Pārasamgate wrote: kirtu wrote: Pārasamgate wrote:
I am wondering what is the origin of these commitments?
The Refuge Commitments
- 1. Not to go for refuge to teachers who contradict Buddha’s view, or to samsaric gods
2. To regard any image of Buddha as an actual Buddha
3. Not to harm other sentient beings
4. To regard any Dharma scripture as an actual Dharma Jewel
5. Not to allow ourselves to be influenced by people who reject Buddha’s teaching
6. To regard anyone who wears the robes of an ordained person as an actual Sangha Jewel
7. To go for refuge to the Three Jewels again and again, remembering their good qualities and the differences between them
8. To offer the first portion of whatever we eat and drink to the Three Jewels, remembering their kindness
9. With compassion, always to encourage others to go for refuge
10. Remembering the benefits of going for refuge, to go for refuge at least three times during the day and three times during the night
11. To perform every action with complete trust in the Three Jewels
12. Never to forsake the Three Jewels even at the cost of our life, or as a joke
I've seen them with different wording in different places, but the thrust is always the same. Where did these vows originate?
The origin is from Shakyamuni Buddha.
In the above form probably prior to Lama Tsongkhapa.
Do you know if these commitments are unique to the Gelug school? Tibetan school(s)? Mahayana school(s)?
Really looking to trace back this tradition as far as possible.
Hello Parasamgate and mudra -
The origin of the refuge vows is from Shakyamuni Buddha. But the list above is an Indo-Tibetan (perhaps not just Indo-Tibetan but I haven't had teaching from Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese of Japanese teachers directly on the refuge vows) evolution of the teachings. The thing common to most of the traditions and all of the Tibetan traditions is to take refuge three times a day (and often three time a day morning and night - this formula - three times a day morning and night - is directly from Mahayana sutras I do not however know when it became a standard textual snippet - certainly by the time Shantideva's teachers were committed to text because it's in there but likely much sooner).
You can read about Shakyamuni Buddha teaching about refuge vows in the Nikayas
. I don't know if this particular collection has been translated into a published text in English - I was looking for the Digha, Maijhima or Samyutta Nikayas actually.
I don't remember if the first five disciples took refuge - they probably did after the sermon and one of them had already attained Arhatship.
In the Nikayas there are instances of disciples giving refuge vows to laypeople or someone out somewhere who wants to become a monk.
Then the pratimoska vows including the five lay vows evolved over time but they too are found in the Nikayas in a recognizable form (really just as they are taught today although there may be additional sets of vows). If laypeople had ready access to the Vinaya then these questions would be solved right away.
So 1, 7-12 in some form existed or was practiced before Shakyamuni's parinirvana. 2-6 probably evolved as monasticism as an institution evolved, so pre-Padmasambhava's entry to Tibet.
From a Tibetan perspective these would almost certainly be traced in some form to Shantarakshita and Padmasambhava.
In this form they are not unique to Gelug. They are found practically in the exact same form in Sakya and Nyingma. As ngodrup noted Nyingma also has the six-fold refuge. This is true (it also is not unique to Nyingma though) but not usually given on day 1, where the three-fold refuge is what definitely distinguishes between Buddhist and non-Buddhist. The six-fold refuge can only be given during an empowerment. In Nyingma this could be treated either more strictly or not since everyone is more or less assumed to have some minimal empowerment and it has basically become part of the lineage culture.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes
"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche