Refuge Puja

 Devotional text focusing on Going for Refuge within the Triratna Buddhist Community.

 

 

A Buddha has arisen in this world!

The Path to the Deathless is open!

The true Sangha can yet be found

Amongst mankind!

 

My own kind teacher

Has brought the Three Jewels

Even to me!

Burning through the ages,

The Dharma’s flame,

Has lit the hearts of millions.

Burning in that fire

Many have attained

The highest wisdom.

Through their inspiration

The flame of the Dharma

Burns brightly now

Even for me.

 

My gratitude overflows

To the Buddha,

To the great teacher

Who taught the end of suffering

In the bliss of understanding.

I worship him with all I have.

I offer him now

These few flowers,

This incense and these candles;

Let them stand

For all I will give.

In gratitude to you,

Oh Great Shakyamuni,

I will make your name known

Throughout the world.

I will build countless temples,

Shining with beauty,

Where your gracious image

Shall be enthroned,

Where constant worship

Shall be paid to you.

In gratitude to you

I shall bring to every land

The pure essential Dharma.

I shall make the sacred scriptures known

In every human tongue.

I shall myself expound

Your wondrous teaching

In beautiful, inviting words

Which all may understand,

Clearly expressing,

Dharma’s true meaning.

In gratitude to you

I shall create

Communities of friends,

Devotees of the truth,

Who together shall fulfil

Your ideal of Sangha.

Through my efforts,

All mankind shall live

In sight of the spiritual community,

Able to unite with it

When they wish.

All this I shall do

Out of wonder and gratitude

For all you have given

To all mankind,

Even to me.

You are the supreme one,

To whom all life leads.

For you have attained

Life’s final meaning.

You have all goodness,

All truth and all love,

Yes, all supreme virtues

Are effortlessly yours.

My life’s fulfilment

Is found only in you.

And all I can give you

Is all that I am.

My life from this moment

Is an offering to you.

Take it, Oh take it!

Great Hero, please take it,

All that I am

I give now to you.

 

 

GRATITUDE TO OUR TEACHERS

The Dharma has come even to me!

How wonderful!

A path has been opened

Which I too can follow.

My own precious teacher,

Urgyen Sangharakshita,

You have made it possible

Even for me

To follow the Buddha and his Dharma.

My teacher,

You have made the path so clear.

You have created the Sangha

Which I too can join.

How wonderful!

In gratitude to you

I will do all I can

To make your teachings known.

I will be loyal to you

And to your teaching.

I will give all I have

To continue the great work

You have begun.

And to you,

My teacher’s teachers,

I pay all homage.

To the Greatly Precious Jamyang Khyentse

Chokyi Lodro,

To the Greatly Precious One from Dhartsendo,

To Venerable Kachu Rimpoche,

To Dudjom Rimpoche and Dilgo Khyentse

Rimpoche,

To Chetul Sangye Dorje and Hermit Chen,

And to the Venerable Jagdish Kashyap,

To all of you I pay profound homage.

I worship and thank you

For all you gave my teacher

And thus gave me.

I will be worthy of what you taught

And I will pass on your teachings

To those who come after me.

 

 

TAKING REFUGE FROM SUFFERING

Suffering is part of life,

Knowing this,

I go for refuge to the Three Jewels,

Seeking the endless delight

Of truth’s pure realm.

Everywhere I look I see suffering.

Birth is suffering:

A mother cries out in childbirth

And her baby screams with rage and pain.

Knowing this,

I see no lasting happiness in this life.

So I go for refuge

To the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

My birth I will take

In the noble family of the conquerors.

I will become

A son of the Buddha.

My mother shall be

Highest Wisdom-knowledge.

My first sound shall be

A paeon of bliss,

My next a cry of love.

Disease is suffering:

Sickness twists and tortures

Sapping the strength

And filling the body with pain,

Whether dull or sharp.

No one is free from sickness.

Knowing this,

I see no lasting happiness in this life.

So I go for refuge

To the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

I will attain

The rainbow body of a Buddha.

Bliss shall flow in my veins,

And my merit and knowledge

Shall burn up sickness.

 

Old age is suffering:

As we grow old

Our nimble limbs

And youthful minds,

Grow slack and dull.

The body slows

And the memory thickens,

Clogged with too much living.

Twisted and hobbling

Desire outruns performance.

With nothing to show for life

We can only glory

In our grandchildren.

Knowing this,

I see no lasting happiness in this life.

So I go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

I shall place myself

Beyond corruption

In the sphere of the Dharma

Where I shall never grow old.

And I shall watch my little ones,

Descendents of my Dharma,

With happiness and ease.

 

Life is full of woe:

Millions are wracked with hunger,

Tortured by drought and famine.

Millions live in harshest poverty,

Never knowing how to keep alive.

Millions are caught up in cruel war

Or live in terror of despotic power.

Many, at this very moment,

Are being tortured or walled up

By their own kind.

Accidents and misfortunes

Befall millions every day.

We may never know such horror

In our own lives –

Yet again we may.

We are never secure,

For they are part of life.

Knowing this,

I see no lasting happiness in this life.

So I go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

 

And I shall play

With the noble ones,

The glorious Bodhisattvas,

Who, in compassion,

Enter this suffering realm

Yet stay in happiness.

Life is full of partings:

From anyone we meet

We must be parted;

From this there is no escape.

Friends and relations,

Mother and father,

Sons and daughters,

All will be parted from us

If not in life

Then at death.

Grief and lamentation

Are part of life.

Knowing this,

I see no lasting happiness in this life.

So I go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

 

And I shall glory

In the noble Sangha,

Jewels in the net of Indra,

Forever themselves,

Yet for ever in communion,

Which no parting can divide.

All that lives must die:

Every beginning has an ending

And every breathing thing

Must die.

Of all I know in life

Of this alone can I be sure

– That I must die.

I too must die,

Inevitably, finally, I too must die.

My last day

Will be a day like any other,

But I will die

And life will continue without me.

Knowing this,

I see no lasting happiness in this life.

So I go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

 

And I shall find my throne

In the realm beyond death

Where there is neither ending

Nor beginning,

And where each moment

Has no end.

 

Suffering comes from craving:

Because I want I suffer.

I suffer when I do not get

What I long for.

I suffer when I get

What I do not want.

I suffer when my plans fail.

I suffer when I lose what I crave.

I suffer when I find what I hate.

I suffer when I have what I want

Through fear of losing it

And I suffer through fear

Of getting what I do not want.

I can never rest secure in happiness,

Knowing always

That pain and suffering lie in wait.

Knowing this,

I see no lasting happiness in this life.

So I go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

 

And I shall long only to see the Buddha

And gain the endless delight

Of gazing on him.

I shall long only to hear the Dharma

The sound which fills all hunger.

And I shall long only to dwell with the Sangha

And feel always the happiness

Of complete fulfilment.

 

Life itself is suffering.

To be amidst duality is suffering.

To have my mind

Cramped and confined

Between the poles of life

Is nothing but suffering.

To condemn my own mind,

Which is free and open as the sky,

To the narrowness of ordinary thought

Is very suffering itself.

To condemn myself,

Who have the destiny of Buddhahood,

To this narrow, dusty sphere of self,

Is so much suffering.

Knowing this,

I see no lasting happiness in this life.

So I go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

 

And I shall take my stand

In Emptiness, needing nothing,

Revelling in the joy

Of my own free mind;

Glorying in the bliss

Of my own clear mind;

Delighting in the ecstasy

Of my own pure mind;

Wondering at the mystery

Of my own void mind.

 

 

CONSIDERING THE CONSEQUENCES OF ACTIONS

Great Shakyamuni,

Knower of the world,

You have shown

That all things arise

In dependence on conditions.

The world around me

And my own self

All arise from conditions.

Nothing is independent,

Nothing is isolated,

Nothing produces itself.

All experience,

Inner and outer,

Is nothing but the play of conditions.

Like clouds rolling across

The vast expanse of sky,

The ten thousand things roll by,

Empty of substance.

Like a glorious rainbow,

Shimmering in the sunlit rain,

My life shimmers

Between birth and death.

Like the stars flickering

On the silvery surface of a lake,

My world flickers faintly

In my mind.

Like smoke twisting

From a dampened fire,

Shapes without shape

Form and reform around me.

Like an airy bubble,

Iridescent and fragile,

My life floats

On the winds of my karma.

All that I now am

And all that I perceive

Arises from what I have done before.

What I do, say, and think now

Creates tomorrow’s world.

Knowing this,

I will keep the precepts,

I will make merit,

Which I will give freely to all.

 

When I act with greed,

With craving and rapaciousness

Possessing my mind,

Then I make for myself

The tortures of famine and thirst

In the realm of the pretas.

Knowing this,

I will keep the precepts,

I will make merit,

Which I will give freely to all.

 

When I act with hatred,

With malice and resentment

Possessing my mind,

Then I make for myself,

The unending torment of hell.

Knowing this,

I will keep the precepts,

I will make merit,

Which I will give freely to all.

 

When I act with ignorance,

With foolishness and stupidity

Possessing my mind,

Then I make for myself,

The life of an animal,

Forever lost in fear and drudgery,

Living only to survive.

Knowing this,

I will keep the precepts,

I will make merit,

Which I will give freely to all.

 

When I act with jealousy,

With envy and covetousness

Possessing my mind,

Then I make for myself,

The realm of the Titans,

Lost in fury and pain.

Knowing this,

I will keep the precepts,

I will make merit,

Which I will give freely to all.

 

When I act with open-handedness,

With generosity and gratitude

Filling my mind,

Then I create for myself,

A life that is truly human,

Full of peace and poetry and friendship.

Knowing this,

I will keep the precepts,

I will make merit,

Which I will give freely to all.

 

When I act with love,

With friendliness and sympathy,

Filling my mind,

Then I create for myself,

The life of a being of light,

Enjoying always the bliss of fellowship,

And the happiness of Sangha.

Knowing this,

I will keep the precepts,

I will make merit,

Which I will give freely to all.

 

When I act with wisdom,

With understanding and discernment

Filling my mind,

Then I create for myself,

The Dharmafarer’s life,

A life that is deep and rich and full.

Knowing this,

I will keep the precepts,

I will make merit,

Which I will give freely to all.

 

Every time I move and act,

Every time I utter one word,

Every time I think one thought,

The gates of heaven and hell open,

And I shape again my destiny.

Knowing this,

I will keep the precepts,

I will make merit,

Which I will give freely to all.

 

I will make merit now,

While I have life and liberty.

When I come to die,

The time will have passed.

Only the good I do now

Will help me then.

Knowing this,

I will keep the precepts,

I will make merit,

Which I will give freely to all.

 

 

THIS PRECIOUS OPPORTUNITY

What deeds have I done

To have found myself here

In this human life?

Amidst all the evil

I have created,

The foolish actions,

I have performed,

I must have laid

The roots of great merit.

For I have been born

Into this human world.

I have somehow attained

This precious human birth.

For this lifetime at least

I have avoided

The twilight realms

Of gods and demons,

Devils and ghosts

In which the unending moment

Of pain or pleasure

Drowns out all willing.

 

My body is whole

And I have all my senses.

I can see and think and talk.

I am not locked up

In the hell of madness,

I am aware of myself,

Can reason and feel,

I am not locked up

In endless childhood.

I am free,

No-one compels or restrains me.

I live in a land of justice and peace,

Where the law protects me.

I live in a land

Where culture and knowledge

Are easy of access

And where thought is free

Without persecution.

I live in an era

When a Buddha has appeared,

And Truth’s path is open.

I live at a time

When the Dharma is known

And shines out through the ages.

I live at a time

When great heroes have lived

Who have practised the Dharma

And realised its essence,

Who in their great kindness

Have proclaimed it for all.

I live at a time

When I can hear the Dharma

And have leisure and freedom

To practise it myself.

I live at a time

When a great teacher has arisen,

Proclaiming the essence,

From all schools and traditions,

Of the Buddha’s great teaching.

A teacher who knows

The Dharma’s true meaning;

Who has seen the primacy

Of Going for refuge;

Who bridges the cultures

Of East and West;

Who has made possible

A true Dharmafaring

For me even today;

Who has created a movement,

Our precious Triratna,

In which all men and women

Can find their fulfilment;

Who has founded an Order,

The excellent Triratna Buddhist Order,

A true spiritual community,

A Sangha of those

Who take as their Refuge

The Three precious Jewels.

Oh my Bhante,

Urgyen Sangharakshita,

Such is my fortune

To live when you live.

Such is my fortune

To have heard your teaching,

To have you as my friend;

And how great is my fortune

To follow your precepts,

To practise your teachings,

To Go for Refuge

With you as my guide.

Oh how great is my fortune!

How great, how truly great!

 

I have brothers and sisters,

Real Dharmacharis,

Who practise the Dharma

Just as I do;

Who honour and respect me

As I honour them.

I have friends in the Sangha

Who help and support me;

By my friendship with them,

Working together,

Together we realise,

The highest of goals.

I have work for the Dharma,

Which is useful and fulfilling;

I have a path and a practice

By which I am growing

Nearer and nearer

The goal of my life.

When I think of my fortune,

My great good fortune,

I am filled with gladness

And my gratitude flows

To all who have helped me.

So much help I have had,

So much guidance and help;

Without all this help,

Alone and unfriended,

I could never have come

To this great good fortune,

This moment so rich

In highest opportunity.

And yet when I think

Of the chances of fate,

I know that this moment

Can be easily lost.

Chances and accidents

Can easily divert me;

Fortune’s ill chances

Can twist me away;

Always behind me

Death is awaiting,

Waiting his chance

To whisk me away.

So I will seize now

This great opportunity.

From this time onwards,

Now and for ever,

To the Buddha for refuge I go,

To the Dharma for refuge I go,

To the Sangha for refuge I go.

 

 

GOING FORTH AND GOING FOR REFUGE

When I think of the truth

Of this world with its suffering,

I know that full satisfaction,

Lasting and deep,

Can never be found here.

Pleasure there is,

And joy and delight,

But always, Oh always,

Suffering is there.

Nothing, here is nothing

Which can give me true meaning;

Nothing, here is nothing

Which can make me complete.

I turn then with revulsion

From all this that only traps me.

I turn then for refuge

To the Transcendent Three Jewels.

The Buddha is my refuge,

Now and forever,

Teacher and guide,

Exemplar and proof.

The Dharma is my refuge,

Now and forever,

The path and the teaching

To life’s true meaning.

And the Sangha is my refuge,

Now and forever,

The glorious company

Of spiritual friends.

Taking these as my refuge,

Leaving all else behind me,

Onward I go.

Family and relations,

The group and society,

Fame and fortune,

Wealth and possessions,

And worldly renown:

All this I abandon,

False refuges they are.

The Three jewels alone

I take as my refuge,

Now and forever.

Instead of this round

Of meaningless suffering

I will experience

The spiritual path.

Enlightenment is

And I can attain it!

The Buddha has shown it

And my faith is in him.

With my teacher as guide,

Following his teachings,

I can attain

What the Buddha attained.

I have faith in my teacher,

A true spiritual guide,

And I know that his teachings

Will lead me to truth.

This movement he founded,

To which I proudly belong,

Promises a world renewed

In which all can find their worth.

This Order he created

Is a true spiritual community

And in it I can find

Friendship, real and deep.

 

From this my strong conviction

Opens up the path entire.

Out of my faith there flowers

Innocent delight,

And from delight comes ecstasy,

Then serenity and bliss,

And deepest samadhi.

And then there dawns

That wondrous knowledge

Which frees me from the world:

Knowledge of life as it really is.

 

And I will break

The fetters by which I bind myself

To this life of suffering.

I will burst through habit,

The trick whereby I fool myself

That I shall live forever,

This habitual self-view

Which hides life’s richness from me.

 

And I will shatter vagueness,

The dark cloud of ignorance

In which I hide.

 

And I will burst through superficiality,

The shallow view

That mere performance is enough.

I will win the stream

That leads onward to Enlightenment.

 

 

THE ARISING OF THE BODHICITTA

When I look around me

I see a world of pain.

So many beings suffering,

So many caught in woe.

The little pain I feel

Is but a tiny drop

In the vast unending ocean

In which beings drown each day.

How can I abandon

My fellows to their fate?

How can I ignore the pain

Which, like me, so many feel?

But can I really help them?

How can I appease their pain?

 

I have the Buddha,

And the Dharma, and the Sangha,

It is these all beings need.

Yet alone I can do so little,

What use is my petty aid?

But I have the Order,

A seed of highest Sangha.

Through our faith and practice,

Through our study and reflection,

Through our love and friendship,

Through our work and effort,

May we burst the bonds of self.

May we attain the non-dual mind,

May all my brothers and sisters

Attain that glorious state

So we are joined in perfect harmony.

May the Bodhicitta arise within our Order.

May we together become the Bodhisattva,

A Transcendental power

Loose in the world;

Wisdom and compassion unleashed,

Incarnate in us.

May our work be for the good of all.

May all benefit from what we do.

May we spread knowledge of Buddhahood

Throughout this world.

May we bring the Dharma to all

In every tongue and culture.

Through our efforts

May all find contact with the Sangha.

Through our united efforts

May peace, skilfulness and friendship,

Beauty, understanding and happiness

Flower amongst mankind.

By the Bodhisattva’s play,

Manifesting through our Order.

May all beings worship the Buddhas;

May all practise the Dharma;

May all join the Sangha.

May all the limitless beings

In the vastness of space and time,

Reach perfect Buddhahood

 

 

CONCLUDING MANTRAS

 

OM MANI PADME HUM

OM A RA PA CA NA DHIH

OM VAJRAPANI HUM

OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SVAHA

OM AMIDEVA HRIH

OM MUNI MUNI MAHA MUNI SHAKYA MUNI SVAHA

OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM

GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI

 

Author: Mahabodhi

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