Faith in Buddhism
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Faith (Pāli: saddhā, Sanskrit: śraddhā) is an initial acceptance of the Buddha's teaching prior to realising its truth for oneself. It is an important constituent element of all traditions of Buddhism, although the kind and nature of faith changes in the different schools. Other translations of saddhā/śraddhā include confidence and trust. According to received Pali-Buddhist tradition, some of the first words voiced by the Buddha after resolving to teach Dharma were, "Wide opened is the door of the Deathless to all who have ears to hear; let them send forth faith [saddhā] to meet it."
- 1 Early Buddhism
- 2 Mahāyāna Buddhism
- 3 Causes of Faith
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 Sources
- 7 Further reading
According to Guiliano Giustarini, "Saddhā is usually translated as faith, but it is not to be meant as a dogmatic belief." In the Kalama Sutta the Buddha himself argues against simply following authority, tradition or specious reasoning. Instead, a person should himself derive a moral judgement thus:
when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them.
Even though one's own experience and judgement is emphasized in accepting Buddha and Buddhism, one should also heed to the counsel of the wise, meaning a Buddha or a Buddhist teacher well versed in the Buddhist teachings.
Faith and the preservation of truth
In the Canki Sutta, the Buddha points out that people's beliefs may turn out in two different ways: they might be genuine, factual and unmistaken or vain, empty and false. Thus, when a person holds a certain belief, they should not derive the conclusion "Only this is true, anything else is false." but instead preserve the truth by commenting on a belief with "This is my belief". The remainder of the sutta discusses how to attain truth by direct experience.
Faith as initial acceptance
Faith is only an initial trust in the Buddha as a spiritual teacher and an initial acceptance of the Buddha's teachings. By listening to the teachings and putting them into practice, a Buddhist disciple can examine through direct experience whether they are true or not. In the Cula-hatthipadopama Sutta, the Buddha describes the path of enlightenment as starting with faith in the Buddha, but continuing by practicing the path of virtue, meditation and wisdom, culminating in the achievement of enlightenment.
Similarly, the Kasibharadvaja Sutta describes the relationship of faith, practice and wisdom:
By comparing faith to a seed, the text indicates that faith is only a preliminary element of the spiritual path.
Factor in Stream-Entry
Unwavering faith in the Awakened One, in the Dhamma, and in the Sangha are three out of the four factors that lead towards stream-entry.
There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones is endowed with unwavering faith in the Awakened One: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy & rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.' 
Faith as refuge
Buddhists put faith in the reliability of the Buddha as a truly awakened spiritual friend and faith, conviction and confidence in the three jewels (Pali: Tiratana, Skt.: triratna).
Faith in Buddhism is expressed in the act of taking refuge. In this, it centres on the authority of Buddha as a supremely awakened being, by assenting to his unsurpassed role as teacher of both humans and gods. It also honors the truth of his spiritual Doctrine (Pali: dhamma), and accepts the community of spiritually developed followers (Pali: saṅgha). Faith in Buddhism can be said to function as a form of motor, which propels the Buddhist practitioner towards the goal of awakening (Pali: bodhi) and nirvana.
When a person decides to give up domestic life and live as a monk or nun, it is said to be out of faith "through faith in the Lord". First comes the "hearing"  of the Buddhist teachings (Dharma) and then the aspirant puts these teachings and instructions into practice due to his faith, reflecting upon the value of their application.
Faith is primarily faith in the Buddha himself as the teacher of supreme spiritual realization and accomplishment. The Buddha extols such faith as befitting a "noble" Buddhist disciple:
The ariyan [noble] disciple is of faith; he has faith in the Awakening of the Tathagata [Buddha], and thinks: He is indeed Lord, perfected one, fully Self-Awakened One, endowed with right knowledge and conduct, well-farer, knower of the world(s), matchless charioteer of men to be tamed, teacher of devas [gods] and men, the Awakened One, the Lord.
In Buddhism blind faith is not regarded highly. In the Pubbakoṭṭhaka Sutta, Buddha questions Sariputta to which Sariputta answers, "Herein, O Lord, I do not follow the Exalted One out of faith. Those by whom this is unknown, unseen, uncognized, unrealized and unexperienced by wisdom, they will herein follow others out of faith." In other words, in blind faith there is no knowledge or conviction, and one can have blind faith in anyone and such blind faith never leads to wisdom and true conviction. Only the actual experience of regular practice can lead to true faith and conviction born out of realization. "But those by whom this is known, seen, cognized, realized and experienced by wisdom, they have no uncertainty, no doubt about it that these five faculties, if cultivated and regularly practiced, lead to the Deathless, are bound for the Deathless, end in the Deathless."
Faith in the Theravāda tradition is generally confidence based on first-hand understanding of a concept - especially in the primary texts as faith in the reality of the enlightenment of the Buddha (Pali: tathāgatabodhisaddhā) or in the Pāli commentaries as:
- faith in the working of the law of karma (Pali: kammasaddhā)
- faith in the consequences of actions (Pali: vipākasaddhā)
- faith in the individual ownership of actions (Pali: kammassakatāsaddhā), and;
- faith in the reality of the enlightenment of the Lord Buddha (Pali: tathāgatabodhisaddhā).
Faith and other factors
The Pāli suttas (scriptures) list faith as one of seven treasures (Pali: dhana), one of five spiritual faculties (Pali: indriyas), one of four "streams of merit", and one of the spiritual powers (Pali: balas).
In general, the role of faith in Mahāyāna Buddhism is as strong as that of the Theravādin. Moreover, the depth and range of faith may be perceived as being intensified,[according to whom?] particularly according to the Buddha nature (tathāgatagarbha) sutras and the Pure Land literature.
One of the most famous of Mahāyāna sutras, the Lotus Sutra, also embraces the ideal of faith, but links it to discernment. The Buddha tells his audience in the Lotus Sutra:
If any living beings who seek after the Buddha-way either see or hear this Law-Flower Sutra [i.e. the Lotus Sutra], and after hearing it believe and discern, receive and keep it, you may know that they are near perfect enlightenment.
The same sutra asserts that the Dharma as a whole is difficult to grasp with mere words, and that ultimately only those bodhisattvas who believe with firm faith can penetrate its nature. The Buddha says:
This Law [Dharma] is inexpressible,
It is beyond the realm of terms;
Among all the other living beings
None can apprehend it
Except the bodhisattvas
Who are firm in the power of faith.
Thus faith is a major element within Buddhism. While it is rarely (if ever) taught by the Buddha in any "blind" form and is often linked to discernment and understanding, it is nevertheless viewed as a powerful force which can start the Buddhist practitioner on his or her spiritual journey and convey him or her towards awakening themselves. An enthusiastic paean to faith can be found in the massive Avataṃsaka Sutra, where, to the delight of all the Buddhas, the bodhisattva Samantabhadra proclaims the following verses in a great eulogy of bodhisattvas' faith:
Deep faith, belief, and resolution always pure,
They [bodhisattvas] honour and respect all Buddhas ...
Deeply believing in the Buddha and the Buddha's teaching,
They also believe in the Way traversed by buddhas-to-be,
And believe in unexcelled great enlightenment:
Thereby do enlightening beings [bodhisattvas] first rouse their will.
Faith is the basis of the Path, the mother of virtues,
Nourishing and growing all good ways,
Cutting away the net of doubt, freeing from the torrent of passion,
Revealing the unsurpassed road of ultimate peace.
When faith is undefiled, the mind is pure;
Obliterating pride, it is the root of reverence,
And the foremost wealth in the treasury of religion ...
Faith is generous ...
Faith can joyfully enter the Buddha's teaching;
Faith can increase knowledge and virtue;
Faith can ensure arrival at enlightenment ...
Faith can go beyond the pathways of demons,
And reveal the unsurpassed road of liberation.
Faith is the unspoiled seed of virtue,
Faith can grow the seed of enlightenment.
Faith can increase supreme knowledge,
Faith can reveal all Buddhas ...
Faith is most powerful, very difficult to have;
It's like in all worlds having
the wondrous wish-fulfilling pearl.
Buddha nature literature
In the Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra, Buddha is portrayed giving a foundational position to faith. He states:
We say that unsurpassed awakening [bodhi] has faith as its cause. The causes of awakening are innumerable, but if stated as faith, this covers everything.
Faith as understood in this sutra is belief in the teachings of the Buddha and in the Buddha's own eternality. More specifically, it is belief in such doctrines as the law of karma, in the reality and eternity of the Three Jewels (i.e. the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Saṅgha), and in the efficacy of the Buddhist path. The Buddha comments:
All that is said in these Mahayana sutras is the truths of the Way [marga] ... As I have already stated, if one believes in the Way, such a Way of faith is the root of faith. This assists the Way of Awakening ... The Way begins with the root of faith....
The Buddha further notes that a person possessed of faith is superior to one lacking in it:
There are two kinds of men: one who has faith, and the other who has not. O Bodhisattva! Know that he with faith is one who is good, and that he who has no faith is one who is not good.
Faith in the Buddha is seen as a positive virtue as it leads to more attentive absorption in Dharma, which in turn strengthens faith still further. The Buddha remarks:
Faith arises out of listening to Dharma, and this listening is [itself] grounded in faith.
Through such faith, along with other spiritual practices, the Buddhist aspirant is enabled to attain nirvana, according to this text. Faith is the first step for the bodhisattva to tread along that path to nirvana. It is viewed as a basic requirement, and crucially entails the understanding that the "real" Buddha is not a being of flesh and blood who can bleed and who dies, or whose Truth (Dharma) perishes with his physical body. The true Buddha and his Dharma are utterly deathless and eternal, so the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra insists. This the bodhisattva is urged to believe:
First, he [i.e. the Bodhisattva] is perfect in faith. How is faith perfect? This is believing deeply that the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are Eternal, that all Buddhas of the ten directions [= everywhere] make use of expedients [effectively to convey Dharma to the different types of being], and that beings and icchantikas [= the most spiritually depraved of persons] all possess the Buddha-dhatu [Buddha-Principle, Buddha-nature ]. It is not believing that the Tathagata is subject to birth, old age, illness, and death, that he has undergone austerities, and that Devadatta [= Buddha's cousin] really caused blood to flow from the Buddha's body, that the Tathagata ultimately enters Nirvana [= finally dies], and that authentic Dharma dies out. This is where we speak of the Bodhisattva's being perfect in faith.
Yet faith in the Buddha should not be blind. The Mahāyāna not infrequently links faith with discernment and spiritual insight (prajñā) - spiritual penetration.[clarification needed] The following words of the Buddha's indicate the need for a balance:
If a person does not possess faith and insight [prajñā], such a person increases his ignorance. If a person possesses insight, but not faith, such a person will increase [his or her] distorted views. ... A person who has no faith will say, out of an angry mind: "There cannot be any Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha!"
Linji Yixuan said that if a person were to adopt perfect self-confidence (faith in themselves) they would attain enlightenment in an instant. In The Three Pillars of Zen, Haku'un Yasutani says something similar. He explains that in Shikantaza one should sit naturally but be overwhelmed by his faith in his Buddha-nature and the efficacy of the meditation process. After weeks, months or years of training the meditator will have a moment of enlightenment characterized by mania and an inability to sleep for several days. This will subside and the individual will be able to return to everyday life but be changed for the better.
The Nirvāṇa Sūtra is not alone in according a foundational position to faith. The Sutra of Non-Decrease, Non-Increase (Anunatva-Apurnatva-Nirdesa) tells of how the essence of ultimate truth, the Buddha nature (tathāgatagarbha), can be perceived by means of faith. This matter of the Buddha nature lies beyond the reach of the foolish, of the ordinary person, unless that person possess faith, which will gain him or her entry into the realm of the Buddha nature:
No sravakas [the elementary students of the Buddha] or pratyekabuddhas ["private" Buddhas, who usually avoid people and generally do not teach] are able to know, see or investigate this matter with their insight. How much less able to do so are foolish ordinary people, except when they directly realise it by faith!
Faith is thus presented as a powerful means for Buddhist practitioners to penetrate through to, and realize deep spiritual truths for themselves.
Takasaki in his translation and study of the Sanskrit Ratnagotravibhāga (with protracted consideration of the Tibetan and Chinese traditions) renders an embedded extract of a sutra of Shakyamuni unidentified in the text that conveys the importance of faith in relation to what is known in the tradition as the "revolution of the basis" (Sanskrit: āśrayaparivṛtti) of "buddha-dhatu" (buddha-nature) to the Dharmakāya (a Buddhist nomenclature of the ultimate truth):
O Śāriputra, the ultimate truth is really approachable only by faith [in the Tathāgata]. O Śāriputra, the ultimate Truth is a synonym of the mass of living beings (sattva-dhātu). The mass of living beings is, O Śāriputra, nothing but a synonym of the Matrix of the Tathāgata (tathāgatagarbha). The Matrix of the Tathāgata is, Śāriputra, nothing but a synonym of the Absolute Body (dharmakāya).
It is not only in the Buddha nature literature that faith is lauded. In the perfection of wisdom (prajñāpāramitā) scriptures, too, faith is extolled. Here it is usually in connection with trust and belief in the sutra which is at that moment being expounded. Thus in the Prajñāpāramitā Sutra on How Benevolent Kings May Protect Their Countries, the Buddha declares that even if living beings were to give away the most precious substances known to humanity in a huge act of generosity, still "their merit would not be such as that of the production of one single thought of serene faith in this Sutra". This and other prajñāpāramitā sutras explain that such persons who naturally engender faith in these texts are those who have worshipped and revered countless Buddhas in past incarnations. Faith comes naturally to them. Moreover, faith in, and reverence towards, such sutras is tantamount to faith and reverence directed towards all Buddhas. The Buddha asserts in the 18,000-Line Prajñāpāramitā Sutra:
If anyone, when this deep perfection of wisdom is being preached, feels respect, affection, and serene faith for it, then he feels respect, affection and serene faith also for the Buddhas and Lords of the past, future, and present.
Pure Land Buddhism
It is perhaps in the "Pure Land" sutras that faith and devotion reach a pinnacle of soteriological importance.[according to whom?] Here it is one's faith in the salvific compassion of the Buddha Amitabha, coupled with one's development of "roots of goodness" and the earnest wish to enter the Buddha's happy land, that is said to bring deliverance into Buddha Amitabha's Western Paradise, the "land of bliss", preparatory to entry into awakening and nirvana. In the Contemplation of Amitayus Sutra, the Buddha tells of the types of being who gain birth in this pure land – and they are all characterised by faith:
Those born in the Western Land are of nine grades. Those who attain birth on the highest level of the highest grade are sentient beings who resolve to be born in that land, awaken the three kinds of faith and so are born there. What are the three? They are, first, the sincere faith, second, the deep faith; and third, the faith that seeks birth there by transferring one's merit. Those who have these three kinds of faith will certainly be born there.
However, even in these faith-oriented sutras of "Pure Land" Dharma, faith is often linked with understanding. It is not totally blind faith. The Buddha of the Smaller Pure Land Sutra speaks of faith allied with understanding as a prerequisite for the attainment of supreme awakening (bodhi), when hearing this text. Thus:
Furthermore ... if there is a good son or good daughter, whether having already heard this, or shall hear it, or who is now hearing it – once hearing this Sutra, profoundly is there born an understanding faith. Once there is born an understanding faith, a certainty about the accumulations of merit residing in the ten directions with the Buddha World-Honoured Ones, whose number is like the sands of ten River Ganges, and they practice as instructed, all will be firmly in the supremely unexcelled Bodhi.
This teaching of faith, originally advocated in conjunction with discernment and Dharmic practice, received a new interpretation in the teachings of the Japanese Buddhist saint, Shinran Shonin (1173–1262 CE), who taught that just one recitation of the mantra, "Homage to Amida Buddha", with deep faith, would be enough to secure the faithful person entrance into the Western Paradise. Subsequent utterances of that formula would be expressions of gratitude to Buddha Amida (Amitabha). Deep understanding of the Buddha's teachings and Buddhic practice were not necessary, Shinran claimed. This interpretation of the "Pure Land" sutras represents perhaps[according to whom?] the zenith of faith-oriented Buddhism and remains controversial, although Shinran's school of Jodo Shinshu is today perhaps the largest Buddhist sect in Japan.[according to whom?]
Following on from Shinran, Rennyo Shonin, a disciple of Shinran's, gave utterance to the view that practicing the Way of Dharma and being embraced by Amita Buddha and embracing Amita in faith are one-and-the same. Buddha-Mind and one's own individual mind are ultimately inseparable. He says:
When wood is kindled by fire, fire does not leave it. The wood is likened to the mind of one who practices the Way; the fire is likened to the Light of Embracement of Amita. Shone upon and protected by the spiritual light, there can be no Buddha-Mind other than one's own and no mind of one's own other than the Buddha-Mind. This is called "Namuamidabutsu" ["Homage to Amita Buddha"].
By the power of faith, we are able to eliminate the two types of obscurations. Through the power of faith both ontological and phenomenological knowledge arises. It is also by the power of faith that both the common and uncommon siddhis arise.
The Vajra Garland Explanatory Tantra (Wylie: bShad-rgyud rdo-re phreng-ba) evokes the metaphor of the snowlioness and her salvific milk of Dharma, hailed as a panacea in Traditional Tibetan medicine:
- Just as the milk of a lioness
- Is not to be placed in an earthen container,
- So is the Mahāyogatantra
- Not to be given to those who are not suitable vessels.
Gyatrul (b. 1924), in a commentary to this verse cited by Chagmé (Wylie: Kar-ma chags-med, fl. 17th century), conveys the importance of faith as a qualification of disciples who "listen" to the Dharma:
This injunction pertains to teaching Mahāyāna, Vajrayāna, and to Atiyoga in particular. Those without faith who are completely involved in the eight mundane concerns are not suitable vessels, and they should not be taught these kinds of Dharma.
Faith has been cultivated on a pilgrimage to The Red Citadel on the Copper Mountain (Sangri Khamar), the cave of Machig Lapdron, redactor of a specific form of Chöd practice. Tsultrim Allione and pilgrims had to traverse the "Great Purifier" (Tsangpo River):
As we sat next to the river, many members of the group used their own methods to see whether we would go or not... This was a very interesting moment in the pilgrimage, because the practice of Chod is all about attachment and the demons of hope and fear. Here we were on the bank of this river, close to Machig's place and thus full of hope, yet the rushing water told us death was a real possibility if we tried to cross.
I decided to relax completely and to allow Machig to help us, and if that meant staying at camp, that was okay. I saw that faith is a form of relaxation, and this turned out to be one of the most powerful realizations of the pilgrimage for me. Faith is taking things one step at a time, relaxing, trusting. It is moment-to-moment opening to the wisdom beings.
Lack of faith
In the Mahayana tradition, lack of faith (āśraddhya) is defined as a mental factor that is characterized by a lack of trust, and lack of interest in, or desire for, wholesome things. Āśraddhya is identified as one of the twenty secondary unwholesome factors within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings.
Styles of faith
According to the Nyingma schools’ Choying Tobden Dorje, the ennobling positive six faith styles are:
- Yearning faith stimulating renunciation of rebirth desire to attain awakening freedom. Arising from disillusionment from life’s suffering.
- Devoted faith leading to a dedication to supreme ideals. Arising from disillusionment from evil companion’s behavior.
- Respectful faith in body, speech, and mind with outstanding conscientiousness. Arising from disillusionment from life’s appearances.
- Lucid faith that uplifts the mind's positive qualities. Arising from contact with those who represent supreme ideals.
- Trusting (confidence) faith that ends doubts concerning the teaching’s base, path, and result. Arising from hearing of karma.
- Certainty in faith toward the doctrine, leading to the application, reflecting, and meditating upon it. Arising from all forms of hearing and reflection.
In the Nyingma vast expanse heart essence preliminaries, Patrul Rinpoche has faith as the first step opening the refuge gateway. It is also the first of the seven noble signs of wealth (faith with the six perfections). Lasting and stable faith are important and there are three main kinds: vivid faith, eager faith, and confident faith. A forth to be aimed for is irreversible faith when it becomes integral to the person and is refuge's cause, like a house's foundation serving the jewels in Dharma. While lacking faith is one of the six stains in which the antidotes are the kinds of faith. Faith is a jewel that comes before all else blossoming in the heart’s center. It is the outer support power essence and Dharma’s root.
Causes of Faith
Many factors may instill faith, among these, four crucial circumstances are: 1) an authentic spiritual master attendance, 2) wholesome friends, 3) the three jewels and 4) reflection on existence's round of misery, according to Jigme Lingpa.
- Nyanatiloka (1988). Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Kandy/Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society. ISBN 9552400198, pp.287-288
- Mahavagga, I, 5,11; Vinaya Texts, T. W. Rhys Davids, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi 1996, p.88.
- Cf. Giustarini G. (2006). "Faith and renunciation in Early Buddhism: saddhā and nekkhamma", Rivista di Studi Sud-Asiatici, I, p. 162.
- The Kalama Sutta (Anguttara Nikaya 3:66), translated by Soma Thera, retrieved 2014-08-03
- Majjhima Nikaya 95, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, retrieved 2014-10-12
- Cula-hatthipadopama Sutta, Majjhima Nikaya 27, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
- Kasi Bharadvaja Sutta, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, retrieved 2014-09-16
- Vera Sutta, Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.92, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
- Majjhima-Nikaya 4 and 140
- "Hearing" is a rendering of one of the indivisible "mūla-prajñā".
- Majjhima-Nikaya 112,Chabbisodanasutta
- Majjhima-Nikaya, 53
- Saṃyutta Nikāya 48.44
- e.g. Dīgha Nikāya III.163, Estlin Carpenter J. (ed.), The Dīgha Nikāya, Pali Text Society, London 1976, p. 163.
- Dutiya-puññābhisanda Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya IV 52
- "The Threefold Lotus Sutra". Risshō Kōsei Kai. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- Kato (1975), p.32
- Cleary, Thomas (1993).The Flower Ornament Scripture: A Translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra, Boston and London, Shambhala, pp. 331-332.
- Yamamoto/Page, Chapter 20, "On Holy Actions".
- Yamamoto/Page, Vol. 5, Chapter 21, "On Pure Actions" (a), p. 3.
- Yamamoto/Page, Vol. 8, Ch. 34 "On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar" (b), p. 44.
- Yamamoto/Page, Vol. 9, Chapter 38, "On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar" (f), p. 33.
- Yamamoto/Page, Vol. 10, Chapter 42, "On Bodhisattva Kasyapa" (c), p. 65)
- Cleary, "Classics of Buddhism and Zen" Vol. 1, Chapter 5
- Kapleau, The Pillars of Zen, Introductory Lectures
- 1966: p. 143
- Takasaki, Jikido (1966). A Study on the Ratnagotravibhāga (Uttaratantra) Being a Treatise on the Tathāgatagarbha Theory of Mahāyāna Buddhism (Rome Oriental Series 33). Rome: Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, p.29
- Takasaki, Jikido (1966). A Study on the Ratnagotravibhāga (Uttaratantra) Being a Treatise on the Tathāgatagarbha Theory of Mahāyāna Buddhism (Rome Oriental Series 33). Rome: Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente.
- Conze II, p. 203
- Conze I, 18,000-Line Prajnaparamita Sutra, p. 484.
- Inagaki (2003), pp. 79-80
- The Words of St. Rennyo: Complete Translations of the Rennyoshonin-Goichidaiki-Kikigaki and the Anjinketsujosho, tr. and annotated by Kosho Yamamoto, The Karinbunko, Tokyo, 1968, p.158
- Source:  Faith in Buddhism (accessed: Wednesday March 25, 2009) Archived December 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Chagmé, Karma (author, compiler); Gyatrul Rinpoche (commentary) & Wallace, B. Alan (translator) (1998). A Spacious Path to Freedom: Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahamudra and Atiyoga. Ithaca, New York, USA: Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 978-1-55939-071-2; ISBN 1-55939-071-9, p.20
- The two obscurations (Wylie: sgrib gnyis) are:
- The obscuration of conflicting emotions ([Wylie:] nyon-mongs-pa'i sgrib-ma, Sanskrit: kleśa-varaṇa) and the obscuration concerning the knowable ([Wylie:] shes-bya'i sgrib-ma, Sanskrit: jñeyāvaraṇa).
- Chagmé, Karma (author, compiler); Gyatrul Rinpoche (commentary) & Wallace, B. Alan (translator) (1998). A Spacious Path to Freedom: Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahamudra and Atiyoga. Ithaca, New York, USA: Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 978-1-55939-071-2; ISBN 1-55939-071-9, p.27
- Source:  (accessed: Wednesday March 25, 2009) Archived December 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Listening" is a literal translation of the first of the three mūla prajñā.
- Chagmé, Karma (author, compiler); Gyatrul Rinpoche (commentary) & Wallace, B. Alan (translator) (1998). A Spacious Path to Freedom: Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahamudra and Atiyoga. Ithaca, New York, USA: Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 978-1-55939-071-2; ISBN 1-55939-071-9, p.27
- Dudjom, et al.render the "eight worldly concerns" (Wylie: jigs-rten chos brgyad; Sanskrit: aṣṭa lokadharmāḥ) into English, thus: profit, loss, pleasure, pain, fame, defamation, praise and blame. Source: Dorje, Jikdrel Yeshe (Dudjom Rinpoche, author), & translated and edited: Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (1991). The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History. Boston, USA: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-199-8, p.162.
- Allione, Tsultrim (2000). Women of Wisdom (2nd ed.). Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 978-1-55939-141-2., p.61
- Dorje, Choying Tobden; Zangpo, Ngawang (June 2, 2015). The Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra, Books 1 to 10: Foundations of the Buddhist Path (First ed.). Snow Lion. pp. 703–704. ISBN 1-55939-435-8.
- Rinpoche, Patrul. Words of My Perfect Teacher: A Complete Translation of a Classic Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism (2011 ed.). Yale University Press. pp. 22, 55, 171, 378. ISBN 0-300-16532-3.
- Pelzang, Khenpo Ngawang (June 22, 2004). A Guide to the Words of My Perfect Teacher. Shambhala. pp. 4, 5, 9, 35, 49, 226, 254, 255. ISBN 1-59030-073-4.
- Pelden, Kunzang (Nov 13, 2007). The Nectar of Manjushri's Speech: A Detailed Commentary on Shantideva's Way of the Bodhisattva (First ed.). Shambhala. p. 82. ISBN 1-59030-439-X.
- Lingpa, Jigme (April 20, 2010). Treasury of Precious Qualities: Book One (Revised ed.). Shambhala. p. 125. ISBN 1590307119.
- Cleary, Thomas (1993). The Flower Ornament Scripture : A Translation of the Avatamsaka Sūtra, Boulder: Shambhala, ISBN 0-87773-940-4
- Conze, Edward, tr. (1975). The Large Sutra on Perfect Wisdom, Berkeley: University of California Press
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