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Buddhist Monks and Nuns from the Buddha's time till now

Part 1 - Become A Buddhist

One may think it unnecessary to start with this point as one might assume that everyone who wished to go forth was a Buddhist already. However, this is not always the case and there have been some people who though not really Buddhists but holding to their own views, still wish to be ordained. So what is a Buddhist? A Buddhist is one whose ideals are embodied in the Triple Gem, the most precious things in this world:

The Buddha as the Enlightened Teacher.

The Dhamma as the Path of practice leading to Enlightenment.

The Sangha as those who have attained Enlightenment by practising that Path.

To these Gems or Treasures a Buddhist goes for Refuge finding is them an incomparable security from the limitless variety of dukkha, which can be experienced in the world. From the manifold sufferings and fearfulness of the world with its cycle of birth, decay, disease and death, its instability and insecurity, a Buddhist goes for Refuge to Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha which are all aspects of Enlightenment and ultimately, through practice, to be found in his own heart. Without a good understanding of what the Triple Gem is, at first gained by study, no one can go for Refuge sincerely. And without this faith grounded on understanding, practice of the Dhamma is not possible nor will one possess one need to sustain one in the homeless life. One should be able to say, without any reservation of one"s own views, theistic, pan religious, or whatever they may have been - throwing them all away: „To the Buddha I go for refuge. To the Dhamma I go for refuge. To the Sangha I go for refuge“.

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