The fault in not having faith.
People who lack faith are deprived of the good fortune of being able to practice the Dharma, and their not having faith is therefore an immeasurable defect. Just as a rock on the bottom of the ocean will never appear on the surface, without faith it is impossible to reach the dry land of liberation. Just as a ferry without a helmsman will never reach the other shore, without faith it is impossible to traverse the great river of suffering. Without faith, it is as impossible to nurture good qualities in one’s being as it is for someone with no hands to pick up anything even if he were to find himself on an island of gold. Without faith, it is impossible for the shoot of bodhichitta to grow, for nothing can ever sprout from a burned seed. Without faith, one is like a blind person who finds himself in a temple: it is impossible to see the light of the Dharma. Without faith, however clever one is, one is trapped in the deep pit of cyclic existence: everything one does becomes an action that leads to cyclic existence, and it is impossible to ever attain the freedom of enlightenment.
As the Sutra of the Ten Qualities puts it,
“From roasted seeds no greenery will sprout.
In those who have no faith No virtue will appear.”
A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom
© 2011 Shambhala Publications
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