”

“So it is, Sīha, so it is! With the breakup of the body, after death, a donor, a munificent giver, is reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world.”
Ven. Thanissaro writes about faith in his article "Faith in Awakening":

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ening.html

From his translation of Kasi sutta:
Saddhābījaṃ tapo vuṭṭhī paññā me yuganaṅgalaṃ,
Hiri īsā mano yottaṃ sati me phālapācanaṃ.

Conviction is my seed, austerity my rain, discernment my yoke & plow,
conscience my pole, mind my yoke-tie, mindfulness my plowshare & goad.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Rupert Gethin gives good overview on pages 106-116 of his book "The Buddhist Path to Awakening":

https://books.google.com/books?id=ZdYGA ... e+response

There's also a good overview in the book "Thus Have I Seen : Visualizing Faith in Early Indian Buddhism: Visualizing Faith in Early Indian Buddhism":

https://books.google.com/books?id=CxF_9 ... 9&lpg=PA29

From Vibhanga:
Tattha katamaṃ saddhindriyaṃ? Yā saddhā saddahanā okappanā abhippasādo saddhā saddhindriyaṃ saddhābalaṃ—idaṃ vuccati “saddhindriyaṃ”.

Therein what is faculty of confidence? That which is confidence, being confident, trust, implicit faith, confidence, faculty of confidence, power of confidence. This is called faculty of confidence.

SarathW
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Re: Original meaning of the word "saddha"

Post by SarathW » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:46 am

saddhā:
Conviction, faith. A confidence in the Buddha that gives one the willingness to put his teachings into practice. Conviction becomes unshakeable upon the attainment of stream-entry (see sotāpanna).

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/glossary.html#s
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

arunam
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Re: Original meaning of the word "saddha"

Post by arunam » Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:13 pm

Thank you very much for the replies! :anjali:

But what i don't understand is in the passage i mentioned Alara kalama is also assumed to have saddha.
And the time prince Gotama went to him he was not awakened. So what is saddha mentioned here?
A path is made by walking on it

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Sam Vara
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Re: Original meaning of the word "saddha"

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:52 pm

arunam wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:13 pm
Thank you very much for the replies! :anjali:

But what i don't understand is in the passage i mentioned Alara kalama is also assumed to have saddha.
And the time prince Gotama went to him he was not awakened. So what is saddha mentioned here?
The saddha that, in conjunction with the other indriya which Alara Kalama had attained, was sufficient for reappearance in the dimension of nothingness. It was not, in itself, sufficient for the liberation which the Buddha later attained.

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Volovsky
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Re: Original meaning of the word "saddha"

Post by Volovsky » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:43 pm

arunam wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:13 pm
But what i don't understand is in the passage i mentioned Alara kalama is also assumed to have saddha.
I remember reading somewhere (I think it was Ven. Sujato's "History of mindfulness", but I cannot find the exact quotation now), that 5 faculties might be of pre-buddhist origin. One argument for that is that when it comes to describing sati in 5 indriyas Buddha is talking not about 4 satipațțhānas as he usually does, but about memory ("Here, bhikkhus, the noble disciple is mindful, possessing supreme mindfulness and discretion, one who remembers and recollects what was done and said long ago"), which kind of points to brahmins, since for them memory was very important to remember Vedas.

If 5 faculties were considered to be of importance in mental development even before Buddha, then it is clear why he was refering to them when talking about Alara Kalama and himself as being able to attain jhānas.

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Polar Bear
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Re: Original meaning of the word "saddha"

Post by Polar Bear » Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:59 pm

It seems the term saddha refers originally to a Vedic ritual undertaken with sincerity and faith

See the Wikipedia article Śrāddha

So I think we can say that Alara Kalama was sincere in his practice and had faith/confidence in his own teaching.

You may also want to read A Note on Refuge in Vedic and Pāli Texts by Brett Shults

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

arunam
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Re: Original meaning of the word "saddha"

Post by arunam » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:14 pm

:anjali:
A path is made by walking on it

arunam
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Re: Original meaning of the word "saddha"

Post by arunam » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:54 am

Volovsky wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:43 pm
[

If 5 faculties were considered to be of importance in mental development even before Buddha, then it is clear why he was refering to them when talking about Alara Kalama and himself as being able to attain jhānas.
This is very interesting!

Indriya (इन्द्रिय, “faculty”).—Indriya is a comprehensive term. It means a controlling principle or a directive force.

Surely, the five faculties are the tools we need to control our minds. Especially the hindrances(Nivaranas). Which are the principle hindrance to attaining jhana.

Is there any treatment in the sutta pitaka or abhidhamma pitaka regarding how to mange the nivaranas in terms of the five faculties.?
:anjali:
A path is made by walking on it

SarathW
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Re: Original meaning of the word "saddha"

Post by SarathW » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:00 am

"For one strong in faith and weak in understanding has confidence uncritically and groundlessly. One strong in understanding and weak in faith errs on the side of cunning and is as hard to cure as one sick of a disease caused by medicine. With the balancing of the two a man has confidence only when there are grounds for it." (Vism. Ch. IV, §47, ¶1)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indriya
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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