AKASH NAVAYANA BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION ONLINE REFUGE WEBSITE
THE JEWEL OF THE BUDDHA
We receive refuge from the Buddha, our peerless spiritual guide - the revealer of Refuge.
THE JEWEL OF THE DHARMA
We receive this refuge via the dharma - the method for liberation and Enlightenment.
THE JEWEL OF THE SANGHA
This refuge is received within the Sangha, the Buddha's spiritual community - the sublime and ordinary beings who assist us on our path to Enlightenment.
We thereby receive refuge in the Three Jewels simultaneously.
Since refuge requires we believe in the Four Noble Truths, the door of refuge is opened by faith. This is not blind faith but rather faith that is the result of having tested the teachings.
Three Types of Faith:
1. Clear Faith: When one meets a spiritual teacher, or sees a holy image
and is overwhelmed with joy and wonder and great clarity and receptivity is realized.
2. Desire to Attain: Wanting to attain the special qualities of the Bodhisattva's wisdom, love, and compassion; the wish to be free from the mental and physical sufferings of samsara (cyclic existence); the practice of virtue through the three gates of activity of one's body, speech, and mind, and the renouncing of non-virtuous activity from the three gates of activity.
3. Confident Faith: The knowledge that the three jewels are
beyond any doubt, are a true, reliable source of refuge that will lead oneself and all sentient beings to liberation and perfect enlightenment (Samyak Sambuddha). The stronger our faith, the deeper our realization, for we are then able to enter into all of the profound methods of spiritual practice. When faith is profound, profound calm abiding occurs when faith is profound, profound insight into the nature of all phenomena occurs.
Three Types of Refuge:
1. Small Capacity: This is a practitioner that receives refuge in the three jewels
from the depths of his heart, in order not to be reborn in the lower realms of great suffering, the hell, hungry ghost, and animal realms.
2. Middling Capacity: This practitioner fears being born in the three lower realms and the three higher realms i.e. human, demigod, and god realms, and therefore receives refuge in the three jewels from the depth of his heart in order to be liberated from all of cyclic existence (samsara).
3. Great Capacity: This practitioner is motivated by pure altruism, this is the path of the Bodhisattva. His motivation is to liberate all the beings in the six realms of cyclic existence. This is the path of the Mahayana and Vajrayana. This practitioner receives refuge in order to become enlightened for the sake of all sentient beings.
Once we have received refuge and the opportunity to board the boat to the far shore is truly in the palm of our hand, we will experience many obstacles as our negative karma is potentiated by the opportunity at hand. The primary common method of overcoming these obstacles is through rousing bodhichitta and engaging in the contemplation of the four thoughts that turn the mind toward the dharma.
When we receive refuge, we also make promises or vows to abstain from certain actions, as well as committing to make the effort to engage in the actions of a student of the Buddha. These vows are known as the Pratimoksha Vows of Individual Liberation and are:
1) Not to kill
2) Not to steal
3) Not to lie
4) Not to commit sexual misconduct
5) Not to imbibe intoxicants
The actions we promise to engage in are the Eightfold Path of the Noble Ones.
All members of the Dalit community are being offered the ability to receive this sublime opportunity of the Akash Navayana Buddhist Association Diksha Refuge Ceremony completely free of any charge. For receiving the Buddhist Diksha Refuge Ceremony, please follow these simple guidelines.