Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Three Jewels

We have already mentioned two of the three so called three jewels, Buddha is sangs rgyas, dharma is chos, and the third is sangha, or dge 'dun. This is the spiritual community of practitioners, usually represented by the monks and nuns, but could consist of all those who practice Buddhism, and in one way of looking at the three jewels, it represents all those who engage in Buddhist activities, either openly, or incognito.

The three jewels are called dkon mchog, or sometimes dkon mchog gsum, the three jewels., where number three is gsum. Just by analysing the word dkon mchog, you get a feeling how the Tibetans took the Sanskrit term ratna (jewel, or sometimes triratna where tri means three), and converted it to a term that gives an additional angle to the teachings.

dkon means rare, hard to find or aquire, mchog means surpreme, most excellent. So the three jewels are hard to find, but when found they are the most supreme thing you could have.

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