16. Is it necessary?

“දසබලයන්වහන්සේ නමැති ශෛලමය පර්වතයෙන් පැන නැඟී, අමා මහ නිවන නම් වූ මහා සාගරය අවසන් කොට ඇති, ආර්ය අෂ්ටාංගික මාර්ගය නම් වූ සිහිල් දිය දහරින් හෙබි, උතුම් ශ්‍රීමුඛ බුද්ධවචන ගංගාවෝ, ලෝ සතුන්ගේ සසර දුක් නිවාලමින්, බොහෝ කල් ගලා බස්නා සේක්වා!”
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Q. Taking for The Refuge?

A. [Note that some of the terms like ‘Faith’ for Shraddha, ‘BuddhISM’ for Buddha-Dhamma’, etc. are not my liking and some of the Buddhist philosophers’ either. Here, I also use them as enactments.]

Bearing in mind all the time that Taking Lord Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha ( = Noble Triple Gem) as Refuge, can be a one worded - Shraddha/ Sraddha/Saddha = Faith.

The Faith is divided into two sub-topics. The firs one is Amulikaa Shraddha – Rootless / Rational Faith and the second one is Aakarawathi Shraddha – Reasoned / Rooted Faith.

Generally, one (almost ‘everyone’) enters or practices the Buddhism through The Former, Not ‘everyone’ though. And, of course The Latter is fully completed or well-established when one attains the first stage of sainthood – Sothapatti. Until then, it (Both) can vary some extend to great extend or a one degree to another.

In one method, there are eight factors lie to the Shraddha or against it and taking (the) Noble Triple Gem as Refuge is an essence as the first step and not forgetting that in either of Sraddhas, there is Sraddha one degree to another in whichever it may be. So, if you follow or the practice the Buddhist way even if you are not taking The Triple Gem as Refuge, yet, REMEMBER that you are following one of the Shraddhas UNCONSCIOUSLY.

In addition, in the practical sense too, if you follow the correct path even with or without trust or doubts, if the path is a correct one, eventually fruits the result; reaches the goal. In the same way, when you practice/follow the Right Noble Eightfold Path, you will eventually reach the Nibbana FOR SURE. That is a one side of the Low of Dependent Origination – Hethu-Phala – Reasons breed Fruit OR the Law of Causal Relations too.

Moreover, in the deepest analysis in Buddhist Metaphysics - Abhidhamma Pitaka, Shraddha is a GOOD/BEAUTIFUL mental factor (A ‘Shobhana Chetasika’ / Chai/Chitasika), which means ‘engaged ONLY in good thoughts’ and can also be engaged in Both Shraddhas one degree to another fulfilling one’s desires in both This World and The Next or the Cycle of Sansara depending on variant in weight and Pragna etc. where there applied. 

Shraddha is the first step to enter/follow the ‘Buddha-Saasana’ as it calls you must be “Saddaanusaari” (Followed or Went after Faith) before the second step called “Dhammaanusaari” (Followed or Went after The Doctrine), while Aakarawathi Shraddha – Reasoned / Rooted Faith is highly appreciated as it accompanied by Pragna (Wisdom) and the Amulikaa Shraddha – Rootless / Rational Faith has some power too. Although it (Amulikaa Shraddha) is a mere faith, it has a great effect on one hand leading to The Former (Aakarawathi Shraddha).

Eventually, when Pragna (Wisdom) becomes firm, Shraddha (Faith) becomes useless.

"දසබලසේලප්පභවා නිබ්බානමහාසමුද්දපරියන්තා, අට්ඨංග මග්ගසලිලා ජිනවචනනදී චිරං වහතූ!"

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