By Nhất Quán
The Three Jewels are the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. It is considered a Treasure because, in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha can generate immeasurable merit and develop immeasurable miracles. That merit and wonderful use are infinite, boundless, no matter how much you take it won't run out, no matter how much you use, it won't be exhausted.
If there are times in life when people take the value of gold, silver, jade, and ivory and call it a precious treasure, in Buddhism the merit and wonderful uses of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are used as the foundation. These merits and wonderful uses are beyond the world and out of the world, so they are even more precious than precious treasures. Because the transformation of the Three Jewel can make people peaceful in life, can make people happy and free from suffering. So, the Three Jewel is more precious than the treasure of the world.
Because of such wonderful uses, taking refugees in the Three Jewels is an initial thing that a Buddhist Laymen must do. Now in Buddhism, many people knew about taking refuge in Buddhism, that is, you bring your body and mind and return to take refuge in the Three Jewels. Because you are ordinary people who do not have or lack the power of enlightenment and the blessing, you must take refugee in Three Jewels who are powerful enough, blessed with the wisdom to ensure you in the transformation of delusion into enlightenment, true reflection. Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels includes:
1. Taking refuge in the Buddha
The word Buddha is meant for those who have become enlightened. Treasure Buddha has the following meanings:
a. Self- awakeness: Self-realization of the truth of things and phenomena.
b. Enlightening or awakening of others: After understanding the truth, bring that understanding to teach others to understand like you.
c. Perfect enlightenment and achievement: Self-realization and educating of others is the completion of Buddha's virtue. 
According to the Mahayana, there are three Buddha’s virtues:
First, Dharmakaya, or the virtue or potency of the Buddha’s eternal spiritual body.
Second, Buddha’s prajna or wisdom, knowing all things in their reality.
Third, Buddha’s freedom from all bonds and his sovereign liberty.
We take refuge in the Buddha is returned to take refuge with Sakyamuni Buddha to hope that he will help us to relieve our suffering. Buddha is the one who is completely lucid, full of compassion, boundless blessing, and perfect virtues. He is the greatest teacher. has personal experience to lead all species out of samsara, so he deserves to be a master of wisdom.
According to the most venerable Buddhaghosa definition: Wisdom has the characteristic of penetrating the dharmas. Wisdom has the function of dispelling the darkness of illusion that covers the intrinsic nature of things.  Thus, no matter what angle you look at, wisdom is still the highest elite material to be decisive and selective about everything. 
Wisdom was the only baggage that enabled Prince Sidhartha to attained full enlightenment and later all of the teachings that the Buddha preached for 49 years, concentrated in the Four Noble Truth, Twelve Causes and conditions. Therefore, the object of wisdom is the teaching of the Four Noble Truths and Twelve Cause and conditions.
The core content of wisdom is the understanding of the doctrine of dependent origination. In the Buddha's Autobiography of the 1st Minority Sutra, the content of the doctrine of dependent origination is:
Since one is present, the other is present. Since one is not present, the other is not. As one arises, the other arises. As one disappears, the other disappears. 
Thus, to understand or have wisdom about dependent origination is to realize that the things that exist in this world are caused by many factors, come into being through many causes and conditions, and also come to an end because of cause and conditions. Understand that the nature of things is like that, so things are impermanent, are nonself, outside the creation of the Supreme.
From the above core content, we can conclude:
- We take refuge with the Buddha, in addition to the fact that we accept the Buddha as our teacher, it also implies that in order to practice liberation, we must have wisdom.
In terms of practice, there are three kinds of wisdom:
- Wisdom of hearing
- Wisdom of thinking
- Wisdom of practice.
These are the intellectual level in order from lowest to highest and the basic of their relationship with each other
* The wisdom of listening is a method of cultivating wisdom through listening or directly to studying, reciting, and reading the teachings that understand the meaning and generate wisdom.
* Wisdom of thinking: The wisdom obtained through the thought process of the Buddha's teachings that enlightens more wisdom. This is the next stage of wisdom, thinking about what has been heard and read ... That is thinking about the teaching of the Four Noble Truth, the Twelve Causes and Conditions... relative to people and things.
* Wisdom of the Practice: When you have the wisdom of hearing, the wisdom of thinking, then apply that wisdom to your life and practice through meditation to experience the truth of the dharmas. It is through true wisdom that one has the right wisdom, realizing the ultimate Nirvana. It is this wisdom that penetrates into the selfless reality of dharmas that the Buddha possessed on the night of his enlightenment.
The benefit of taking refuge in the Buddha Jewel or cultivating wisdom is inconceivable for present and future life. That is why Buddhism takes wisdom as a career. If you want to build a life of complete happiness and peace for yourself and for others, if you want to understand yourself and others, you must have the wisdom to contemplate, if you want to step on the shore of enlightenment and liberation, wisdom is the decisive factor. Practicing wisdom will bring many benefits. However, in summary, there are practical benefits that are evident through the following points:
* Use the wisdom to remove Defilement
Defilement is a fire that is always dormant and burns within you at any time. It has the ability to burn away all the good deeds, all the merit that you have created. The practice to step by step eliminate defilements (greed, anger, delusion, conceit, doubt, evil cruel idea... So, what do you use to eliminate the afflictions? The answer is:
- Wisdom.  
Buddhism uses only a sword of wisdom and recognizes only one enemy that is ignorance. This is obvious proof, not a mere statement. And Buddhism places the knowledge by experience above knowledge through books and thoughts. Buddhism builds a peaceful and happy life by wisdom, not by faith. Faith for Buddhism is only the first step in the process of enlightenment. Such is the essence of Buddhism.
         The ultimate benefit of wisdom is to enable the practitioner to clearly see human life and the universe as they really are, that is to see dependent origination, impermanent and non-self through the teachings of the Four Noble Truths and Dependent Origination. Because of seeing like this, the practitioner is confident in his ability to transform his delusions of enlightenment. Wisdom opens the door to freedom, away from the suffering caused by clinging, not seeing the self and our self. From there, being able to enter into the true likeliness, is the wisdom of the self mind, of the original face, is the eternal Buddha-nature. So when you take refuge in the Buddha, you have to return to clear wisdom nature.
          2. Take Refuge To Dharma Jewel
          The Dharma is the teachings of the Buddha, which are the methods for Buddhist learners to rely on to practice, which can be divided into three types: The Truth Dharma or Ultimate Dharma, the Middle Way, and Dharma of Liberation.
When you take refuge in the Dharma are you return to take refuge in the teaching of the Buddha, which is meant to relieve suffering, these Dharmas are like medicines to eliminate suffering. And these are the cultivation method to go to Buddha fruit, roughly such the Tripitaka:  Sutra, Vinaya, and Abhidharma.
          Regarding the Dharma, the Tripitaka of Buddhism scriptures is full of mottos, capable of bringing sentient beings out of delusion and stepping on the shore of enlightenment. In the Agama Sutra there are mentioned five functions of the Dharma:
1. Be practical in the present
2. Make people see their own nature
3. Able to help sentient beings reach Buddha Fruit:
- I am the Buddha, you will be the Buddha.
4. Beyond time and space
5. Practice has immediate results.
Buddha's teaching is handed down from generation to generation to help people rely on that place to practice to achieve peace and liberation, so it's called Dharma. Thus the Dharma is the focus of the Buddha. The Buddha preached the Dharma by word of mouth, later recorded in writing, all of which are interpretations of the word Dharma. The purpose is to convey thoughts, feelings to all beings, to help the state of mind of all species to concentrate, to focus on one object, and to have a certain expression so that the mind is not agitated, many disturbances, or divided due to the subjective and objective influences. That is samadhi.
The practice of Mahayana meditation is to use the wisdom of prajna to reflect on the emptiness of the five aggregates(self, other people, living beings, life span), to end ignorance, obstacles, and Delusion of dust and sand obstacle, and to save all sentience beings become enlightened.
This method of meditation practice is based on the Sutra of the Diamond Cutter of Supreme Wisdom, the Suramgama Sutra, the Engaku-Kyo or Sutra Of Perfect Enlightenment, the Avatamsaka or Flower Ornament Sutra, and the Suddharma-Pundarika Sutra or The Lotus Sutra, etc,  which meditates on the four sentence verses, Three insights in One Thought, Six Perfections, Six Paramitas or Six Virtues of Perfection, Ten Paramitas, not accepting both sides, not accepting yes, not accepting no.
Practicing Mahayana meditation is concentration on the moving scene, taking life in society as the environment to practice and transform sentient beings. The place of the liberation of the Mahayana in the meditative state is a non-abiding in Nirvana, up to the Ten Stages of Boddhisattvas, they can break a part of ignorance, realize a part of the dharmakaya, until they become fully enlightened, that is the Buddha.
So you take refuge in the Dharma Jewel which means that you follow these practices to reach the state of concentration, These practices allow people which high capacities, active interests, compassion for sentient beings, often rolling around in the world living in a society where their mind always at peace 
3. Taking Refuge in Sangha Jewel
The Sangha is a harmonious and pure group, sharing the same ideal towards enlightenment and liberation. These are the monks and Nuns who practice pure morality, have left all material pleasures, and turned to the path of light able to replace the Buddha to lead sentient beings on the path, in harmony and sharing with others what they have received. Roughly speaking, it is living according to the law of six harmonies. Being a monk must demonstrate through five things: 
a- Determine the ideal of the monastic.
b- The Sangha's body is wisdom, liberation, purity, and harmony.
c- As a Monk or Nun they must practice Dharma, which is expressed through body practicing the four positions: Walking, standing, lying down, sitting, and practicing the Dharma with spiritual life.
d- The virtuous life of a monastic must have noble qualities full of Buddha-nature through body, speech, and mind.
e- The decision must have results after a journey of practice.
You take refuge in the Sangha because the Sangha represents the Buddha and the Dharma to spread and spread the method of saving suffering. In other words, you accept to keep the precepts so that you live a peaceful life. Because precepts have the function of:
* To guard against wrongdoing, to stop all evil, also means to stop doing all evil, to do all good things. The above is to talk about the general meaning of precepts.
* The precept means to subdue, to control. Conquer here with the meanings of control by awareness, control by right view, control by patience, control by right effort, etc. The aim is to attain the purity of the three karmas.
Precepts are also synonymous with morality and ethics, how to behave the life in an upward direction, etc. In the Angutaranikaya, 3B, page 73 The Buddha taught 10 purposes of forming precept as follows:
1- For the Sangha flourish
2. For the Sangha to be safe
3. To stop those who are difficult to tame
4. For good bhikkhu to live in peace
5. To overcome the afflictions in the present
6. To stop future afflictions
7. To bring pure and legitimate faith to those who do not believe
8. To increase the pure and righteous faith for those who already have faith.
9. Let the Dharma exist
10. Let the precept be accepted
With the above conditions, you see that the purpose of forming the precepts is also to prevent evil, to do, and to increase the good deeds. As the Vinaya said:
The precepts are for control, restraint is for not regretting, no regrets is for joy, joy is for happy, happy is to be leisure, leisure is for peace,  peace is for concentration, samadhi is to gain the right view, right view is to be free from covetousness, not to seek is gain detachment from greed, detachment from greed for liberation, liberated to have liberated knowledge, liberated knowledge to go to nirvana. 
According to the Mahayana point of view, precepts are of three types
* Maintain all precepts purely without violating a single one.
Strictly observe the precepts created by the Buddha, it is the precepts that have specific precepts to practice according to the spiritual levels, including the precepts of the lay and the monastics. These are the Five Precepts, the Eight Precepts, and the Ten good precepts for lay Buddhists. The ten commands for the new ordained and the ten precepts are taken by the novice nun, the novice observer has six more precepts. There are two hundred fifty precepts for Bhikkhus, there are three hundred forty-eight precepts for Bhikkhunis, and for Boddhisattvas(at home and in the monastic life) there are ten important precepts and forty-eight minor precepts.
* Maintain wholesome precepts
The precept to do all good things means that the practitioner is dedicated to practicing perfect deeds, considering it also a form of precept practice.
* Maintain pure precepts
Precepts to benefit the community which includes all living beings means to develop the compassionate nature to want to benefit and aid all sentient beings. Say another way, that is taking actions criteria for the benefit of other and sentient beings as a precept.
Precepts are placed on the basis of keeping the body and mind pure, gradually eliminating defilements, greed, hatred, and delusion. The precept in Buddhism is humanistic, that is the spirit of flexibility in distinguishing each type: Contempt, respect, nature, and marks, or in each case there is a way to behave in accordance with the precepts: Declaration, pretend, maintenance, and offense. Therefore, the discipline in Buddhism is not as rigid and extreme as some other religions. This spirit is consistent with the Buddhist view of being free from obstructions and dependent but unchanging, or Buddhadharma without any dharmas.
Precepts are also set on the basis of self-benefit and others' benefit, self-purification, also to purify all individuals in the community, and purifying the country. If you properly observe the precepts, it also means contributing to the sanctification of the people's lives.
The benefit of keeping the precepts: It is the first step of the path to enlightenment, the foundation of meditation and wisdom, the necklace of pearl to adorn the dharma body, the boat to bring people through the ocean of sufferings of birth and death,  is a  treasure of immeasurable merit.
So you take refuge in the Sangha, or in other words, you voluntarily put yourself in a precept framework to control your body and mind.
Sentient beings from many eons up to now, because of their delusions misguided paths, are rotated in the six paths, living in a pool of tears of pain and mud of desire. In the dark scene of unfinished joy and sorrow, even more, sorrowful, who is a little awakened and wants to return to the pure and peaceful source? But how to escape? Know where to take refuge?
* According to the Buddha, sentient beings want to leave the wharf of suffering and return the source of joy, only to taking refuge in Three Jewels. Taking refuge to the Three Jewels or you are determined to make an appointment with yourself put yourself in a legal framework, Buddhism called precepts, which is taking refuge in the Sangha.
Due to following the principles in practice, the mind becomes mature, no longer wandering around, that is you have been taken refuge in the Dharma.  
Once the mind becomes calm and quiet, wisdom will also arise from that, which is when you have taken refuge in the Buddha Treasure.
So, taking refuge in Three Jewels or in other words, when you make a vow to practice the precepts, concentration, and wisdom, you still start from the basics of studying Buddhism and believing in Buddha, but after entering the Buddha's door, you must not leave this foundation but must go from this basic step by step to go up. Therefore, the Three refuges are not only the basis of the precepts but also the basis of the daily practice of Buddhist followers. During the morning and evening sutras chanting of the temples, there is Three Refuge, all the Buddhist work also takes The Three Refuge as the foundation.  
          In the Theravada Buddhist countries, they attach great importance to the Three Refuges, taking the chanting of the Three Refuge as the basis of practice, and taking the chanting of Three Refuge as a vow. Thus, taking refuge in the Three Jewel is both a ritual and an inner feeling when taking refuge in the Three Jewel, which means that the mouth must be read, the body must be respectful, and the mind must also think. It is still mainly from the inside that receiving refuge is called the body precept, the body precept needs to be transmitted by the person who has taken refuge in the Three Jewels, Which means the monastic master. This is the inheritance of the dharma sect system. As an ordinary person, it is impossible without the master to prove himself. Therefore, taking refuge in the Three Jewel can't just be in front of Buddha and Boddhisatva images and vow to accept and uphold it, so it takes a teacher to transmit the Three Refuge.
          So you do not take the Three Refuge, but want to become a true Buddhist follower is impossible. If you only believe in the Buddha and Dharma without respecting the Sangha, then you destroy the fundamentality of the Buddhadharma, because the Sangha and Three Jewels are inseparable. Therefore, the person who destroyed the Buddhadharma at the time could not get good results, so when you have believed in the Three Jewels, you must take refuge in the Three Jewels.
          In fact, the tendency of taking refuge begins with taking refuge in the Three Jewels, believing in the Three Jewels, relying on the Three Jewels to generate your mind and guide you to the path of liberation and towards nirvana. But when you aim for nirvana, your own body is the body of the Three Jewels, because all sentient beings have Buddha-nature, because of the delusion of karma, you can't see your Buddha-nature. The purpose of taking refuge in the Three Jewels is to seek the manifestation of Buddha-nature because all sentient beings are like Buddhas, it is only because of ignorance that they lost their nature, so they wander in samsara, forgetting the way to return, so the call is a sentient being. If you return in time to take refuge with the Three Jewels, it will be like a romantic man returning to his homeland.
          Therefore, you need to advise everyone in the world to take refuge in the Three jewels, whether someone who believes in Buddha or is preparing to believe in Buddha or pretends to be someone standing outside the Buddha's door to observe, even people who follow other religions, you are still willing to invite them, ignore the inherent prejudice or the religion they are following, let them try to take refuge with the Three Jewels once, they will see the great benefits and true freedom. Once they have taken refuge in the Three Jewels, unless their true mind is obscured by demonic obstructions, they will never lose heart towards the Three Jewels.
The benefit of taking refuge in the Three Jewels are many, one can pray for a peaceful present life, one can pray for a peaceful next life, one can also obtain the ultimate peace of purity nirvana from here. There are eight benefits:
          1. Become a disciple of Buddha
          2. This is the foundation of ordination.
          3. Can eliminate the karma
          4. Can accumulate great merit
          5. Do not fall into the evil path
          6. Humans and non-humans cannot do harm
          7. Can succeed in all great things
          8. Can become a Buddha
        Thus, with an extended meaning, Three Jewels imply precepts, concentration, and wisdom:
          * Buddha Treasure is wisdom
          * Dharma Treasure  is a concentration
          * Sangha Treasure is the precept
          In short, although taking refuge in the Three jewels is only the first step in the process of learning and practicing, how can you take the next step if you don't have the first step? The Buddha's disciples take the precept and rank them, so taking refuge in the Three Jewels is the most basic thing to follow before taking the five precepts, the eight precepts, the ten precepts, the Bhikkhu precepts, the Bhikkhuni precepts, and Bhodhisatva precepts. All dharma precepts take refuge in The Three jewels as the basic foundation. In other words, the purpose of taking refuge in the Three Jewels is to seek the manifestation of your Buddha nature through the path of precepts, concentration, and wisdom  
          Even though the life span in the heavens is greater than that of a human, but at some point, it will come to an end, once the blessings of heaven are exhausted, you will inevitably fall into the three evil paths, so heaven is not a stable refuge. Only by taking refuge in the Three Jewels can you step by step get rid of suffering and come to the path of liberation, salvation, and peace. The whole of Buddhism is the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha is the Three Jewels.
          Therefore, only finding the way back, returning home is called true refuge, and if it is only a temporary place to stop, it is not a true refuge.
By righteous belief in the Three Jewels with the virtues of enlightenment, liberation, compassion, equality, purity, and harmony, the Three Jewels are the power to help all sentient beings have an orientation free from wrong views mistakes, stubborn delusions lead to the path of suffering. Therefore, as a Buddhist, you must have a correct perception of the Three Jewels on which you rely. Only then will the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha be useful to life, and righteous faith will have the opportunity to shine.
          So coming to the Three Jewels is to learn and apply the practice to avoid all mistakes when you live in conditions far from the Buddha and the Patriarch. Because only the way you get the truth is the way to create true faith:
          - Come to see, not come to believe. 
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