Taking Refuge


As Shantideva, a great Child of the Victors

Homage to those
Who have developed this holy, precious mind.
No matter what ills befall them,
Our lot is always happiness.
I take this source of happiness as my refuge.

In other words, someone who has developed bodhicitta in their mind-stream may be abused and so forth, but still they will they will work for the sake of the person who wronged them, and lead them to eternal happiness

The Precious Garland, Nagarjuna says:


If you desire supreme enlightenment
For Yourself and the world,
Know that this root is bodhicitta
As firm as Meru, king of mountains

The Melodious Laughter of Lozang Dragpa - Answers to 'Questions on the Whitest Alturism of All'


The true nature of taking refuge:
Taking refuge because one is most afraid
For oneself, and because one knows
The Three Jewels are able to protect them.
This is what you meant, omniscient one.


Who to take refuge in? The One Hundred and Fifty verses of praise says:


Take refuge in whoever
Has absolutely has no shortcomings,
Absolutly no blindness, and in whom resides
Every aspect of good qualities.
When you think of this,
Respect those who praise him
And abode by his teachings.

Who is a fitting refuge? From the Seventy Verses on Taking Refuge


Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha
Are the refuge for seekers of liberation

Reasons for choosing Buddha


Buddha has freed himself from all dangers.
He is skilled in the means to free others of danger.
He reacts compassionately to all, without feelings of intimacy or distance.
Buddha works for the sake of all

Buddha has four types of good qualities:

of his body
of his speech
of his good works
of his mind


Think of Dharma has the quality of producing Buddhas

One can generally take the jewel of the Dharma to be the ten levels, the five paths, and so on - in other words, the truth of cessationm and uniterupted paths within the paths of seeing and meditation. However the most important thing is subduing ones mindstream; so in simple terms and to give you a rough illustration, it is all right to take the Lam-rim as the jewel of Dharma


This is the community of Bodhisattvas, monks, enlightened Buddhas , spiritual guides

What to say - recall the below three times in the morning three times at night. Say it with your heart and mind - feel it, know it!

From Jampael Lhuendrub's 'Ornament to the Throats of Fortune'


Until Enlightenment, I take refuge
In the Buddha, Dharma and the supreme assembly.
With the merit I earn
Through your generosity, and so on.
May I gain Buddhahood for the sake of all beings.


  • next rebirth not in lower realms,
  • Protection
  • Assistance

Above Extracts from Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand by Kyabje Pabonka Rinpoche


First of all we begin with the refuge prayer:


Sangye chö dang tso kyi chog nam la
chang chub bardu dag ni kyiabsu chi
dag gyi gin sog gyipe sonam kyi
drola penchir sangye drupar shog

Until I attain enlightenment, I respectfully go for refuge to Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.
By the merits generated with the practice of generosity and the other perfections may I attain Buddhahood for the welfare of all living beings



6 perfections
4 Immeasurables
6 root delusions
5 Precepts
10 non-virtues

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