Buddhism is one of the oldest and most prominent religions in Asia and South-East Asia. With an estimated half a billion followers, Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world. Buddhism has its roots in ancient India, and its central tenet is the Four Noble Truths. These state that life is suffering, that suffering is caused by desire, that suffering can be alleviated by detachment from desire, and that the path to detachment is the Eightfold Path.
Buddhism teaches that no permanent self or soul exists and that rebirth is a process of continual becoming. Buddhists seek to end the cycle of rebirth and suffering through enlightenment, or Nirvana. Jonah Engler defines Nirvana as a state of perfect peace and bliss, free from all desires and suffering.
Jonah Engler Explains the Triple Gems of Buddhism
The Triple Gems, also known as the Three Jewels, are the three central tenets of Buddhism: the Buddha, the Dharma (the Buddha’s teachings), and the Sangha (the community of monks and nuns). These three things are considered infinitely precious and worthy of our reverence.
- The Buddha is the founder of Buddhism and the one who attained enlightenment. He is our teacher and guide, and we aspire to follow in his footsteps.
- The Dharma is the Buddha’s teachings. It is the truth that he discovered through his own experience and wisdom. The Dharma shows us the way to end suffering and attain Nirvana.
- The Sangha is the community of monks and nuns who have dedicated their lives to following the path of the Buddha. They are our teachers and mentors, and we rely on their support and guidance as we journey along the path.
When we take refuge in the Triple Gems, we are saying that we trust the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha to help us achieve our goal of enlightenment. We are also committing to follow their teachings and live our lives according to the Dharma.
Taking Refuge in The Triple Gems
According to Jonah Engler, taking refuge in the Triple Gems is a deeply personal decision and one that should not be taken lightly. It is a commitment to our own spiritual growth and development, and it is a declaration of our faith in the Buddha’s teachings. Jonah Engler suggests that before finalizing your decision to take refuge, you consider the following things:
First, it is important to understand what taking refuge entails. It is not simply a matter of reciting a few words or going through some formal ceremony. Rather, it is a decision to live according to the Dharma and follow the Buddha’s path.
Second, taking refuge is not something we do once and then forget about. It is a lifelong commitment that requires regular practice and effort. We must continually remind ourselves of our commitment to the Triple Gems and strive to live up to it in our daily lives
Third, taking refuge is not a passive act; it is an active decision that we make to change our lives and our world. When we take refuge in the Triple Gems, we are making a commitment to ourselves and to all beings to end suffering and attain Nirvana.
Jonah Engler believes that for those considering going down this path, the first step is to learn more about Buddhism and the teachings of the Buddha. There are many resources available to help you get started on this journey. Remember, taking refuge is a commitment that must be honored at all times.