There are three kinds of faith: 1)trusting faith, 2)longing faith, and 3)clear faith.
Following the virtuous path requires faith. Without faith, virtue cannot develop in one’s being. Thus, the Ten Dharmas Sutra says:
Virtuous qualities cannot grow
In a person without faith,
As a green sprout
Does not shoot from a burnt seed.
Also, the Garland ofBuddhas Sutra says:
A worldly person with little faith
Cannot understand the Buddha’s enlightenment.
Therefore, one should develop faith. The Noble Profound Representation Sutra says:
Ananda! Fuse your mind with faith. This is the request of the Tathagata.
In that case, what does “faith” mean?
Understand that this faith depends on the topic “cause and result”—the Truth of Suffering which comes from the Truth of Causation.
Furthermore, it comes from trusting that happiness in the desire world is the fruit of virtuous causes.
Trust that the suffering of the desire world is the result of nonvirtuous action.
Trust that the happiness of the two higher realms is the result of unshakable causes.
Trust that by engaging in the nonvirtuous actions of body, speech, and afflicting emotions, which are called the Truth of Causation, one obtains the five afflicted skandas, which are called the Truth of Suffering.
Understanding the extraordinary nature of unsurpassable enlightenment, one follows the path with respect and reverence in order to obtain it.
Clear faith arises in one’s mind by depending on the Three Jewels. Develop devotion for and interest in the Buddha as the teacher who shows the path, the Dharma which becomes the path, and the Sangha which guides one in order to accomplish the path.
The Abhidharma says:
What is faith? It is trust, longing, and clarity regarding cause
and result, truths, and the Three Jewels.
Furthermore, the Precious Jewel Garland mentions:
One who does not give up Dharma
Through desire, aversion, fear, or ignorance
Is called one who has great confidence in the Dharma.
This person is the supreme vessel for achievement of the ultimate state.