Who is the Buddha in Three refuges?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Dhammanando
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Re: Who is the Buddha in Three refuges?

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:41 am

samseva wrote:In the 'Ṭīkā to the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta' (page 9 and at the end of the third paragraph), it is written:
[...] Therefore, the consummate refuge meant in the traditional formula is of supramundane nature—lokuttara, world-transcending.

Thus the first refuge is not the Recluse Gotama, but the Buddha as the personification of world-transcending Enlightenment. In the Vīmaṃsaka Sutta it is said of the noble disciple: “He believes in the Enlightenment of the Exalted One” (MN 47).

The Dhamma of the second refuge is not the faint, fragmentary, or even distorted picture of the doctrine as mirrored in the mind of an unliberated worldling. It is the supramundane path and its consummation in Nibbāna. The commentator underlines the supramundane nature of the second refuge by saying that the Dhamma, as an object of learning, is included in the refuge only in so far as it is a formulation of the consummate knowledge acquired on the path to liberation.

The Sangha of the third refuge is not the all-inclusive congregation of monks, having all the weaknesses of its single members and sharing in the shortcomings attached to any human institution. It is rather the Order of noble disciples who are united by the invisible tie of common attainment to the four stages of liberation. In other words, it too is of supramundane nature: the assurance of possible progress to the world-transcending heights of a mind made holy and pure.
I'm a little mystified as to Nyanaponika's source. The ṭīkā to the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta doesn't contain any passage like this, nor does it read like anything that any ṭīkā author would say. I mean a clunky phrase like sharing in the shortcomings attached to any human institution is very modern-sounding and it's hard to imagine any Pali commentator ever using it.

Overall it reads more like the sort of thing Nyanaponika himself was wont to say when indulging in one of his German romanticist flights of fancy. Perhaps the venerable was just giving an impressionistic summary of the thoughts that came into his mind after reading the said ṭīkā.

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samseva
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Re: Who is the Buddha in Three refuges?

Post by samseva » Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:49 am

Dhammanando wrote:I'm a little mystified as to Nyanaponika's source. The ṭīkā to the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta doesn't contain any passage like this, nor does it read like anything that any ṭīkā author would say. I mean a clunky phrase like sharing in the shortcomings attached to any human institution is very modern-sounding and it's hard to imagine any Pali commentator ever using it.

Overall it reads more like the sort of thing Nyanaponika himself was wont to say when indulging in one of his German romanticist flights of fancy. Perhaps the venerable was just giving an impressionistic summary of the thoughts that came into his mind after reading the said ṭīkā.
It does sound like an interpretation more than anything. Even so, do the two ways of looking at the Three Refuges, meaning...

The Buddha as both the historical Buddha and as the possibility for Enlightenment
The Dhamma as the teaching taught by the Buddha and as the 'universal truth'
The Sangha as the congregation of monks and as the noble persons (ariya-sangha)

...have any footing in the Pāli Canon or any of the Commentaries?

I have heard on a few occasions that the Buddha in the Three Refuges represents the personification of Enlightenment (and logically as the historical Buddha as well).

Here is the definition of 'sangha' in Nyanatiloka Thera's Buddhist Dictionary:
sangha (lit.: congregation), is the name for the Community of Buddhist monks. As the third of the Three Gems or Jewels (ti-ratana, q.v.) and the Three Refuges (ti-sarana, q.v.), i.e. Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, it applies to the ariya-sangha, the community of the saints, i.e. the 4 Noble Ones (ariya-pugga, q.v.), the Stream-winner, etc.

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samseva
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Re: Who is the Buddha in Three refuges?

Post by samseva » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:11 pm

Would you know where to look, for the post above?
Dhammanando wrote:
samseva wrote:In the 'Ṭīkā to the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta' (page 9 and at the end of the third paragraph), it is written:
[...] Therefore, the consummate refuge meant in the traditional formula is of supramundane nature—lokuttara, world-transcending.

Thus the first refuge is not the Recluse Gotama, but the Buddha as the personification of world-transcending Enlightenment. In the Vīmaṃsaka Sutta it is said of the noble disciple: “He believes in the Enlightenment of the Exalted One” (MN 47).

The Dhamma of the second refuge is not the faint, fragmentary, or even distorted picture of the doctrine as mirrored in the mind of an unliberated worldling. It is the supramundane path and its consummation in Nibbāna. The commentator underlines the supramundane nature of the second refuge by saying that the Dhamma, as an object of learning, is included in the refuge only in so far as it is a formulation of the consummate knowledge acquired on the path to liberation.

The Sangha of the third refuge is not the all-inclusive congregation of monks, having all the weaknesses of its single members and sharing in the shortcomings attached to any human institution. It is rather the Order of noble disciples who are united by the invisible tie of common attainment to the four stages of liberation. In other words, it too is of supramundane nature: the assurance of possible progress to the world-transcending heights of a mind made holy and pure.
I'm a little mystified as to Nyanaponika's source. The ṭīkā to the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta doesn't contain any passage like this, nor does it read like anything that any ṭīkā author would say. I mean a clunky phrase like sharing in the shortcomings attached to any human institution is very modern-sounding and it's hard to imagine any Pali commentator ever using it.

Overall it reads more like the sort of thing Nyanaponika himself was wont to say when indulging in one of his German romanticist flights of fancy. Perhaps the venerable was just giving an impressionistic summary of the thoughts that came into his mind after reading the said ṭīkā.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Who is the Buddha in Three refuges?

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:40 am

samseva wrote:Would you know where to look, for the post above?
As far as I know, the Paramatthajotikā file that I uploaded earlier is the most comprehensive Theravadin treatment of the refuges and refuge-going.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?p=341942#p320225

SarathW
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Re: Who is the Buddha in Three refuges?

Post by SarathW » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:13 am

samseva wrote:The meaning of the Three Refuges is twofold, both lokiya and lokuttara (mundane and supermundane). Meaning that the Buddha symbolizes both the Buddha and every sentient being's "buddha-nature", the Dhamma as both the teaching and the "universal truth" and the Sangha as both the congregation of monks and the four kinds of noble persons.

This is a very good read.
http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh076.pdf
Thanks for the post Samseva.
Ven. Thanissaro refer to Three refuges as twofold, both internal and external. I think this is a similar idea to Lokiya and Lokuttara.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... efuge.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

cookiemonster
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Re: Who is the Buddha in Three refuges?

Post by cookiemonster » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:20 am

Nibbana is where the Buddha is the Dharma is the Sangha.

When one leaves samsara for nibbana, one is the perfected Buddha, the perfected Dharma, and the perfected Sangha.

SarathW
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Re: Who is the Buddha in Three refuges?

Post by SarathW » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:06 am

Good article on recollection of Buddha.

http://www.arrowriver.ca/dhamma/budhsati.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SarathW
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Re: Who is the Buddha in Three refuges?

Post by SarathW » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:53 am

Bhante Punnaji add another twist to to the three refuge by adding you in to the formula.

=======
1) you : A beginner of the way
2) Sangha : You become a follower of the way to perfection
3)Dhamma: You use the technique of purification (Noble Eightfold Path)
4)Buddha: You became perfect in purification of your mind. (you became the Buddha)

Page 24:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9nfNN ... dhdmc/edit
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

form
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Re: Who is the Buddha in Three refuges?

Post by form » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:07 pm

There will be many versions of three refuges

SarathW
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Re: Who is the Buddha in Three refuges?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:23 pm

Good reading suggestion on this subject.\

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el282.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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