The Three Refuges PDF Print E-mail

It is imperative that men understand the Refuge (sharangaman) and the universal law of Karma and its fruits—moral or psychological cause and effect—for the mind to be wedded to the path of religion.

The Refuges
There are three Refuges—Buddha, Charma (the Law or Doctrine) and Sangha (the Order).

Buddha
He who has cleansed his mind of all impurities and has removed the motives and inclinations that lead them to--freeing himself thereby from the defilements of sin—becomes omniscient and is known as the Buddha. Such a person has perfect knowledge of all phenomena occurring in space and time, and such a person is a Buddha, the Refuge, a guide to health like a physician.

Dharma
The Dharma is the true Refuge: and one arrives at the goal of Dharma—the noble paths (arya marg) of deliverance==by practicing properly the method of overcoming evil and of removing its taints. In this sense Dharma can be compared to the practice of medicine.

Sangha
The Order or Sangha comprise all beings who have attained Darshan Marg (the Path of Seeing). Darshan Marg or the Path of Seeing is the stage of perfection in which one perceives the reality of all objects; Bhavana Marg or the Path of Practice is a stage in the way of Buddhahood realized through meditation; Ashaikshita or the Path of Fulfillment is the stage in which one no longer needs guidance. These are the Three Noble Paths. The Order is the friend who helps us to realize the Refuge. The Order may be compared to the nurse who administers the medicine.

By H. H. the Dalai Lama of Tibet