A Great Refuge
Dhamma is regarded as guidance for life and a refuge for life. The sage said that life was like a small boat which sailed in the middle of the crazy ocean. To get the boat to the shore, a tiller was needed to control the direction, as life needs Dhamma for setting it for the right destination. The Buddha taught his disciples in Natha Sutta as follows;
Behold monks, you must have a refuge in life, because a person, who has no refuge, lives a suffering life. Monks, there are ten teachings of mine (Dhamma or virtues) that you can practise for refuge or protection. Here they are; 1 good conduct; keeping moral habits (Sila), 2 great learning (Bahusacca), 3 good company; association with good people (Kalyanamittata), 4 amenability to correction; meekness; easy admonishability (Sovacassata), 5 willingness to give a helping hand; diligence and skill in managing all the affairs of one’s fellows in the community (Kimkaraniyesu dakkhata), 6 love of truth; to the Doctrine, be pleasant to consult and converse with, and rejoice in the advanced teaching of both the Doctrine and the Discipline (Dhammakamata), 7 energy; effort; energetic exertion (Viriyarambha), 8 contentment (Santutthi), 9 mindfulness; ability to remember what one has done and spoken (Sati) and 10 wisdom; insight (Panna). These ten virtues are also called “the great supports of life” which can help or protect the practitioner and others.