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Five refuges?

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:08 am
by Lingpupa
I come here as someone with long experience of other kinds of Buddhism, but not of Pure Land. I would like to ask the experts here to clarify something.

I recently heard of a system of *five* refuges. I said, "Eh, what, never heard that one before", and was told that it is quite common in Pure Land systems of practice: Amitabha, Sukhavati and the usual three of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

So the question is simple - is that true, or is it an invention?

Many thanks in advance for your time!

Re: Five refuges?

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:28 am
by Vasana
Not a pureland answer but it's not a stretch to see how Amitabha and Sukhavati can be included in the refuge Jewell of the Buddha but I'm sure there are probably other justifications for separating them.

Re: Five refuges?

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:54 pm
by 如傑優婆塞
Could you share with us from whom or where did you obtained such an information and response from?
The only group that I have heard promoting such a practice is this one and there's this other thread about them that may interest you.

In all of my years with the Chinese Pure Land Tradition, I have never encountered such a thing in classical treatises nor the Threefold Sutras that ever taught a special deal of 'Five Refuges' apart from the standard triśaraṇa. The most that I have come across are common interpretations that infer Amitābha, the Pure Land Dharma Door and Sukhāvatī's Ārya Saṃgha into the existing framework of expounding on the triśaraṇa from a dual perspective: the general Buddhist teaching and specifically, from the Pure Land exegesis. It's like how the Sixth Patriarch Dàjiàn Huìnéng infused a Chán perspective when explaining on the Threefold Refuges in 'Chapter VI. On Repentance', The Platform Sūtra or that of Tibetan Vajrayāna's Outer, Inner, and Secret forms of the Three Jewels and the special formulation of 'namo gurubhya, namo buddhaya, namo dharmaya, namo sanghaya'.

Maybe, those who practice in the other East Asian Pure Land traditions may also respond to your query which are beyond my purview.

Re: Five refuges?

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:11 pm
by SonamTashi
Yeah, this is pretty normal for Pure Land Buddhism. In fact, a 6th one you'll often hear mentioned is the Lotus Pool Assembly. It makes sense from a Pure Land perspective and shouldn't really be confusing. Refuge in Amitabha is refuge in the Buddha, refuge in the Lotus Pool Assembly (the bodhisattvas of the Pure Land) is refuge in the sangha, and refuge in the Pure Land is refuge in the Pure Land dharma.

So refuge in Amitabha, the Pure Land and the Lotus Pool Assembly is just a specific formulation of the three refuges from the Pure Land perspective.

Re: Five refuges?

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:57 pm
by vikas113
I guess people do this out of faith, hardly there is a difference between 3 or 5 refuge.

Sukhavti is pureland because of Amitabha Buddha and his great Bodhisattva sages staying there.

When we take refuge in the Buddha, we take refuge under the tathagata Buddhas of ten directions of past, present and the future.

When we take refuge in the Noble dhamma we take refuge in the teachings of the Buddhas of ten directions of past, present and the future.

Taking refuge in the Great Sangha is equal to taking refuge under the awesome sages of 3 vehicles of all the ten directions of 3 times.

So Amitabha, Amitabha Sutras and Bodhisattva sages of Sukhavati directly come under the 3 refuge. I guess it's okay for some people to take 5 refuge.

What matters more is the whole heartdness and faith in the primial vow of Amitabha Buddha and a earnest desire to be born there.

Namo Amitabha Buddha! :bow:

Re: Five refuges?

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:58 pm
by Admin_PC
I've never heard of Five refuges either - having experience with the liturgies & refuge ceremonies in Vietnamese Tiantai, Jodo Shu, and Jodo Shin Shu.

Re: Five refuges?

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:36 am
by Lingpupa
Thanks guys - I have a perspective now.

Re: Five refuges?

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:09 am
by arrau76
Hi! I've found something like that in a free book from Fo Guang Shan:

Namo Amitabha Buddha !