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Buddhists take refuge in the Three Jewels or Triple Gem, (aka the "Three Refuges").
The Three Jewels are:
Faith is an important teaching element in both Theravada and Mahayana traditions. In contrast to perceived Western notions of faith, faith in Buddhism arises from accumulated experience and reasoning.
In the Kalama Sutra, the Buddha explicitly argues against simply following authority or tradition, particularly those of religions contemporary to the Buddha's time. There remains value for a degree of trusting confidence and belief in Buddhism, primarily in the spiritual attainment and salvation or enlightenment. Faith in Buddhism centres on belief in the Three Jewels.
Lay Buddhist Practices
A student who takes refuge may make vows to adhere to the Five Precepts (pañca-sila). Laypeople undertake at least one of the five, but traditions differ in how many vows are common to take. The Five Precepts are not commandments, such as "thou shalt not ...", but are promises to oneself: "I will (try) ..."
- To refrain from harming living creatures (killing).
- To refrain from taking that which is not given (stealing).
- To refrain from sexual misconduct.
- To refrain from false speech.
- To refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness.
Serious lay people or aspiring monks may take an additional three to five ethical precepts, and strengthen some of the five precepts. For example, the precept pertaining to sexual misconduct becomes a precept of celibacy.
- बुद्धं शरणं गच्छामि।
- धर्मं शरणं गच्छामि।
- संघं शरणं गच्छामि।
- Buddhaṃ śaraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
- Dharmaṃ śaraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
- Saṃghaṃ śaraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
- I take refuge in the Buddha.
- I take refuge in the Dharma.
- I take refuge in the Sangha.
- बुद्धं सरणं गच्छामि।
- दम्मं सरणं गच्छामि।
- सङ्घं सरणं गच्छामि।
- Buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
- Dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
- Saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
- ពុទ្ធំ សរណំ គច្ឆាមិ ។
- ធម្មំ សរណំ គច្ឆាមិ ។
- សង្ឃំ សរណំ គច្ឆាមិ ។
- To the Buddha for refuge I go
- To the Dharma for refuge I go
- To the Sangha for refuge I go
- Dutiyampi buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
- Dutiyampi dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
- Dutiyampi saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
- ទុតិយម្បិ ពុទ្ធំ សរណំ គច្ឆាមិ ។
- ទុតិយម្បិ ធម្មំ សរណំ គច្ឆាមិ ។
- ទុតិយម្បិ សង្ឃំ សរណំ គច្ឆាមិ ។
- For the second time ...
- Tatiyampi buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
- Tatiyampi dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
- Tatiyampi saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
- តតិយម្បិ ពុទ្ធំ សរណំ គច្ឆាមិ ។
- តតិយម្បិ ធម្មំ សរណំ គច្ឆាមិ ។
- តតិយម្បិ សង្ឃំ សរណំ គច្ឆាមិ ៕
- For the third time...
- 南無皈依佛 (to the Buddha for refuge I go)
- 南無皈依法 (to the Dharma for refuge I go)
- 南無皈依僧 (to the Sangha for refuge I go)
- (I take refuge in the Buddha, wishing for all sentient beings to understand the great way and make the greatest vow.)
- (I take refuge in the Dharma, wishing for all sentient beings to deeply delve into the Sutra Pitaka, gaining an ocean of knowledge.)
- (I take refuge in the Sangha, wishing all sentient beings to lead the congregation in harmony, entirely without obstruction.)
Tibetan : The basic refuge in Tibetan is:
- Sang-gyé la kyap-su chio (I go for refuge to the Buddha)
- Chö la kyap-su chio (I go for refuge to the Dharma)
- Gendün la kyap-su chio (I go for refuge to the Sangha)
A Mahayana refuge in Tibetan:
- Sang gyé chö dang tsok kyi chok nam la
- Jang chup bar du kyap su chi
- Dak gi jin sok gyi pa di dak gi
- Dro la pen chir sang gyé drup par shok
In Tibetan Buddhism there are three refuge formulations, the Outer, Inner, and Secret forms of the Three Jewels. 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. These alternative refuge formulations are employed by those undertaking Deity Yoga and other tantric practices within the Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana tradition as a means of recognizing Buddha Nature.
|Tibetan Buddhist Refuge Formulations|
|Outer or 'Three Jewels'||Buddha||Dharma||Sangha|
|Inner or 'Three Roots'||Lama (Guru)||Yidam (Ista-devata)||Khandroma (Dakini)|
|Secret or 'Trikaya'||Dharmakaya||Sambhogakaya||Nirmanakaya|
|seed syllable||blue hum||red ah||white om|
- Shults, Brett (May 2014). "On the Buddha's Use of Some Brahmanical Motifs in Pali Texts". Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies. 6: 119.
- "Kalama Sutta, The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry" by Soma Thera
- In Sarma traditions, this root is the Chokyong (Skt: dharmapāla, Wylie: chos-kyong)
- Sangharakshita, Going for Refuge. Windhorse Publications. (1997)
- Ceremony for Taking Refuge and Precepts by Ven. Thubten Chodron
- A Buddhist View on Refuge
- Refuge: A Safe and Meaningful Direction in Life by Dr. Alexander Berzin
- Refuge Vows (including commentary by Dr. Alexander Berzin)
- Taking the refuges and precepts online by Bhikkhu Samahita
- Vajrayana refuge prayer audio
- The Threefold Refuge (tisarana)
- Five Precepts (pañca-sila)
- Abhisanda Sutta (Anguttara Nikaya)
- Saranagamana (Khuddakapatha)
- Going for Refuge and Taking the Precepts by Bhikkhu Bodhi
- Refuge: An Introduction to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
- Refuge Tree Thangkas by Dharmapala Thangka Centre