The Virtues of Taking the Three Refuges and Five Precepts

Sutra of Miscellaneous Precious Deposits (Saṃyukta-ratna-piṭaka-sūtra), Vol. 5


An Elderly Man Paid His Daughter To Conceive the Conditions Of Rebirth Into The Heavenly Realm By Taking The Three Refuges And Five Precepts

  During the Buddha’s lifetime, there was an elderly man named Buśa in the city of Shravasti who had two daughters. One of them achieved the fruition of an arhat and the other had erroneous views and did not believe the Buddha’s teachings. The latter also eventually committed slander against the Three Jewels.

  Buśa told his daughter who did not believe in the Three Jewels, “If you take refuge in the Buddha, I will give you a thousand pieces of gold, and if you further take refuge in the treasures of the Dharma and Sangha to receive and uphold the Five Precepts, I will give you another eight thousand pieces of gold.” The daughter who originally did not believe in the Three Jewels took the Three Refuges and Five Precepts and refrained from further slandering the Three Jewels. Soon afterwards, she passed away and was born in the heaven of the desire realm. Then she suddenly remembered that the reason that she had gained rebirth in the heavenly realm to enjoy life was that she had taken the Three Refuges and had received the Five Precepts. She then paid homage to the Buddha and listened to the Buddha’s teachings, thus immediately attaining the First Fruition of a stream-enterer.

  A bhiksu asked the Buddha, “What kind of karmic actions had this celestial lady done to deserve rebirth in the heaven of the desire realm?”

  The Buddha replied, “This celestial lady was born in the human world. Although she took the Three Refuges and Five Precepts and did not slander the Three Jewels only because she was greedy and wanted her father’s money, due to these causes and conditions, she managed to be born in the heaven of the desire realm. Also, because she recalled the cause and condition of her rebirth in the heavenly realm, she came to the place of Buddha Sakyamuni and realized the First Fruition on the Path to Liberation after hearing my Dharma teachings.”

This article is an excerpt from the Electronic Journal of True Enlightenment, Issue 102