What in your opinion is the minimum to be called a "Buddhist"?
Then Jivaka Komarabhacca went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Lord, to what extent is one a lay follower?"
"Jivaka, when one has gone to the Buddha for refuge, has gone to the Dhamma for refuge, and has gone to the Sangha for refuge, then to that extent is one a lay follower."
The Sutra Spoken By The Sixth Patriarch On The High Seat Of The Treasure Of The Law"
Hereafter, let the Enlightened One be our teacher; on no account should we accept Mara (the personification of evil) or any heretic as our guide. This we should testify to ourselves by constantly appealing to the 'Three Gems' of our Essence of Mind, in which, Learned Audience, I advise you to take refuge. They are:--
Buddha, which stands for Enlightenment.
Dharma, which stands for Orthodoxy.
Sangha, (the Order) which stands for Purity.
To let our mind take refuge in 'Enlightenment', so that evil and delusive notions do not arise, desire decreases, discontent is unknown, and lust and greed no longer bind, this is the culmination of Punya and Prajna.
To let our mind take refuge in 'Orthodoxy' so that we are always free from wrong views (for without wrong views there would be no egotism, arrogance, or craving), this is the best way to get rid of desire.
To let our mind take refuge in 'Purity' so that no matter in what circumstances it may be it will not be contaminated by wearisome sense-objects, craving and desire, this is the noblest quality of mankind.
To practice the Threefold Guidance in the way above mentioned means to take refuge in oneself (i.e., in one's own Essence of Mind). Ignorant persons take the Threefold Guidance day and night but do not understand it. If they say they take refuge in Buddha, do they know where He is? Yet if they cannot see Buddha, how can they take refuge in Him? Does not such an assertion amount to a lie?
Learned Audience, each of you should consider and examine this point for yourself, and let not your energy be misapplied. The Sutra distinctly says that we should take refuge in the Buddha within ourselves; it does not suggest that we should take refuge in other Buddhas. (Moreover), if we do not take refuge in the Buddha within ourselves, there is no other place for us to retreat.
Having cleared up this point, let each of us take refuge in the 'Three Gems' within our mind. Within, we should control our mind; without, we should be respectful towards others -- this is the way to take refuge within ourselves.
TMingyur wrote:Someone who has taken refuge to the 3 jewels is a buddhist.
Individual wrote:TMingyur wrote:Someone who has taken refuge to the 3 jewels is a buddhist.
Does that mean conventionally... Refuge in Gautama, Mahayana sutras (and orthodox doctrine), and Buddhist monks (of orthodox temples)...
Or does it mean ultimately...
Refuge in Wisdom, Diligence, and Friendship?
Kyosan wrote:One of the important ideas in Mahayana Buddhism is that different people understand Buddhism differently. There are different levels of understanding. Even though what they are taking refuge to in their minds varies from person to person, that doesn't mean that they aren't all Buddhists. You don't have to have the highest level of understanding to call yourself a Buddhist. I think that if you sincerely take refuge in the three jewels you are a Buddhist.
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