Most Buddhists would be familiar with the Kamala Sutta. This famous sutta has been quoted many times and is used to highlight the fact that the Buddha encouraged us to question and that Buddhism is not a religion based on (blind) faith. However, having too much skepticism and not being able to place one’s trust on anything is not healthy neither. The Buddha certainly encouraged us to place faith in what is wholesome, good and beneficial.
In the Aggappasada sutta, we can see that while the Buddha encourages to question, he also encourages us to place faith in what is wholesome, good and beneficial – The Triple Gem.
“Bhikkhus, of all sentient beings, feetless, two footed, four footed, many footed, material immaterial, perceptive, not perceptive and neither perceptive or non perceptive, the Thus Gone One worthy and rightfully enlightened is the foremost, it is said. Bhikkhus, those who have placed faith in the Enlightened One have placed faith in the highest for the highest results
Bhikkhus, of all compounded things, the Noble Eightfold path is foremost. Bhikkhus, those who have placed faith in the Noble Eightfold path have placed faith in the highest for the highest results
Bhikkhus, of all things compounded or uncompounded, disenchantment is foremost it is said, such as crushing intoxications, quenching thirsts, destroying all roosting places, cutting off all existences, destroying craving, disenchantment, cessation and extinction. Bhikkhus, those who have placed faith in this Teaching have placed faith in the highest for the highest results.
Bhikkhus, of all communities or crowds, the community of disciples of the Thus Gone One are foremost, such as the four doublets of the eight great men. That is the disciples of the Blessed One, the Community of bhikkhus worthy of hospitality, veneration, gifts and veneration with clasped hands, the incomparable field of merit for the world. Bhikkhus, those who have placed faith in the Community of bhikkhus have placed faith in the highest for the highest results.
The highest grace is knowing the core of the Teaching.
The highest sacrifice is faith in enlightenment.
The highest grace of the Teaching is the pleasure derived from disenchantment.
Placing faith in the Community the noble field of merit
Give the highest gifts and accrue the highest merit
And acquire life span, beauty, fame, happiness and power
And developing the highest become either celestial or human and enjoy bliss.”
One point to note is that in Buddhism “Faith” means confidence & trust rather than blind submission and simply by placing one’s faith in the Triple Gems can’t “save” us. Rather, when one has Right View and has confidence in the Triple Gems, one’s mind is inclined towards purity and calmness and acts in that manner. Certainly this is where the benefits of our faith come from.