T 1670B Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra

Part 2: Dialogues

2.8. Faith

The king asked Nāgasena again, “When you said just now, ‘by other good qualities,’ to what did you refer?”

“Faith, filial obedience, perseverance (viriya), reflection on good, meditation (samadhi), and wisdom (panna) are the other good qualities.” said Nāgasena.

“What is faith?” asked the king.

“Faith means belief without doubt, faith in the existence of the Buddha, of the Buddha’s Dharma and of the bhiksu sangha; faith in the existence of arhats, of the present world, of the next world and of filial piety towards parents; faith in good remuneration for good action, bad remuneration for bad actions. If one has such faith, his mind is serene and clear and the five hindrances are eradicated. What are the five? The first is lustful craving, the second is hatred, the third is mental sloth, the fourth is sports and enjoyment, the fifth is doubt. If a person has not removed these five hindrances, his mind is not calm and tranquil.”

Nāgasena continued, “A cakkavattin, with his chariots, horses and men, may cross over a small stream called Li, and make the water fouled, turbid and muddy. When he is on the other side, the monarch is thirsty and wants to get some water for drinking. Now suppose, the monarch has a water-purifying-gem and had it thrown into the water, then at once, the water becomes clear and pure. So the monarch has pure water to drink.”

Continued Nāgasena, “(In the same way), if there is an evil thought in the mind of people, it is just like the turbid water. All the disciples of the Buddha have gained the Path for crossing over the stream of samsara, because their mind is clear and pure, just as the water-purifying-gem purifies the turbid water. If people can remove all the mental evil and be faithful, clear, calm in the mind, it is just like the brilliant moon.”

“Excellent, Nāgasena.”