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SOTOZEN.COM > Archivio > Glossario (Inglese) > Verse of Three Refuges

Glossario (Inglese)


Verse of Three Refuges (San kirai mon 三歸禮文)

An expanded version of the threefold refuge (san kie 三歸依), that is, taking refuge in (relying on) the three treasures: buddha, dharma, and sangha.

I take refuge in buddha,
with the prayer that living beings
may embody the great way
and give rise to the highest aspiration.
I take refuge in dharma,
with the prayer that living beings
may enter deeply into the canon,
that ocean of wisdom.
I take refuge in sangha,
with the prayer that living beings
may ensure that the great assembly
is entirely free from hindrances.
jikie butsu 自歸依佛
to gan shujō 當願衆生
taige tai do 體解大道
hotsu mujōi 發無上意
jikie ho 自歸依法
to gan shujō 當願衆生
jin nyu kyo zo 深入經藏
chie nyokai 智慧如海
jikie so 自歸依僧
to gan shujō 當願衆生
tōri daishu 統理大衆
is-sai muge 一切無礙

To "embody" (taige 體解) the "great way" (taidō 大道) means to personally engage in the practice of Buddhism. To "give rise to the highest aspiration" (hotsu mujō i發無上意) is to arouse the thought of awakening (bodaishin 菩提心, S. bodhicitta), meaning the intention to attain buddhahood for the sake of all living beings, which is the first step on the bodhisattva path. The canon (kyōzō 經藏, S. sūtra-piaka) is the collection of sutras that embody the wisdom (chie 智慧, S. prajñā) and teachings ( 法, S. dharma) of the Buddha, which are said to be vast and deep, "like an ocean" (nyokai 如海). The "great assembly" (daishu 大衆) refers to the order of Buddhist monks and nuns, in general, and those who are resident in a given monastery, in particular. This verse extends the meaning of "sangha" ( 僧) to include all living beings (shujō 衆生), however, for it invites them to participate in the Buddhist community by entering the bodhisattva path, studying the sutras, and giving material support to the monastics so they will be " free from hindrances" (muge 無礙).