At the beginning, the corner-stone of the Theravada Buddhism started with the Saranagamana as a core of faith. The Saranagamana was then provided with the Dhamma shown by the Buddha in the middle. The Sanghas were much obliged to do at well service till the end. So, the Arahat Fruition in the Buddha Sasana will never be extinct.
As in the Dhammapada, Saranagamana makes danger and fear free. It is also said that one who took refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, met with the Magga insight. That is the Four Noble Truths, namely Suffering, the cause of Suffering, the overcoming of Suffering and the path leading to the extinction of Suffering.
Moreover, if a person has steadfast faith in the Tisarana, but not endowed with quick wit, ready wit and the knowledge of liberation from defilements, he can become a Stream-winner (Sotāpanna) or a Once-Returner (Sakadāgāmi).
In Anguttara Nikaya, the disciples had firmly absolute belief in the Buddha; they all mean Sotapana. It is sure of [very great benefits, i.e.] the noble gratitude of one who gave the tisarana according to the Lord Buddha’s sermons. Saranagamana is very special for refuge of living being. It can give protection against evil deeds and rewards of merits. If you do not accept with firm belief, no tisarana will be taken in your heart whoever gives it. Someone can get only in deep faith (saddha). Whether in front of the image of the Buddha, or with the help of a Sangha or by self, it can be sure to take refuge in the Tisarana.
Someone once takes refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, Tisarana is existing throughout the life. In the period of faith and understanding for refuge to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, everybody continually exists as a Buddhist. But if one gives up the Buddhistship and professes other religion, Saranagamana is naturally lost. The more the period of having a firm belief in the Three Refuges is long the more the benefits is formed.
For life-long having the Tisarana somebody should be reciting repeatedly, believing and understanding forever to act according to intention of the following words of belief:
“From today onward I surrender myself to the Buddha, to the Dhamma and to the Sangha.”
“Until my life ends, I am taking refuge in the Buddha, in the Dhamma and in the Sangha.”
This is the giving over of one’s self to the Tisarana. It may also be done in this way:
“To the Buddha I am giving myself,
to the Dhamma I am giving myself,
to the Sangha I am giving myself.
Until the last the Buddha is my refuge,
my shelter and my protection.”
Posted by Nyan U