Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: HT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: TT Nguyên Tạng   

Taking of Refuge in Practice

28/06/202008:50(Xem: 1839)
Taking of Refuge in Practice


duc the ton-13

TAKING OF REFUGE IN PRACTICE

(A talk given at Dharmawijaya-Vihara on 24th May 1986)

Ven. Valangoda Ananda Maitreya


People of a certain village were suffering from various kinds of chronic diseases. Though they sought treatments from some so-called physicians they could not get perfectly cured. Some of them got only a temporary relief. Meanwhile they saw a stranger come into the village. Very few of them understood from this physique that he was perfect in health. Of course, he was one of perfect health, a physician and a specialist of rare type. Some underwent his course of treatment and were perfectly cured. They, too, learned from him his medical system and assisted him in his treating the sick. After some years’ service the teacher-physician turned over his service to his pupils and left the village his pupil-physicians who had got perfectly cured had carried on the service of treating the sick very successfully for some time.

Some of their patients, while undergoing the course of their treatment, were secretly following another system which made their cases worse. The pupil-physicians discovered the secret and promulgated a plan to keep them from falling into wrong ways. They said to the patients at the beginning to remember that they were following the course of treatment established by their foremost physician, the specialist. They made them repeat the formula, “I take refuge in the foremost physician, the specialist, his system of treatment and the example and admonition given by his pupil-physicians”. This method, for some periods of time, worked very successfully. Meanwhile these patients and their physicians were named and labelled as ‘The followers of the Specialist’ to make themselves distinctive from those who followed other systems of treatment, who too were bearing labels after the system each followed.

On later days the majority of the followers of the Specialist, only repeated their refuge formula but did not follow the treatment. Only in name were they the followers of the Specialist or ‘takers of the three refuges, only in name but not in practice.

To make the point still clearer I should give another illustration. There was a village in the midst of a vast jungle. This village was infested with harmful insects, interspersed with snakes and haunted by carnivorous animals. Villagers happened to live their lives in much caution and horror. One of the villagers, a very clever person, carefully surveyed throughout the whole jungle and reached its boundary, and going further on discovered a place, a city of perfect safety, which was beyond all kinds of dangers. Then he returned to the jungle village, marking through the jungle and far out as far as the city of safety, the way to be trodden. Thereupon, he went to the villagers and promulgated the glad tidings of the discovery of the city of safety and path thereto. Some followed the way marked out by him till they reached the said destination and enjoyed the bliss of security. They too returned to the village and witnessed the genuineness of the discovery of the safety-city, and encouraged them to leave the village and to go to the city of safety. Many went and experienced the same security as the previous ones.

There were some others who, wandering about in the jungle found out some areas near its boundary, which they conceived as safety spots. Actually, they were less dangerous though not entirely free of dangers of the jungle. These latter discoverers also guided the villagers, each to the spot he had conceived as safety. Thus there were many paths through the jungle leading to different destinations, marked in different ways and made known separately after the name of their founders.

Many, as they were in a hurry to get out of this dangerous jungle habitat, chose each a path according to his inclination and set out on the journey. They did so because they were satisfied with the descriptions of those destinations as they had heard that the same or similar things they were accustomed to use at their jungle habitation were available in those new destinations as well.

But those who were more critical and possessing much more wit than the others preferred to go along the path marked out by the discoverer of the safety city. After some years of showing the path the discoverer gave his service in charge of his followers who had returned from the safety city, and left the village and took rest in the remote area of the safety-city. Thereafter, his followers carried on with service turned over to them by their first guide, the discoverer of the safety-city.

A time passed. Some travellers bound for the safety-city mistook the proper way due to forgetfulness and fell into some other way and got lost in the jungle. So the path-showers asked them to repeat the formula: “We are taking refuge in the path marked out by the discoverer of the safety-city”, and to remember its meaning all the way as they trod. The repetition of this refuge formula helped them a great deal keeping them from falling into wrong ways. Now after some time, those who were getting ready to go to the city of safety grew in number. But, actually, very few of them set out. The majority; only got ready repeating the path-goer’s formula every day, turning their heads towards the path but looking back at their huts and small plantations round the, they put off their journey until another day. Every now and then they would do the same thing. They meanwhile criticized the trekkers of other paths saying that they were going in a wrong direction. Let alone their departure, some of them that came forward as their teachers of the way were so degraded in their standing even to quarrel among them – selves about the ownership of the huts. But they remained there claiming “It is we who know the path; it is we who properly take refuge in the discoverer of the city of safety”.

Suppose a man wants to go to a distant place. He goes to the bus office and buys a ticket and loiters about with his friends talking of the value of the ticket, the value of the bus-service and of the skill of the bus driver and also composing songs in praise of them and singing them together with his companions. But he does not get into the bus. Towards evening he goes home. He repeats the same thing every day and does not get into the bus. For such a person neither the ticket, nor the bus or its driver can be reckoned to have been his refuge. He too cannot be reckoned as one who actually takes refuge in them.

The Lord Buddha was the One who discovered the way to full Freedom. Hence, we respect Him as our foremost teacher of the Path, the guide and the refuge. If there were no way to tread, even he couldn’t do any thing for us. If there is no goal we would be hopeless and a path or path-shower would not be possible. So both the way and the goal are our refuge. Those who followed after the foremost path-shower, the Lord Buddha, and attained Freedom, witnessed the genuineness of this path and thus became our helpers setting an example and giving out their experience. By learning of these refuges we have to follow the way and the repeating of the refuge formula just reminds us not to get off the path. The path and the goal are represented by the term Dhamma. The travellers who have gone forth and entered the Stream (Sotapatti) and attained the further stages and finally the Arahantship are represented by the term Sangha.

Mere repeating the refuge formula is just repeating the reminder. Unless we go along the path we cannot be reckoned as those who put the taking of refuge into practice.

The eight-factored Path is the best of ways.
The four-worded truth is the best of truths.
Passionlessness is the best of states.
The One with the opened eye is the best of bipeds
(273 Dhammapada)

Go along this way, for this bewilders Mara the temptor.
Treading this path, ye shall put an end to all suffering.
I have discovered and pointed out this to you,
the way leading to the removal of the arrows of passions.
You yourselves should make an effort, the Buddhas but expound the way.
(273-276. Dhammapada)

 
Gửi ý kiến của bạn
Tắt
Telex
VNI
Tên của bạn
Email của bạn
04/01/2011(Xem: 2987)
Although different people have different views of what Buddhism is, I think it’s difficult to say, “Buddhism is this, therefore it should be like that.”
29/10/2010(Xem: 3883)
Buddhism has awakened considerable interest in the West, and there are many persons who enjoy positions of some note in western society who are either Buddhist...
20/09/2010(Xem: 3254)
What Is Buddhism? The Buddhist Society of Western Australia
31/08/2010(Xem: 5010)
Venerable Pannyavaro is an Australian Buddhist monk who has devoted his life to the meditational aspects of the Buddha's teachings. During his meditation training, he practiced under several meditation masters in Sri Lanka and Burma, including Venerable Sayadaw U Janaka of Chanmyay Meditation Centre, Rangoon, who is the foremost disciple of the renowned Burmese meditation master, the late Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw. Pannyavaro was involved in the beginnings of a number of the very early Buddhist communities in Australia. He later went to Thailand and received higher ordination at Wat Borvornivet in Bangkok under Venerable Phra Nyanasamvarva, the Sangha Raja of Thailand. Since 1974, he has from time to time studied and practised Vipassana meditation in most of the major Theravada Buddhist countries, including long periods of intensive practise with teachers at the Mahasi Sayadaw centres in Burma.
12/05/2010(Xem: 3969)
In the year 563B.C. on the border of modern day Nepal and India, a son was born to a chieftain of the Sakya clan. His name was Siddhartha Gotama and at the age of thirty-five, he attained, after six years of struggle and through his own insight, full enlightenment or Buddhahood. The term 'Buddha' is not a name of a god or an incarnation of a god, despite later Hindu claims to the contrary, but is a title for one who has realised through good conduct, mental cultivation, and wisdom the cause of life's vicissitudes and the way to overcome them. Buddhism is perhaps. unique amongst the world's religions in that it does not place reliance for salvation on some external power, such as a god or even a Buddha, but places the responsibility for life's frustrations squarely on the individual. The Buddha said:
12/05/2010(Xem: 10604)
The Pope, who managed to get the United Nations "International Year for Tolerance" off to a good start with the launch of his book, 'Crossing the Threshold of Hope' - Johnathan Cape, London, has demonstrated his abysmal ignorance and lack of understanding of Buddhism. Although he, with reservations, expresses guarded approval of Judaism, Hinduism and Islam, he considers Buddhism beyond the pale. He trots out the usual cliches about Buddhism being "negative" and pessimistic. What really worries him is the appeal Buddhism has to the 'Western' mind, especially to Catholics who see in Buddhist meditation techniques something that has been lost from the contemplative tradition of early Christianity. He provides no logical arguments against Buddhism but resorts to dogma to prove his point.
28/04/2010(Xem: 3845)
Buddhism is one of Australia’s fastest growing religions, having increased by 79% in the years 1996 to 2001, then numbering some 357,814 people, being 1.9% of the population. According to the 2001 Commonwealth Census, the majority of Buddhist live in New South Wales and Victoria. The largest concentration of Buddhists in Australia is in the Fairfield Local Government Area where 21.2% of the population registered as Buddhists.
facebook youtube google-plus linkedin twitter blog
Nguyện đem công đức này, trang nghiêm Phật Tịnh Độ, trên đền bốn ơn nặng, dưới cứu khổ ba đường,
nếu có người thấy nghe, đều phát lòng Bồ Đề, hết một báo thân này, sinh qua cõi Cực Lạc.

May the Merit and virtue,accrued from this work, adorn the Buddhas pureland,
Repay the four great kindnesses above, andrelieve the suffering of those on the three paths below,
may those who see or hear of these efforts generates Bodhi Mind, spend their lives devoted to the Buddha Dharma,
the Land of Ultimate Bliss.

Quang Duc Buddhist Welfare Association of Victoria
Tu Viện Quảng Đức | Quang Duc Monastery
Senior Venerable Thich Tam Phuong | Senior Venerable Thich Nguyen Tang
Address: Quang Duc Monastery, 105 Lynch Road, Fawkner, Vic.3060 Australia
Tel: 61.03.9357 3544 ; Fax: 61.03.9357 3600
Website: http://www.quangduc.com ; http://www.tuvienquangduc.com.au (old)
Xin gửi Xin gửi bài mới và ý kiến đóng góp đến Ban Biên Tập qua địa chỉ:
quangduc@quangduc.com , tvquangduc@bigpond.com
VISITOR
103,081,813