Taking refuge is a way to formalize one’s commitment to and faith in the Buddha’s path and take shelter from the vicissitudes of life. elements of Buddhism. Faith is an important teaching element in both Theravada and Mahayana traditions. The Three Jewels are the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. The 'Outer' form is the 'Triple Gem', (Sanskrit:triratna), the 'Inner' is the Three Roots and the 'Secret' form is the 'Three Bodies' or trikaya of a Buddha. Oddly, this seems to anger some people. The other is the Buddhist path, and the goal, which is Nirvana. A sangha can be a particular group of Buddhists, lay or monastic, who practice together. Taking refuge in the Three Jewels་is considered the starting point on the Buddhist path. However, in some countries like China, where Buddhism was not the only religion, the precepts became an ordination ceremony to initiate lay people into the Buddhist religion. To become a Buddhist is to take refuge in the Three Jewels, also called the Three Treasures. In the most fundamental way, taking refuge in the Buddha means taking refuge in our own potential for liberation. By taking the refuge vow we commit ourselves to freedom. In Theravada Buddhism, dharma (or dhamma in Pali) is a term for the factors of existence or the transitory conditions that cause phenomena to come into being. In countries in which Buddhism was adopted as the main religion without much competition from other religious disciplines, such as Thailand, the relation between the initiation of a lay person and the five precepts has been virtually non-existent, and the taking of the precepts has become a sort of ritual cleansing ceremony. Bikkhu Bodhi said that there are two levels of dharma. Buddhist do not take refuge in the Buddha with the belief that He is a god or son of god. Basic points unifying Theravāda and Mahāyāna, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Refuge_(Buddhism)&oldid=987341571, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown, Articles needing cleanup from August 2020, Cleanup tagged articles with a reason field from August 2020, Wikipedia pages needing cleanup from August 2020, Articles lacking reliable references from July 2018, Articles containing Sanskrit-language text, Articles containing Bengali-language text, Articles containing Burmese-language text, Articles containing Chinese-language text, Articles containing Japanese-language text, Articles containing Sinhala-language text, Articles containing Vietnamese-language text, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from March 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 6 November 2020, at 11:42. [6] The five precepts are: In Early Buddhist Texts, the role of the five precepts gradually developed. The late Chogyam Trungpa said of taking refuge in the Sangha. When a person wishes to become a Buddhist, the first step he or she takes is to go to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha for refuge. When we talk about “becoming” an official Buddhist, we are specifically talking about taking “refuge” in the Triple Gem. The Commentaries define the act of taking refuge as a mental act, namely: To become a Buddhist is to take refuge in the Three Jewels, also called the Three Treasures. Tai Situ Rinpoche When we take refuge for the first time, we officially become a Buddhist. That consists of the Buddha (the teacher), the Dharma (teachings of the Buddha), and the Sangha (the monastic community). The formal ceremony of Ti Samana Gamana (Pali), or "taking the three refuges," is performed in nearly all schools of Buddhism. But taking refuge does not mean retreating from life. The essence of taking refuge is, to accept the Three Jewels—i.e. 0 comments. Lay followers often undertake five precepts in the same ceremony as they take the refuges. Since I took refuge, I find myself explaining what that means to me to Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. This is a bit of Buddhist symbolism, and teachings of the Buddha. 1. The first Buddhist step on the journey to enlightenment is taking refuge, called śaraṇaṃ in Sanskrit and chabdro (སྐྱབས་འགྲོ་) in Choekey. Buddhists take refuge in the Buddha not out of fear of Him, but to gain inspiration and right understanding for their self-purification. “I take refuge in the Sangha.”. Next, the precepts developed to become the foundation of lay practice. Sangha is another word with multiple meanings. You acceptthe Buddha as your guide, Dharma as your path and Sangha as your companions. In doing so, we recognize and confirm our Buddhanature, the potential for basic goodness that we all share as sentient beings. There are aspects of the Buddhism I’m being taught that I don’t relate to much at all. This public teaching was given before a private online refuge ceremony, offered at the request of Lama Lena’s students. Going for Refuge gives a continuous perspective on life by referring to one’s conduct and understanding of the qualities of the Buddha (wisdom), Dhamma (truth) and Sangha (virtue). Buddhists take refuge in the Three Jewels or Triple Gem (also known as the "Three Refuges"). By taking refuge in the Sangha, we become the refuge. They want to be the only ones who hurt; everyone else is supposed to be cool and pain-free and supportive. The Theravada teacher Bhikkhu Bodhi said. [12] When Buddhism spread to different places and people, the role of the precepts began to vary. Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels. It most often refers to the monastic orders and the institutional bodies of Buddhism. by Yukh ok Chatralwa Chöying Rangdrol This has two sections: 1) causal and resultant refuge, and 2) how to take refuge. [3] There remains value for a degree of trusting confidence and belief in Buddhism, primarily in the spiritual attainment and salvation or enlightenment. This sense can be found in the Heart Sutra, which refers to the voidness or emptiness (shunyata) of all dharmas. hide. [17][clarification needed], CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (, Learn how and when to remove this template message, reliable, independent, third-party sources, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, "On the Buddha's Use of Some Brahmanical Motifs in Pali Texts", "Kalama Sutta: The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry", "Uposatha Sila: The Eight-Precept Observance", Refuge: A Safe and Meaningful Direction in Life, Refuge: An Introduction to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, Refuge Tree Thangkas by Dharmapala Thangka Centre. His enlightenment and his teachings continue to inform all Buddhist schools and practices. Or perhaps they view taking refuge as analogous to rushing into marriage without sufficient knowledge of the future spouse and worry that personalities may … Yet in whom did the Buddha himself take refuge? The English word refuge refers to a place of shelter and protection from danger. TAKING REFUGE IN THE BUDDHA When we become Buddhists, we vow to take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. The Buddha's Path to Happiness: An Introduction, Buddhism: 11 Common Misunderstandings and Mistakes. Taking refuge. [10] The precepts were seen as a preliminary condition for the higher development of the mind. It is a most fundamental Buddhist practice which is said to distinguish Buddhists from others. Rather, it enables us to embrace the world in all its complexity as the vehicle for releasing our destructive habits. Since the time of the Buddha, taking this Threefold Refuge has identified a person as a Buddhist. The inner form, or the “Three Roots,” is the lama or heart teacher, the practitioner’s chosen deity, and the dakinis. Taking Refuge means, that we Refuge in the Attainments of the Lord Buddha, as a Faith instiller to let us know that a Human can do this (self liberation). W… Lastly, the precepts, together with the triple gem, became a required condition for the practice of Buddhism, as lay people had to undergo a formal initiation to become a member of the Buddhist religion. Offer the first part of food or drink to the triple gem, by blessing it before eating or drinking by reciting "Om Ah... 3. In such countries, people are presumed Buddhist from birth without much of an initiation. We takes Refuge in the historical Buddha, the supreme Teacher who lived in India 2,500 years ago. For the rest of my life I’m in it with this Buddhist stuff. However, it is also often used in a way similar to how some western Christians use "church." Robert Thurman, a Tibetan Buddhist and Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies at Columbia University, said of the Three Jewels, Ch'an Master Sheng-Yen said, "The genuine Three Jewels, in essence, are none other than the enlightened Buddha nature that is already inside you.". In the Buddhist tradition, Taking Refuge means to cultivate an unshakable sense of safety, protection, and belonging. When we accept the Buddha’s teaching as a student of the Buddha, we make this vow with all sentient beings. How can we take refuge in him? There are many levels of Sangha. Zen teacher Robert Aitken said of the First Jewel: Like "Buddha," the word Dharma can point to several meanings. In Mahayana, the word is sometimes used to mean "manifestation of reality" or "phenomenon." This is the path of the Buddhas. Going for Refuge and taking the Precepts define a person as a practising Buddhist. Taking refuge is the first step on the Buddhist path, and often occurs as a natural outgrowth of learning about Buddhism and reflecting upon the meaning of the teachings, for ourselves personally and in light of the human condition. Three refuge motivation levels are: 1) suffering rebirth's fear motivates with the idea of happiness, 2) knowing rebirth won’t bring freedoms motivated by attaining nirvana, while 3) seeing others' suffering motivates establishing them all in Buddhahood. 2. Taking Refuge provides a context for our spiritual journey. carry the correct transmission of the lineage have taken Refuge themselves have full faith and belief in the teachings of Lord Buddha be following the teachings and trying to live by them be able to inspire your trust and faith. The outer meaning of taking refuge in the Buddha refers to Shakyamuni Buddha, the historical Buddha who lived in India. When we take The Buddha never claimed any divinity. Bikkhu Bodhi wrote that taking refuge in the Buddha is not merely taking refuge in his concrete particularity. First of all, the precepts were combined with a declaration of faith in the triple gem (the Buddha, his teaching and the monastic community). A Talk on Taking Refuge Vows September 20, 2020 Lama Lena explains the meaning and importance of refuge in the Buddhist tradition, from a Dzogchen perspective. “I take refuge in the Dharma.”, Sangham saranam gacchami. Six points of training: 1. The importance of sangha cannot be overestimated. Maybe, we can look at the monastic order as the "custodian" of the Dhamma. Why we take Refuge in the Buddha . It is also sometimes used to refer to ethical rules and to mental objects or thoughts. We become Buddhists through participating in the ceremony of refuge. Buddhism is not a theistic religion — the Buddha is not a god — and so a person taking refuge in the Buddhist sense is not asking for the Buddha personally to intervene to provide protection. The highest, the most sacred level of Sangha is the enlightened disciples of the Buddha, such as the eight major Bodhisattvas, which include Manjushri and Avalokiteshvara. Buddhism always emphasizes that one should understand his position and should perform his duties honestly accordingly. Taking Refuge in DharmaThe ceremony of Ti Samana Gamana (Pali), or “taking the three refuges,” is believed to have been established by the Buddha himself. [11] At a third stage in the texts, the precepts were actually mentioned together with the triple gem, as though they were part of it. Especially in the West, people who come to Buddhism very often do so because they are hurt and confused. One is the teaching of the Buddha, as expressed in the sutras and other articulated discourses. 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