The benefits of cultivating faith

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There are boundless virtues in cultivating and increasing one’s faith. It is the foundation for all virtuous practice. It clears away all the sufferings of cyclic existence and is the first step on the path to liberation. As a result of your faith, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will constantly keep you in mind.

You will have a sense of shame, a sense of decency, and wisdom. In all your lives, as soon as you are born, you will meet a sublime teacher, the sacred teachings, and spiritual companions, and you will thus be able to practice the Dharma. You will be protected by those gods who delight in virtue.

Falling asleep peacefully, in your dreams too you will have pleasant visions of encountering your teacher and the Three Jewels and practicing the Dharma, and you will wake in a happy frame of mind. You will accomplish all your wishes and die peacefully, guided by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

You will have none of the terrifying experiences of the intermediate state. You will be reborn wherever your aspirations lead you, and uphold the lineage of the Three Jewels. Swiftly, you will attain Buddhahood. Such are the infinite benefits of having faith, as we read in the Sutra of the Precious Lamp:

Though for kalpas one might venerate beings
Numerous as the atoms of the universes in the ten directions,
Bringing them every kind of happiness,
In comparison, nothing is more sublime
Than the merit of faith in this Dharma.

~ Dudjom Rinpoche
A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom
Shambhala Publications

About photo:
HH Dudjom Rinpoche bestowing the Nyingma Ka-ma for the first time outside of Tibet, Kalimpong, 1961. According to Lama Dawa (who was there), there was no monastery or buildings at that time, and the entire series of empowerments were given under makeshift tents. There were about 300 people there. Most of the attendees were Bhutanese. HH Dudjom Rinpoche himself got up and went from person to person to bestow the vase empowerment. This photo was taken on the day when Rinpoche was bestowing the empowerment of the main articles – he and his attendants went around to each person.
Photo was taken by one of Rinpoche’s attendants, whose name was Tashi. He was the only one at that time who had a camera.