From The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen translated by Michael H. Kohn; © 1991 by Shambhala Publications, Inc. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., www.shambhala.com
), Skt., lit., “belief, faith”; (Pali saddhā
); the inner attitude of faith and devotion toward the Buddha and his teaching. Shraddhā
is the basis of the first two elements of the eightfold path—perfect view and perfect resolve. In the Mahāyāna shraddhā
plays an even more important role, being regarded as the virtue out of which all the others develop and which opens the door of liberation to even those who do not have the self-discipline to tread the path of meditation. In Buddhism, however, faith in the sense of “pure faith” of Christianity is out of place. Shraddhā
consists rather in the conviction that grows in students through their own direct experience with the teaching; blind faith in the words of the Buddha and the master goes against the spirit of Buddhism, and the Buddha himself warned his followers against it.
Trust and belief in the Buddha Amitābha is nevertheless the principal factor in the practice of the Pure Land school, which is often described as a “Way of Faith.”.