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How to Take Refuge Without a Sangha

DakiniDakini Veteran
edited March 2011 in Sanghas
For those who don't live near a sangha, is there a way to take refuge in the Triple Gems? Can one "take refuge in the sangha" if there is no physical sangha? If so, how would that work? Sangha-less refuge-takers, I welcome you to share your experience. :om:
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Comments

  • The sangha is everyone in the whole world that is on the same quest that we are.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited March 2011
    Doesn't taking refuge mean that you can rely on people for support and guidance? How would that work without a sangha?

    Another question: one doesn't need to take the refuge vow with a teacher? Can one do it on one's own at home?
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    Yes, Dakini.
    I did.
    I took refuge back in 2000 for the first time, in my own home. At that time, I had not decided what Tradition I wanted to follow.
    I prepared a makeshift altar, waited until I was at home, on my own (only for some peace and quiet, no interruptions and plenty of time) and I created a ceremony of my own.
    I followed the procedure as outlined in the attached document, and recited everything just as you see it there.
    I lit incense and candles, and took my time.
    it was absolutely perfect, legitimate and felt absolutely right.

    I still have all the help, support and guidance from this Sangha, the other online Sangha I belong to, and now, a local temple.

    But before I moved to near a temple, online is all I had.
    And it was totally acceptable.

    I hope that helps.
  • taiyakitaiyaki om ah hung vajra guru padma siddhi hung Veteran
    You don't have to take refuge in anything other than yourself. All these things exists to set up good conditions for you to awaken. But in the end you have to walk the path and you have to run into every pitfall and you have to learn and you have to awaken. though it helps to have a supportive atmosphere.

    in the end if you see that all the suffering and problems are just teachers in disguise. then everything is helping you on the path.
  • @taiyaki Reminds me of Dhp verse 160
    Oneself, indeed, is one's own protector.
    What other protector could there be?
    With self-control
    One gains a protector hard to obtain.
  • ...... Can one "take refuge in the sangha" if there is no physical sangha? If so, how would that work? Sangha-less refuge-takers, I welcome you to share your experience....
    Let me quote here what I said in the other thread since the discussion has moved here:
    "There are no Buddhist temples where I live. As a matter of fact, I have never met even a lay buddhist (off-line) let alone a bhikkhu. So, for me, taking refuge in the Sangha means taking refuge in the monastic order who have fulfilled an indespensable role in the preservation and perpetuation of the Buddha-dhamma. Maybe, we can look at the monastic order as the "custodian" of the Dhamma. Without the monastic order, the Buddha-dhamma might have been long forgotten. Anyway, this is how I fit the Sangha into my practice. Wrong?-right?, I dunno!
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited March 2011
    "Taking Refuge" is just your mind's view of the Triple Gem. It's completely internal, in fact doing it in a ceremony has no real weight to it (people only do that out of preference, it's not required). Some people take refuge every day, saying it to themselves. Some never say it; it's just the way it is, there's no longer a need (after practicing a while you don't even think about it).

    It's just your confidence that all of life's answers can be found through having faith that the Buddha was fully enlightened, that his teachings (Dharma) represent reality and can lead you to see it for yourself, and the monks that have faithfully carried forth his teachings (as well as monks and lay followers that have realized the Dharma for themselves, so that enlightenment is possible for anyone).
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    I love that, Cloud! I like your flexible approach. I hope this thread is helpful to our members practicing at home. Thanks for a great response.

    And Sukhita got an answer to her/his question about whether she's done it right by bringing the monastic order as custodian of the dharma into it. Turns out she's spot-on.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited March 2011
    "The Sangha" means different things at different levels. You might find the discussion at 51m30s in this talk useful. It discusses the interpretation of the three jewels in the context of the "outer," "inner," and "secret" teachings. (Tibetan terms, which I think correspond to the "ethics," "concentration," and "insight" teachings in Theravada.) I took some notes on it recently:
    Outer interpretation
    --------------------
    The obvious, "literal" interpretation of the three jewels. Buddha is Gautama,
    Dharma is the scriptures, Sangha is the community of practitioners.

    Inner interpretation
    --------------------
    Buddha: principle/possibility of awakening/being present in life
    Dharma: Personal experience of the meaning of the teachings.
    E.g. words on metta/karuna is "outer dharma." Experience of
    compassion and willingness to be present with the suffering of
    the world.
    Sangha: "The Sangha of Bodhisattvas: Manjusri, Avalokitesvara, etc," a
    symbol of compassionate presence in the world. Taking refuge
    in being an ongoing response to the suffering of the world.

    Secret interpretation ("What refuge is actually about.")
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Theravadin colleague: "This is where we start; we don't worry about that
    other stuff."
    Or "Mystery" intepretation. Something which can only be known through
    experience, not through words.
    Buddha: The emptiness/ineffability of experience.
    Everything seems solid, but when you examine the experience, you
    find no solidity, no "there" there.
    Refuge in Buddha is trust in nothing whatsoever. "There
    actually is nothing whatsoever there. And yet, we have these
    experiences."
    "The only way that I can be free of suffering is to know that
    actually there's nothing whatsoever."
    As long as you think there's something, then there's something
    around which suffering forms. But by knowing that I am not a
    thing, then there is nothing around which suffering forms.
    Dharma: This nothing is not the same as empty space. There's this
    clarity of experience, which is the Dharma in this context. We
    take refuge in the clarity aspect of experience.
    Sangha: Kalu Rinpoche said "Emptiness is like the space in this room.
    Clarity is like the light in the room. When you have space and
    light, you can see everything. I.e., experience arises without
    restriction." The Sangha is the arising of experience without
    restriction.
    "How does that relate to the other two meanings of 'Sangha'"
    "What do you hang out with? You hang out with the experience,
    right?"
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    Wow. Thank you Fivebells. This'll take awhile to digest.

    In the meantime, another question came up on another thread. Is taking refuge a requirement for being considered a Buddhist?
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited March 2011
    Ask yourself this, who is to say who's a Buddhist or not? This isn't a question of a God who knows whether you believe in Him and Jesus...

    I don't think there are any requirements to "be" a Buddhist. I think any and all requirements we could speak of are for the purpose of enlightenment, and "Buddhist" is just a label.

    Two "Buddhists" could have completely different perspectives on what a Buddhist is, act in completely different ways, perhaps even one seeking enlightenment and one doing anything but that. ;)
  • In the meantime, another question came up on another thread. Is taking refuge a requirement for being considered a Buddhist?
    ANOTHER THREAD HAR DE HAR HAR HAR!!! :)

  • Is taking refuge a requirement for being considered a Buddhist?
    Sounds like your concerned about whether others consider you a Buddhist. Why?
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    This has nothing to do with me. I thought it was an interesting opinion, I wondered how many other people hold it. I know there are plenty of people here who haven't taken refuge. Just wondering what everyone thought. (Has it come to this? Do we need to justify our questions and OP's now? )
  • You don't have to justify anything. That's what my question was pointing to, really.
  • edited March 2011
    I took refugee by speaking outloud:
    "I take refugee in Budha, I take refugee in Dharma, I take refugee in Sangha"
    3 times... in sanskrit/pali (it sounds better).

    the sangha is any buddhist (anyone who had taken refugee in the three jewels);
    so when/if I met one we can help each other.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    Anyone who lives by bodhisattva values can help you, no?
    the sangha is any buddhist (anyone who had taken refugee in the three jewels);
    so when/if I met one we can help each other.
  • Anyone who lives by bodhisattva values can help you, no?
    the sangha is any buddhist (anyone who had taken refugee in the three jewels);
    so when/if I met one we can help each other.
    well yes, but that is closer to the refugee in buddha (plural).
  • All my friends and family are my sangha. They just aren't all aware of it.
  • All my friends and family are my sangha. They just aren't all aware of it.
    Sometimes this is the best sangha. :)
  • edited April 2011
    Dakini, with all due respect to all members on here.

    The Sangha are spiritual descents of the Buddha. You do need to take refuge under the guidance of proper monastics. Just like having heart surgeries, you would not want someone who is unqualified to be wielding the blade. For something as important as taking refuge, you NEED professionals to get you through it. Or else there is no reason for anyone to leave home and become a monk...

    Everyone on here are all deluded, trying to take refuge with your own triple gem is of no help at our stage of realisation. It's like repeating other people's university thesis without understanding it.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    You are incorrect.
    There is absolutely no need or obligation to proceed as you describe.
    Do some research before making such sweeping assertions.

    Many schools of Buddhism encourage laypeople to take refuge, whether in a temple, with teachers, or on their own.
    You may have an opinion, but please don't dare to tell people they're deluded simply because you disagree with their PoVs'.

    Got it?
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran
    Dakini, with all due respect to all members on here.

    The Sangha are spiritual descents of the Buddha. You do need to take refuge under the guidance of proper monastics. Just like having heart surgeries, you would not want someone who is unqualified to be wielding the blade. For something as important as taking refuge, you NEED professionals to get you through it. Or else there is no reason for anyone to leave home and become a monk...

    Everyone on here are all deluded, trying to take refuge with your own triple gem is of no help at our stage of realisation. It's like repeating other people's university thesis without understanding it.

    I think that you are looking at this as you might in a Christian form of religion -- that here are rules that must be followed, or else.

    To me, making refuge means something very different than it seems to, to you. For example, "To the Buddha I go for refuge. To the Dhamma I go for refuge. To the Sangha I go for refuge." I have been taught that "going for refuge" can mean the following: I go to the teachings of Buddha. I read the Dhamma. If I have a question I seek help from monks -- but that help might be obtained by talking to a monk, reading a book or essay by a monk, or watching a video chat by a monk. After all, at least in Thailand, what women can do at a temple is very restricted, yet they can visit and chat with a monk...but to be honest, after visiting well over a thousand temples while living in and visiting Thailand, there were very few times I saw women being counseled by monks.

    One time in Bangkok I talked with a monk about the difficulty of participating in activities at a temple when in America because there are so few temples. He said (paraphrased) "Look around at all you see here at this temple. The buildings. The monks. Even the statue of Buddha. You do not need any of these things to be a Buddhist. Everything you need to be a Buddhist is here [and he pointed to my head]. Easy to learn about Buddhism; buy a book. Difficult to learn about yourself."

  • Buddhism is a religion. Although all the rituals are there for reasons for the sake of developing sentient beings, and not for the sake of worshipping. If people compare it with the Christian religion, then it's because of their own biased and skewed view on things.

    If Monastics don't encourage you to take the refuge properly then they are making concessions for you because of your level of acceptance at the time.

    Frankly, just like wanting to get a degree on engineering, I'd take the university course which ensures a recognized degree at the end of it.


  • Frankly, just like wanting to get a degree on engineering, I'd take the university course which ensures a recognized degree at the end of it.
    A "recognized degree" is important because you are trying to impress a prospective employer.

    But who must an aspiring Buddhist try to impress such that that he must take refuge through some officially recognized organization? Is this really about having a certificate that we can put on a wall?
  • You do it for yourself.

    The biggest delusion is that "I know it all", even when it comes to the practice and teachings of someone who discovered the ultimate truth.

    If you do things to fit your own views or try to impress others. Then even taking the refuge won't help you.

    Monastics have renounced the household life and made propagating the Dharma their life's mission for everybody else's sake. Hence I think it's better to follow professional opinions.

  • First, we shouldn't confuse the act of taking refuge with the act of studying the teachings. Someone could take refuge on his own, yet still seek out help from teachers.

    Second, I think a lay practitioner/teacher would have at least as much to teach a lay person as a monastic would. Arguably they could teach more: If I had a question regarding maintaining equanimity while working at an unpleasant job and dealing with an unruly adolescent child, I would definitely be interested in the advice from a lay teacher.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    People don't take refuge because they think they know it all already.
    People take refuge because they would like to know.
    I think you're confusing being a devoted, applied and studious monastic with a person following a lay life.

    @NOTaGangsta, I say again:
    You are mistaken if you believe that taking refuge can only properly be considered "valid" or worthy, if done with a teacher.
    There is no regulation, impediment or prohibition against anyone doing it for themselves, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, the intention is no less valid, worthy or authentic for it.
    It is completely proper and entirely acceptable for those wishing to, to take refuge under their own volition.

    Some traditions may recommend doing so with a teacher. But it is not compulsory, obligatory or any more or less valid for that.

    I took Refuge for myself, in 2000, then subsequently took Refuge again, at a temple, with many others, in 2008.

    The monks there confirmed to me that what I was doing was merely reaffirming, not authenticating or validating my previous devotion of 2002.

    I'm afraid I'd rather take their words, against yours, given that they were ordained teachers....
  • BonsaiDougBonsaiDoug Veteran
    edited April 2011
    If you are moved to do so, I believe Bhikkhu Samahita is still a member of this forum. He offers online refuge vows to his Saddhamma Sangha, here: http://what-buddha-said.net/sangha/Sangha_Entry.htm
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran


    Monastics have renounced the household life and made propagating the Dharma their life's mission for everybody else's sake. Hence I think it's better to follow professional opinions.
    I think you have an unrealistic impression of monks. Take Thailand and most of Buddhist SE Asia. At any one time, the vast majority of monks there are "temporary" monks fulfilling a cultural (not religious) norm. In Thailand, the vast majority of men become monks for 3 weeks to 3 months because it is a Thai rite of passage, not because they have made "propagating Buddhism their life's mission".

    And I suppose you think that in a country where freedom of religion is not allowed, you wouldn't be able to become a Buddhist?

  • RicRic
    edited April 2011
    Its amazing the parallels you can find in all religions. This is the same discussion that is popular in Christianity (and I assume in other religions) whether to get to God you need to go trough a priest or you can do it yourself. Do you have to go to a church or is the world your church.

    amazing stuff :)
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran
    Its amazing the parallels you can find in all religions. This is the same discussion that is popular in Christianity (and I assume in other religions) whether to get to God you need to go trough a priest or you can do it yourself. Do you have to go to a church or is the world your church.

    amazing stuff :)
    I was thinking exactly the same thing earlier this morning. The Catholic Church is perhaps the most extreme -- what happens if you don't confess your sins? What about all those people who existed before Christ? Or who never heard of Christ? Now, the recent article in Time Magazine about the demise of Hell was interesting, and although I forget the wording, there was something about Jesus' death giving grace to all people, even if they do not follow Christ. Interesting evolution of thought in the Christian world.

    I think some people want to make things like the Buddhist precepts and the Noble Eightfold Path and the Triple Gem into COMMANDMENTS.
  • taiyakitaiyaki om ah hung vajra guru padma siddhi hung Veteran
    the sangha is what is in front of you at this moment. it could be what is on tv. it could be the man at the counter.

    how are you going to respond to what is in front of you? your teachers are everywhere. i never had a sangha, but now i realized everything and everyone is part of my sangha. even those who don't appear to be on the path.

    don't ever limit your learning.
  • edited April 2011
    the sangha is what is in front of you at this moment. it could be what is on tv. it could be the man at the counter..
    Doesn't a sangha by definition consist of followers/students of the dharma? What's the definition of "sangha"?
    OK, according to wikipedia, it's "commonly used to refer to Buddhist or Jain groups". According to accesstoinsight, the original meaning was an assembly of ordained monks or nuns, or an assembly of noble followers of the dharma ("ariya sangha"). The TV, my mailman, the cashier at the store, are not part of a sangha, at least not the type we take refuge in. That doesn't mean they can't be our teachers; everyone potentially is a teacher. But not everyone is a sangha member.
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran
    Compassionate warrior: I agree that a Sangha is a group of people learned in Buddhism, and by that I mean monks, etc. But you seem to imply that if one did not live where there were any Sanghas, that one could not be Buddhist. And that is wrong.
  • I seem to imply? I was only responding to Tai's statement that the TV or the man at the counter could be sangha. I don't address the question of what to do when there is no sangha to take refuge in (I have no answer to that question, I'm taking my cue from the answers on this thread), or under what conditions can one be a Buddhist. Sorry, vinlyn, I have no idea where you're getting this.
  • Interesting topic it inspires me to see if this is dealt with in the Jewel Ornament of Liberation. That might be a good place to look for Tibetan buddhists or any buddhist with a receptivity to diversity.
  • If you'll excuse the newb from interjecting, I feel Taiyaki may have a point, while I don't know about it in respect to the Sangha, I've felt for a long time that my life and reality have been there to teach me something, I think only recently I've taken the first few steps into finding out exactly what it was.
  • Sure, no one's denying that anyone can be a teacher to us, the Buddha said that. But if we take the common definitions of sangha, it doesn't include non-practitioners. Can we broaden the definition of "sangha" to mean any group of people supportive of our practice, as ZenYen said above, "All my friends and family are my sangha"? (and by extension, maybe, the mailman, the neighborhood dry cleaner, the TV)? That's a different question. Can we?
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran
    To me, the Sangha are truly knowledgeable people about Buddhism, someone who can answer questions when we need a lifeline to Buddhist thought.

    I think the problem comes that just because one is a Buddhist monk, that does not mean they are truly knowledgeable about Buddhism or are wise enough themselves to interpret the Dhamma. There are certainly "crooked" monks in Thailand, where I lived for a while, and I've certainly met Buddhist monks who were not very knowledgeable.

    So, if you "take refuge" with a monk who is teaching the wrong thing, then where are you?

  • taiyakitaiyaki om ah hung vajra guru padma siddhi hung Veteran
    take refuge in yourself and only yourself. the sangha is just a reminder and at times helpful.
    learn to filter the bullshit and take what you need from people. only you know what you need to learn and only you can absorb that you want to learn. it's all in your hands. you can learn a lot from other people.

    sangha is just a word and just like all words they have different meanings/associations.
    if you have no sangha through "buddhism" then make everyone part of your sangha. it's no "accident" that you don't have a sangha. take refuge in yourself and only yourself.
  • Federica lays the smackdown, lol. I agree with her sentiments.
  • Upside down dream like thinking
  • No progress is made when you skip steps and overestimating your wisdom. It's not safe at all to assume you can take refuge within your intrinsic nature when your still deluded.
    I guess it's the internet, where everyone assumes what's good for them without guidance. Treating Buddhism like philosphy 101 probably feels like fun, but if you believe in Karma, then it's probably not a good idea.

    But I am not going to keep silent when posters harms themselves and others by slandering the Buddha's words or making suggestions that encourages people to skip steps within the practice when no one have any idea what levels they are at.



  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited April 2011
    To me, the Sangha are truly knowledgeable people about Buddhism, someone who can answer questions when we need a lifeline to Buddhist thought.
    This is the impression I had; the sangha is a group that can support your progress in the dharma.
    I think the problem comes that just because one is a Buddhist monk, that does not mean they are truly knowledgeable about Buddhism or are wise enough themselves to interpret the Dhamma. There are certainly "crooked" monks in Thailand, where I lived for a while, and I've certainly met Buddhist monks who were not very knowledgeable.

    So, if you "take refuge" with a monk who is teaching the wrong thing, then where are you?
    Good point. Much has been said on this forum months ago about taking great care in selecting one's teacher, and also, one's sangha. The same might be said about whom one chooses to take refuge with. I don't know about other traditions, but in the Tibetan tradition, only 10% of monks, those deemed most capable, are taught the meaning of the texts they spend years memorizing, and are thus prepared to be teachers.

    As to the matter of whether or not one needs to take the refuge vow by a monk, the question comes to mind: what exactly is the purpose of taking refuge? If it's a commitment to oneself, then one could take it alone, at home. But if it's a commitment to a community, and if one needs a qualified witness to this important vow, maybe the people in favor of taking the vow by a monk (or any qualified teacher? including a lay teacher?) have a point. :-/ :scratch:
  • I have reasoned that a sangha may benefit someone. And necessary as the third of the triple gem. It is a connection to the buddha because presumably a sangha contains members who are arhats or even buddhas. In the mahayana the sangha extends beyond death, but maybe my arguments only apply here. Therefore refuge must include a sangha which has a path to buddhahood. Five guys stuffing around reading scripture might attain buddhahood but only after eons. Which by that time they would have connected to a sangha due to creating necessary karma to reach that. (lets not debate karma, the jewel ornament of liberation states that lying causes bad breath!). If you have a sangha and do not take the ceremony that action indicates shying away from an experience. In the mahamudra perspective the Aryan view (as I understand) of the eightfold path entails facing reality and not shying away.

    If you connect to the mandala of enlightenment and the members do not call themselves a sangha my arguments would not apply to that person.

    I can see the other side too. But I think its based not only on logic. But the fear that one's practice is inadequate. Strictly from fear alone doesn't mean that it is in fact adequate to reach liberation (rapidly).
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran


    As to the matter of whether or not one needs to take the refuge vow by a monk, the question comes to mind: what exactly is the purpose of taking refuge? If it's a commitment to oneself, then one could take it alone, at home. But if it's a commitment to a community, and if one needs a qualified witness to this important vow, maybe the people in favor of taking the vow by a monk (or any qualified teacher? including a lay teacher?) have a point. :-/ :scratch:
    Oddly enough, that's not how I looked at taking refuge. To me -- and I could be completely wrong here -- the concept of "taking refuge" is in times of trouble (in this case, probably emotional trouble). For example, when I am feeling troubled I will go to the Buddha for refuge, I will go to the Dhamma for refuge, and I will go to the Sangha for refuge. Sort of like taking refuge in a cabin during a bad storm.

    But actually, something else popped into my head as I wrote this. ASIDE FROM the Dhamma, how exactly would one go to the Buddha for refuge. That's why I think it is more a parable, rather than necessarily going to be with Buddha or the Sangha.

  • In the mahayana the bodhisattva sees the buddha directly. The samboghakaya body of the buddha.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited April 2011
    Oddly enough, that's not how I looked at taking refuge. To me -- and I could be completely wrong here -- the concept of "taking refuge" is in times of trouble (in this case, probably emotional trouble). For example, when I am feeling troubled I will go to the Buddha for refuge, I will go to the Dhamma for refuge, and I will go to the Sangha for refuge. Sort of like taking refuge in a cabin during a bad storm.
    I can see how it would sound like this is what was intended. The word "refuge" does appear to imply that. But this interpretation sounds a little too much to me like people who become religious (usually Christian) in late middle-age or old age, because they realize their time is running out and they'd better hedge their bets for going to "the right place" when it's all over. It's a little opportunistic, though you probably didn't intend it that way. I don't know--what do others think? I think taking refuge is more holistic than that; it's about taking refuge from the samsaric world, the materialistic world, taking refuge in order to find the right guidance.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited April 2011
    Lam Rim is the gradual path in contrast to direct pointing out of the nature of reality. From my Lam Rim text:

    "...the Dharma is the refuge for persons of the Solitary Realizer vehicle and those who are interested in the works of Dharma. They take refuge in the Dharma the supreme freedom from all attachments."

    "If this cannot be arranged. [in front of master] then the disciple should visualize the Three Jewels in space and mentally do prostrations and make offerings. The disciple chants......"Please hear me, all Buddhas and bodhisattvas. Please here me masters. My name is ------ From theis time until I achieve enlightenment I take refuge in all the Buddhas, teh supreme beings among two leggeds. I take refuge in the Dharma, the supreme freedom from all atachments. I take refuge in teh Sangha, the most excellent of al communites." This is repeated three times from the heart"

    In my opinion improvise if you will.

    "Training. There are three general trainings. a) The rtrhee general traingings constsist of making offerings to the Triple Jewel, even offering whatever one eats ro drinks; not forsaking the Triple Jewel even at risk of one's life or for great rewards; and repeatedly recollecting the qualities of the Triple Jewel. b) The three particular trainings are: having taken refuge int he Buddha one should not take refuge in other deities....Having taken refuge in the Dharma, one should not harm other sentient beings....Having taken refuge in the sangha one should not rely on heretics. c_) The three common trainings are to respect the Buddha Jewel in every form, even a piece of a tsatsa; to respect the foundation of the Dharma Jewel, the books and texts of precious Dharma, even one syllable; and to respect the precious Sangha Jewel, the dress of Buddha even a patch of yellow cloth.

    Benefitial Effects: one enters the buddhist path, refuge becomes the foundation for all other precepts, refuge becomes a cause for purification of all negative karmas accumulated earlier, one cannot be any of the human or non-human obstacles, one accomplishes all that one wishes, one achieves the great cause of merit, one will not fall into the lower realms, and one achieves perfect enlightenment."

    "There are seven ways to take the precepts: bhikshu, bhikshuni, shiksamana, shramanera, shramanerika, upasaka, and upasika."

    "Tjere are tjree as[ets to the precepts A) If one accepts these seven types merely from a desire to have happiness of the three realms, then this is morality with a vested interest. b) If one takes these precepts in order to completely free oneself from all sufferng, it is the morality associated with the Hearer's renunciation. c) If one accepts them with an attide of achieving the great enlightenment, it is the morality of the bodhisattvas precepts." "tjos dosco[;ome os mecessaru tp ci;tovate bodhicitta."
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