Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

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Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Norden » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:13 am

Hello guys,

In Christian, it's called Baptist, in Buddhism is Trisarana, is prerequisite to become a Buddhist. However, as far as I am aware Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism, at least from what I experienced, slightly different from other tradition i.e. was asked to cut a little bit of finger nail and hair, do the ritual and chanting in Tibetan. Does this signify something and if this has connection with early Tibetan Buddhism history i.e. Bon or other animism element? We know finger nail and hair contain DNA, if that makes any sense. And how for example if a person that has been Trisarana this way wish to change to other religion in the future? Of course we can just change to any religion we want but just wondering if you guys have any thought?

Does anyone has similar experience, please share? Thanks.
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby dzoki » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:23 am

Norden wrote:Hello guys,

In Christian, it's called Baptist, in Buddhism is Trisarana, is prerequisite to become a Buddhist. However, as far as I am aware Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism, at least from what I experienced, slightly different from other tradition i.e. was asked to cut a little bit of finger nail and hair, do the ritual and chanting in Tibetan. Does this signify something and if this has connection with early Tibetan Buddhism history i.e. Bon or other animism element? We know finger nail and hair contain DNA, if that makes any sense. And how for example if a person that has been Trisarana this way wish to change to other religion in the future? Of course we can just change to any religion we want but just wondering if you guys have any thought?

Does anyone has similar experience, please share? Thanks.


I have never seen or heard about cutting off a piece of finger nail, who did a refuge ceremony for you (if you can share this)? Cutting a piece of hair is a symbol of renouncing samsara, becuase Buddha Shakyamuni (Gautama Siddhartha) when he decided to enter a spiritual life he cut his hair in front of an ancient stupa tu signify that he leaves his worldly status behind (kshatriyas were keeping theirhair long in ancient India).

Taking refuge vows in formal way is only an outer thing it does not really make one a practitioner of buddhadharma. One should really understand the meaning of these vows and the meaning of refuge as such it is not about joining some club or a religion. Basically we can say that taking refuge means that we have decided to walk the path of liberation in order to become free from suffering. Since we have made this decision we are followers of Dharma, which also means that we will from now on try to never harm other beings and we will do our best to root out our dualistic ego clinging and liberate ourselves from our selfcreated prison of samsara. So I would not compare it to baptism. Baptism itself has many different interpretations depending on a particular denomination, but I guess this is for other discussion.
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Norden » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:13 am

dzoki wrote:
Norden wrote:Hello guys,

In Christian, it's called Baptist, in Buddhism is Trisarana, is prerequisite to become a Buddhist. However, as far as I am aware Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism, at least from what I experienced, slightly different from other tradition i.e. was asked to cut a little bit of finger nail and hair, do the ritual and chanting in Tibetan. Does this signify something and if this has connection with early Tibetan Buddhism history i.e. Bon or other animism element? We know finger nail and hair contain DNA, if that makes any sense. And how for example if a person that has been Trisarana this way wish to change to other religion in the future? Of course we can just change to any religion we want but just wondering if you guys have any thought?

Does anyone has similar experience, please share? Thanks.


I have never seen or heard about cutting off a piece of finger nail, who did a refuge ceremony for you (if you can share this)? Cutting a piece of hair is a symbol of renouncing samsara, becuase Buddha Shakyamuni (Gautama Siddhartha) when he decided to enter a spiritual life he cut his hair in front of an ancient stupa tu signify that he leaves his worldly status behind (kshatriyas were keeping theirhair long in ancient India).

Taking refuge vows in formal way is only an outer thing it does not really make one a practitioner of buddhadharma. One should really understand the meaning of these vows and the meaning of refuge as such it is not about joining some club or a religion. Basically we can say that taking refuge means that we have decided to walk the path of liberation in order to become free from suffering. Since we have made this decision we are followers of Dharma, which also means that we will from now on try to never harm other beings and we will do our best to root out our dualistic ego clinging and liberate ourselves from our selfcreated prison of samsara. So I would not compare it to baptism. Baptism itself has many different interpretations depending on a particular denomination, but I guess this is for other discussion.


Hi dzoki,

Oh yes of course, just an example I know Baptism is different.

A piece of hair was cut and finger nails. I've never known this ritual before, usually in other Buddhist tradition nothing like this. I know the external refuge is just a formal way. My concern is, as you said, renouncing samsara. The renounciation in my opinion should come naturally from our own selves, The external factor that is either seen or unseen that influence the practitioner is not what we are looking for. That is why I'm not quite clear the history of this Tibetan Buddhism ritual, what is its origin and history. I'm not saying controlling or influencing people, but certain ritual has been proven may bring this kind of effect to particular people either for positive purpose or negative. The use of spirit beings in animism is very obvious, however I'm not saying anything about Tibetan Buddhism.

I am not really into worldly thing as usual as I am used to be. Don't know if there is any connection to this.

If anyone know or has similar experience, can you please share. And oh the Rinpoche is from Sikkim, India. 12th Incarnation.
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Jangchup Donden » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:59 pm

When I've been to refuge ceremonies (at KTD and KPL), there's no finger nail cutting, but as part of the refuge vow they take a little bit of hair from the top of your head. The reasoning behind this is they take it from the highest point on your body, so it's like offering a bit of the best of yourself.
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Norden » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:20 pm

Jangchup Donden wrote:When I've been to refuge ceremonies (at KTD and KPL), there's no finger nail cutting, but as part of the refuge vow they take a little bit of hair from the top of your head. The reasoning behind this is they take it from the highest point on your body, so it's like offering a bit of the best of yourself.


But it's quite interesting isn't it there is always metaphoric reason behind these activities.
But how far this metaphoric reason is actually 'valid' since there is metaphoric in anything. I can stay awake the whole night because can't sleep but I am also training the mind to keep it 'awake'. Not feel like want to eat but training myself to be less greedy. How far can this goes? And how do we supposed to view this in the perspective of Buddhism?
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Norden » Thu May 02, 2013 2:34 pm

Just try to post info more hopefully get more advise from seniors here. Rinpoche is 12th Zurmang gharwang rinpoche http://www.zurmangkagyud.org It seems quite strange that everyone does not know about the practice of this cutting fingernail and hair. This thread is still open, feel free to reply. Thanks again.
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed url link
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Tom » Thu May 02, 2013 4:14 pm

Norden wrote:Just try to post info more hopefully get more advise from seniors here. Rinpoche is 12th Zurmang gharwang rinpoche [www.zurmangkagyud.org] It seems quite strange that everyone does not know about the practice of this cutting fingernail and hair. This thread is still open, feel free to reply. Thanks again.


Dear Norden,

I know Rinpoche very well and he is a wonderful Lama, and has given the refuge ceremony to thousands of people. He is the supreme lineage holder of Zurmang Kagyu and extremely qualified. Cutting hair is a common part of many refuge ceremonies, however if you have some questions you could ask Rinpoche (see the website you've given or PM me) and I'm sure he would be more than happy to answer them.
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Norden » Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:50 am

Tom wrote:
Norden wrote:Just try to post info more hopefully get more advise from seniors here. Rinpoche is 12th Zurmang gharwang rinpoche [www.zurmangkagyud.org] It seems quite strange that everyone does not know about the practice of this cutting fingernail and hair. This thread is still open, feel free to reply. Thanks again.


Dear Norden,

I know Rinpoche very well and he is a wonderful Lama, and has given the refuge ceremony to thousands of people. He is the supreme lineage holder of Zurmang Kagyu and extremely qualified. Cutting hair is a common part of many refuge ceremonies, however if you have some questions you could ask Rinpoche (see the website you've given or PM me) and I'm sure he would be more than happy to answer them.


Hello Tom,

Thanks for your reply.
I never stated that the Rinpoche is like this or like that. I just want to get the answer or perhaps sharing from other people who know about this ritual. There are not many people see or experience this as something usual, at least from what you see here. Sometimes Rinpoche is quite busy therefore he may not be able to reply all question asked, maybe you can share your knowledge a bit?

Ritual that involving fingernail, hair or other body parts or fluid has been started since ancient time. Some tribes for example Incas, Maori, Indians, Tahitians and many tribes in South Africa, etc. still preserving this practice. The connection between body parts mentioned above and magic and cast spells is almost indivisible. While we aware most ancient ritual performed by many tribes normally is the practice of shamanism. How do we supposed to see it from Buddhist perspective? Why we don't see it in other Buddhist sects? Not to mention we don't even see it in other lineage of Tibetan Buddhism? Thanks.
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby heart » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:30 am

No one removes any body parts at a refuge ceremony, they cut of two hair as a symbol of shaving your hair (becoming a follower of the Buddha). No fingernails are removed.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Norden » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:46 am

heart wrote:No one removes any body parts at a refuge ceremony, they cut of two hair as a symbol of shaving your hair (becoming a follower of the Buddha). No fingernails are removed.

/magnus


So can I say that when you want to become a Buddhist, you attend the ceremony of taking refuge in Triple Gem by cutting your hair But no fingernails is cut?
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby heart » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:12 pm

Norden wrote:
heart wrote:No one removes any body parts at a refuge ceremony, they cut of two hair as a symbol of shaving your hair (becoming a follower of the Buddha). No fingernails are removed.

/magnus


So can I say that when you want to become a Buddhist, you attend the ceremony of taking refuge in Triple Gem by cutting your hair But no fingernails is cut?


Yes, that is how it is, only two or three hairs on the top of your head is cut.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Norden » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:32 pm

Hello guys,

Here I try to post some, still regarding fingernail. If you guys have found new things or explanation please post on this thread, I really look forward to it.
In the meantime here is one of the puja I found:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php? ... 9558119416
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Tom » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:26 am

Norden wrote:Hello guys,

Here I try to post some, still regarding fingernail. If you guys have found new things or explanation please post on this thread, I really look forward to it.
In the meantime here is one of the puja I found:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php? ... 9558119416


Hi Norden,

I didn't realise you were still wondering about this. Gharwang Rinpoche said he does not take fingernails during refuge ceremonies. Sometimes, though he conducts a Tara Puja to ward off illness or harm (called སྒྲོལ་མ་གཡུལ་ཟློགས) in which a fingernail is used as a kind of decoy of yourself to divert obstacles - so maybe this is what you attended.
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Norden » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:11 am

Tom wrote:
Norden wrote:Hello guys,

Here I try to post some, still regarding fingernail. If you guys have found new things or explanation please post on this thread, I really look forward to it.
In the meantime here is one of the puja I found:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php? ... 9558119416


Hi Norden,

I didn't realise you were still wondering about this. Gharwang Rinpoche said he does not take fingernails during refuge ceremonies. Sometimes, though he conducts a Tara Puja to ward off illness or harm (called སྒྲོལ་མ་གཡུལ་ཟློགས) in which a fingernail is used as a kind of decoy of yourself to divert obstacles - so maybe this is what you attended.


Hi Tom,

Thanks for your reply.
It was many years ago, everyone was asked to cut fingernails, what about hair and worn clothes? Participants were asked to gave these also. There was refuge ceremony too including Vajrapani puja and Namgyalma as far as I know. If it's to divert obstacle, what kind of obstacle is this? How do we know if the obstacle is successfully diverted or not? To what extent?

Last but not least, if this kind of puja/ritual can help us to be born again among Buddhists or at least become a human again or not? I view this hair and fingernail as an offering therefore we are somehow 'locked' or in the 'safe position' to be reborn again and again as a human being or maybe become a lama because this is part of us and we make offerings with it, please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks again.
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Re: Trisarana in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Tom » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:13 pm

Norden wrote:
Tom wrote:
Norden wrote:Hello guys,

Here I try to post some, still regarding fingernail. If you guys have found new things or explanation please post on this thread, I really look forward to it.
In the meantime here is one of the puja I found:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php? ... 9558119416


Hi Norden,

I didn't realise you were still wondering about this. Gharwang Rinpoche said he does not take fingernails during refuge ceremonies. Sometimes, though he conducts a Tara Puja to ward off illness or harm (called སྒྲོལ་མ་གཡུལ་ཟློགས) in which a fingernail is used as a kind of decoy of yourself to divert obstacles - so maybe this is what you attended.


Hi Tom,

Thanks for your reply.
It was many years ago, everyone was asked to cut fingernails, what about hair and worn clothes? Participants were asked to gave these also. There was refuge ceremony too including Vajrapani puja and Namgyalma as far as I know. If it's to divert obstacle, what kind of obstacle is this? How do we know if the obstacle is successfully diverted or not? To what extent?

Last but not least, if this kind of puja/ritual can help us to be born again among Buddhists or at least become a human again or not? I view this hair and fingernail as an offering therefore we are somehow 'locked' or in the 'safe position' to be reborn again and again as a human being or maybe become a lama because this is part of us and we make offerings with it, please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks again.


The ceremony in which the fingernail is used is intended to remove obstacles like sickness and other mundane problems. However, the purpose is not related to future rebirths. The hair and piece of clothing are used for the same reason.
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