Taking the Three Refuges, Five Precepts, and Bodhisattva Precepts at True Enlightenment Practitioners Association


Venerable Pingshi personally presides over the discussion of the Buddha precepts and confers the “three refuges and five precepts” and the “high-grade bodhisattva precepts.” These are based on the Sutra of the Garland of a Bodhisattva’s Primary Karmas and Sutra of Brahma’s Net. During the ceremony for the conferment of the precepts, the contents of the moral and spiritual essence of the Buddha precepts are administered to the lay followers, allowing them to grasp the principles and thereby desist from unvirtuous activities or acts. Henceforth, they can steadily advance toward Buddhahood by correcting their intentions, upholding the precepts, and performing virtuous actions.

Why Should We Fulfill the Three Refuges and Uphold the Buddha Precepts?


The Buddhist precepts are the root of all wholesome dharmas. Their fundamental purpose is to foster goodness and eliminate evil, which will enable us to attain worldly transcendence and sainthood. Fulfilling the three refuges and upholding the Buddhist precepts form the foundation of karmic retribution. They will help us avoid miseries and cultivate ourselves in this current life and will enable us to develop great virtues and achieve the fruition of liberation and Buddhahood in our future lives. In other words, the Buddhist precepts are the necessary supporting dharmas of virtues for the attainment of Buddhist fruition.

The Different Types of Precepts and Karmic Retribution for Upholding the Precepts


The World-Honored One categorized the Buddhist precepts into four types: (1) the precepts of the three refuges; (2) the five precepts and the eight precepts of one-day vow; (3) the śrāvaka (sound hearer) precepts; and (4) the bodhisattva precepts. Fulfilling the three-refuges precepts will prevent us from falling into the three evil paths and is a necessary condition for transcending the mundane world. Additionally, by upholding the five precepts, we will be able to achieve rebirth as a human as it is also the condition for the future realization of śrāvaka fruition (liberation). Taking the eight precepts of one-day vow piously and perfectly will enable us to become a monastic in the future (to cultivate the path). Finally, taking the bodhisattva precepts will sow in us the seeds of the realization of the True Mind and will eventually enable us to attain the ultimate Buddhahood.