Flashcards in The Three Refuge Deck (38)
What are the three refuge?
What is the yellow jewel?
What is the blue jewel?
What is the red jewel?
How are the Three Jewels compared to a medical analogy?
The Buddha is the doctor, the dharma is the medicine and the sangha helps you take the medicine (nurse)
Why are the Buddha, dharma and sangha are known as the Three Jewels?
It's what Buddhists hold most dear in life because they help a Buddhist to transform the mind, to free the mind from suffering (Dukkha)
What do Buddhists take refuge in?
- Take the three jewels as the refuges and chant them in pali
- The three jewels can be somewhere to be safe and grow
- Buddha: Not a God or saviour , but an extremely extraordinary human being
- Dharma: 1) External Truth 2) Teachings of the Buddha
- Sangha: Community of Buddhists; embody the Buddha's teachings and practises
Why Buddhists 'go for refuge'?
- Somewhere you can grow and develop
- Seek refuge from fear and ignorance
- Expression of faith (shraddha) or making a commitment
-Dangers pertaining to the present life
-Dangers pertaining to future lives
-Dangers pertaining to existence in samsara.
The Buddhist procedure for taking refuge
- Chant in pali
- Buddham saranam gacchami (I go for the Buddha for refuge), Dhammam saranam gacchami (I go to the Dharma for refuge) , Sangham saranam gacchami (I go to the sangha for refuge)
- Chanted 3 times
- This is because the orientate themselves away from worldly things like money, ambition etc
Case study 1: Dalai Lama (Tibetan Buddhist)
- A buddhist is defined as one who who seeks ultimate refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha
- Dharma, we are taking refuge in both prospect and freedom from suffering and in the path or method to gain state
- Attained total freedom from negative states of mind
Case study 2: Dr Along Tulku Rinpoche
- "Taking refuge" is a serious commitment
- The greatest sense of commitment is to learn to tame your mind
- You may be too involved in your own problems to give or feel compassion for others
- Lineage of transmission
- Actual commitment depends on yourself
Main principles of being a Buddhist are:
1. Don't harm anyone
2. Pay attention to YOUR mind and ACTIONS and do NOT judge those of others
3. Constantly seek to improve yourself so you can help others
Case study 3: Triratna Buddhist community (Non sectarian)
- Non sectarian (neither Theravada or Mahayana)
- Unified sangha
- It calls itself "ecumerical" rather than "eclectic" because it is founded on the premise that there is underlying unity to all schools
- Sangharakshita (founder of Triratna) emphasises that refuge is an ongoing orientation rather than a one off event
- He says 'commitment is primary, lifestyle is secondary'
How is the Dharma described in Theravada?
- Pariyatti- body of teaching
- Patipatti- practising teaching
- Pativedha- realisation, nirvana
How is the Dharma described in Mahayana?
- Dharmakaya- truth body
- Bodhisattvas- embody and symbolise different aspects of dharma
- Buddha nature
How is the Buddha described in Theravada?
- Historical Buddha
- Buddha rediscovered dharma
- When dharma deepens, gratitude towards the Buddha
How is the Buddha described in Mahayana?
3 Trikaya Doctrine:
2)Dharmakaya- truth body
3)Sambhogakaya- physical images of enlightened beings
How is the Sangha described in Theravada?
- Arya Sangha- achieved enlightenment
- Stream enterer- achieve nirvana through 7 life spans
- Once returner
How is the Sangha described in Mahayana?
- Temporal and celestial Bodhisattvas
1) Lama- spiritual leader
2) Yi-dam- celestial being who offers protection
Why in Mahayana is 'taking refuge' is important?
1. Helps people to find meaning and purpose in their lives
2. Committing oneself to finding true happiness
3. Basic meaning of refuge is to put them into practice
How Buddhists 'take refuge'?
- Inner commitment
- Public ceremony of initiation
- A continuing practice of repetition and recollection
- Refuge formula
What does The Venerable Karin Valham about 'taking refuge'?
The purpose of refuge is to develop qualities of enlightenment which is the main aim of Buddhism. By going to refuge a Buddhist can begin to observe their karma and realise that one's mind is the cause and release of dukkha
What are the two ways of talking about refuge says The Venerable Karin Valham?
- Inner refuge; in one own's wisdom but this is limited
- Outer refuge; in the greater wisdom of the Buddha and the sangha
- Dharma; refuge in the Buddha's wisdom, helps to cultivate town wisdom
- Refuge develops compassion
What does Dalai Lama say about 'taking refuge'?
There are three levels of taking refuge:
1. Attainment of Buddha-hood for the benefit of all things
2. Protection from suffering due to conditioned states in samsara
3. Refuge from the immediate threat of being born in a lower realm of samsara- refers to negative states of mind we can slip into now in this life
What did Julia Hengst say about 'taking refuge'?
I sought refuge in worldly things such as drugs, partying and casual relationships, but did not not lead to happiness or contentment in her life. After taking the refuge I felt calmer, more peaceful and more competent
What is Buddha nature?
Refers to natural ability all beings have to become Buddha
What is Bodhisattva?
One who dedicates himself ore herself to helping all beings to achieve peace and enlightenment
What is Maha-sangha?
All practising Buddhist
What is arya-sangha?
Monk & nuns/ those who are spiritually advanced/ those who are enlightened