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Faith (Skt. śraddhā; Tib. དད་པ་, dépa, Wyl. dad pa) — one of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the eleven virtuous states. In the teachings on refuge, it is said to be the gateway to taking refuge, which is of three kinds: vivid faith, eager faith and confident faith.[1]. In the practice of meditation, it is the third antidote, from among the eight antidotes, and is the antidote for laziness.


In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche writes:

  • Tib. དད་པ་ནི་ཡང་དག་པའི་གནས་ལ་དང་འདོད་ཡིད་ཆེས་པ་སྟེ་འདུན་པའི་རྟེན་བྱེད་པའོ།
  • Faith is to have a vivid and eager mind towards, and have confidence in, that which is authentic and true. It supports interest. (Rigpa Translations)
  • Faith is admiration of, longing towards, and trust in that which is true. It supports determination. (Erik Pema Kunsang)

Sthiramati in his commentary, An Explanation of the Thirty Stanzas (Skt. Triṃśikābhāṣya; Wyl. sum cu pa'i bshad pa),[2] writes:

  • Faith includes complete confidence in the reality of karma and its maturation; sincere faith in the Four Truths of the Noble Ones; and eager faith regarding the capacities of qualified beings.

Alternative Translations

  • confidence


  1. See Patrul Rinpoche, The Words of My Perfect Teacher (Boston: Shambhala, Revised edition, 1998), pages 171-176, for more details.
  2. Translated from Philippe Cornu, Vasubandhu, Cinq traités sur l'esprit seulement (Paris: Fayard, 2008), page 227.

Oral Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha

Further Reading

  • Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel, The Logic of Faith: the Buddhist Path to Finding Certainty Beyond Belief and Doubt (Boulder: Shambhala Publications, 2018)