Buddha Silhouette
Buddhism
Home Origins Concepts Doctrines Traditions Foundations Practices Lucky Numbers
 
Buddhism Doctrines: Bodhi|Meditative Cultivation|Middle Way|Morality Cultivation|Refuge in the Three Jewels|Wisdom
 

REFUGE IN THE THREE JEWELS

 
Acknowledging the Four Noble Truths and making the first step in the Noble Eightfold Path requires taking refuge, as the foundation of one's religious practice, in Buddhism's Three Jewels. Tibetan Buddhism sometimes adds a fourth refuge, in the lama. The person who chooses the bodhisattva path makes a vow/pledge. This is considered the ultimate expression of compassion. The Three Jewels are:
  1. The Buddha (i.e., Awakened One). This is a title for those who attained Awakening similar to the Buddha and helped others to attain it. See also the Tathāgata and Śākyamuni Buddha. The Buddha could also be represented as the wisdom that understands Dharma, and in this regard the Buddha represents the perfect wisdom that sees reality in its true form.


  2. The Dharma: The teachings or law as expounded by the Buddha. Dharma also means the law of nature based on behavior of a person and its consequences to be experienced (action and reaction). It can also (especially in Mahayana Buddhism) connote the ultimate and sustaining Reality which is inseparable from the Buddha.


  3. The Sangha: This term literally means "group" or "congregation," but when it is used in Buddhist teaching the word refers to one of two very specific kinds of groups: either the community of Buddhist monastic (bhikkhus and bhikkhunis), or the community of people who have attained at least the first stage of Awakening (Sotapanna (pali) — one who has entered the stream to enlightenment). According to some modern Buddhists, it also consists of laymen and laywomen, the caretakers of the monks, those who have accepted parts of the monastic code but who have not been ordained as monks or nuns.
According to the scriptures, The Buddha presented himself as a model, however, he did not ask his followers to have faith in his example of a human who escaped the pain and danger of existence. Instead, he continually encouraged them to put his teachings to the test and only accept what they could verify on their own. The Dharma, i.e. the teaching of the Buddha, offers a refuge by providing guidelines for the alleviation of suffering and the attainment of enlightenment. The Sangha (Buddhist order of monks) provides a refuge by preserving the authentic teachings of the Buddha and providing further examples that the truth of the Buddha's teachings is attainable.
 
 
 
In the Mahayana, the Buddha tends not to be viewed as merely human, but as the earthly projection of a being beyond the range and reach of thought. Moreover, in certain Mahayana sutras, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are viewed essentially as One: All three are seen as the eternal Buddha himself.
 
Many Buddhists believe that there is no otherworldly salvation from one's karma. The suffering caused by the karmic effects of previous thoughts, words and deeds can be alleviated by following the Noble Eightfold Path, although the Buddha of some Mahayana sutras, such as the Lotus Sutra, the Angulimaliya Sutra and the Nirvana Sutra, also teaches that powerful sutras such as the above-named can, through the very act of their being heard or recited, wholly expunge great swathes of negative karma.
 
 
Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism
About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Freelance Website Designer | Freelance SEO © 2009 Darahasa Sangha
Buddhism
Buddhism