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Refuges and Precepts

30/06/201115:11(Xem: 2578)
Refuges and Precepts

Refuges and Precepts

The Meditation Teaching of
Venerable Ajahn Sumedho




The 'Going for Refuge' and taking the Precepts define a person as a practising Buddhist.

Going for Refuge gives a continual perspective on life by referring one's conduct and understanding to the qualities of Buddha (wisdom), Dhamma (truth) and Sangha (virtue). The Precepts are also for reflection and to define one's actions as a responsible human being.

There is a formal means of requesting the Refuges and Precepts from a bhikkhu or nun, which is as follows:

(A) The lay person should bow three times and, with hands in añjali[*], recite the following:

'Mayam/Aham bhante (ayye) ti-saranena saha pañca silani yacama/yacami.'
We/I, Venerable Sir (Sister), request the Three Refuges and the Five Precepts.

'Dutiyampi mayam/aham bhante (ayye) ...'
For the second time we/I ...

'Tatiyampi mayam/aham bhante (ayye) ...'
For the third time we/I ...

(B) The bhikkhu or nun will then recite the following, three times, after which the lay person should repeat three times:

'Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa.'
Homage to the Blessed One, the Noble One, and Perfectly Enlightened One.

(C) The bhikkhu or nun will then recite the following line by line, which the lay person should repeat line by line:

'Buddham saranam gacchami.'
To the Buddha I go for Refuge.

'Dhammam saranam gacchami.'
To the Dhamma I go for Refuge.

'Sangham saranam gacchami.'
To the Sangha I go for Refuge.

'Dutiyampi Buddham saranam gacchami.'
For the second time ...

'Dutiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchami.'
For the second time ...

'Dutiyampi Sangham saranam gacchami.'
For the second time ...

'Tatiyampi Buddham saranam gacchami.'
For the third time ...

'Tatiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchami.'
For the third time ...

'Tatiyampi Sangham saranam gacchami.'
For the third time ...

(D) The bhikkhu or nun then says:

'Tisarana-gamanam nitthitam.'
This completes the going to the Three Refuges.

The lay person responds:

'Ama bhante (ayye).'
Yes, Venerable Sir (Sister). 

(E) The bhikkhu or nun then recites the Precepts singly, and the lay person repeats line by line:

1. 'Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.'
    I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.

2. 'Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.'
    I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.

3. 'Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.'
    I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.

4. 'Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.'
    I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.

5. 'Sura-meraya-majja-pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.'
    I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating liquors and drugs which
    lead to carelessness. 

(F) After the Five Precepts have been taken, the bhikkhu or nun will conclude with the following:

'Imani pañca sikkhapadani
These Five Precepts

'Silena sugatim yanti,
Have morality as a vehicle for happiness,

'Silena bhogasampada,
Have morality as a vehicle for good fortune,

'Silena nibbutim yanti:
Have morality as a vehicle for liberation:

'Tasma silam visodhaye.'
Let morality therefore be purified.

(G) After taking the Precepts, the lay person then bows three times to the bhikkhu or nun.

*  *  *

A note on pronunciation: When a Pali word ends with the letter 'm', that 'm' is pronounced 'ng', as in the word 'hang'. So, for example, 'Buddham' is pronounced as 'Buddhang'.

*  *  *


[*Añjali: the hands are held vertically, with palms together, close to the chest. [Back to text]

Source: www.buddhismtoday.com
Update : 01-12-2001

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