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Three motivations

One intending to follow the teachings of the Buddha takes refuge in the three jewels: Buddha (the teacher), Dharma (his teachings as the way out of the dissatisfactory nature of samsara–the uncontrollably recurring cyclic existence), and Sangha (role models and guides on the path one takes in following the teachings of the Buddha).

 

THE REFUGE OF LESSER BEINGS

Fear of the sufferings of the three lower realms-the hell realm, the preta realm and the animal realm-motivates us to take refuge simply with the idea of obtaining the happiness of gods and men.

THE REFUGE OF MIDDLING BEINGS

The knowledge that wherever we are reborn in any of the realms of samsara, high or low, there is no freedom from suffering, motivates us to take refuge in the Three Jewels just with the aim of attaining for ourselves the level of nirvana, peaceful and free from all samsara’s sufferings.

THE REFUGE OF GREAT BEINGS

The sight of all beings plunged in the great ocean of samsara’s infinite sufferings and undergoing an unimaginable variety of torments motivates us to take refuge with the idea of establishing them all in the unsurpassable¬† and omniscient state of perfect and complete Buddhahood.

– Patrul Rinpoche, Words of my Perfect Teacher


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