Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby silver surfer » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:34 am

Hello.

I'm getting to know about Siddharta's teachings, and I've come a long way. But still, some things I cannot grasp.

My questions are related to karma and rebirth, obviously.

- There is no eternal soul, only a stream of consciousness ~ within the universe of form. This is a fact, correct?

In that case, it means that right now, I have someone/something else's consciousness and memories. And the "kamma" that originated out of those agents/determinants, has led me to my current existence. Where I was born, how I was born, my conditions, et cetera.

- Doesn't this mean, that i'm going through what i'm going through, because of someone/something else's built "kamma"? I see or sense absolutely no justice in this, and the way I see it, this makes the "dhamma", an evil mechanism. Clearly, one is not paying for their bad deeds. Other continued originations are. Like a child paying for his fathers bad deeds. Isn't it so? Please explain.

- In the near, or the far future, human/animal cloning will be an everyday thing. And in the far, far future, there will be no natural birth for humans and most animals on this planet, as almost all physical means will be controllable via advanced technology, even the weather. There will be no old age, nor will there be any unwanted memories in our brains.

If that is the case, what will be the role of karma and rebirth, in such an environment, as one will be able to erase all his past memories? Imagine someone really bad, who had done bad things all his life. This person is able to erase his persona completely, and generate a new one, via technology. Considering that, "stream of consciousness" is how life works, what will be streaming when there are no mental recordings? The bad deeds, will be wiped out from a person's mental world. Others will keep suffering because of those deeds, and the source person will generate no such consciousness after maybe living for a million years, thanks to technology. I understand that this is also all dependent origination, cloning, suffering etc. But still, there is no punishment nor any "kamma" produced from the "source" of evil, in this situation. So the rule of "kamma" collapses in mental level, doesn't it? Or does it? Please explain.

- Imagine an extremely good person, with super good intentions who does nothing but good deeds his entire life. But this person is also full of horrific thoughts, sorrow, fear and anxiety. So what kind of a rebirth would a situation like this cause?

My final question;

- If I am no more after I die, and that I will only release a set of memories, and mental formations for some other being to originate, why should I bother with enlightenment? One could just have some acid, and hang theirselves happily. After all, someone, or something else will pay for or receive what they have left. Their current existence, and their current persona will have nothing to do with the being that will be born. Clearly, what will breathe, will not be the current body and mind. It will be another "mind", with the collected information. What I mean is, what is the point of "nibbana", if there is no self? One will not even know, what he/she caused. Is it that, one should attain enlightenment, so that another totally irrelevant being cannot be born? Is it the same as not making a baby, out of your compassion and fear for them? Please explain.

Thank you very much.
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:01 pm

silver surfer wrote:Hello.

I'm getting to know about Siddharta's teachings, and I've come a long way. But still, some things I cannot grasp.

My questions are related to karma and rebirth, obviously.

- There is no eternal soul, only a stream of consciousness ~ within the universe of form. This is a fact, correct?

In that case, it means that right now, I have someone/something else's consciousness and memories.

(Why "obviously"....?)

No, you don't. You are mixing up 'reincarnation' with rebirth.
To put it simply, your previous kamma determined who or what you have become, now. Nobody else's. memories do not transmigrate. memories are personal, and as it happens, mostly inaccurate, anyway.

And the "kamma" that originated out of those agents/determinants, has led me to my current existence. Where I was born, how I was born, my conditions, et cetera.- Doesn't this mean, that i'm going through what i'm going through, because of someone/something else's built "kamma"? I see or sense absolutely no justice in this, and the way I see it, this makes the "dhamma", an evil mechanism. Clearly, one is not paying for their bad deeds. Other continued originations are. Like a child paying for his fathers bad deeds. Isn't it so? Please explain.


It's quite simple, you are here because of your past kamma.
However, what precisely your past kamma was, is immaterial.
Completely.
It's total conjecture and guess-work.
All you need worry about now - is what you think/say/do now.

- In the near, or the far future, human/animal cloning will be an everyday thing.

I doubt it. Human ethics are already in place to prevent abuse of such a scientific practice.

And in the far, far future, there will be no natural birth for humans and most animals on this planet, as almost all physical means will be controllable via advanced technology, even the weather. There will be no old age, nor will there be any unwanted memories in our brains.

You have more than enough to be concerned about in the NOW, without throwing your presumptions so far into the future that you can't even see daylight....

If that is the case, what will be the role of karma and rebirth, in such an environment, as one will be able to erase all his past memories?

Who knows?
Who cares?
It's not important.

Imagine someone really bad, who had done bad things all his life. This person is able to erase his persona completely, and generate a new one, via technology. Considering that, "stream of consciousness" is how life works, what will be streaming when there are no mental recordings? The bad deeds, will be wiped out from a person's mental world. Others will keep suffering because of those deeds, and the source person will generate no such consciousness after maybe living for a million years, thanks to technology. I understand that this is also all dependent origination, cloning, suffering etc. But still, there is no punishment nor any "kamma" produced from the "source" of evil, in this situation. So the rule of "kamma" collapses in mental level, doesn't it? Or does it? Please explain.

There's nothing to explain.
Kamma is an unconjecturable. The Buddha explained that to try to determine its precise workings would lead to vexation and madness.
Honestly, don't sweat it.
Figure out how you're going to live well, now. That's what counts.

- Imagine an extremely good person, with super good intentions who does nothing but good deeds his entire life. But this person is also full of horrific thoughts, sorrow, fear and anxiety. So what kind of a rebirth would a situation like this cause?

I would think such a person could not possibly exist. A person cannot honestly and compassionately manifest such virtues AND simultaneously think the way you describe. Such a life would be a sham, a pretense. It can't be done.

- My final question;
If I am no more after I die, and that I will only release a set of memories, and mental formations for some other being to originate, why should I bother with enlightenment?

Because that's not the way it works...
One could just have some acid, and hang theirselves happily. After all, someone, or something else will pay for or receive what they have left. Their current existence, and their current persona will have nothing to do with the being that will be born. Clearly, what will breathe, will not be the current body and mind. It will be another "mind", with the collected information. What I mean is, what is the point of "nibbana", if there is no self? One will not even know, what he/she caused. Is it that, one should attain enlightenment, so that another totally irrelevant being cannot be born? Is it the same as not making a baby, out of your compassion and fear for them? Please explain.

You need to do more research because, I don't know where you got all this 'information' from, but it's woefully inaccurate.
If it is a conclusion you have come to by yourself - you need to do more reading, research and investigation.
This is not what the Buddha taught, at all.

Thank you very much.


Hey! No problem!
Any time!

:clap:

:namaste:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby silver surfer » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:27 pm

TheNoBSBuddhist, thank you for the input.

I don't know where you got all this 'information' from, but it's woefully inaccurate.


I came across this article, and got myself an understanding, as i've described above. What can you tell me?

Everybody is carrying other people's wounds. In the first place, you are living in a sick society where people are angry, full of hate, enjoy to hurt—that is the superficial level which can be understood easily. But there are subtle levels, there are so-called religious saints who are creating feelings of guilt in you, who are condemning you to be a sinner. They are giving you an idea which will create misery around you….
According to me, the whole foundation of life has to be changed. People should be sympathetic only when there is pleasure and joy and rejoicing, because by your sympathy you are nourishing. Nourish people's joy, don't nourish their sadness and their misery. Be compassionate when they are miserable. Make it clear that this misery is chosen by yourself.

On a deeper level…perhaps the questioner has not asked me to go that deep, but the answer will remain incomplete if I don't go deep enough.
The very idea of reincarnation, which has arisen in all the Eastern religions, is that the self goes on moving from one body to another body, from one life to another life. This idea does not exist in the religions that have arisen out of Judaism, Christianity and Mohammedanism. But now even psychiatrists are finding that it seems to be true. People can remember their past lives; the idea of reincarnation is gaining ground.
But I want to say one thing to you: the whole idea of reincarnation is a misconception. It is true that when a person dies his being becomes part of the whole. Whether he was a sinner or a saint does not matter, but he had also something called the mind, the memory. In the past the information was not available to explain memory as a bundle of thoughts and thought waves, but now it is easier.

And that's where, on many points, I find Gautama Buddha far ahead of his time. He is the only man who would have agreed with my explanation. He has given hints, but he could not provide any evidence for it; there was nothing available to say. He has said that when a person dies, his memory travels into a new womb—not the self. And we now can understand it, that when you are dying, you will leave memories all around in the air. And if you have been miserable, all your miseries will find some location; they will enter into some other memory system. Either they will enter totally into a single womb—that's how somebody remembers one's past. It is not your past; it was somebody else's mind that you have inherited.

Most people don't remember because they have not got the whole lump, the whole heritage of a single individual's memory system. They may have got fragments from here and there, and those fragments create your misery system. All those people who have died on the earth have died in misery. Very few people have died in joy. Very few people have died with the realization of no-mind. They don't leave a trace behind. They don't burden anybody else with their memory. They simply disperse into the universe. They don't have any mind and they don't have any memory system. They have already dissolved it in their meditations. That's why the enlightened person is never born.

But the unenlightened people go on throwing out, with every death, all kinds of misery patterns. Just as riches attract more riches, misery attracts more misery. If you are miserable, then from miles, misery will travel to you—you are the right vehicle. And this is a very invisible phenomenon, like radio waves. They are traveling around you; you don't hear them. Once you have the right instrument to receive them, immediately they become available. Even before the radio was there, they were traveling by your side.

There is no incarnation, but misery incarnates. Wounds of millions of people are moving around you, just in search of somebody who is willing to be miserable. Of course, the blissful does not leave any trace. The man of awakening dies the way a bird moves into the sky, without making a track or a path. The sky remains empty. Blissfulness moves without making any trace. That's why you don't get any inheritance from the buddhas; they simply disappear. And all kinds of idiots and retarded people go on reincarnating in their memories and it becomes every day thicker and thicker.

Today, perhaps, it has come to the point to be understood and to be dissolved; otherwise it is too thick to allow you to live, to allow you to laugh.
Your own consciousness has no wounds.
Your own consciousness knows nothing of misery.
Your own consciousness is innocent, utterly blissful. To bring you in touch with your own consciousness, every effort is being made to detract you from the mind. The mind contains all your misery, all your wounds. And it goes on creating wounds in such a way that, unless you are aware, you will not even find how it creates them….

All our miseries are so superficial—and most fundamentally, they are all borrowed.

And everybody is giving his misery to everybody else he comes in contact with. People are talking continuously about their miseries, about their troubles, about their conflicts. Have you ever heard anybody talking about his joyous moments? About his dances and songs? About his silences and blissfulness? No, nobody talks about these things. People go on sharing all their wounds, and whenever you are talking about your misery to somebody, without your knowing, you are transferring a miserable pattern. The person may be thinking that he is only listening to you, but he is also catching the vibe of misery, the wounds.

When I said that you carry other people's wounds, my statement meant that your own consciousness has no wounds. If everybody becomes alert, meditative, there will be no wounds in the world. They will simply disappear. They will not find any house, any shelter. This is possible. If it is possible for me, it is possible for everybody.

And in your question you also ask why "we can so easily accept someone else's wound," and why it is "so difficult to accept our own buddhahood."

You can accept somebody's wounds because you also have wounds. You understand the language of wounds, miseries, sufferings.

Individuality is superficial. Reincarnation was a consolation for me, that "my essence" or "soul" would continue. But now I understand that nothing of me will continue.

In witnessing, do we all "plug in" to the same witnessing energy? Don't I even have my own witness?
The ultimate truth hurts very much.
Finally, everything is gone, including me and you. What remains is a pure consciousness.
It is not that you are plugged into it, you are no more.

The dispersion is so intimate and so ultimate that first your personality has to disappear, then your individuality has to disappear, then what remains is pure existence. It makes one feel a little worried and concerned, because you don't know the experience of not being.
Just think for a moment…. Before this life you were not. Was there any trouble? Any anxiety?
After this life you will not be again. What is the fear? There will be silence and peace, in the same space where anxiety, tensions and anguishes flourished. They all will have melted just the way a dewdrop disappears into the ocean.
Hence, Zen does not teach you self-realization. Self-realization is a much lower goal. Zen teaches you the ultimate: no-self realization, or realizing that disappearing into the whole is the final peace.
Your very being is an anxiety. At whatever level you are, some anxiety will remain. You are anxiety, and if you want anxiety to disappear, you have to be ready to disappear yourself. zenman06

Evolution is not something discovered by Charles Darwin. Evolution is an Eastern concept discovered by the mystics—and in the East they have really gone deeper. Charles Darwin is only superficial; he thought that man has come from the monkeys, and he was laughed at all over the world. The idea looks strange…but the mystic's idea does not look strange. He does not say that man has come from the monkeys; he says that the essence of consciousness has passed through many forms, and it has passed through the forms of monkeys too.
According to me, not every man has come to be a man from being a monkey; different people have traveled different lines of evolution. All are coming from different animals, and that is one of the reasons why they are so unequal. A man who is coming from monkeys is bound to carry some traits, some characteristics, of the monkeys. Another man coming from horses will have different characteristics.
There are millions of animals in the world, and every person has moved through different forms. It is not a highway, with the whole of humanity coming from the same source. If that were the case, all people would have been equal. Somebody is a genius, somebody is a born idiot—certainly they are coming from different sources.
Gautam Buddha himself remembers his past lives: in one life, he says, he was an elephant, and after the life of the elephant he was born as a man….
People are coming from different sources for different reasons. The theory of reincarnation is basically a more scientific approach to evolution than that of Charles Darwin. It is well known that different animals have different characters….
A person who is coming from the body of an elephant into the body of a man will have a tremendous memory. In the same way, all the animals have their own special talents. I am saying this for the first time—that every human being has come from a different animal. Charles Darwin's idea that all have come from the monkeys is wrong. If it was so, then all will show the same characteristics—which is not so.
A dog can be born as a human being, or may go through a few other life-forms—may become a lion, may become a deer and then come as a human being….
Charles Darwin's idea is right, but not in the details; in the details he has not been able to work it out. I agree with him on this essential point that man has evolved out of animals, but I don't agree with him that all human beings have evolved from the same animal—monkey, ape, or chimpanzee. Human beings have come from all different directions. It is a gathering of all kinds of animals, and if you watch people you can find from where each person is coming. Just a little watchfulness is needed, alertness, and you can feel that this man seems to be related to a certain species.
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:36 pm

whhere is it from, and who is it by?
It's always a good idea to provide your source and a link, where possible. :)

You would do better researching and studying this website to begin with:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/

This is far more authoritative, educational and accurate.

The article you post is woefully ignorant.

Also, don't over-think things.
Sometimes, it's best to let the answers come to you, rather than go looking for them, and be led up blind alleys by pseudo-intellectual would-be experts.

or similar. :reading:

:namaste:

EDIT NOTE:
Oh good lord, it's 'Osho'... No wonder it's so nonsensical.... :roll:

Osho gives his unique insight on the process of reincarnation.


You can say that again...'Unique' is the word. Of course, I'd use a more colourful adjective, but...Right Speech and all that. ;)
Last edited by TheNoBSBuddhist on Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:40 pm

The Buddha never spoke or reincarnation.
The Buddha taught re-Birth.
The two, especially in Buddhism, are quite different.
That's just for starters.

Charles Darwin's idea that all have come from the monkeys is wrong.

Fortunately, Darwin never said this, either.
He did conclude that we have a common ancestor, but he never claimed we're descended from monkeys.

The author of that article is a buffoon, and needs to go back and review what he has learnt, because as far as i can tell (and I am also woefully ignorant of much!) it's a fantasy, a speculative, imaginative and extraordinarily wild pile of crock.

:rolleye:

in my opinion.

“My doctrine is not a doctrine but just a vision. I have not given you any set rules, I have not given you a system.”

This isn’t from the Buddha, of course. It’s actually from Osho (Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh). Bhagwan was an Indian teacher who had a huge following in the west. He started a massive commune in Oregon, which ran into planning troubles with the local authorities because the ranch they owned, if I remember correctly, wasn’t zoned for the high density population that was living there. Bizarrely, the community decided to launch a bioterror attack on the local town by sprinkling salmonella bacteria in cafeterias and restaurants.

Not surprisingly, Osho was deported
[From]the United States, and the commune collapsed.


From here.
http://www.fakebuddhaquotes.com/fake-bu ... -system-2/
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:39 pm

Rajneesh was also a sex cult, one of my exes had direct experience!!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby indian_buddhist » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:15 pm

silver surfer wrote:Hello.

I'm getting to know about Siddharta's teachings, and I've come a long way. But still, some things I cannot grasp.

My questions are related to karma and rebirth, obviously.

- There is no eternal soul, only a stream of consciousness ~ within the universe of form. This is a fact, correct?

In that case, it means that right now, I have someone/something else's consciousness and memories. And the "kamma" that originated out of those agents/determinants, has led me to my current existence. Where I was born, how I was born, my conditions, et cetera.

- Doesn't this mean, that i'm going through what i'm going through, because of someone/something else's built "kamma"? I see or sense absolutely no justice in this, and the way I see it, this makes the "dhamma", an evil mechanism. Clearly, one is not paying for their bad deeds. Other continued originations are. Like a child paying for his fathers bad deeds. Isn't it so? Please explain.

- In the near, or the far future, human/animal cloning will be an everyday thing. And in the far, far future, there will be no natural birth for humans and most animals on this planet, as almost all physical means will be controllable via advanced technology, even the weather. There will be no old age, nor will there be any unwanted memories in our brains.

If that is the case, what will be the role of karma and rebirth, in such an environment, as one will be able to erase all his past memories? Imagine someone really bad, who had done bad things all his life. This person is able to erase his persona completely, and generate a new one, via technology. Considering that, "stream of consciousness" is how life works, what will be streaming when there are no mental recordings? The bad deeds, will be wiped out from a person's mental world. Others will keep suffering because of those deeds, and the source person will generate no such consciousness after maybe living for a million years, thanks to technology. I understand that this is also all dependent origination, cloning, suffering etc. But still, there is no punishment nor any "kamma" produced from the "source" of evil, in this situation. So the rule of "kamma" collapses in mental level, doesn't it? Or does it? Please explain.

- Imagine an extremely good person, with super good intentions who does nothing but good deeds his entire life. But this person is also full of horrific thoughts, sorrow, fear and anxiety. So what kind of a rebirth would a situation like this cause?

My final question;

- If I am no more after I die, and that I will only release a set of memories, and mental formations for some other being to originate, why should I bother with enlightenment? One could just have some acid, and hang theirselves happily. After all, someone, or something else will pay for or receive what they have left. Their current existence, and their current persona will have nothing to do with the being that will be born. Clearly, what will breathe, will not be the current body and mind. It will be another "mind", with the collected information. What I mean is, what is the point of "nibbana", if there is no self? One will not even know, what he/she caused. Is it that, one should attain enlightenment, so that another totally irrelevant being cannot be born? Is it the same as not making a baby, out of your compassion and fear for them? Please explain.

Thank you very much.




OK firstly I am only a few months into studying Buddhism but from your post I can confidently say that you've got this all wrong. (Which is not such a bad thing either because the Buddha clearly said asking questions is a good thing rather than a fool who keeps quiet accepting everything).

OK, so from your post I get a feeling that you are getting it difficult to figure out that how does one carry his Kamma( ONE CARRIED HIS OWN KAMMA into next lives not others Kamma) in next lives without a Permanent Soul. Many people do have this confusion .Anyway so the point is that Anatta (No-Soul) is a difficult concept to grasp which is why the Buddha said that the Dhamma is hard to grasp.

Ok to clarify here are the basic set of rules how Kamma works:

1. ONE carries his OWN Kamma. You do not carry other's kamma neither does your Kamma goto others. I dont know from where did you get this information about carrying other's Kamma.

And about animal cloning and Science making progress to alter consciousness..........Dude science has only made 0.00000000000000000000000000000000001% progress in understanding the Human or for that matter any other living organisms brain. No matter how much science progresses I can confidently say that the postulates you point out.......Like wiping out Consciousness are pretty hard targets for science to achieve.

And about your other question, It is practically impossible for anyone with Bad Intentions to do good and vice versa, It is practically impossible for anyone with Good Intentions to do bad to others. It can be demonstrated in your own life through casual practise.

Hope i answered your doubts.
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:51 pm

People like to make a big deal of the distinction between "reincarnation" and "rebirth", but personally I feel it's something of a red herring and often leads to further obfuscation instead of clarity.

The bottom line is that yes, according to Buddhism, you are the continuation of various past lives. Some of the kamma from those past lives helped determine the conditions of your present life. Some, not all -- Buddha specifically rejected kammic determinism (the idea that everything you are experiencing now resulted from past kamma).

One difference between Buddhism and certain other religions has to do with how they explain the progression of lives. Some philosophers and religious teachers believed there is a sort of permanent "soul" that migrates from life to life. Even though conditions change, this soul remains essentially fixed and permanent in its nature.

The Buddha rejected this explanation. In his view, instead of a permanent soul or essence ("atman") there is something more like a river: always in flux, never the same at two different points, and yet having a continuity. The flame simile which IB provided above is also helpful.

To understand the question better requires familiarity with concepts such as idapaccayata (causes and conditions), paṭiccasamuppāda (dependent origination), the five skandhas and so on. But these are somewhat beyond a basic explanation for beginners. Later commentators elaborated a theory of "mind moments" (sort of like a succession of billiard balls, each impacting the next).

In that case, it means that right now, I have someone/something else's consciousness and memories. And the "kamma" that originated out of those agents/determinants, has led me to my current existence. Where I was born, how I was born, my conditions, et cetera.

Doesn't this mean, that i'm going through what i'm going through, because of someone/something else's built "kamma"? I see or sense absolutely no justice in this, and the way I see it, this makes the "dhamma", an evil mechanism. Clearly, one is not paying for their bad deeds. Other continued originations are. Like a child paying for his fathers bad deeds. Isn't it so? Please explain.


Buddhism rejects two ways of framing the answer.

"It is someone else's kamma". No, because your present life is connected to that kamma.
"It is my kamma." No, because that would imply eternalism. "You" today is not the same as "you" in a past life.

This is discussed in the "Questions of King Milinda" (link here: http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/milinda.pdf). There is also a relevant sutta; I don't have it at hand but can look it up later if anyone needs the reference.

Hope this is helpful in some way...
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby indian_buddhist » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:06 pm

Here is another Simile to explain Rebirth.

Consider Water - you put it in cold temperature - becomes Ice (Thats a rebirth in a different realm) .
Ice - you put it in high temperature - becomes Water.(Thats a rebirth)
Water - you put it in high temperature - becomes Vapour. (Thats a rebirth)
Vapour - you put it in low temperature - becomes Water.(Thats a rebirth)

You can consider Temperature (Hot and Cold) as Kamma (Good and Bad) .

Obviously Ice/water are not sentient beings (They dont have a stream of conciousness) but I hope that u get the Picture.
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby indian_buddhist » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:27 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:People like to make a big deal of the distinction between "reincarnation" and "rebirth", but personally I feel it's something of a red herring and often leads to further obfuscation instead of clarity.


Ok this distinction is very important and critically important to understand Buddhism. Without Anatta the whole Buddhist religion would fall apart. No religion I am aware of has the concept of Anatta and have Permanent unchanging Soul as their primary basis of belief.

Anicca (Impermanence) and Dhukkha(Suffering) can never be understood without Anatta(no-Soul). This distinction is necessary.
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby Zentruckdriver » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:08 am

To noBSBuddhist
Thanks for the link to access to insight website.
I found it very informative and it was written in a
way that I found easier to understand.

The introduction to Buddhism section was helpful
and the guide for newbies in meditation answered
a lot of my questions and I feel I now have some
useful tools to help with my focus.

Kind Regards Paul :reading:

:namaste:
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby manas » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:37 am

silver surfer wrote:- There is no eternal soul, only a stream of consciousness ~ within the universe of form. This is a fact, correct?


Actually this idea that there 'is no self' is a wrong grasp of the Buddha's teachings. We are not being invited to figure out whether we exist, or not. That is the wrong question to ask, and a dead end in any case. We are being invited to see how clinging to VIEWS regarding self, contributes to suffering and stress.There's a subtle difference.

Form is not self. Feeling is not self. Perception is not self. Volitional formations are not self. Consciousness (which can be of any the five senses or of the mind) is not self. It is useful to deconstruct our faulty identification with these ephemeral things. But some folks miss the point and then ask, "if none of these are self, then what's left? Is there nothing I can call me at all? Do I not actually exist then?" etc. All of these questions are the wrong ones and lead one off-track.

How to be on track, is to see the Four Noble Truths. How does stress arise? What is it's cause? What is the ending of stress? What is the Path leading to this cessation? Those are the right questions to be asking, and afaik, what the Buddha does invite us to do.

Don't worry about whether you 'exist' or not. Just drop this, it's just extra baggage. focus instead on how stress arises and how it can be made to cease.

kind regards
manas
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby cooran » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:04 am

This might be of interest:

Is there an eternal soul? By Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/whatbudbeliev/115.htm

With metta,
Chris
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---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 ---
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:12 am

indian_buddhist wrote:
Lazy_eye wrote:People like to make a big deal of the distinction between "reincarnation" and "rebirth", but personally I feel it's something of a red herring and often leads to further obfuscation instead of clarity.


Ok this distinction is very important and critically important to understand Buddhism. Without Anatta the whole Buddhist religion would fall apart. No religion I am aware of has the concept of Anatta and have Permanent unchanging Soul as their primary basis of belief.

Anicca (Impermanence) and Dhukkha(Suffering) can never be understood without Anatta(no-Soul). This distinction is necessary.


Yes, yes, I agree -- as I think you'll see if you read the rest of my post. But choosing the term "rebirth" instead of "reincarnation" doesn't really get this distinction across. At birth, you have some flesh (caro) and a stream of consciousness said to be continuing from a previous life, so saying "reincarnation" is an accurate enough layman's term. Call it "reincarnation without an atman", if you will.

Likewise, one could easily apply the term "rebirth" to Hindu or Jain systems, since obviously there has to be birth in order for the atman to continue its journey.

Don't get me wrong -- rebirth is the better term, for sure. But some people place too much weight on this question of semantics. I often see people trying to use it in order to show that the Buddha didn't teach any sort of past-life/next-life philosophy, and what results is a very muddled sort of discussion. When people ask "did the Buddha teach reincarnation" what they often want to know is whether the Buddha taught the existence of past lives and next lives -- which he did.

It's more important to explain how anatta in Buddhism differs from other rebirth/reincarnation concepts involving an atman, IMHO.
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:30 am

I agree with LE. Arguing about the distinction between the English terms "rebirth" and "reincarnation" is a pointless red herring. In normal English usage they are synonyms. Look in any dictionary... :reading:
Definition of rebirth in English:
The process of being reincarnated or born again: the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defin ... sh/rebirth


By all means, explain what the Buddha meant by the expressions commonly translated as "rebirth" or "reincarnation", (there is no "re" in the Pali as far as I understand) and explain why the anatta doctrine makes the terms rebirth or reincarnation extremely misleading.

:anjali:
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby hermitwin » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:36 am

The Buddha explains how kamma is the cause of differences in the fortunes of people.

(a) Some people die prematurely because in the past they have destoyed life. The karmic result of killing is to be shortlived. Others live long because they were kind and compassionate, they had respect and reverence for life.
(b) Some are sickly because they have injured and hurt other beings.
(c) Those who were often angry and harsh become ugly, those who were patient and cheerful become beautiful.
(d) Some are rich because they have been generous in the past, some are poor because they have been selfish.

(e) Some are influential because they have rejoiced in the good fortunes of others.
(f) Some are weak and powerless because they have been envious of the good fortunes of others.
(g) Some are intelligent because they have been reflective and studious in the past, because they always enquired and investigated matters. Some are dull and stupid because they have been lazy and negligent, because they never studied and did not think.

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha057.htm#k6
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby indian_buddhist » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:55 am

Lazy_eye wrote:
Likewise, one could easily apply the term "rebirth" to Hindu or Jain systems, since obviously there has to be birth in order for the atman to continue its journey.

Don't get me wrong -- rebirth is the better term, for sure. But some people place too much weight on this question of semantics. I often see people trying to use it in order to show that the Buddha didn't teach any sort of past-life/next-life philosophy, and what results is a very muddled sort of discussion. When people ask "did the Buddha teach reincarnation" what they often want to know is whether the Buddha taught the existence of past lives and next lives -- which he did.



What the Buddha taught :- The Psychophysical organism is made of 5 Aggregates (Body, Feelings, perception, Consciousness and Volition). Apart from these 5 aggregates there is Nothing.

Anyone is free to add another aggregate to these 5(Soul or whatever) but this is not what the Buddha taught.

Sure Buddhism has some Dogma (like repeated Rebirth concept) but 99% of those who call it that are those people who never want to try out the 8 Fold Noble path. How can someone conclude something is wrong without trying out?.

The world is full of Greedy, Egoistic and Hating people. You only need to visit my country (India) to know that. Here there are Hindu Godman who have Egos that would put Hitler to shame. There are temples in this country with their Gods in Idols that have so much wealth that it is more than the GDP of Germany or Japan.
Parents in my country give "education" to their children at an early age to Lie, steal, deceive, Cut others down to size and use any possible unscrupulous method inorder to achieve your means.

Sam, Dham, Dand , Bhed is the eternal law of Hinduism - Meaning Flatter, Bribe, Punish and create schism/divide people and 99% of Indians live according to these principles in their life. They call it as Jhugaad.

My advice to people from West - If you are looking at Spirituality stay away from India. You will be deceived and get nothing in return.
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:26 am

Poor 'silver surfer'.... his head must be spinning now!!

:hug:

:namaste:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

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‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby indian_buddhist » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:00 am

hermitwin wrote:The Buddha explains how kamma is the cause of differences in the fortunes of people.


http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha057.htm#k6



Concur.

Silver Surfer , the best explanation of Kamma is right here :-> http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha057.htm

Please Go through this link to understand Kamma.
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Re: Questions About Kamma and Rebirth

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:12 am

mikenz66 wrote:By all means, explain what the Buddha meant by the expressions commonly translated as "rebirth" or "reincarnation", (there is no "re" in the Pali as far as I understand) and explain why the anatta doctrine makes the terms rebirth or reincarnation extremely misleading.


But surely we need some way of distinguishing between the cycle of dependent arising of consciousness with the assumption of anatta ( "rebirth" ), and the continual transmigration of a "soul" based on the assumption of atta ( "reincarnation" )?
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