Buddhism in Five Minutes - Elizabeth J. Harris

Buddhism in Five Minutes - Elizabeth J. Harris

2. What is the Role and Focus of Faith in Buddhism?

Buddhism in Five Minutes - Elizabeth J. Harris

Asanga Tilakaratne [+-]
University of Colombo
Asanga Tilakaratne graduated from Peradeniya University, Sri Lanka, specializing in Buddhist Philosophy. He has published, both in Sinhala and English, more than one hundred papers on Buddhist studies. Of his more recent academic works, Theravada Buddhism: the View of the Elders (2012) was published by University of Hawaii Press. He co-edited with Prof. Oliver Abenayaka 2600 Years of Sambuddhatva: Global Journey of Awakening (2012), a work covering the history and the current status of global Buddhism of all three traditions. Prof. Tilakaratne founded Sri Lanka Association of Buddhist Studies (SLABS), an academic and professional organization of Buddhist scholars in Sri Lanka, and continues to serve as its joint secretary.


In Buddhism, faith is a prerequisite for the practice of the path taught by the Buddha. Buddhists see it as meaning trust and a sense of admiration. So faith is the trust a Buddhist has in the Buddha, as the teacher, in his teaching (Dharma), the path capable of leading its practitioner to the goal, and in the monastic community (Sangha), those who are following the path fruitfully. Without this trust in the Triple Gem, to use the traditional mode of reference, religious life is not possible for Buddhists. Accordingly, faith is the most precious treasure a Buddhist can have, and the foremost motivating factor behind his or her religious life. Although faith is not the sufficient condition for final awakening or enlightenment, it is certainly a necessary condition that is present all the way through the path. To understand the role and focus of faith in Buddhism, we need to know why and how Buddhists should generate faith in the Triple Gem.

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Tilakaratne, Asanga. 2. What is the Role and Focus of Faith in Buddhism?. Buddhism in Five Minutes. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 10-13 Nov 2021. ISBN 9781800500907. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=40739. Date accessed: 23 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.40739. Nov 2021

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