The Triple Jewels

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

The Triple Jewels

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 09, 2011 2:18 am

LastLegend:
Buddha-Dharma-Sangha is understood as "Awakened-Truth-Purity." So after we have taken rufuge, we are now walking the path by honoring conduct (e.g., precepts and vows) because that's the way of the "Awakened." Now we rely on Dharma as "Truth" and Sangha as "Purity". In short, we decide to walk the path and to be detached.


Retrofuturist replied:

That's not quite so from a Theravada perspective, and given it was posted in the Discovering Theravada forum, I'm going to have to disallow it... sorry.

Metta,
Retro. :)



Not really...it is Buddhism in general if your mind allows. This is all I have to say, and one day I hope you will see that too instead of getting into the disagreements that have been going on for centuries and considered them as your personal problems.

Lastly, taking refuge in Buddha does not mean relying on a statue of Buddha or Sangha or Sutras as they can be easily destroyed. For example, Sangha for someone who does not live near a Sangha this would be a problem right. Taking refuge in the triple jewels from my understanding means to decide to walk the path.

I would like see how you understand Triple Jewels.
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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 09, 2011 2:20 am

Greetings,

The following is a typical example of an orthodox Theravada take on Refuge in the Triple Gem

Going for Refuge & Taking the Precepts - Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el282.html

In summary... the Buddha, taking refuge in him as our teacher... Dhamma, taking refuge in his teachings... Sangha, taking refuge in the noble ariyan Sangha (i.e. stream-entrants and higher) who have actualized the teaching.

It represents a difficult challenge for certain Mahayanists who might slander the "hinayana", because by doing so, they are slandering the entire Triple Gem, as pronounced by the Buddha.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 09, 2011 2:44 am

I don't think that's different from what I said. I am sure on words, they are different. But the meaning is the same.

I have to disagree with Sangha as in stream-entrants and higher like you said. What if there are none of these around? Specifically what if there are no monks around?
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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 09, 2011 3:52 am

Greetings LastLegend,

LastLegend wrote:I have to disagree with Sangha as in stream-entrants and higher like you said. What if there are none of these around? Specifically what if there are no monks around?

There's nothing implicit in the three refuges about having them around physically.

Bhikkhub Bodhi wrote:The Sangha-refuge is the ariyan Sangha, the noble community, made up exclusively of ariyans, person of superior spiritual stature. Its membership is not bound together by formal ecclesiastical ties but by the invisible bond of a common inward realization. The one requirement for admission is the attainment of this realization, which in itself is sufficient to grant entrance.

...

The membership of the ariyan Sangha comprises eight types of persons, which unite into four pairs. The first pair consists of the person standing on the path of stream-entry and the stream-enterer, who has entered the way to deliverance and will attain the goal in a maximum of seven lives; the second pair of the person standing on the path of the once-returner and the once-returner, who will return to the human world only one more time before reaching the goal; the third pair of the person standing on the path of the non-returner and the non-returner, who will not come back to the human world again but will take rebirth in a pure heavenly world where he will reach the final goal; and the fourth pair of the person standing on the path of arahatship and the arahant, who has expelled all defilements and cut off the ten fetters causing bondage to samsara.

The eight persons can be divided in another way into two general classes. One consists of those who, by penetrating the teaching, have entered the supramundane path to liberation but still must practice further to arrive at the goal. These include the first seven types of ariyan persons, who are collectively called "trainees" or "learners" (sekha) because they are still in the process of training. The second class comprises the arahats, who have completed the practice and fully actualized the goal. These are called "beyond training" (asekha) because they have no further training left to undertake.

Both the learners and the arahats have directly understood the essential import of the Buddha's teaching for themselves. The teaching has taken root in them, and to the extent that any work remains to be done they no longer depend on others to bring it to its consummation. By virtue of this inner mastery these individuals possess the qualifications needed to guide others towards the goal. Hence the ariyan Sangha, the community of noble persons, can function as a refuge.


Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 09, 2011 4:47 am

What is the practical implication of the triple jewels? I am sure it is not there just for display. When I said Buddha as in "Awakened" because Buddha is an Awakened one. When I said Dharma/Dhamma as in Truth because his teachings are Truth. When I said Sangha as in Purity because Sangha represents Purity...Now if you have accepted Triple Jewels, are you not chosing to walk the path of the Awakened by acknowledging and be aware of your thinking and behavior that are based on three poisons-(desire, aggression, and delusion as some said). So you no longer walking the path of 3 poisons (for example) or at least in the process of getting rid of this path by following Dharma as Truth (true teachings of Buddha), and by following Dharma you will have Purity, and when you see Sangha you will be reminded to be pure and not be attached in order to realize "the attainment of this realization."

If you said you have taken refuge in The Triple Jewels but still following your own thinking, behavior, attachments that are based on karma or attachment of body, speech, and mind (3 poisons), then you have not really taken refuge in the triple jewels, but your refuge is still in the karma of body, speech, and mind. If you have taken refuge in The Triple Jewels, you are in the process of getting rid of your thinking, behavior, attachments, etc that are based on the karma of body, speech, and mind by following the teachings of Buddha.
Last edited by LastLegend on Mon May 09, 2011 5:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby ground » Mon May 09, 2011 5:05 am

Putting aside the variety of wordings and definitions the essence of refuge may be faith, guidance and effort.

Kind regards
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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 09, 2011 5:19 am

Yes effort to maintain the triple jewels in order to reach stream entrance.

And just to clarify further, if you have a lot of bad habits/attachments in everyday life and you have taken refuge in the triple jewels, you are now trying to get rid of those habits.
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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby cooran » Mon May 09, 2011 5:32 am

Hello all,

This might be of interest:

The Triple Gem - its Three Components
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=8226

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby Freawaru » Mon May 09, 2011 6:46 am

LastLegend wrote:What is the practical implication of the triple jewels?
...
Now if you have accepted Triple Jewels, are you not chosing to walk the path of the Awakened by acknowledging and be aware of your thinking and behavior that are based on three poisons-(desire, aggression, and delusion as some said). So you no longer walking the path of 3 poisons (for example) or at least in the process of getting rid of this path by following Dharma as Truth (true teachings of Buddha), ...


In Theravada these three poisons "desire, aggression, and delusion" also translated as "attraction, repulsion and neglect" cannot be get rid of by choice. It requires a deep seeing and knowing of how the mind works.

When confronted with Theravada first time many believe that "desire and aggression" refer to emotions and "delusion" refers to belief or ideology. But they actually go much deeper. Whenever something arises within the mind, any sense contact - and sense includes the mind - there is this reaction to it. For example, when the thought "I did this well" arises there arises "desire/attraction" to this thought - one becomes this thought instead of staying separate from it by detachment arising from mindfulness. When on the other hand "I did it wrong" arises "aggression/repulsion" to this thought arises, one tries to wriggle away from this thought, to deny it, and enters again becoming while mindfulness and detachment get lost. When neither positive nor negative thought arises one simply ignores the thought patterns by neglecting mindfulness.

One cannot choose to break through this pattern. One can just practice concentration and mindfulness until one detaches from it and can stay detached and observing the process. Then the thoughts "I did this well" or "I did it wrong" still arise - just as unrelated and unimportant thoughts do - but one stays aware of them arising and falling away again.
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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby plwk » Mon May 09, 2011 6:55 am

I was thinking of this quote on my desktop calendar:
'Not everyone can see things the way you see it, so let it go.
You can't see everything the way they see it either"
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 09, 2011 7:05 am

I am not saying you can get it of it by choice...you still need to cultivate through the method of meditation. So you don't abandon meditation but actually it is a must. But now that you have taken refuge in Triple Jewels, you are really cultivating for example the 8 Paths of 4 Noble Truths. For example, you are practicing the right view by following the teachings of Buddha instead of following the view and behavior that are based on karma of body, speech, and mind (3 poisons)...and if you have any really bad habits or attachments, you are now making an effort to change them...You have to understand that practice is wholesome and attachements to this life such as attachment to wealth, lust, fame, sleeping, eating, etc need to be let go of. And the precepts and vows help to gaurd against these attachments so that the practitioner can focus on meditation. What I am saying is after the decision to take refuge in triple jewels, you are now really following and practicing Dhamma. You are now trying to get rid of these habits or attachments that are based on kamma of body, speech, and mind. For example, if you often use unpleasant language to talk to let say your parent, now you remember you have taken triple jewels and cannot let this continue by making an effort to stop this, through meditation. Another example is drinking, now you decide to stop drinking because you have taken refuge in triple jewels...if the 3 poisons can be easily rid of through choice, then we don't need to practice or cultivate at all; we don't need BuddhaDhamma at all. Apparently this is not the case.

I am not exposed to Theravada for the first time. In Vietnam, we have Theravada and Mahayana. And in fact there is a hybrid tradition that is a cross between Theravada and Mahayana and it was found by a Vietnamese Patriarch about 100 years ago. Here is the Patriarch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPFS46qF5Yo. Buddhism is Buddhism to me.
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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby Freawaru » Mon May 09, 2011 8:15 am

LastLegend wrote:
For example, you are practicing the right view by following the teachings of Buddha instead of following the view and behavior that are based on karma of body, speech, and mind (3 poisons)...and if you have any really bad habits or attachments, you are now making an effort to change them...You have to understand that practice is wholesome and attachements to this life such as attachment to wealth, lust, fame, sleeping, eating, etc need to be let go of. And the precepts and vows help to gaurd against these attachments so that the practitioner can focus on meditation. What I am saying is after the decision to take refuge in triple jewels, you are now really following and practicing Dhamma. You are now trying to get rid of these habits or attachments that are based on kamma of body, speech, and mind. For example, if you often use unpleasant language to talk to let say your parent, now you remember you have taken triple jewels and cannot let this continue by making an effort to stop this, through meditation. Another example is drinking, now you decide to stop drinking because you have taken refuge in triple jewels...


If this works for you like this, if it helps you, I guess it is fine to think in this way. But for others it might not require any vows or belief into the Triple Jewels to be nice to their parents or to not drink oneself insane and things like that. Or even to meditate. So I would like to keep Triple Jewels out of it.
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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby bodom » Mon May 09, 2011 3:40 pm

retrofuturist wrote:There's nothing implicit in the three refuges about having them around physically.


That's right retro:

‘If one were to seize the hem of my robe and walk step by step behind me, he would nonetheless be far from me if he was greedy, filled with anger and desire, careless, corrupt, unrestrained, noisy and distracted. Even if one were to live a hundred yojanas away from me but be free from desire and longing, have a kind heart and a pure mind and be mindful, composed, serene and focused, he would nonetheless be near to me and I would be near to him. And why? Because he would see the Dhamma and seeing the Dhamma he would see me.’ (It.91).


:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: The Triple Jewels

Postby kirk5a » Mon May 09, 2011 3:53 pm

I just "discovered" what Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo had to say on this subject - in line, it seems to me, with what LastLegend is saying:

There are two levels on which people take refuge in the
Triple Gem. Some take refuge only on the level of
individuals, while others take refuge on the level of inner
qualities, by developing the steps of the practice within
themselves.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/frames.html

With full explanation there.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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