Becoming a Buddhist  


When a person wishes to become a Buddhist, he needs only to go
to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha for refuge. is means that
he will henceforth whole-heartedly, accept the ree Jewels as
his shelter and guiding ideal. General y the simple ceremony is
done before a monk or, if one is not available, to do it at a shrine
on which there is a Buddha-image, the symbol of one's spiritual
direction and eventual realisation. Offering flowers, incense
and light, one bows before the image, declares his intention,
and repeats the Refuge prayer three times, making a bow after
each repetition. e prayer may be in Pali, Sanskrit, English or
Chinese, depending on the tradition one chooses to fol ow.
When the reefold Refuge is done before a monk, one has to
request for the ree Refuges and the Five Precepts. is clearly
shows that one becomes a Buddhist after he has a thorough
understanding of the Dharma and he should not be converted
by others because Dharma is not a mat er of belief, it uses no
force, not even persuasion, to make convert. One will not make
a good Buddhist if he is not ready to put to practice the Buddhist
way of life. One should then make three bows to the monk and
see in him as the personification of the Buddha, Dharma and
Sangha. e monk will then recite 3 times, the salutation to the
Buddha:


"NAMO TASSA BHAGAVATO ARAHATO SAMMASAMBUDDHASA"
which means `Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One,
the Perfectly Enlightened One'.
en he will recite the Refuge prayer and the aspirant should
repeat after him, each line that has been recited:
"BUDDHAM SARANAM GACCHAMI
To the Buddha I go for Refuge."
"DHAMMAM SARANAM GACCHAMI
To the Dharma I go for Refuge."
"SANGHAM SARANAM GACCHAMI
To the Sangha I go for Refuge."
"DUTIYAMPI BUDDHAM SARANAM GACCHAMI
For the second time, to the Buddha I go for Refuge."
"DUTIYAMPI DHAMMAM SARANAM GACCHAMI
For the second time, to the Dharma I go for Refuge."
"DUTIYAMPI SANGHAM SARANAM GACCHAMI
For the second time, to the Sangha I go for Refuge."
"TATIYAMPI BUDDHAM SARANAM GACCHAMI
For the third time, to the Buddha I go for Refuge."
"TATIYAMPI DHAMMAM SARANAM GACCHAMI
For the third time, to the Dharma I go for Refuge."
"TATIYAMPI SANGHAM SARANAM GACCHAMI
For the third time, to the Sangha I go for Refuge."

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