Three fears 三種怖畏

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The three fears or dangers (Wyl. 'jigs pa gsum) can be explained in the two following ways —

  1. in general sentient beings fear the sufferings of samsara
  2. less generally, bodhisattvas dread the attitude of selfishness
  3. most particularly practitioners of secret mantra fear the deluded clinging to phenomena experienced as ordinary

  1. strive to attain a good rebirth as a god or human by fear of the three lower realms
  2. the shravakas strive to attain liberation by fear of the suffering of samsara
  3. the bodhisattvas fearing selfishness strive to accomplish the welfare of others

In any case, when taking refuge, we need to have the confidence that the Three Jewels have the capacity to protect us from them.