in the Jodo Shinshu/Pure Land tradition
Hard it is to receive human form. Now we have received
Difficult is it to hear the Buddha Dharma. Now we hear
If we do not receive awakening in this life, in what
life shall we do so?
With sincerity, let us take refuge together in the Three
I take refuge in the Buddha.
Together with all beings, may we attain the Great Way
awakening to the supreme intent of the Buddha.
I take refuge in the Dharma.
Together with all beings, may we enter the storehouse
of the Dharma,
acquiring Wisdom as deep as the ocean.
I take refuge in the Sangha.
Together with all beings, may we become united as the
being free of all bondage.
Hard is it to encounter the supreme, profound and wondrous
even in a hundred thousand million kalpas.
Now we are able to hear it and receive it.
Let us thoroughly understand the true intent of the
in General Buddhist tradition
In the time of Sakyamuni Buddha, one was
permitted to join the Buddhist community (sangha) upon
receiving the precept of the three refuges under the
guidance of a monk and shaving one's head to symbolise
a departure from worldly ways and into a life devoted
to the path of Buddhism, which transcends the mundane
To receive the precept of the three refuges
means to declare before one's teacher that one takes
whole-hearted refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
and to vow to not deviate from them.
"Buddha" here refers to Sakyamuni.
"Dharma" to Sakyamuni's teachings, and "Sangha"
to the community of followers who have entrusted themselves
to Sakyamuni Buddha's teaching. Because these form what
the basis of what one values most of all in life, they are called
the "three treasures".