Accepting Rebirth

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
Posts: 16351
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Land of the sleeping gods
Contact:

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:43 am

Hi Sindre and welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

Within Buddhism, there is the notion that knowledge manifests gradually as the result of following the Noble Eightfold Path.


Sindre wrote:- How important is the accepting the idea of rebirth for the attainment of Nibbana?

Many teachers will tell you that if you have trouble accepting rebirth to 'put it to the side', meaning, don't worry about it for now but keep your mind open.

Sindre wrote:- Did the Buddha really talk about rebirth from life to life or was he just talking of psykological rebirths in this life?

He really did speak of rebirth from one life to the next. The nikayas are imbued with the reality of post-mortem rebirth either explicitly by the Buddha predicting the destination of this or that person who passed away and the retelling of the Bodhisatta's previous existences in the Jatakas, or implicitly such as via the discourses on dependent origination. The notion of rebirth is central to the Abhidhamma.

Sindre wrote:- Is believing in rebirt irrational when we can not see it for our selves?

What is important to remember is that the Buddha said that one should ehi passiko (see for oneself) with relation to the Dhamma. Engage in the practice of Dhamma and the nature of reality will become clear to you.
Metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

User avatar
cooran
Posts: 7801
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby cooran » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:31 am

Hello all,

I found these articles to be helpful - and I trust the understanding and teachings of Bhikkhu Bodhi.

Does Rebirth make sense? ~ Bhikkhu Bodhi
Newcomers to Buddhism are usually impressed by the clarity, directness, and earthy practicality of the Dhamma as embodied in such basic teachings as the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, and the threefold training. These teachings, as clear as day-light, are accessible to any serious seeker looking for a way beyond suffering. When, however, these seekers encounter the doctrine of rebirth, they often balk, convinced it just doesn't make sense. At this point, they suspect that the teaching has swerved off course, tumbling from the grand highway of reason into wistfulness and speculation. Even modernist interpreters of Buddhism seem to have trouble taking the rebirth teaching seriously. Some dismiss it as just a piece of cultural baggage, "ancient Indian metaphysics," that the Buddha retained in deference to the world view of his age. Others interpret it as a metaphor for the change of mental states, with the realms of rebirth seen as symbols for psychological archetypes. A few critics even question the authenticity of the texts on rebirth, arguing that they must be interpolations.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_46.html

Dhamma without Rebirth ~ Bhikkhu Bodhi
In line with the present-day stress on the need for religious teachings to be personally relevant and directly verifiable, in certain Dhamma circles the time-honored Buddhist doctrine of rebirth has come up for severe re-examination. Although only a few contemporary Buddhist thinkers still go so far as to suggest that this doctrine be scrapped as "unscientific," another opinion has been gaining ground to the effect that whether or not rebirth itself be a fact, the doctrine of rebirth has no essential bearings on the practice of Dhamma and thence no claim to an assured place in the Buddhist teachings. The Dhamma, it is said, is concerned solely with the here and now, with helping us to resolve our personal hangups through increased self-awareness and inner honesty. All the rest of Buddhism we can now let go as the religious trappings of an ancient culture utterly inappropriate for the Dhamma of our technological age.
http://www.vipassana.com/resources/bodh ... ebirth.php

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 1426
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:17 am

Hi Individual,

Individual wrote:Paul Carus quotes the Buddha in his Gospel of the Buddha as describing lighting a candle again and again is being like rebirth, says that the teacher is reborn in the student that repeats the teachings -- I'm not sure where this is from,


It's from Carus himself.

but I've seen the same analogies used in the Milindapanha.


The candle simile is used in the Milinda, but to make a quite different point to that of Carus.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,

User avatar
cooran
Posts: 7801
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby cooran » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:20 am

Hello all,

Here are some references I got together some years ago when I had a few doubts myself. The gathering of the references, and the reading and studying of them, helped me to a greater understanding of the Buddha's Teachings and removed all doubt:

Samyutta Nikaya XX.2
Nakhasikha Sutta 'The Tip of the Fingernail'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sa ... 0-002.html
"In the same way, monks, few are the beings reborn among human beings. Far more are those reborn elsewhere. Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will live heedfully.' That's how you should train yourselves."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sa ... index.html
Scroll down to: 15. Anatamagga-samyutta -- The unimaginable beginnings of samsara and transmigration.

Assu Sutta (SN XV.3) -- Tears. "Which is greater, the tears you have shed while transmigrating and wandering this long, long time...or the water in the four great oceans
Danda Sutta (SN XV.9) -- The Stick. We bounce from one birth to the next, as a thrown stick bounces along the ground
Duggata Sutta (SN XV.11) -- Fallen on Hard Times. When you encounter an unfortunate person, remember: you've been there, too.
Sukhita Sutta (SN XV.12) -- Happy. When you encounter a fortunate person, remember: you've been there, too.
Mata Sutta (SN XV.14-19) -- Mother. It's hard to meet someone who has not been, at some time in the distant past, your mother, father, son, daughter, sister, or brother.
Samyutta Nikaya LVI.48
Chiggala Sutta 'The Hole'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sa ... 6-048.html
"Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare & happiness?' Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good
destination."

Samyutta Nikaya XLII.6
Paccha-bhumika Sutta '[Brahmans] of the Western Lands'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sa ... 2-006.html
""So it is with any man who refrains from taking life, from stealing, & from indulging in illicit sex; refrains from lying, from speaking divisive speech, from harsh speech, & from idle chatter; is not greedy, bears no thoughts of ill-will, & holds to right view. Even though a great crowd of people, gathering & congregating, would pray, praise, & circumambulate with their hands palm-to-palm over the heart -- [saying,] 'May this man, at the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in a destitution, a bad destination, the lower realms, hell!' -- still, at the break-up of the body, after death, he would reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world."

"Rebirth" by Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/ebdha058.htm

I've found the following references to Rebirth(Punabbhava) or Re-becoming (Upapatti). Perhaps they may be useful to some of you. I'm sure there are lots more references, but I only looked until I had no more doubt that the Blessed One taught re-birth as an actual fact, not as poetical metaphor, or as a 'kindness' to the uneducated or superstitious of his time. Hope there are no errors in attribution, or keyboard errors. Though I looked these up in hard copy, some may be available on line at either:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/index.htm
http://www.serve.com/cmtan/Dhammapada/
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/index.html

The Digha Nikaya

"There are some people in the West who are attracted in many ways to Buddhism, but who find the idea of rebirth a stumbling-block, either because they find it distasteful and/or incredible in itself, or in some cases because they find it hard to reconcile with the 'non-self' idea. Some such considerations as any of these sometimes even lead people to declare that the Buddha did not actually teach rebirth at all, or that if he did so, this was only for popular consumption, because his hearers could not have accepted the truth. All such views are based on various kinds of misunderstanding. It should be noted, incidentally, that Buddhists prefer to speak, not of reincarnation, but of rebirth. Reincarnation is the doctrine that there is a transmigrating soul or spirit that passes on from life to life. In the Buddhist view we may say, to begin with, that that is merely what appears to happen, though in reality no such soul or spirit passes on in this way. In Majjhima Nikaya 38 the monk Sati was severely rebuked for declaring that 'this very consciousness' transmigrates, whereas in reality a new consciusness arises at rebirth dependent on the old. Nevertheless there is an illusion of continuity in much the same wayas there is within this life. Rebirth from life to life is in principle scarcely different from the rebirth from moment to moment that goes on in this life. The point can be intellectually grasped, with a greater or less degree of difficulty, but it is only at the first path-moment, with the penetration of the spurious nature of what we call self, that it is clearly undersood without a shadow of doubt remaining." p. 36 "The Long Discourses of the Buddha" - A translation of the
Digha Nikaya by Maurice Walshe.

DN 12.13 'Lohicca Sutta: About Lohicca' Good and Bad Teachers.
DN 16.2.6ff 'Mahaparinibbana Sutta The Great Passing' The Buddha's
Last Days
DN 18.1ff 'Janavasabha Sutta: About Janavasabha' Brahma Addresses the
Gods
DN 23.2ff 'Payasi Sutta: About Payasi' Debate with a Sceptic
DN 28.5 'Sampasadaniya Sutta: Serene Faith'
DN 33.1.10(40)(41)'Sangiti Sutta: The Chanting Together'
DN 33.3.1(7)

Majjhima Nikaya

"According to the Buddha's teaching, all beings except the arahants are subject to "renewal of being in the future" (punabbhava), that is, to rebirth. Rebirth, in the Buddhist conception, is not transmigration of a self or soul but the continuation of a process, a flux of becoming in which successive lives are linked together by causal transmissioin of influence rather than by substantial identity. The basic causal pattern underlying the process is that defined by the teaching of dependent origination, which also demonstrates how rebirth is possible without a reincarnating self. The process of rebirth, the Buddha teaches, exhibits a definite lawfulness essentially ethical in character. This ethical character is established by the fundamental dynamism that determines the states into which beings are reborn and the circumstances they encounter in the course of their lives. That dynamism is 'kamma', volitional action of body, speech, and mind. Those beings who engage in bad actions - actions motivated by the three unwholesome roots of greed, hate, and delusion - generate unwholesome kamma that leads them to rebirth into lower states of existence and, if it ripens in the human world, brings them pain and misfortune. Those beings who engage in good actions - actions motivated by the three wholesome roots of non-greed, non-hate, and non-delusion - generate wholesome kamma that leads them to higher states of existence and ripens in the human world as pleasure and good fortune. Because the deeds a person performs in the course of a single life can be extremely varied, the type of rebirth that lies ahead of him can be very unpredictable, as the Buddha shows in MN 136. But despite this empirical variability, an invariable law governs the direct relationship between types of actions and the types of results they yield, the basic correlations being sketched by the Buddha in MN 57 and laid out in greater detail in MN 135." (p.45 'The Middle Length Discourses of the'. A New translation of the Majjhima Nikaya. Translated by Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi.)

MN 4.29 'Bhayabherava Sutta' Fear and Dread
MN 7.2 'Vatthupama Sutta' Simile of the Cloth
MN 12.37ff 'Mahasihanada Sutta' The Greater Discourse on the Lion's
Roar
MN 13.15 Mahadukkhakkhandha Sutta 'The Greater Discourse on the Mass
of Suffering'
MN 40.3 'Cula-Assapura Sutta' The Shorter Discourse at Assapura
MN 41.4ff 'Saleyyaka Sutta' The Brahmins of Sala
MN 41.15ff
MN 45.3 'Culadhammasamadana Sutta' The Shorter Discourse on Ways of
Undertaking Things
MN 45.5
MN 45.6ff
MN 46.14 'Mahadhammasamadana Sutta' The Greater Discourse on Ways of
Undertaking Things
MN 46.16ff
MN 50.13 'Maratajjaniya Sutta' The Rebuke to Mara
MN 50.17
MN 57.3 'Kukkuravatika Sutta' The Dog-duty Ascetic
MN 57.5
MN 60.9ff 'Apannaka Sutta' The Incontrovertible Teaching
MN 60.12ff
MN 72.16ff ' Aggivacchagotta Sutta' To Vacchagotta on Fire
MN 84.6 'Madhura Sutta' At Madhura
MN 84.7
MN 110.13 'Culapunnama Sutta' The Shorter Discourse on the Full-moon
Night
MN 110.24
MN 115.17 'Bahadhatuka Sutta' The Many Kind of Elements'
MN 120.2ff 'Sankahrupapatti Sutta' Reappearance by Aspiration
MN 120.37
MN 127.9 'Anuruddha Sutta' Anuruddha
MN 129.6 'Balapandita Sutta' Fools and Wise Men
MN 129.31
MN 130.2ff 'Devaduta Sutta' The Divine Messengers
MN 135.5ff 'Culakammavibhanga Sutta' The Shorter Exposition of Action
MN 136.8 'Mahakammavibhanga Sutta' The Greater Exposition of Action

The Samyutta Nikaya Volume One
Page 184 SN 'The Book with Verses (Sagathavagga)' 19.(9) Childless
Page 185-8 SN 'The Book with Verses (Sagathavagga)' 21 (1) Persons
Page 614-615 SN ''The Book of Causation (Nidanavagga)' 70 (10)(ii)
Susima
Page 638 SN 'The Book of Causation(Nidanavagga)13 (3) Dhatusamyutta
Page 674 SN 'The Book of Causation(Nidanavagga) 9 Kassapasamyutta
Page 1021-29 SN 'The Book of the Aggregates(Khandhavagga)

Volume Two
Page 1287-89 SN 'The Connected Discourses on Women' 37
Matugamasamyutta
Page 1333-38 SN 'The Connected Discourses to Headmen' 42
Gamanisamyutta
Page 1392-93 SN 'The Book of the Six Sense Bases' Salayatanavagga
Page 1878-79 SN 'The Great Book (Mahavagga)' Saccasamyutta
Page 1885-88 SN 'The Great Book' Saccasamyutta - 102(1)ff Passing
Away....

'Numerical Discourses of the Buddha - An Anthology of Suttas from the Anguttara Nikaya' by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi

III.41 'The Refinement of the Mind - 1'
IV.77 'The Jhanas and Rebirth'
IV.89 'Queen Mallika'
IV.90 'Four Kinds of Kamma'
V.100 'The Benefits of Almsgiving'
V.101 'Five Desirable Things'
VI.123 'Don't Judge Others!'
VII.143 'Seven Bonds of Sexuality'
VIII.163 'Rebirth on account of Giving'
VIII.164 'Ways of Meritorious Action'
X.205 'The Extinction of Kamma'

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
Posts: 16351
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Land of the sleeping gods
Contact:

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:26 am

Thanks Chris that is a brilliant list.
But as anyone who has a rudimentary familiarity with the nikayas, one knows it is just the tip of the iceberg.
Metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

thornbush
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:22 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby thornbush » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:42 pm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Monks, the taking of life — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from the taking of life is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to a short life span.

"Stealing — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from stealing is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to the loss of one's wealth.

"Illicit sexual behavior — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from illicit sexual behavior is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to rivalry & revenge.

"Telling falsehoods — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from telling falsehoods is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to being falsely accused.

"Divisive tale-bearing — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from divisive tale-bearing is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to the breaking of one's friendships.

"Harsh speech — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from harsh speech is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to unappealing sounds.

"Frivolous chattering — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from frivolous chattering is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to words that aren't worth taking to heart.

"The drinking of fermented & distilled liquors — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from drinking fermented & distilled liquors is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to mental derangement."

Any more questions? :rolleye:

thornbush
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:22 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby thornbush » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:40 pm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
"Master Gotama, what is the reason, what is the condition, why some beings here, on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell; and what is the reason, what is the condition, why some beings here, on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world?"
"Householders, it is by reason of...
conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, by reason of unrighteous conduct,
that beings here on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell.
It is by reason of...
conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, by reason of righteous conduct,
that some beings here on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world."

"If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the warrior-nobles of great property!' it is possible that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he may do so. Why is that? Because he observes conduct that is in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.

"If a householder who observes conduct is accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the brahmans of great property!' it is possible...

"If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma,...'... I might reappear in the company of householders of great property!' it is possible...

"If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the gods of the Four Kings!' it is possible that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he may do so. Why is that? Because he observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.

"If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the gods of the base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception!' it is possible that, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he may do so. Why is that? Because he observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.

"If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that by realization myself with direct knowledge, I may here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of the heart and the deliverance by wisdom that are taint-free with exhaustion of taints!' it is possible that, by realization himself with direct knowledge, he may here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of the heart and the deliverance by wisdom that are taint-free with exhaustion of taints. Why is that? Because he observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct."

And the reaction after all these explanations...
"Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent, Master Gotama!
The Dhamma has been made clear in many ways by Master Gotama,
as though he were turning upright what had been overthrown,
revealing the hidden, showing the way to one who was lost,
holding up a lamp in the darkness for those with eyes to see forms.

Is 'Master Gotama' clear to us today?

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20082
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:03 pm

Several posts have been moved to viewtopic.php?f=16&t=41 . No posts have been deleted.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

User avatar
atulo
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:22 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby atulo » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:17 pm

Some discussions on Dhamma Wheel were already here: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=41&start=360#p20222

Sindre
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 1:45 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Norway

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby Sindre » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:57 pm

Hello all,

Thanks alot for your answers and your postings. I have read it all with great interest and it has been very helpfull to me.


Metta,
Sindre :namaste:
"When, Bahiya, for you in the seen is merely what is seen... in the cognized is merely what is cognized, then, Bahiya, you will not be 'with that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'with that,' then, Bahiya, you will not be 'in that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'in that,' then, Bahiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering."

User avatar
Nibbida
Posts: 461
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 3:44 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby Nibbida » Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:59 am

Individual wrote:Accepting it is not required, but outright rejecting it or being agnostic stands in the way of Nibbana's attainment, while accepting rebirth is a condition favorable to Nibbana's attainment because it is a wholesome view, even if bound up with kamma and samsara.


There are enlightened Individuals who are agnostic about rebirth across lifetimes. I cannot say whether this position helped, hindered, or had no effect on their attainments. There are people outside of the Buddhist traditions who have also awakened and did not believe in (or know about) rebirth across lifetimes.
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

Facebook Meditation Page: http://snurl.com/yoga9vipassana

User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
Posts: 16351
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Land of the sleeping gods
Contact:

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:12 am

Hi Nibbida

I recommend that you have a look at MN 60: Apannaka Sutta 'The Incontrovertible Teaching'. I have transcribed Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes to the sutta on the rebirth thread in the classical theravada forum. The Buddha gives a discourse to a group of householders who have become confused as to which path to follow and gives them advice as to how to proceed to get the benefits of the holy life while still having doubts about the veracity of rebirth or other whether immatarial realms exist or not.
Metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

User avatar
jcsuperstar
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:15 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: alaska
Contact:

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:25 am

Nibbida wrote:
Individual wrote:Accepting it is not required, but outright rejecting it or being agnostic stands in the way of Nibbana's attainment, while accepting rebirth is a condition favorable to Nibbana's attainment because it is a wholesome view, even if bound up with kamma and samsara.


There are enlightened Individuals who are agnostic about rebirth across lifetimes. I cannot say whether this position helped, hindered, or had no effect on their attainments. There are people outside of the Buddhist traditions who have also awakened and did not believe in (or know about) rebirth across lifetimes.

um, if one was enlightened wouldnt they no longer be agnostic about anything?
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

User avatar
adosa
Posts: 264
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:08 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby adosa » Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:34 pm

Personally I find my practice gets muddled when I speculate about the future or the past. As Ben says just put it aside for now.

Here is a succinct quote from MN 2 Sabbasava Sutta

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

Ron
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 10802
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: New Zealand

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:04 pm

But note that there is a problem with the present as well:
"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

See the analysis in MN 131.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And how is one taken in with regard to present qualities? There is the case where an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person who has not seen the noble ones, is not versed in the teachings of the noble ones, is not trained in the teachings of the noble ones, sees form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form.

It's seeing a "self" in the past, present or future that is the inappropriate attention.

Mike

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby Individual » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:15 am

jcsuperstar wrote:
Nibbida wrote:
Individual wrote:Accepting it is not required, but outright rejecting it or being agnostic stands in the way of Nibbana's attainment, while accepting rebirth is a condition favorable to Nibbana's attainment because it is a wholesome view, even if bound up with kamma and samsara.


There are enlightened Individuals who are agnostic about rebirth across lifetimes. I cannot say whether this position helped, hindered, or had no effect on their attainments. There are people outside of the Buddhist traditions who have also awakened and did not believe in (or know about) rebirth across lifetimes.

um, if one was enlightened wouldnt they no longer be agnostic about anything?

...Yes... and agnosticism seems to fall under one of the 52 wrong views, the one about the refusal to take a clear position.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

User avatar
adosa
Posts: 264
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:08 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby adosa » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:22 am

mikenz66 wrote:But note that there is a problem with the present as well:
"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

See the analysis in MN 131.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And how is one taken in with regard to present qualities? There is the case where an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person who has not seen the noble ones, is not versed in the teachings of the noble ones, is not trained in the teachings of the noble ones, sees form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form.

It's seeing a "self" in the past, present or future that is the inappropriate attention.

Mike


Thanks Mike. Good Point. For me personally, worrying about what (I) will be in the future is also inappropriate attention as it falls in the realm of a speculative view.

FWIW,


Ron
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20082
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:55 am

For me personally, worrying about what (I) will be in the future is also inappropriate attention as it falls in the realm of a speculative view.


But you are going to do it, anyway.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

User avatar
adosa
Posts: 264
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:08 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby adosa » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:30 am

tiltbillings wrote:
For me personally, worrying about what (I) will be in the future is also inappropriate attention as it falls in the realm of a speculative view.


But you are going to do it, anyway.



So true!
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

User avatar
Nibbida
Posts: 461
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 3:44 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby Nibbida » Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:25 am

Ben wrote:Hi Nibbida

I recommend that you have a look at MN 60: Apannaka Sutta 'The Incontrovertible Teaching'. I have transcribed Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes to the sutta on the rebirth thread in the classical theravada forum. The Buddha gives a discourse to a group of householders who have become confused as to which path to follow and gives them advice as to how to proceed to get the benefits of the holy life while still having doubts about the veracity of rebirth or other whether immatarial realms exist or not.
Metta

Ben



Ben,

I didn't say whether or not I was agnostic about rebirth across lifetimes, only that there are enlightened individuals who are.

Nibbida
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

Facebook Meditation Page: http://snurl.com/yoga9vipassana


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests