By Geshe Rapten

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The reason 3. The manner 1. In everyday life a person who is powerless to solve a particular problem must seek the help and advice of someone who can assist him. Similarly, we go for refuge because we wish freedom from the misery of samsara and its causes, the bondage of karma and mental afflictions. To rely on those who are themselves powerless to assist is worthless since only the Buddha possesses all the proper qualifications. " "Sang" means awakened from the sleep of the two obstructions; unstable emotions and wrong views of reality.

A) Taking Refuge This is the most important preparation for the practice of Dharma since it makes the mind serviceable for this purpose. A bowl in which food is to be served should be clean, a dirty bowl will spoil the food. Taking refuge in the Buddha is a necessary precondition for the successful practice of the Buddha Dharma. There are three divisions of taking refuge: 1. The object 2. The reason 3. The manner 1. In everyday life a person who is powerless to solve a particular problem must seek the help and advice of someone who can assist him.

His power to rescue all beings is fully mature. These qualities of a Buddha can only be attained gradually with great perseverance by destroying all afflictions and perfecting all virtues. In everyday life also, a desired position can only be acquired by gradually accomplishing the prerequisites. On the Buddha's part all means of giving refuge are present. A person endowed with experience can advise others for he knows what must be avoided and what must be pursued. To offer help without experience is like guiding others when you yourself are blindfolded.

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The Preliminary Practices of Tibetan Buddhism by Geshe Rapten

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