Taking Refuge in The Triple Gem
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Taking Refuge in the Triple Gem Ceremony
The “Triple Gem” means Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. “Dharma” refers to the teachings of the Buddha and “Sangha” is the collective name for the monastic Buddhist community. Just as a child must depend on the parents for protection and safety, Buddhists depend on the Triple Gem. Just as a navigator must rely on his compass, Buddhists rely on the Triple Gem. Just as light illuminates the path in darkness, the Triple Gem elucidates the way. In “taking refuge” one seeks guidance and to turns to the Triple Gem for liberation and salvation from suffering. The ceremony for taking refuge is quite important because this ceremony marks the beginning of our commitment to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Only someone who has taken refuge in the Triple Gem can truly call himself a Buddhist.
A Buddhist or a disciple of Buddha is one who has taken refuge in the Triple Gem as their first step. By taking refuge, one declares that he is a disciple of the Triple Gem.
Gem is usually used to describe precious stone. The Triple Gem means the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. Otherwise one is only a friend of Buddhism.
The Buddha, the Dharma and Sangha are the gems of the spiritual life beyond the bounds of this world. Accordingly to cultivate the way (to practice Buddhism) the first significant thing to do is to take refuge in the Triple Gem.