DEEP DIG – The Importance of a Layperson’s Faith by Steve Linder

Daily Dhamma Study Group

Series: A Lay Person’s Life, Balanced and Successful

Dighajanu Sutta (AN 8:54)

30 September 2020 – Deep Dig

The Importance of Layperson’s Faith

  • Introduction
    • The Buddha gave an answer to Dighajanu that included eight qualities that laypersons need to have welfare, happiness, and success in this present life and any life to come.
    • One key quality that he said was needed is “Faith or Confidence” in The Buddha and his dhamma teachings.
    • Today, we will study the meaning of faith and confidence and why it is importance for a layperson to cultivate it each day.   
  • Key Sutta Stanza
    • And what is accomplishment in faith? It’s when a gentleman has faith in the Realized One’s wakening:  ‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.’ This is called accomplishment in faith. Dīghajāṇu Sutta AN 8.54
  • Lesson One: What is Faith or Confidence?
    • The Pali word used by The Buddha is saddho. It means ‘believing; faithful; devoted…’ It is devotion and actions based on confidence or trust.  
    • In this sutta, he teachings that faith (saddho) is directly related to The Buddha himself becoming enlightened. He lists several things that are included in this confidence and faith.
      • Belief that he is fully awakened or enlightened
      • Belief that he is accomplished in wisdom, discernment, knowledge, and virtue
      • Belief that he is pure, insight into the realm of the world
      • Belief that he is the supreme guide for training the mind and virtue
      • Belief that he can teach both god realms and humans
      • Belief that he is abundantly blessed
  • Lesson Two: Faith and Devotion Effect Your Future & Rebirths
    • Faith, devotion, and confidence in The Buddha and in his teachings requires action. Otherwise, it is not faith or devotion.
    • A layperson who has faith and devotion in The Buddha and his teachings will take them seriously and seek to learn and practice them. These actions are kamma that influences and impacts the mind for future rebirths.
    • The Buddha did not intend for religious worship as a god, but for devotees and followers to practice his teachings in order to end dukkha, end samsara cycles, and to gain awakening themselves.
    • This is what it means for laypersons to have faith and devotion for welfare and success in the future.
  • Personal Application
    • How is your faith and devotion in The Buddha and his enlightenment?
    • Do you have a strong faith that includes devotion, study, and practice of this teachings?
    • How do think you influencing your future rebirth based on your faith and devotion?

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