Sangha (Skt. saṅgha; Tib. དགེ་འདུན་, gendün; Wyl. dge 'dun) is the term for the community of practitioners who are following the Buddha's teachings. According to the Mahayana teachings, the sangha that is included within the Three Jewels as an object of refuge is the noble sangha, i.e., those who have reached the path of seeing and beyond.
The Tibetan word for sangha is དགེ་འདུན་, gendün (Wyl. dge 'dun), which signifies those who aspire to or yearn for (འདུན་, dün) virtue (དགེ་, gé). Khenpo Ngakchung explains that virtue here refers to the threefold training in discipline, meditation and wisdom.
Eight Qualities of the Sangha
According to Maitreya's Uttaratantra Shastra, the Sangha has 'eight qualities of knowledge and liberation' (Tib. རིག་གྲོལ་་གྱི་ཡོན་ཏན་བརྒྱད་, rig drol gyi yönten gye; Wyl. rig grol gyi yon tan brgyad):
- 1) the profound nature of phenomena
- 2) the vast – phenomena in all their multiplicity
- 3) discriminating awareness wisdom
- 4) attachment, the emotional obscurations
- 5) hindrance, the cognitive obscurations
- 6) the inferior – the obscurations of the shravakas and pratyekabuddhas
- 7) knowledge; and
- 8) liberation.
Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha
- Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Berlin Centre, 26 June 2010