What is taking refuge in the Three Jewels?


For those who practice Buddhism, the Three Jewels or taking refuge in the Three Jewels must be quite familiar. But for new Buddhists, or those who are eager to learn about Buddhism, understanding the meaning of the Three Jewels, taking refuge in the Three Jewels is very necessary. Buddha once taught: “To believe me without understanding me is to defame Me.”

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Beginners to learn Buddhism, before taking the vow to take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – the Three Jewels, they need to understand the meaning and benefits of taking refuge in order to bring about the most practical benefits.

Here, Ba Vang Pagoda would like to introduce to readers and Buddhists an article with the content of what the Three Jewels are, the meaning of taking refuge in the Three Jewels through a lecture by Master Thich Truc Thai Minh. From there, it helps Buddhists and readers gain more knowledge on how to learn and practice Buddhism.

What is Tam Bao? Why are Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha precious?

“Three Treasures” is a Sino-Vietnamese noun, which is translated as follows: “Three” means three; “Bao” is precious. To put it simply, the Three Jewels are precious trinity; including Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

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Why is Buddha so noble?

When we learn about the life of Buddha, we see that he was a great, extraordinary person. He is the Crown Prince, the king’s son, living in a warm, velvety life. Realizing that although living in luxury but still not satisfied, still feeling miserable; He saw that sentient beings were too suffering, so he decided to give up his position of power and become a monk in need of enlightenment. After attaining Buddhahood, he taught all sentient beings the method of finding happiness and liberating all suffering.

Indeed, the Buddha is a man of boundless compassion, a person of perfect wisdom that the world has no equal. Master shared: “The Buddha is someone who has practiced Asanga for kalpas, trained his body and mind, cultivated virtue, all the virtues, is complete and complete, and has become a Buddha. Or Buddha is also known as the Two Tuc Ton, that is, full of virtue and wisdom. Buddha is omniscient. All things are perfect in Buddha. And it is also possible to call the Buddha the good father of all sentient beings. Buddha’s compassion is boundless, without limits, not only loving anyone, but all sentient beings. Therefore, the Buddha is the most respected and precious person that we all need and should rely on. Buddha is noble, compassionate and wise. How happy we are to be His children. Therefore, taking refuge, taking refuge in the Buddha, being enlightened, guided, and shown by him is a great blessing in everyone’s life.

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Why is the Dharma (the Buddha’s teachings) so precious?

Buddha is omniscient. He found the path of truth to lead sentient beings out of all sufferings and afflictions of human life. His Dharma can help sentient beings overcome all suffering. If sentient beings are poor and needy, then he teaches sentient beings how to get rich in the cause and effect of Buddhism. If sentient beings suffer from illness, he teaches about the cause and effect of illness. There were also those who saw the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death, and he taught the method of escaping from birth and death. The Dharma of the Buddha is like a boat that carries sentient beings across the sea of ​​birth and death.

Master shared: “Buddha Shakyamuni was born in India, more than 2500 years ago from us. He was born the son of a king, grew up to become a monk and attained Buddhahood. He preached the teachings to sentient beings. Those teachings are called Dharma, or Dharma teachings. The current Buddha’s teachings are handed down in the Tripitaka. It contains all the precious teachings to help us live and cultivate so that we can end our suffering, attain enlightenment, liberation, and eternal happiness.

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The teachings of the Buddha are precious. By relying on His teachings, sentient beings can be freed from all the sufferings of this world.

Why are monks one of the three jewels?

The Sangha is the entire group of monastics who follow the Buddha’s practice, who take the Buddha’s ideal as their ideal. People with great aspirations “On the bridge to become a Buddha, under the vow to save sentient beings”; If you keep the Dharma precepts of the Buddha, practice according to the Buddha’s teachings, and propagate the Dharma to sentient beings, you are called the Sangha and the Sangha. Increases nobility because those are those who can give up worldly things that are hard to give up, and endure things that are hard to bear in the world. Master shared: “Monks are those who can give up the hard things, do the hard things. To go forth from the home life, one must leave his father, his mother, and his brothers. Those who are married must leave their wives and children; Leaving her husband and children to go home. Leaving home, property, giving up fame and career in life can only go forth. Those are the ones that are very hard to let go of. Then go to the temple, follow the teacher to learn the religion, right? Have to stay up late, get up early. When eating rice, it’s vegetarian, but it doesn’t have a salty taste. Then we have to study the sutras, study the verses, practice the precepts. Lay Buddhists keep only 5 precepts. But going home to become a novice, now is to take 10 precepts. Then the Bhikkhu-stilts have to take 250 precepts, and the Bhikkhunis must take 348 precepts. It has to be taken very seriously.”

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What is taking refuge in the Triple Gem? Meaning of taking refuge in the Triple Gem?

Master’s lecture showed that the Three Jewels are precious and rare in the world. Those who practice Buddhism want to grow in Dharma practice, the first thing to do is to take refuge in the Three Jewels and uphold the 5 precepts (5 ethical things) of lay Buddhists. However, in Buddhism there is no compulsion, forcing anyone to take refuge and follow the Buddha; It is the freedom of each person to decide for themselves. In one lecture, Master shared: “First of all, listen to the teachers explain the meaning of taking refuge in the Three Jewels. After we understand clearly, we make the vow to take refuge. Because for Buddhism, it is not a compulsion or compulsion. What we have to understand, then we practice. That is not called superstition. We understand, see the benefits, we do it, that is the spirit of Buddhism, not forcing us to practice, to believe immediately.

What is taking refuge in the Triple Gem?

This is a Chinese phrase. “Qui” means return; “Y” means to rely on, to rely on. “Take refuge in the Three Jewels” Simply understood, it is to turn back and take refuge in the three precious jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

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On the 8th of every month, Ba Vang Pagoda organizes a ceremony to take refuge in the Three Jewels for thousands of Buddhists

What does taking refuge in the Triple Gem mean?

Most of us have a desire, that is to have a place to lean on, to rely on. When we were born, we depended on our parents. When we grow up going to school, we rely on teachers and teachers; through the guidance of the teachers. When we build a family, we rely on our spouses. Get married, get married and give birth to children, raise adult children, in old age we rely on our children. All my life, almost everyone has to find a place to take refuge. But are those props really solid for us to rely on for the rest of our lives?

Master shared: “We see that the refuges we choose in life are uncertain. If you rely on your parents, your parents won’t live with you, and there will be days when your parents have to leave. Depending on the teacher, the teacher will not be able to follow me all my life. Relying on his wife, on her husband; The husband and wife are not sure who they can rely on. Sometimes people change their minds. Then rely on you to be sure. I’m sure my child was filial, my child must have loved me when I was old and weak, I was sick. It’s all uncertain, brethren.” From Master’s teaching we understand that, indeed, the refuges that we consider the most stable are sometimes broken and torn apart; The people we love the most have to leave sometimes. So where is the most solid place for us to lean on and rely on?

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Taking refuge in the Three Jewels is turning back to rely on the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha

Master teaches: “The Three Jewels are like a very sturdy tripod. Relying on the Three Jewels, we are not afraid of breaking. The Triple Gem is solid. The Three Jewels are also islands for all sentient beings to take refuge in. Because in the Three Jewels are full of all the values ​​​​to help sentient beings become enlightened, go to the liberation of samsara, and live forever in peace. That is the value of the Three Jewels. The Triple Gem has the function of protecting sentient beings, is the first field of merit for all sentient beings, and is the place of salvation for all sentient beings. No one can replace the Three Jewels. Therefore, the Three Jewels are extremely precious. Only the Three Jewels are truly from the Buddha’s virtue to pity all sentient beings. The compassion of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is eternal, never ending, never stopping, boundless. Monks who are followers of the Buddha’s conduct, too, are day-to-day cultivating their virtues to such a large extent. So the Three Jewels are indeed the most solid support for all sentient beings. When we see that the Three Jewels are so precious, we should turn back and ask for refuge in the Three Jewels. From today, I would like to return to take refuge in the Three Jewels. That is the meaning of taking refuge.” Thus, the Three Jewels are a really solid refuge for us. All suffering and afflictions are resolved at the root when looking to the noble Three Jewels. If each sentient being could return to take refuge and take refuge in the three jewels, this world would be happy and peaceful.

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Buddhists are happy when they receive refuge messages at Ba Vang Pagoda

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The whole family went to the temple to take refuge in the Three Jewels, becoming a child of Buddha

Above is an article about taking refuge in the Three Jewels and the meaning of taking refuge in the Three Jewels based on the teachings of Master Thich Truc Thai Minh. Hopefully with the above article, Buddhists who have the need to learn about Buddhism, about the three treasures of the Buddha Dharma Sangha will gain more knowledge to make the right decision about taking refuge in the Three Jewels. Wishing all Buddhists to develop a deep faith in the Three Jewels to advance on the path of learning the Buddhadharma.

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