The Three Jewels of Buddhism

The Three Jewels, also known as the Triple Gem or Triratna, are central tenets of Buddhism and serve as a foundation for a practitioner’s faith and practice. The Three Jewels are:

  1. The Buddha: The Buddha, or the “Awakened One,” refers to Siddhartha Gautama, the historical founder of Buddhism, who attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. The Buddha serves as an example and inspiration for those seeking to achieve the same state of awakening. In a broader sense, “the Buddha” can also refer to the potential for enlightenment inherent in all sentient beings.
  2. The Dharma: The Dharma represents the teachings and doctrines of Buddhism, which were expounded by the Buddha during his lifetime. The Dharma is a guide to understanding the nature of reality, the causes of suffering, and the path to achieving liberation from the cycle of birth and death (samsara). The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path are among the core teachings of the Dharma.
  3. The Sangha: The Sangha refers to the community of Buddhist practitioners, who are committed to following the Buddha’s teachings and supporting one another on the path to enlightenment. Traditionally, the Sangha consisted of ordained monks and nuns who lived according to monastic codes of conduct. However, in modern times, the term has expanded to include lay practitioners as well. The Sangha serves as a source of spiritual support, guidance, and inspiration for those on the Buddhist path.

Together, the Three Jewels represent the three essential aspects of Buddhism: the enlightened teacher (the Buddha), the path to awakening (the Dharma), and the supportive spiritual community (the Sangha). Practitioners take refuge in the Three Jewels as a way of committing themselves to the Buddhist path and expressing their faith in these principles.


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