The Danger of Rebirth

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
Posts: 16348
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: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Ben » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:55 pm

clw_uk wrote:The point im trying to make is that mundane right view isnt wrong understanding of the buddhas teachings, only that it should be seen for what it is, a mundane teaching that one needs to eventualy let go of so one can realise the higher dhamma and be liberated.

The point is the buddha has stated rebirth is mundane view, it is not the central teachings and is something that needs to be done away with eventually. The buddha has stated that it is a view with effluents.

One who holds rebirth stays in the mundane, they hold that it is central and for this they are mistaken. To hold rebirth as central is to hold the mundane as central and is to cut one off from the higher dhamma and from nibbana.

I dont deny rebirth was taught, just that its meaning and centrality have been distorted through the centuries.


Hi Craig

Can you please provide any canonical textual support for your contention that the doctrine of rebirth was taught to one class of disciple while a negation of rebirth was taught to another class of disciple.
Further, could you please provide analysis of the Tipitaka and commentaries by credible scholars and textual historians that support your argument.
If not, can you please reference the original source of your argument. Is it a conclusion that you have come to or is it based on the discourses of a teacher and/or writers who you hold dear?
Many thanks

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
mikenz66
Posts: 10797
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:00 pm

clw_uk wrote:One must hold certain view in order to awaken to set one in the right direction, i agree that there needs to be development in training. I didnt just pick a view and went with that, i myself started with rebirth view, ive never had a problem with it until my practice progressed to see the error in it through insight and contemplation . My point is that many buddhists take the rebirth view with them so to speak, they dont realise it was mundane and abandon it and this is a great hindrance.

As I see it, this rebirth argument only keeps coming up because you (and Element) keep stating your view on rebirth, and dismissing any attempt at discussion by simply rejecting it ("that's mundane", "that's commentary", "that's a hangover from the brahmins", etc...).

The odd thing is that as far as I can tell there is no real disagreement here about the supramundane between you and the commentaries, etc.

If you really have transcended views through insight I rejoice in your merit. However, your posts give the impression that you are clinging rather tightly to a particular view...

Metta
Mike

Element

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:11 pm

clw_uk wrote:Since the Buddha did not teach rebirth as part of his higher dhamma it is dangerous to hold onto it if one wants to reach nibbana.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Buddha said his Dhamma has just one taste, just like the great ocean has just one taste.

If our mind does not taste death, it will not taste those dhammas that remedy death.

Our mind will not know the Buddha's nibbana nor the Buddha.

Element

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:14 pm

mikenz66 wrote: In my opinion your conclusion is based on selective reading of the Suttas, as has been pointed out repeatedly.

Furthermore, since no-one here, as far as I can tell, has developed supramundane right view it would be extremely dangerous to one's chance of liberation to disregard "mundane right view" and abandon the raft mid-stream.

Suttas have variety. They are not all consistent.

Regarding the supramundane, it includes the perfection of morality rather than the abandonment of morality.

Supramundane right view includes morality. Mundane right view includes morality but not the Buddha's nibbana or liberation.

Not comprehending the supramundane makes liberation impossible. The word 'dangerous' is an understatement.

One has to begin before being able to 'abandon the raft mid-stream'. Without supramundane right view, one does not begin.

Element

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:21 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:There is nothing in the Sutta you quote which indicates that there is no you to be reborn and there is no rebirth.

We must be reading different suttas.

:reading:

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20080
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:25 pm

clw_uk wrote:Mikenz66, in order to awaken one needs to leave mundane right view, see the error and danger in it and transcend to the higher dhamma.

:namaste:


Leave "mundane right view?" Well, yeah, I suppose, but one just cannot "leave mundane right view" by saying I am leaving "mundane right view" now " anymore than one can say "I am not going to have a self-view any more"" and thusly no longer have a sense of "I am" in relation to one's experience. "Mundane right view" is part the set of tools for awakening.

As for rebirth, it was very much part of the Buddha's awakening experience.
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
clw_uk
Posts: 3579
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:25 pm

When talking to bhikkhus it was supermundane dhamma as taught here:

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

The birth, death etc in this is the birth and death of dependent origination, the birth and death of the sense of self, about dukkha. This is in accord with the buddhas supermundane dhamma which was about emptiness and quenching of dukkha.



The fact that the buddha teaches rebirth when talking to a student of another sect can be shown here:

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

It is a teaching in rebirth and morality, mundane not connected with nibbana

There are many others these are just examples.

Forgive me for not copying and pasting but i felt they were to large.


If you really have transcended views through insight I rejoice in your merit. However, your posts give the impression that you are clinging rather tightly to a particular view...


Thank you friend but sadly i am not an arahant and have not transcended all view i freely admit this.

I do not cling to my view however, i used to hold rebirth and i did cling to it however through practice i have realised that it is a mundane teaching, you cannot deny that the buddha taught it is a view with effluents and that supermundane view does not include it.

It does not include it because it is connected with emptiness, there is no "I" or "me" to be reborn there is only birth through contact.

I disagree with the commentaries because from what i have read they place rebirth as central, as supermundane. They also teach re-linking but you know my view reguarding that so i wont go into that here.

As stated I dont deny that the buddha taught rebirth, but it was mundane and needs to be seen as a view with an error. Buddhists these days take it as central and cling all the more to it.

Further, could you please provide analysis of the Tipitaka and commentaries by credible scholars and textual historians that support your argument.


I dont go by historians and scholars I go by my understanding through experience and also through the teachings of the Ajahns. Buddhadasa covers it quite well here

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... ebirth.pdf

He covers the true understanding of the higherdhamma teaching of anatta and rebirth.


If not, can you please reference the original source of your argument


Right view of rebirth is a view with effluents

Supermundane view is a view without effluents

Supermundane view does not include view of rebirth

Supermundane includes teachings on emptiness, there is no rebirth because there is no "i" to be reborn

I hold it is dangerous to hold rebirth because it is mundane, therefore it does not lead one to nibbana

:namaste:
Last edited by clw_uk on Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 3579
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:28 pm

As for rebirth, it was very much part of the Buddha's awakening experience.


He seen his past "abodes" not past lives

This means he seen how in the past he grasped at the aggregates as self.
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20080
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:30 pm

Element wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:There is nothing in the Sutta you quote which indicates that there is no you to be reborn and there is no rebirth.

We must be reading different suttas.

:reading:


Basically, you are telling gabrielbranbury that he/she is wrong, but without a carefully showing gabrielbranbury why the sutta supports your point of view rather than his/hers, you are merely gainsaying, which does not tell us anything at all other than you do not agree with gabrielbranbury.
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

Element

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:30 pm

Chris wrote:BUT - the Buddha also taught that this "flux of latent tendencies and kammic accumulations" (me and you)rebecomes in another form and place after the death of the current one. What is so controversial about that?

Chris

Your view is extremely controversial because it is a form of nihilism. It is depersonaling the teaching of rebirth, which is intended to promote morality. Why bother taking responsibility for the advancement of life when it can merely be passed on impersonally in a next life?

The Buddhist teachings for children, such as the Jataka stories, teach how the Bodhisatta over many lifetimes perfected his virtures. It was the same person over many lifetimes, not a different person.

In the suttas, Buddha did not generally mix the mundane and the supramundane. The anusaya or tendencies is supramundane.

In most suttas that mention rebirth, an actual person is reborn. Thus, your view Chris is very controversial.
Then Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Ananda, having given this instruction to Anathapindika the householder, got up from their seats and left. Then, not long after they left, Anathapindika the householder died and reappeared in the Tusita heaven. Then Anathapindika the deva's son, in the far extreme of the night, his extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta's Grove, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and stood to one side. As he was standing there, he addressed the Blessed One.

When this was said, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "Lord, that must have been Anathapindika the deva's son. Anathapindika the householder had supreme confidence in Ven. Sariputta."

"Very good, Ananda. Very good, to the extent that you have deduced what can be arrived at through logic. That was Anathapindika the deva's son, and no one else."

MN 143
Last edited by Element on Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 3579
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:33 pm

Mundane right view" is part the set of tools for awakening


I dont deny this, my point is most buddhists today mistake rebirth as central, as supermundane and cling to it, they dont see it as mundane and that it needs to be discarded.
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20080
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:38 pm

clw_uk wrote:
As for rebirth, it was very much part of the Buddha's awakening experience.


He seen his past "abodes" not past lives

This means he seen how in the past he grasped at the aggregates as self.


Take one of the awakening texts - MN 36 would be good - that talks about "past abodes" and carefully show us that what you claim is true, please.
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
clw_uk
Posts: 3579
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:39 pm

The householder Anathapindika became sick a third time with very strong pains which were getting worse and not easing. Again Anathapindika asked Venerable Sariputta and Venerable Ananda for assistance. When Venerable Sariputta saw him, he knew that Anathapindika was nearing death, and gave him the following instructions:

He should practice freeing himself from clinging to the six sense faculties and not attach his thoughts to them; secondly, he should practice releasing himself from dependence on the six objects and not attach his thoughts to them either. Thirdly, he should stop clinging to the connecting link between the six senses and the six sense objects, as well as to the six sense contacts, the six feelings, the six elements, the five aggregates and the four formless realms, as well as to all that is seen, heard, thought, perceived, and investigated in the mind.

Anathapindika must have followed this detailed presentation with his heart so that even as he was listening, he was already practicing in the way the wise and holy Venerable Sariputta had instructed him. At the end of the instructions, tears came to Anathapindika's eyes. The Venerable Ananda turned to him compassionately and asked him to calm himself and be at peace. But Anathapindika replied: "I cannot calm myself and be at peace, O worthy Ananda. I have served the Master and the spiritually accomplished monks for a long time, and yet I have never heard such a profound discourse."

Then Venerable Sariputta said: "Such profound talk, O householder, will not be clear enough for white-clad lay followers; it is clear enough for ascetics."

Anathapindika answered: "Venerable Sariputta, let such talks on the Dhamma be given to white-clad laity, too. There are those with just a little dust on their eyes. If they don't hear such teachings, they will be lost. Some may be able to understand."



This is the teaching of the supermundane that leads to release, notice there is no mention of rebirth at all it is about emptiness.

Notice that it is said that this isnt taught to the lay people, rebirth was taught instead.
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

Element

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:40 pm

Chris wrote:However, you can't start at the conclusion of the Path - you start at the beginning with Generosity and Morality and go forward from there. We have all just learned to read in Primary School - no point is us quoting text books from University and implying we understand completely. Wisdom (panna) is not intellectual parroting of a definition, it is "seeing things as they really are". We are so-o-o far from that, even having wandered in Sa.msara since beginningless time.

Chris

It is best that you speak for yourself.

Morality begins with truthfulness. A truthful mind tends towards truth. Any form of untruth is darkness. The beginning of time, you do not know.

2. NOBLE & IGNOBLE WAYS OF SPEAKING

Bhikkhus, there are these eight kinds of anariyavohara (ignoble ways of speaking). What are the eight kinds? The eight kinds are:

the tendency to speak of having seen things that have not (really) been seen;
the tendency to speak of having heard things that have not (really) been heard;
the tendency to speak of having experienced things that have not (really) been experienced;
the tendency to speak of having realized things that have not (really) been realized;

the tendency to speak of having not seen things that have been seen;
the tendency to speak of having not heard things that have been heard;
the tendency to speak of having not experienced things that have been experienced;
the tendency to speak of having not realized things that have been realized.

Bhikkhus, these are the eight anariyavohara.

Bhikkhus, there are these eight kinds of ariyavohara (noble ways of speaking). What are the eight kinds? The eight kinds are:

the tendency to speak of having not seen things that have not been seen;
the tendency to speak of having not heard things that have not been heard;
the tendency to speak of having not experienced things that have not been experienced;
the tendency to speak of having not realized things that have not been realized;

the tendency to speak of having seen things that have (really) been seen;
the tendency to speak of having heard things that have (really) been heard;
the tendency to speak of having experienced things that have (really) been experienced;
the tendency to speak of having realized things that have (truly) been realized.

Bhikkhus, these are the eight ariyavohara.

2. Anguttara-Nikaya, Eights.

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 3579
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:42 pm

Tiltbillings, what is the essence of the buddhas teaching, rebirth or emptiness?

The buddha on his awakening realised that in the past all he was doing was clinging to the aggregates as a self and took them up as a self, as an abode.

He didnt look back and just saw rupa being born and dying, this is so basic dont you think for something to be realised when being enlightened?

What is the origin of identitiy? the five aggregates effected by clinging.
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

Element

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:47 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Take one of the awakening texts - MN 36 would be good - that talks about "past abodes" and carefully show us that what you claim is true, please.

It is important we regard who the Buddha taught. For example, if the Buddha taught Brahmins, laymen or unenlightened monks, he would teach the Three Knowledges, which was his way to supercede the Three Vedas of the Brahmins.

For example, MN 36 was a discourse to a Jain.

However, Tilt, you can find the answer to your question in the Khajjaniya Sutta.

The Khajjaniya Sutta clearly explains the meaning of "past abodes" for Aryian disciples (rather than for putujanas).
Last edited by Element on Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Element

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:52 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Basically, you are telling gabrielbranbury that he/she is wrong.

Basically, I am telling Gabriel Branbury we have a different view.

Now, what of your speech Tilt?
Last edited by Element on Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 3579
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:53 pm

My i ask how those who hold that rebirth is essential to the buddhas teachings can uphold this when rebirth is taught as right view with effluents?


They said to the Buddha: "500 laywomen have died. What is their future course?" On realizing the significance, the Buddha said: "Bound with delusion & acquisitions, it seems eternal. But for one who sees, there is nothing." Ud 7.10


Sorry to steal your signature Element but I thought it contributed quite well to this discussion

Metta

:namaste:
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

Element

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:56 pm

Ben wrote:Can you please provide any canonical textual support for your contention that the doctrine of rebirth was taught to one class of disciple while a negation of rebirth was taught to another class of disciple.

"The ascetics and brahmans thus ministered to as the Zenith by a householder show their compassion towards him in six ways:

(i) they restrain him from evil,
(ii) they persuade him to do good,
(iii) they love him with a kind heart,
(iv) they make him hear what he has not heard,
(v) they clarify what he has already heard,
(vi) they point out the path to a heavenly state.

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


"No, venerable sir. I'm not sinking, nor am I foundering. It's just that for a long time I have attended to the Teacher, and to the monks who inspire my heart, but never before have I heard a talk on the Dhamma like this."

"This sort of talk on the Dhamma, householder, is not given to lay people clad in white. This sort of talk on the Dhamma is given to those gone forth."

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

User avatar
Prasadachitta
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:59 pm

Throughout our day we make decisions. These decisions are based upon a paradigm of conditions which for the moment we take to be actionable. I think we can say that this paradigm is our "view". I have said this before and I will say it again. This "view" (speaking for myself here) is highly changeable and for the most part very limited. I cant (at this time) think of a single moment when the possibility of rebirth played what I would call an actionable roll in my decision making. I am comfortable with it being a possibility. The only time I am concerned about how people treat the idea of rebirth is when it makes them uncomfortable and they deny that it has any potential. I think it tends to indicate a very limited and fixed self view. From what is being said above I would not characterize Element and Clw_uk in this way. On the other hand I have some impression of people who hold to literal rebirth in a way which does seem to limit their ability to explore how things are. I I have hardly any contact with people like this though.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332


Return to “Open Dhamma”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: DhammaOS, lyndon taylor, Mr Man, WASW and 20 guests