Hoa Vo Uu (Buddha Dharma Education Association)
Venerable Shravasti Dhammika
The Buddha’s Words of Wisdom
Then, King Milinda said: “Venerable Nãgasena, what is the characteristic of faith?”
“Faith, Sire, has tranquility and leaping forward as its characteristic.”
“How is tranquility a characteristic of faith?”
“When faith arises, it destroys the hindrances; when thought is without the hindrances, it is clear, pure and serence.”
“Give me a smile.”
“A king, going along a highway together with his army of four parts—elephants, cavalry, chariots and infantry—might cross a small stream, and the water disturbed by that army would become dirty, turbid and muddy. Then, the king might say: “Bring water, good sirs; we will drink.” They might answer him, saying: “Yes, Your Majesty,” and taking the king’s water-cleansing gem might put it in the water so that the various water plants would disappear, the mud subside and the water become clear, pure and serence.
Then they would offer the drinking water to the king, saying: “Let His Majesty drink.” Thought is like the water, the people are like the earnest student of meditation, the defilements are like the water plants and the mud, and the faith is like the water-cleansing gem. As the water plants diesappear, the mud subsides, and thte water becomes clear, pure and serene when the water-cleansing gem is put in –even so, the arising of faith destroys the hindrances and thougtht without hindrances is clear, pure and serene.”
“How, reverend sir, is leaping forward a characteristic of faith?”
“As, Sire, the earnest student of meditation, on seeing that the minds of others are freed, leaps forward after the fruits of Stream-Winning, of Once-Returning, of Non-Returning or of Arahantship, and practises meditation for the atttainment of the unattained, for the mastery of the unmastered, for the realzation of unrealized— even so is leaping forward a characteristic of faith.”
“Give me a smile.”
“A great raincloud might pour down rain on a high mountain, so that the water rushing down the incline, after filling the gullies, the valleys and the small streams on the slopes, would then fill the river, so that it would rush along, breaking its banks. Now, if a great crowd of people were to approach that river knwing neither its width nor depth, they would stand terrified and hesitant on its bank.
Then, if a man were to approach who was confident of his own power and strength, and putting on a loincloth, were to dive into that river and cross over, then seeing this, that great crowd of people would cross over, too. Even so, Sire, the earnest student of meditation, on seeing that the minds of others are freed, leaps forward after the fruits of Stream-Winning, of Once-Returning, of Non-Returning or of Arahantship, and practises meditation for the attainment of the unattained, for the mastery of the unmastered, for the realization of the unrealized, and thus is leaping forward a characteristic of faith.”