Of false and True Refuges


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Slide of the Dhamma talk by bro Bugs Tan at Persatuan Buddha Hilir Perak on the 12th May 2013

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  • Wearing shoes on boat will bring bad luck to fishermen
  • Exploration of this verseWoods, groves,etc – means gurus, deva, tuapekkong, fungshui, vashtu, various teachers., Anything that gives a feeling of safety – investments, career, propertyThe Buddha did not say, it is wrong to take such refugesThe Buddha’s declaration …his Lion’s roar
  • Of false and True Refuges

    1. 1. Of False and True RefugesBugs Tan11th May 2013Do you believe this man can turn into an insect?
    2. 2. True or False?The indelible ink can last 7 days
    3. 3. True or false?Placing a geomancy on the door brings good luck
    4. 4. True or false?• Placing a frog facing North West will bring prosperity• Knocking nails on the walls during pregnancy periodwill cause miscarriage• Friday the 13th is a mysterious day where murdertake place• You must ask for permission when you urinate in thebush• You must pick a good date to get married• Full moon eggs must be red color only
    5. 5. The Importance of Takingthe Three RefugesBased on the Commentaries (‘Atthakatha“)of Ven Buddhaghosa, 5th century C ELee Yu Ban, Sept 2010
    6. 6. Buddham saranam gacchamiI go for refuge to the Buddha;Dhammam saranam gacchamiI go for refuge to the Dhamma;Sangham saranam gacchamiI go for refuge to the Sangha.Dutiyampi Buddham saranam gacchamiDutiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchamiDutiyampi Sangham saranam gacchamiTatiyampi Buddham saranam gacchamiTatiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchamiTatiyampi Sangham saranam gacchami
    7. 7. What I’ll cover1. Why Take Refuge2. The Existence of a Refuge3. The 3 Jewels as the Supreme Refuge4. The Act of Going for Refuge5. Corruptions and Breach of Refuge
    8. 8. Dhammapada verses 188-192• 190-191. He who has gone forrefuge to the Buddha, theDhamma and his Sangha, andpenetrate with wisdom the FourNoble Truths — suffering, thecause of suffering, the cessationof suffering, and the NobleEightfold Path leading to thecessation of suffering.• 192. This indeed is the saferefuge, this the refuge supreme.Having gone to such a refuge, oneis released from all suffering.• 188. Driven by fear, men go forrefuge to many places — to hills,woods, groves, trees and shrines.• 189. Such, indeed, is no saferefuge; such is not the refugesupreme. Not by resorting to sucha refuge is one released from allsuffering.
    9. 9. 1. Why Take Refuge• Buddhaghosa says that the 3 Refuges offers protection fromsuffering arising from:– The dangers in the present life– The dangers in future lives– The dangers in our general course of existence in Samsara
    10. 10. Dangers pertaining to the present life• The uncertainty of life– we are subject to disease,accident, and injury– disasters such as earthquakes andfloods– Society problems like businessfailure, loss of job, crime, socialunrest, war– Ultimately, death• Even when they are unrealisedwe live in constant, stress,anxiety, fear• When our fears are realised, weexperience depression, grief,despairWe all want happiness,but this is threatened by:
    11. 11. The First Reason for Going For Refuge• How then do we rid ourselves of this fear, stress, suffering?• Since we cannot alter the nature of the world to make it harmonize withour will, we must change ourselves, by putting away attachment andaversion towards the world. We have to stop our clinging, to stop wantingthings to go our way, learn to view events with a detached equanimity.• We cannot change the realities of this world but we can change ourattitude towards it. Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional.This is the first reason for going for refuge — the need forprotection from reaction to the dangers in this life.
    12. 12. The Dangers Pertaining to Future Lives• Our liability to harm and danger does not end with death.• With death comes another birth and a new round of suffering.• can take place in any of the 31 planes of existence– Hell, animals, petas, asuras, humans, devas and above
    13. 13. You are here,…..……for now• Devas - live in splendor andhappiness. Yet even the Devas growold, die and are reborn• Asura - marked by their fierce envy.The karma of hate and jealousycauses rebirth as Asuras.• Petas- A hungry ghost always lookingoutside himself for things that willsatisfy the craving within. Hungryghosts are characterized by insatiablehunger.• Hell Realm - the most terrible of theSix Realms. Everything makes themangry.• Animal Realm - conditioned byignorance and dullness.• Human Realm - the only realm of thesix from which beings may escapesamsara. Enlightenment is at hand inthe Human Realm, yet only a fewopen their eyes and see it.The Six Realms of Rebirth
    14. 14. What determines our rebirth?“Beings are owners of their kamma, heirs of kamma,they have kamma as their seed, kamma as their relatives,kamma as their home. …………..It is kamma that differentiate beings according to inferiorityand superiority.“~ Cula-kammavibhanga Sutta
    15. 15. We need to protect ourselves from thedanger of low rebirths• Protection from a falling into the plane ofmisery cannot be obtained from others.• It can only be prevented by avoiding thecauses leading to an unfortunate rebirth.• The cause for rebirth into any specificplane of existence lies in our kamma• Thus we need instruction on doingwholesome kamma and avoidingunwholesome kamma– By purifying our actions of our body,our speech and mind
    16. 16. Daily practice of a BuddhistKusala deeds• Generosity• Morality• Meditation• Reverence• Service• Transference of merits• Rejoice in other’s merits• Hearing the doctrine• Expounding the doctrine• Straightening one’s viewAkusala deeds• Killing• Stealing• Sexual misconduct• Lying• Slandering• Harsh speech• Vain talking• Grapsing• Ill belief• False belief
    17. 17. The second reason for going for refuge• To avoid committing unwholesomekamma we need help, for two mainreasons.- To choose correctly, we requireguidance —Clear teachings fromone who knows the results of allactions, and the causes leadingto rebirth in the different planesof existence.- even when we can discriminateright from wrong, ourweaknesses often drive us topursue the wrong.The second reason for going for refuge — the need to master ouractions so as to avoid falling into the lower rebirths in future lives.
    18. 18. Dangers pertaining to the generalcourse of existence in samsara• More dangerous than thedukkha that is experienced inthis life and in the next life is theunending round of rebirth insamsara.• Samsara is the cycle ofbecoming, the round of birth,aging and death, which hasbeen revolving throughbeginningless time.
    19. 19. The third reason for going for refuge• The causes for birth in samsara are withinourselves• To put an end to our existence in samsara,we must put an end to the craving forexistence (bhava-tanha).• Bhava-tanha has its roots in our minds - theso called 3 poisons ( greed, hatred anddelusion )• The Buddha, in the 4 Noble Truths describesthe way how we can uproot Delusion andput an end to RebirthThis is the third reason for going for refuge — the need fordeliverance from Samsara.
    20. 20. "Why do we need a refuge?"• Protection from:– Dangers pertaining to the presentlife– Dangers pertaining to future lives– Dangers pertaining to existence insamsara.• Benefits– Happiness in the present life– Secure future lives– Eventual Liberation from samsara
    21. 21. 2. The Existence of a Refuge• A refuge must be secure, beyonddanger and distress• The refuge must be accessible tous.• “When people have gone forrefuge, then by that very goingfor refuge it crushes, dispels,removes, and stops their fear,anguish, suffering, risk ofunhappy rebirth and defilement.”~ Khuddakapatha-Atthakatha
    22. 22. 3. Identification of the Objects of RefugeThe Supremacy of the 3 RefugesSalutation To The BuddhaSuch indeed is the Blessed One, Exalted, FullyEnlightened, Endowed with knowledge and virtue,Well-gone, Knower of the worlds, a Guideincomparable for the training of individuals,Teacher of gods and men, Enlightened and Holy.Salutation To The DhammaWell-expounded is the Dhamma by the BlessedOne to be self-realized; with immediate fruit;inviting to come and see; capable of being enteredupon; to be realised by the wise each for himself.Salutation To The SanghaOf good conduct is the Order of the Disciples ofthe Blessed One. Of upright conduct is the Orderof the Blessed One. Of wise conduct is the Orderof the Blessed One. Of dutiful conduct is the Orderof the Blessed One.Itipiso Bhagava ArahamSammasambuddho vijjacarana-sampannoSugato LokaviduAnuttaro purisadamma-sarathi satthaDevamanussanamBuddha BhagavatiSvakkhato Bhagavata DhammoSanditthiko, Akaliko, EhipassikoOpanayiko, Paccattam veditabbovinnuhitiSupatipanno Bhagavato savakasanghoUjupatipanno Bhagavato savakasanghoNayapatipanno BhagavatosavakasanghoSamicipatipanno Bhagavatosavakasangho
    23. 23. 4. The Act of Going for Refuge“ Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent!Just as if he were to place upright what hadbeen overturned, were to reveal what washidden, were to show the way to one who waslost, or were to hold up a lamp in the dark sothat those with eyes could see forms, in thesame way Master Gotama has -- through manylines of reasoning -- made the Dhamma clear.I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to theDhamma, and to the Sangha. May MasterGotama remember me as a lay follower whohas gone to him for refuge, from this dayforward, for life. "~ Abhaya Sutta, (Discourse to Prince Abhaya).
    24. 24. Requirements in Taking Refugeeffectively• The formal commitment to the Triple Gem is expressed by reciting theformula of fully embracing the Buddhas teaching.• To be effective, it must be accompanied by faith, devotion and a firmintention.• Taking the Refuge in the 3 Jewels then provides access to the whole bodyof teachings that gives us safetyBuddham saranam gacchamiI go for refuge to the Buddha;Dhammam saranam gacchamiI go for refuge to the Dhamma;Sangham saranam gacchamiI go for refuge to the Sangha.
    25. 25. 5. Corruptions and Breach of theRefuge• According to the commentaries there are three factors thatdefile the going for refuge:– ignorance– doubt– wrong views• Even though the refuge act is defiled by these corruptions, aslong as a person regards the Three Jewels as his supremereliance his going for refuge is intact and he remains aBuddhist follower.• But though the refuge is intact, his attitude of taking refuge isdefective and has to be purified.
    26. 26. Breach of Refuge• If he comes to regard another spiritual teacher as superior tothe Buddha, or as possessing greater spiritual authority thanthe Buddha.• If he comes to regard another religious teaching as superior tothe Dhamma, or resorts to some other system of practice ashis means to deliverance.• If he comes to regard some spiritual community other thanthe ariyan Sangha as occupying a higher spiritual level thanthe ariyan Sangha.– then his going for refuge is broken.
    27. 27. The beneficial teachings of others• Are there spiritual truths in other religions?- Thisquestion was answered by Ven Sariputta.• "Friends, just as the footprints of all leggedanimals are encompassed by the footprint of theelephant, and the elephants footprint is reckonedthe foremost among them in terms of size; in thesame way, all skillful qualities are gathered underthe Four Noble Truths.”~ Ven. Sariputta in the Maha- hatthipadopamaSutta:The Great Elephant Footprint Simile
    28. 28. Natthi me saranam aññamBuddho (Dhammo, Sangho) me saranam varam"For me there is no other refuge, the Buddha,(Dhamma, Sangha) is my supreme refuge.“— traditional devotional stanzaIf you can say this with firmconviction,then only can you count yourself asa disciple of the Buddha.