Copyright

The Triple Gem of Buddhism: The Buddha, The Dharma & The Sangha

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Gender Equality in Buddhism

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Three Jewels
  • 0:46 The Buddha
  • 1:45 The Dharma
  • 2:44 The Sangha
  • 3:48 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jessica Whittemore

Jessica has taught junior high history and college seminar courses. She has a master's degree in education.

This lesson will seek to explain the Buddhist belief in the Triple Gem. Explaining the concepts of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, it will also highlight the Four Noble Truths.

Three Jewels

When publicly professing conversion to the Buddhist faith, one will often proclaim, 'I take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the Dharma. I take refuge in the Sangha.' In fact, so important are the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, they're referred to as the Triratna, or the Triple Gem of Buddhism. To proclaim devotion to these three things is to be a Buddhist.

In order to remember these rather Eastern terms, we're going to take the first letter of each and link them to Western words. These words are 'Buddhist Devotion Summarized.' With this little ditty in mind, let's get on to our Buddhist jewels.

The Buddha

The first jewel of the Triratna is the Buddha. Being rather easy to remember, this first jewel doesn't merely signify the founder of the Buddhist faith. Yes, it has him at its basis. However, it goes a step further.

Since Buddha is believed to have been the first man to truly understand wisdom and the way to enlightenment, this jewel also signifies the fulfillment of enlightenment. Therefore, when a Buddhist claims to take refuge in the Buddha, he's also saying that enlightenment, in itself, is his refuge. In other words, to be enlightened is to be truly safe and secure.

Although this one is pretty easy to remember, I'll go over our little mnemonic device again. Buddha is the first gem, and we're linking it to the 'B' in Buddhist Devotion Summarized.

The Dharma

The second jewel of the Triratna is the Dharma. Stated very simply, these are the teachings of Buddha. To Buddhists, these are the ways to truth. To follow them is to be on the path to enlightenment. Being based on the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, or the four core beliefs on which Buddhism is based, the Dharma is symbolized by the Buddhist wheel.

Again merely scratching the surface, the Dharma teaches that following the Four Noble Truths will release a person from fear and ignorance when, and only when, they follow them in their daily lives. In other words, if you follow them, they'll give you refuge.

To again Westernize it, we can remember the Dharma as the 'D' in our little memory aid, Buddhist Devotion Summarized. This is especially handy because the Dharma requires everyday devotion to the teachings of Buddha.

The Sangha

This brings us to our third and last jewel of the Triratna, the Sangha. In the original teachings of Buddhism, the Sangha was a very exclusive term used to denote monks, nuns, and teachers of Buddhism. However, as the faith aged, the term broadened to include any group that joins together to practice or meditate on the teachings of Buddhism.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support